SOFTENING & EMPOWERING ~ A HEARTFUL RETREAT IN NATURE
We find ourselves living in the most curious times. And now that we are presented with the possibility of opening up again, we’d like to take the opportunity to open up from a place of centredness, with softness and empowerment.
Over the years – seven years and counting! – our nature retreats have kept the same main ingredients, yet have evolved with the changing times, with the final shape dependent on the needs of the individuals joining and the group that has formed.
For now, we know that we want to bring real, true community together, which means this time making space both for individual retreaters as well as solo or partnered parents with their younglings – some babies, and possibly some older children – we will see. We have made space for babies before but this is especially poignant now Katy is parent to Eden.
We want to make sure there are activities to give adults some self-love and self-care time free from younglings, and some activities where the babes are welcome too. It’s not always perfect and seamless – there’s weaving to be done and adapting to meet the needs of the individual and the group but we like to feel we’re listening, learning and growing together.
We know there’s grief to be honoured, shared and processed – both on an individual and collective level. Individuals in the team have a personal calling to hold this space with compassion and purpose, where tender hearts and all emotions are welcome.
We know there’s stuckness to be shifted from body, mind, heart and soul, and we’re here to provide a place that feels safe and nourishing to be a feeling being again.
We know there’s ways to be reminded of and relearned, to come back to ourselves, to come back to our hearts, to come back to life with lightness, nurturing and love.
Most of all, we’d like to offer the opportunity to commune, once more, in a beautiful nature setting together in community, where we can relax and be, in integrity with ourselves and the more beautiful world we wish to exist in.
WE’D LIKE TO INVITE YOU TO A HEARTFUL RETREAT WITH :
yoga · bodywork · nature walks · fire · plant based and vegetarian food · friendship · community · grief circle · playfulness · nourishment · belonging · nature connection · breathwork · intention-setting and letting go · ritual · wild swimming · music · singing and storytelling · bath · baby massage and self massage · meditation · creativity · pampering · rest and relaxation · yoga nidra · home
You are welcome to participate in as many activities as you would like; they are all optional, depending on your own feeling and flow.
- Own tent or campervan · £180–£200 concession · £210–£240 standard · £250–£300 supportive
- Dorm · £210–£240 concession · £250–£280 standard · £290–£340 supportive
- Sharing twin room or bell tent · £290–£340 standard · £350–£390 supportive
- Private room or bell tent · £350–£390 standard · £400–£450 supportive
Prices are per person. Younglings come for free! Concession, standard or supportive? We anticipate the standard price band is right for most people. Concession rates are usually for people not currently working or with a low income – please contact Katy regarding these places. Supportive rates are for those who are more affluent and high earning and help us to offer more concession places. Please find the place within your price band that feels right. We make our retreats as accessible as possible, but if finances feel like a barrier to you coming, please contact Katy to discuss your situation and see how we can get you here with us.
Included in the price · morning and afternoon yoga sessions each day including yoga nidra · morning meditation each day · bodywork session · grief circle and ritual · 3 delicious vegetarian meals per day · accommodation · walk in nature · time around the fire
We will be sharing information on our heartful responsibilities in times of covid for those who register, or those who would like to know more. It is likely we will ask all attendees to follow the government guidelines which are currently to take a lateral flow test in the days prior to your arrival.
RESERVE YOUR PLACE
Email or message Katy to reserve your place or go directly to our registration form
FLOW OF THE RETREAT
Arrive between 3pm and 5pm on Monday. We’ll sit down for our welcoming and introductions at 5.30pm and have dinner together around 7pm. The retreat ends on Wednesday after lunch around 2pm.
Each day will consist of the gentle rhythm of yoga and meditation, time and walks in nature, grief work, intention setting, visioning and letting go around the fire, bodywork and communal meals, listening and sharing time with others and time alone, and connecting with the elements. Through these practices we can find our flow again, and reconnect with ourselves and the world around us.
There will be plenty of time for relaxation and quiet contemplation, as well as group connection and any free-flow, freestyle jams and activities if you feel the call. It’s up to you how much you participate; the space is yours to hold as you wish.
We will be nurtured through the sharing of plant-based and vegetarian meals lovingly prepared by Holly. She will be serving and introducing deliciously wholesome, seasonal, colourful, local (where possible) food to nourish, soothe and delight us multidimensionally – body, mind and soul.
Join Katy for morning and afternoon yoga sessions – a heart-centred yoga practice combining postures, breathing exercises and mantras, helping you to reconnect with your body and inner self. All levels and abilities welcome – lycra not required! Katy will also take you on a guided yoga nidra relaxation, some yoga sessions without the babies, and some with, as well as a bonus baby massage and self massage group session! If you’re coming as a solo parent we can discuss how to offer childcare support so you have some time away from parenting!
