Deep Roots, Free Wings, Warm Heart Retreat
Walking along a beach shore feeling my toes rooting in the sands and the breeze lifting on my skin, I find myself reflecting “What are we all really looking for?” Passion? Purpose? Love?
Type of Event
- Core Strength
- Thai Yoga Massage
- Yoga Therapy
We have another retreat on 17th - 23rd June.
All inclusive ( not including flights and transfers)
At a time in my life I was so connected with the voice of my heart that my mind had no room to make doubts, confusions and complicated decisions. Life was blissful, simple and easy, all I had to do was follow and I was always in the right place. Loosing this made me realise, of course, how precious this was.
The Way of The Heart:
~Deep Roots, Free Wings, Warm Heart ~ This is a creative Hatha Yoga journey to get back in touch with our hearts, passions and purpose.
Hatha yoga and intuitive movement explorations, with touches of Kundalini yoga kriya and Yin.
Your teacher: Autumn-Laura Cunliffe
I have spent my life seeking and living for happiness, freedom, truth, meaning, beauty. My life path has been a very nomadic one, full of adventure and exploration. I’ve been practising yoga and meditation since I was 17, more ‘seriously’ since I was 26 (7 years), and intuitive dance-movement practises for many years. Studying art, psychology, then creative arts therapies and recently Thai massage/ bodywork, I’m inspired by feeling, following energies and digging into the mysteries of life and ourselves. Much of my life has been guided by intuition and experiential learning, finding wisdom and teachings in nature, and my own body and soul, then the theory later. I believe the source of our own power and vitality lies in fully embodying ourselves and activating our innate creativity (life current).
My first yoga training was a transformational year in Kundalini yoga, and my second in the rich, subtle teachings of Classical Hatha Yoga. I now teach and share a heart-based Hatha Yoga, focusing on correct alignment in postures, so that you get the most out of them, and influenced by awareness of the inner energetics of kundalini yoga.
My teaching is intuitive, empathic and poetic, inspiring enquiry and creativity in how we experience poses. Yoga I feel is a path of healing, a way of coming home to being whole. This makes the yoga accessible to everybody no matter what experience you have.
You are welcomed to come and experience blissful relaxations; be warmed and deepened into your own connection with yourself; nature; and life’s rhythms and perhaps find your passions by following the call of ‘the way of your heart’.
Styles of yoga to be taught:
Classical Hatha Yoga works both with the physical and subtle bodies to take us deeper within, preparing us for meditation and more subtle levels of awareness. We work a lot with individual Asana’s (poses) to ensure good alignment, Pranayama (Breath/ life force activation), Mudra’s (Sacred gestures), and some Mantra (healing sound currents) and Bhanda’s (Energy locks). Some gentle flow sequences will be occasionally included, along with sound, imagery, guided meditations and deep relaxations. The training I did has its roots in the Kaivalyadam institute in India, where my teacher studied. There they have both a hospital and a research centre marking the healing potentials of yoga.
Kundalini yoga is a powerful form of yoga working to directly stimulate our dormant kundalini (life-force) energy and raise it from the lower chakras to the higher chakras. Sometimes also called Shakti, she is symbolised as a serpent within the spine. All yoga is working with this energy, but kundalini yoga, with its specially designed Kriyas, can activate our awareness of this quicker.
Yin yoga works on the level of the fascia and connective tissue. Relaxing deeply into longer held poses allows us to unwind long held patterns and emotions from our bodies. We can feel 90 years old after a yin session but you will sleep like a baby!
Sample Daily Timetable (times will vary slightly on each retreat)
07.30 Pranayama or morning meditation
08.00 Morning Yoga practice
11:00 Workshop (practical/theroretical) or free time
15.00 Free time
19.00 Evening Yoga practice
20.30 Meditation or yoga nidra
21.00 Evening meal
*There is one workshop a day, it may be in the morning or afternoon. There is also the option to visit local markets on Wednesday and Sunday.
