(For our Yoga Retreat Special: Yoga & (Vegan) Cooking, from June 9 till June 16, click here.)
This week starts on Saturday, when you are welcomed after 4 p.m. with a snack and a drink. You will have time to unpack and get settled, as well as explore the house and its surroundings. On this first day you will have no yoga, just a meal in the evening so you can get to know the rest of the small group.
On Sunday, we start with a yoga class for those who have yoga experience and, if needed, a separate beginners’ class for those who are new to Sivananda yoga. In the beginners’ class, the different postures are demonstrated and explained. If you have physical restrictions (for example, due to an injury or a pregnancy), the teacher will work with you on adjusting the postures so you can easily follow the class. In the afternoon there’s a short (optional) lecture on the basics of yoga philosophy.
Every morning before yoga class, you can join a meditation session. You can also make an appointment with Cynthia for an individual body work session this week, where you will work on releasing deep muscular patterns of stress and tension. For those who are interested, there will be a guided visit to a nearby mineral shop, where you can admire (and buy, if you want) beautiful amethysts and other minerals, statues, and jewellery. We don’t get any commission for this, and you are not obliged to buy anything; it’s perfectly fine if you just want to look around.
Wednesday afternoon and evening are free; there will be no lunch or dinner from Jason (a simple bread meal will be available) and no yoga class. You can use this afternoon and evening to go to the beach, visit Carcassonne, or eat out if you’d like.
On Thursday afternoon, Jason will offer a cooking workshop during which he will share his knowledge and experience; you will also be able to make things yourself. He will have a booklet for you containing his recipes and information from the workshop. You will leave this yoga retreat with lots of new ideas about how to create colourful, varied and healthy meals, even if you have a busy lifestyle.
Massages are available on demand and for an extra fee. On Saturday morning, there is no yoga class. Breakfast will be at 8 am, and at 10 am it’s time to leave. We will have a goodie bag for you, with something to eat and drink on your way back.
DAILY YOGA RETREAT PROGRAMME
|08.15-09.45||Active yoga class|
|15.00||Lecture (Sun.), visit to amethyst house (Tues.), cooking workshop (Thurs.)|
|18.00-19.30||More passive yoga class (except on Wednesday)|
|20.00||Dinner (except on Wednesday)|
THE YOGA AND MEDITATION CLASSES
Before yoga class, you can join the early morning meditation session, if you feel like getting up a little earlier to enjoy the peaceful energy of the early morning. Morning yoga classes are based on the tradition of Swami Sivananda, a holistic form of yoga in which every posture (sun salutations excluded) is maintained for a while and effort and relaxation are alternated. Classes start with relaxation and breathing exercises, which are followed by sun salutations and a sequence of postures. They end with a final relaxation. Because most postures will be used in every class, you will notice how your body adjusts to them. Throughout this yoga retreat, you will become stronger and more flexible.
During one of the morning classes, we will also do partner yoga. It helps you get deeper into the postures; you’ll be surprised at what your body can do when someone helps you enter the posture. Working together creates a different dynamic and is a nice variation in the programme.
Evening classes consist of a mixture of Sivananda yoga, Yin yoga and Yoga Nidra. In Yin yoga, postures are retained for three to five minutes, so your body has time to relax into the posture. You come deeper into the posture by relaxing more instead of by trying harder. Yoga Nidra is a “yogic sleep”. You lie on your back and follow the teacher’s instructions on where to focus your attention. This allows you to reach a very deep level of relaxation and sometimes even another state of consciousness. It can be a very special experience!
Classes are easy to follow, no matter what your level and experience. If you have never done yoga before, you can take a beginners’ class on the first day. That’s why this holiday is a great way for partners to be introduced to yoga together, or for couples in which one partner has yoga experience and the other has none. The teachers always adapt the classes according to participants’ needs, so everybody can follow along and be challenged. In cases of individual restrictions (like an injury or a pregnancy), variations and adjustments are offered.
Delicious and healthy plant-based meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) during this yoga retreat are made by Jason of The Indigo Kitchen. Not only do they look like real pieces of art, they are also a feast for your taste buds. Jason loves introducing people to a plant-based way of eating in which you don’t miss anything because it all tastes so good!
Lunch is lighter than breakfast and dinner, and of course it’s optional; sometimes people prefer having only breakfast and dinner. We always have healthy snacks and fruit available during the day, as well as water and tea. We will ask for your dietary wishes in advance, so we can take them into account. If you have any special wishes during the week itself, let us know and we will see what we can do. In the evening, we serve a glass of wine at dinner to those guests who would like one.