There will be an invitation to sit in circle together with grief. To notice what comes up in us in response to our own experiences and the sharing of others, without trying to change it or make things better. To be heard by each other, witnessed and allowed to step towards and away from our feelings. In its simplicity this can bring profound healing. Joanne, Mel and Katy all have experience of holding spaces for acceptance and release of grief and difficult feelings and emotions.
During the weekend you will receive a one hour bodywork session from Mel or Joanne. in the beautiful geodesic dome in the forest garden. Mel’s holistic massage treatments are aimed to soothe and align muscles, balance energy and cleanse the body. Drawing on her studies in Sports, Swedish and Thai massage, and depending on your needs, she will create the perfect massage for you.
Joanne will offer a closing the bones ritual, a tradition from Mexico and Guatemala, a healing which is appropriate for anybody who has birthed, whether recently or decades ago, helping you to return physically and energetically back to yourself through the use of a deep abdominal massage around the pelvic area and ‘sifting’ with the use of a rebozo shawl, coupled with ritual and intention setting. For mothers who have recently experienced a belly birth this healing will be adapted accordingly. Joanne will also offer Reiki healings for those who feel called. She is an intuitive and visual healer and has received her Reiki Master Empowerment. Offering a combination of deep relaxation and ‘psychic surgery’, she is an advocate of empowering others to be active in the healing of themselves.
We’ll have our second night around the fire – a beautiful possibility to transform and transmute our letting go and intention setting with some grounding and centering embodiment practice. Perhaps we’ll sing and share stories and poems. The retreat will offer a gentle journey back into our energetic centres. The intention is to enable us to feel into our own clarity and direction so we move back into the world more connected with our bodies, path, purpose and each other.
OUR HOME AWAY FROM HOME
The Quadrangle is a Victorian farmstead built in 1870, this beautiful rustic farmhouse setting is away from any hustle and bustle. We have already hosted many retreats here and know it’s the perfect place to slow down, connect and quietly observe and reflect on Mother Nature. Run as a centre for sustainable living and the creative arts, the Quadrangle has many beautiful elements with which to enjoy our stay.
We’ll practice our restorative and energy-holding yoga and meditations either in the big barn downstairs or around the wood burning fire up in the granary – a beautiful setting for smaller groups – and share this warm and cosy space for our relaxation time and smaller workshops and sharing circles. We will be outside for fireside intention setting and letting go, and for walks in nature, and yoga if weather permits! There are sofas and wood burner in the shepherds barn to put your feet up with a cup of tea, a living permaculture forest garden, and a stream running through for some wild dipping! The hills and vales of the Pilgrims Way are in reach just a short walk cross-country. And did we mention the opportunity for a soak in the bath?!
It is the perfect setting to look away from the outside chaos and journey into our inner peace. In doing so we can become better aware of who we are and where we are heading.
We’re all just walking each other home.
– Ram Dass
Katy – I am a holistic wellbeing practitioner and creatress, passionate about integrated, embodied empowerment and the journey back to wholeness. Practical, spiritual and mystical, I am a lover of the messiness of being human – the dark and the light and everything in between. My mission is to create a more beautiful world together – relating, integrating and radiating, with openness, curiosity and love. I’ve been practising yoga since 1999, leading me to deeper studies with different forms of yoga over the years including Transformational, Scaravelli-inspired, Sivananda and Yoga for Anxiety and Depression, in Europe and India. I love being in this space of teacher and eternal student, and hope we can share the magic of yoga too. When I’m not running a retreat or facilitating a workshop you’ll most likely find me working and playing in alternative communities and in nature. I want to work and play with awesome collaborators, exploring and experiencing the spectrum of human connection and expression. I want to help people to feel empowered to live a more joyful and loving life, free of fear and shame. I believe we can each become an explorer of self, reconnecting with our inner child we may have forgotten along the way and, rediscovering our joy and lust for life, co-create a more beautiful world together (hat tip to Charles Eisenstein) for our children and our children’s children. With Eden arriving earthside in October 2020, I’ve gained a new perspective on life, and I feel even more aligned with the mission!
Mel – Yoga, energy healing, and bodywork have played a large part in my health and wellbeing practice over the last two decades, and have personally helped me deal with a variety of physical and mental traumas and enabled me to live the joyful authentic lifestyle that I have today. I dedicated my studies to learning a combination of western and ancient health methods and rituals to enable me to share my passions; I studied sports massage in the UK in 1996 as part of a Sports Therapy Diploma and later went on to study Thai massage in the North of Thailand in 2000. I have studied yoga with some great teachers in India, where I gained my teacher training certificate in 2009, since then my studies and interests have been directed towards tantra, kundalini and partner yoga, which the latter I became a certified teacher of in 2014. More recently I have been dedicating my studies around grief and social justice. I like to bring an authentic and joyful experience to all that I do, and hope people gain as much pleasure and satisfaction from the experience as I do.