Your Retreat Overview:
Walking along a beach shore feeling my toes rooting in the sands and the breeze lifting on my skin, I find myself reflecting “What are we all really looking for?” Passion?
At a time in my life I was so connected with the voice of my heart that my mind had no room to make doubts, confusions and complicated decisions. Life was blissful, simple and easy, all I had to do was follow and I was always in the right place. Loosing this made me realise, of course, how precious this was, and how head-centred our western worlds can be. I have found Yoga can help bring me back to that place. I’d love to share some of these insights, teachings and practises with you to help enrich and inspire your yoga practise and life.
‘Yoga’ means Union, and our heart is our Sacred Centre: where we are balanced between our roots (desires and instincts) and our wings (our expansive vision/ ideals).
In this retreat were going to explore how it is to come back home to the heart. We will use the ancient potent tools of Yoga to cultivate a deeper awareness of our bodies. Creative exercises and experiential movement will add some colour, creativity and spice. This retreat is about getting to know ourselves and accepting every shade of who we are = self-love.
We will work with our roots and our wings bringing both energies to meet and seek a pathway through the heart.
~ In our morning Asana classes we will focus on developing our Roots; Our foundation and grounding, feeling our connection to the Earth, and to the water and fire elements of our first 3 chakra’s. Freeing the energy of our lower body ( hips) and moving it into the heart.
~ Evening Asana classes will allow us to explore our wings; our lightness, expansiveness and joy, and to again draw this down to fill the heart ( freeing tightness from the shoulders).
Meditations and/or guided Savasana (deep relaxation) will accompany both of our asana classes and will tie in with our theme’s for each day.
Breathe Deep, Feel Fully, Root in, Spread your wings, Follow your Heart.
Day 0 (arrival day)
Welcoming circle – Introductions, A short guided seed meditation/ tune-in, sharing and creative wish tree ceremony. A little explanation of our retreat journey together.
Theme: BREATH - ‘Breathing Tree’ (Connected Season ~ Autumn/ Surrender)
~ Taking in and Giving out~
We will work with developing breath awareness and experiencing the essence of pranayama’s. Breath is such an important foundation in our yoga practise and in our lives. We’ll see how by playing with and using our breath it can change our awareness and experience of the Asana’s we practise; How it helps us to reach deeper into the body, and to access and release tension, emotion and mental patterns. Breathing deeply we fill ourselves with the full potential of life. Exhaling fully we learn to let go and learn about what we habitually hold onto.
Meditations: Breathing the heart
Workshop: Chakra Awareness Journey with sound and movement
Theme: SACRED PAUSE (Connected Season ~ Winter/ Embracing)
~ Learning to Listen ~
So often we rush from one activity to another, or our lives are so busy we don’t give ourselves time for that ‘sacred pause’ - to connect ad listen within. The same can be true in our yoga practises, although yoga is a wonderful opportunity for cultivating inner listening. These classes will work with the same morning and evening themes of embodying our roots and wings & moving into the heart, but will gently begin to take you deeper. Deeper into sensation, into feeling what your body wants to say, into becoming more comfortable with stillness. Classes will be Hatha based with the introduction of some Yin, longer held poses.
Meditations: Mindfulness Techniques
Workshop: Power of Gratitude
Theme: ROOTS & WINGS (Connected Season ~ Spring/ Harmony)
~ Roots and wings; Earth and sky; Heaviness and Lightness; Bones and Space; Inside and outside ~
Life is made up of dualities and polarities. To be in Harmony with life is to find our place of balance between these seeming opposites, and to see how wonderfully they can work together. Yoga means Union and so through our asana practise we’ll play with, explore, feel and embrace both.
Meditations: Exploring expansion and depth.
Workshop: Flow Painting and Nature Mandala’s
Theme: MOVING FROM THE HEART (Associated Season: Summer)
We will have explored our roots, embraced our wings and learnt how to bridge both within our heart. We are breathing deep in our bellies, feeling the fullness richness of ourselves. Today will be all about moving through and with the heart. We’ll combine asana work with intuitive movement, alone and in pairs.
