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So what are retreats all about then?

Updated: Aug 31, 2023

Have you ever pondered going on a retreat, but talked yourself out of it?

Retreats are for 'real yogi's', right?...

I'm not an expert / I'm only a beginner / I haven't practised for a while / I'm not [insert worry here] enough....

Remember, whilst worries are real, they are also an illusion of the mind so please don't believe them all. I'm not dismissing them. Its very normal to doubt our selves, and I have felt the same myself over the years, but please know yoga doesn't care how experienced or flexible you are.

We always start from where we are on the mat, in that moment, and go from there. Learning to let go of the judgements is part of our mindful practice too.

But consider how you might feel if you allowed yourself to experience a retreat, with a teacher you trust?

Spacious, uplifting, nurturing, grounding and joyful are just some of the words others have used to describe my retreats.

Retreat FAQ’s

Having run ten retreats over the last five years, I have answered many enquiries with similar questions, so here is a run down of FAQ’s that I hope will be useful:

Do I need to know anything about yoga?

Nope. Some previous explorations of yoga might be useful, however a beginners mindset is wide open to welcome new possibilities, and so a beautiful thing. Whether a seasoned yogi, or a newbie, every body is welcome.

What ‘style’ of yoga can I expect?

From Hatha inspired, intuitive flows and Restorative Yoga, to somatics, postnatal yoga, meditation & breathwork; I share varied blended practices, all with open invitations for you to be able to shape your own practice.

I weave yoga philosophy and evidence based nuggets about the human body-mind to support this practice of self inquiry, understanding and connection. Oh and play is often dropping in there too ‘cos it doesn't have to be so serious!

So is it OK if I can’t ‘do’ many yoga poses like arm balances or headstand? (i.e. I feel worried everyone will be ‘better than me)

More than ok. When we work with yoga postures as containers, rather than goals, we can get curious about movement and stillness, breath and awareness, sensation and sensitivity, which is all ultimately more useful than copying the form of a pose, in my humble opinion.

I don’t believe in ‘levels’ in yoga, so you can’t get it ‘wrong’. We will stay close to the ground working with foundational yoga asana. With this sense of freedom we can make a spacious shift from autopilot yoga postures, into a deeper perhaps truer practice of self-connection, awareness and presence. In other words - less ‘doing’ yoga, and more connecting to a ‘state of yoga’.

"Saturday morning yoga was great! I had never experienced such a free flowing practice before and I found it liberating and empowering to be able to move my own way".

What do we do all day on retreat?

Every retreat I curate and host (or co-host) has a unique flavour, such as Art + Yoga, Rest for Mothers, or Nurturing Self Care.

The schedule is loose so we can take a break from our diarised lives and slow the pace, but roughly speaking, each day always begins and ends with a long 90 min ish practice embodying the specific flavour of the retreat. There’s often a fun Sat or Sunday afternoon workshop delving deeper into a specific practice such as Yoga Nidra, or Creative Mindfulness. Depending on the venue there might be sauna time, a massage, a group walk, cacao ceremony, journaling or evenings around the fire. There is always plenty of space for you to carve as you choose too.

Will I have to join in all the practices and workshops on your retreats?

Nope. It’s YOUR retreat, just like it’s YOUR practice. You are always free to take any pace, on and off the mat. Napping is always a strong option, if that's what you need.

How is a retreat different from a mini-break holiday?

I love a mini-break with friends or family, but a retreat offers something quite different.

On retreat, you don’t have to research or plan anything, or go anywhere for a few days (once you arrive), there's no pressure to do anything, unless you chose to, no booze, a digital detox too, loads of sleep (and napping if you desire), plus so much time and space for you to slow down, process, and listen to your self-self. The one that can sometimes feel lost within all the busy-ness and noise of life.

I feel nervous coming solo, do I have to share a room?

About 70% of people come solo, and most of my retreats are for women (but not always so please check if this is what you are looking for). There are always Twin and Private room options. If you would like a Twin, which is always slightly lower price tag, then bring a mate and get some quality time together.

Why do you run a retreat just for Mothers?

I have been sharing Postnatal Yoga and Restorative practices for mothers for 3 years now. As a Mum, I know first hand that true self care often slips to the bottom of the list when working hard to care for others. A big part of in person practice is coming together as community, and the solidarity and creates instant community on retreat, which is a very special thing to witness.

"This Rested Mama Retreat has come at the perfect time for me. I was experiencing a lot of anxiety at home and by the supportive nurturing practices have made me feel so at ease, as much as all the wonderful like minded women who have shared their experiences, feelings & laughter too. I will never forget this weekend." (2021)

Some of your work is with mothers, but I am not a Mum, can I come on your retreats?

Unless the retreat is specifically to support mothers, such as Rested Mama, then you are so very welcome to come.

Are there any hidden costs?

Your travel costs are the only thing not included. ALL practices, workshops, meals, hot drinks, accommodation and sauna (if relevant) time is all included in the cost.

Are lift shares available?

Maybe. I will get in touch with everyone coming nearer the time of the retreat to try to arrange lift shares and minimize cars on the road, however this cannot be guaranteed. It just depends where others are traveling from. I can let you know about public transport options too.

Can I pay in instalments?

Yes. A £150 deposit will be requested to bag your spot. If the retreat is more than 8 weeks from the time of booking, you can pay in two instalments . If more than 4 months + until the retreat, you can spread the payments over multiple months. I’m flexible so let's just chat and make it work for you as best as possible.

How do I book?

Have a good read around the retreat opportunities on my website and simply email me letting me know your desired retreat and room option - and I will try to make your dreams come true!

In a world of speed, stress and toxic busy-ness, what could be more important than learning to slow down, rest, regulate a tired nervous system, and be more present with ourselves and everyone around us?

Nurturing your wellbeing isn't selfish. Loved ones, and strangers, will feel the ripple effect from your selfcare too.

Image : The Sauna Garden at Holwell Holistic Retreat Center, North Devon, enjoyed at Rested Mama Retreats

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