Joanne – From solo performance and professional fooling, to my work as a birth doula and end of life doula, I support people to find their own way and their own peace in order to enter, leave and exist in the world with the clarity, love and acceptance that is their birthright. I work intuitively with one-to-one bodywork and energy work sessions, responding to the needs of the individual at a pace that works with their system. Working with women postpartum on closing the bones rituals feels deeply important; whether having given birth 3 months ago or 30 years ago, for women to come back to themselves after this immense rite of passage. I am passionate about using ritual, archetypes, the seen and the unseen, and honest storytelling to accompany us on this journey of life.
Holly – Born into a large extended farming family whose theatrical BnB was the hub of events and meet-ups, I was led by example early that an offering of nourishing, home cooked food for all who enter the doors is a customary gesture and a nothing less than ordinary expression of welcome. At a young age I opted for a vegetarian diet (receiving several raised bushy eyebrows and whispers of confusion and mild panic from members of my family of butchers.) I began working with food in the studios of ITV as a runner on its daytime cookery shows, gaining skills and pot loads of inspiration from the ultimate behind-the-scenes cooks. I continued to work in catering and running food events. A move to the southern hemisphere introduced a new way of ‘normal’ that embodied holistic ways of living, including witnessing food as life and putting attention on awareness – asking where it is produced, with what methods and how this has an effect on the whole system; bodily, spiritually, environmentally, etc. I am passionate about cooking, serving and introducing deliciously wholesome, seasonal, local, colourful plant-based food. Even better for me if you enjoy it and it is new for you! I hope I can provide some inspiration and offer nothing less than an expression of welcome to you on this retreat.
“Thank you for an absolutely wonderful weekend. You create such a safe space for everyone to explore their connection to themselves and their relationship with the world and people around them.”
“I kept telling people that the weekend felt like a beautiful dream, except it was real! I went on raving about how great the retreat was to my colleagues and may have convinced at least two of them to sign up for the next one.”
“A gentle, playful, restorative 2-days of magic. You create beautiful compassionate spaces that nourish heart, mind, body and soul.”
“It has been one of the most amazing retreats I have had! It is amazing how much connection you were able to nurture and encourage in a short time.”
“It was huge for me. Felt like reconnecting with myself as an entity in my own skin. And connecting with other wonderful humans and nourishment.”
“It was very special to feel so accepted.”
“Here’s the poem I’d like to share with everyone. Beautiful things in life should be remembered in a way they deserve, because they’ll never be recreated the same way again. ‘Tis a poem to commemorate our wonderful little weekend Yoga Retreat in Shoreham.
Reminiscing on my weekend,
Like a beautiful dream in Kent,
Being drifted to a tranquil space,
A place called The Quadrangle,
With faces we’ve never seen before.
We had our stories and pains,
From our distant realities.
But despite our differences,
We desired one thing that brought us all together,
Getting away from the city noise,
In search for calmness deep within.
It was a weekend of Peace and Quiet,
In search for our spiritual self,
Through hikes in the woods,
And collective Om chants,
An unusually soul-soothing rhythm.
It was a weekend of Hopes and Fears,
To let go of our painful memories,
And welcome abundance of positivities,
Freeing ourselves from the prisons of our minds,
To achieve a truly liberated state of mind.
It was weekend of Love and Joy,
Where we embraced our own uniqueness,
Shared our profoundest wisdom and knowledge,
And rejoiced our singing voices,
Free from all kinds of judgment,
It was simply, blissfully, beautiful.
It was a weekend of New Experiences,
We’ve made lasting relationships,
From strangers to now familiar acquaintances,
Ain’t close enough to be friends,
Ain’t distant enough to be strangers.
Content and Grateful,
We bid goodbye,
Go back living our separate lives,
With a new perspective.
And that’s the beauty of life.”
“Thank you so much to the whole team for truly nourishing and nurturing me.”
“Thank you so very much for your incredible calming energy. You are a beautiful teacher and I would love to bottle you up and take you home!”
“Absolutely fantastic weekend – beautiful location and brilliant yoga!”
“This yoga retreat has been the BEST! Thank you all so much.”
“The most relaxed, loving, nourishing weekends imaginable with an affordable price tag!”
Original photo: Jackson David, Unsplash