Meditations: Movement and walking meditations
Workshop: Passion Test
Theme: DANCING AS ALL:
~ Sacred Embodied Animal ~
Bringing our Asana’s to life; finding the essence of each asana and what it has to personally teach us. These will be classes about what yoga is teaching us. Our progress in Yoga is not necessarily about how many complicated shapes we can twist our bodies into, but, I feel, the depth and awareness with which we enter into each moment, into each asana. In this way we uncover the wisdom locked into these wonderful, ancient energetic patterns (asanas). What gifts do they have to teach us?
Meditations: Guided Heart Meditation/ Yoga Nidra
Workshop: Labyrinth Dance of Life
CLOSING THE CIRCLE ~ Sharing circle and a chance to share our gratitude’s, reflections, arts and any insights of how we can bring what has been learnt back into our everyday lives.
Your Workshop Programme:
1 Chakra Awareness Journey with sound and movement
Whether we are familiar with or new to working with our chakra’s this workshop will introduce and allow experiencing them in new ways. It will also be a wonderful introduction to the power of sound and vibration and the ways it can affect and release our bodies and clear our minds.
We’ll work with Aum, Chakra seed sounds, intuitive sound and breath. Many of us are afraid of making sound, but this will be developed naturally, with fun, and will help us get deeper into our bodies and shift inhibitions- perfect for our Autumn theme of letting go. We’ll also giving and receiving sound massage in pairs. Setting the tone for the week, this workshop gives you a whole new awareness of your body and emotions, to bring into your asana practises and life.
2 Power of Gratitude
Gratitude can shift a difficult situation into a wonderful opportunity and train our minds to be more contented with our present moments. We will explore what gratitude means to all of us; how it can make us happier and healthier; take a journey of gratitude through the body; and make our own gratitude journals to work with during the retreat. It gives us the opportunity for self-reflection and observation and moves us directly into the space of the heart.
3 Flow Painting and Nature Mandala’s
Polarities make the wheel of life. As our theme for this day is on exploring and balancing these seemingly opposite energies to move into harmony and balance, there is no better place and teacher to guide us than nature herself. We’ll start with a short guided meditation and spiraling sufi dancing, and move into intuitive dance painting -giving us feeling, flow and colours. Following this unleashed freedom we’ll allow the child in us to see nature afresh, gather treasures and create our own wheel of life/ Mandala’s.
4 Passion Test
What does living a passionate life mean to you? And, are you living your wildest dreams? What does you heart secretly yearn for? Do you dare to believe you could live them? This is a wonderful and fun, activating and even tearfully moving and revealing exercise. In the season of summer, which governs this days theme, let the full summer sun shine light on our hearts path.
The teachings of yoga say that we each have our own unique Dharma or purpose for being here, something that we wish to learn or fulfil, whether seemingly small or wide reaching. This workshop will bring you closer to yours and help you to make the decisions in your life to move in their direction. When we know what they are we can achieve them.
5 Labyrinth Dance of Life
We’ll create a movement, sound and breath mandala through all the seasons and their corresponding theme’s and possible linked emotions. This will be our unique map through the labyrinth of life to our centre, our heart, a place of unity and balance.
Often in life we get stuck in one polarity, we see one side but refuse the other, or we hate the rain and love the sun; myb we judge the emotion of anger as bad and suppress it but are easily able to let our tears flow in sadness.
This movement expression workshop is derived from a 6 week course which I created during my creative arts therapies studies and was based on feminine empowerment using archetypes. We forget often, how interconnected we, and all of life, are. This lets us experience that e-motions are just ‘energy in motion’. When we let our energy flow, life and love can more easily move through us. I feel this is our main aim in yoga: unlocking the blocks so that we can be pure, healthy, free flowing rivers of life. As within, as without.