Strengthen Your Body, Soul and Mind Retreat
Two weeks of joyful exploration of a variety of contemporary yoga styles and mindfulness meditation practises to strengthen your body, soothe your mind and feed your soul.
Type of Event
- Core Strength
- Yoga Therapy
We have another retreat on 24th - 30th March.
All inclusive ( not including flights and transfers)
This week will leave you with a spring in your step and a song in your heart. You will leave with a better understanding of yoga and you will be inspired to bring yoga and meditation into your everyday life. You will leave with a delicious goody-bag of simple tools, techniques and resources to take home with you. This will include quick stress-busting tips, new approaches and techniques, an individualised home practise plan, greater self-awareness and a deeper appreciation of nature.
Your Teacher: Melanie Melvin:
"I have been teaching yoga and mindfulness for 20 years and practising for 24 years. I am passionate about bringing the joy of yoga and meditation into people’s lives. I trained with the world’s leading experts in astanga yoga in London in the 1990s. Since then I have done wonderful trainings with many of the leading contemporary practitioners like Sarah Powers, Donna Farhi and Simon Low. Iwas trained as a dancer and have a BA in languages and two MAs; one in Creative Writing and Authorship and one in Drama and Movement Therapy.
I am a people gardener, a compassionate teacher who believes in bringing out the best in every student. Many students comment that my classes make them feel safe and comfortable and that they are surprised at how much they enjoy yoga when I am teaching!My wide range of training and experience and long years of practise mean that I am sensitive to individual needs and have a huge tool-kit of techniques, resources and approaches. My groups are very inclusive, supportive and relaxed and everybody has the space to grow and flourish."
Styles of yoga to be taught:
I teach a variety of styles and adapt classes to fit the ability and needs of students. Because I have been teaching and studying for so long my teaching is not limited to one particular style and I design every session around what I think would best serve the group. I was a performer and re-trained as a drama and movement therapist so my teaching is also informed by my therapeutic training and belief that, above all, yoga and mindfulness are forms of healing, ways of bringing about wholeness and a greater sense of harmony, happiness, ease and peace of mind.
I love all forms of yoga and believe they all have their place. My classes usually start and end with deep relaxation and then I incorporate gentle warm-up exercises, sun salutations, standing postures, balances and sitting postures. Sometimes we flow through a strong, joyful vinyasa-based practise, sometimes we stay longer in postures to open the body more deeply and enhance focus and peace of mind. The main yoga styles I draw from are Astanga, Bikram, Scaravelli and Yin. Astanga is flowing and dynamic. Bikram sequences can be fantastic for strength-building, rehabilitation after injury and detox. Scaravelli enables deep release. Yin is very meditative and works on the Chinese meridian lines to enhance the flow of life-force through the body.
I am a people gardener. My aim is to help every student blossom in their own sweet way. I am always around to answer questions, offer encouragement and support and help you get the most out of your retreat.
Sample Daily Timetable (times will vary slightly on each retreat)
07.30 Pranayama/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.
This week will leave you with a spring in your step and a song in your heart. You will leave with a better understanding of yoga and you will be inspired to bring yoga and meditation into your everyday life. You will leave with a delicious goody-bag of simple tools, techniques and resources to take home with you. This will include quick stress-busting tips, new approaches and techniques, an individualised home practise plan, greater self-awareness and a deeper appreciation of nature, both around you and within you. You will leave with a stronger body, a quieter mind and a more open heart.
Each day will involve two nourishing yoga and meditation sessions and one informative and playful workshop. The meditation sessions will be mainly drawn from the mindfulness meditation practises invented by Jon Kabat-Zinn ( architect of the world-renowned 8 week Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) course including ‘mindfulness of breathing’ and the ‘body scan.’ We will also draw inspiration from Tibetan Buddhist meditation as practised and written about by the wonderful Pema Chodron. Mindfulness will also be incorporated into every yoga class and will be a golden thread throughout the week. The focus will be on individual development both on and off the mat and the integration of yoga and meditation into every day life.
Your Workshop Programme:
WORKSHOP ONE - COMING TO OUR SENSES
This workshop will introduce the practise and benefits of present moment awareness through attuning to our senses. It will take the form of an introduction to the 'senses meditation' on the very popular and internationally recognised MBSR and MBCT courses invented by Jon Kabat-Zinn.
A guided meditation will be followed by a silent scavenger hunt around Bagend and a show and tell session. The workshop will finish with simple and fun ways to bring mindfulness of the senses into the rest of the retreat, our yoga practise and everyday life in order to reduce stress and enhance wellbeing.
WORKSHOP TWO - THE JOY OF YOGA
This workshop will start with an inspirational reading from 'Yoga: The art and practise of moving into silence" by Erich Schiffman. We will talk about how, if we are not careful, yoga can reinforce body image issues and how we can guard against this and instead celebrate and learn to love our miraculous bodies through our practise.
Core concepts of The Joy of Yoga:
Re-framing yoga as an art form and our bodies as joyful instruments through which we channel and express universal energy.
Playing Your Edge
Running Lines of Energy through the body
Orchestrating with the Breath
Choosing Current and Tone
Working from the Centre and staying Grounded.
The Joy of Yoga will be explored through readings, discussion and playful experiments.
WORKSHOP THREE - CREATING AND SUSTAINING A HOME YOGA PRACTISE
A huge number of my students express an interest in practising at home but do not know how to get started or keep going. In this workshop I will share my experience of practising yoga at home over the last 20 years – the joys, the obstacles and the pitfalls! – and leave everybody inspired and enabled to create their own practise at home.
We start with an introduction to the major contemporary schools of yoga, their differences, benefits and suitability for different aims and body types. Discussion about various approaches to home practise, the practicalities of space and time.
We will then look at how to structure a home practise; The 'Arc' of a typical yoga practise, moving from warm-up through to final savasana.
Sun salutation options and alternatives.
Easy standing and sitting sequences.
Health and Safety considerations for your body.
Props and supports.
Online lessons and recommended book list.
Obstacles you may encounter along the way (physical and psychological) and how to overcome them.
By the end of the workshop each individual will have a plan and there will then be opportunities to fine tune and ‘rehearse’ home practise during subsequent yoga and meditation classes.
WORKSHOP FOUR - MINDFULNESS FOR ALL
Mindfulness has become mainstream over the past couple of years but is still misunderstood by many. I have studied and practised mindfulness for 20 years and it has helped me through difficult times and enriched easier times. I know from personal experience how life-changing simple,everyday mindfulness practices can be. I also know how hard it is to keep practising. I would like to share the practises that help me and inspire people to incorporate these into everyday life.
What is mindfulness?
History of mindfulness and the many applications of mindfulness in the West.
Introduction to the benefits of mindfulness
Readings from Jon Kabat-Zinn and Pema Chodron
Core mindfulness practices:
The Body Scan
The 2 minute Clearing Space.
Everybody will decide on an everyday activity during the retreat and at home eg. making tea or having a shower or walking from place to place and commit to doing this mindfully every time.
** Please note all classes & workshops at Rustic Retreats are optional**