The Power of "Letting Go" Summer Retreat
During the retreat we will explore the four foundations of mindfulness. The four foundations are; mindfulness of the body, mindfulness of feelings or sensations, mindfulness of mind or consciousness & mindfulness of mental phenomena/objects. Through this we will start to be able to let go of the idea that we are trying to ‘achieve’
Type of Event
- Core Strength
- Thai Yoga Massage
- Yoga Therapy
We have another retreat on 6th - 12th August.
All inclusive ( not including flights and transfers)
The power of letting
A retreat exploring letting go. Letting go of the past, the future. Letting go of attachments and expectations and allowing ourselves to be fully present and mindful. Over the course of the retreat we will deepen our meditation practice, using both seated and walking meditation techniques and learning mindfulness. We will also practice a combination of Yin and Yang yoga styles, bringing balance into our practice.
Your Teacher: Mahalia Pellett
I have been teaching yoga for the past two years having completed my 200 hour Ashtanga Vinyasa course with The Yoga People. Since then I have completed a 100 hour Yin yoga course (September 2014) and a 100 hour Advanced Ashtanga Vinyasa course (September 2015). I am incredibly passionate about the many benefits of living a yogic lifestyle, physically, mentally and spiritually. Yoga and meditation have changed my life in so many ways, and given me the space to find peace and stillness, while exploring my true essence. I am wholeheartedly committed to sharing this with others and I believe that yoga and meditation are for everyone, regardless of age or ability. It brings me so much joy to see students achieve things and find themselves in a way they may never have thought to be possible. As a teacher I aim to make my classes fun and accessible, while allowing students the opportunity to freely explore their bodies and minds in a safe environment. I have recently completed a ten day silent meditation retreat, which was completely life changing and I am keen to share the learnings and insights I took away from the retreat.
Styles of yoga to be taught:
During the retreat I will be teaching yang Vinyasa classes in the morning and more meditative Yin yoga classes in the evening. I believe that it is essential to have both Yin and Yang on and off the yoga mat, in order to achieve a balance.
The vinyasa classes will be derived from Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga, a style popularised by Pattabhi Jois in the 20th century. The linking of breath and movement is strongly emphasised in Ashtanga Vinyasa, allowing the practice to become a moving meditation. Poses are linked together in a flowing sequence and generally held for between 3-5 breaths. The practice begins with a warm up of sun salutations and progresses into standing poses, seated poses and finally a closing sequence and final relaxation. We will explore several different creative sequences throughout the week, all with the aim of letting go.
Yin yoga is a much more slow-paced style of yoga. Poses are held for much longer periods (between 2-10 minutes). Yin yoga poses apply moderate stress to the connective tissues of the body aiming to increase flexibility. The main function of yin yoga however is to cultivate an inner silence and stillness. Yin yoga is a great tool to help develop a seated meditation practice.
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.
During the retreat we will explore the four foundations of mindfulness. The four foundations are; mindfulness of the body, mindfulness of feelings or sensations, mindfulness of mind or consciousness & mindfulness of mental phenomena/objects. Through this we will start to be able to let go of the idea that we are trying to ‘achieve’ anything (eg a pose) or ‘become’ someone (eg a ‘yogi’). We will become content with things just as they are in the present moment.
Through our meditation practice, we will use techniques to allow us to focus the mind in the present moment. We will then transfer these techniques in to every day activities, bringing us a sense of peace and calmness. We will use both seated and walking meditation techniques and our asana classes will be seen as a moving meditation. The intention of the retreat will be to spend as much time as possible in a state of mindfulness or meditation. We will gradually increase the time spent meditating throughout the week and take time to discuss our meditation experience without become attached to either pleasant or unpleasant experiences had while mediating and/or practicing asana. Bagend is the perfect location to practice mindfulness and allowing ourselves to become close to nature and a realisation of the notion that we are all one.
The yoga classes will be designed to emphasise the notion of letting go. Letting go of how you think an asana 'should' look, letting go of comparing yourself to other practitioners, letting go of fear associated with particular asanas.
Your Workshop Programme:
The first day will begin with a seated meditation introducing basic techniques used in insight meditation practice. We will start by focussing on physical sensations when breathing (either sensation on the upper lip or the sensation of the belly rising and falling). If one becomes distracted from this breath focus, just passively notice the wandering of the mind, in an accepting way and return to focussing on the breathing. This will be followed with a vinyasa class, focussing again on maintaining awareness of the breath and the present moment.
The first workshop will be an introduction to mindfulness, looking at the previously mentioned four foundations and exploring different meditation techniques. Also trying to bring mindfulness into normal daily activities such as eating, washing, brushing teeth etc. Exploring these activities as though it the first time we are doing them. We will discuss our own experiences and ideas of what mindfulness means. Mindfulness has been shown to promote feelings of calmness and wellbeing and is used in various therapeutic settings.
The day will end with a Yin yoga practice focussing on the first two chakras. We will then meditate once again as a group and close the day with yoga nidra.
The second day will begin again with a seated meditation deepening our awareness to include physical sensations and also mindfulness of the body, answering the question; how do you know you have a body when your eyes are closed?
We will practice Ashtanga Primary Series, flowing through the sequence linking movement and breath, creating a moving meditation. The use of bandhas (energy locks) will be introduced and further developed in the second workshop.
The second workshop will explore inversions, such as headstand, forearm stand and handstand. We will warm the body with a flowing asana sequence and then work together looking at different techniques designed to remove the fear so often associated with getting upside down. We will discuss and look at how the use of the bandhas (energy locks) helps us in our inversion practice. The main focus of the workshop will be the journey and the process involved, rather than becoming attached to the achievement of the inversion. The intention of this workshop is aimed at letting go of any attachment to the achievement of a particular asana, letting go of the fear and other feelings involved with getting upside down. Lets feel free to playfully explore and have some fun working together on our mats.
In the evening we will have a Yin yoga practice with poses focussing on letting go of emotions held in the hips. We will close with a 'tie cutting' meditation, allowing us to begin letting go of a particular unhealthy behaviour pattern, emotional tie or something which no longer serves us.
The third day will begin once again with seated meditation further expanding our awareness into our thoughts and feelings. The asana practice in the morning will prepare us for the workshop. We will focus on moving smoothly like water through the poses, finding stillness and stability, opening the heart to give and receive unconditional love. Also exploring our inhibitions and the way in which we have a tendency to judge ourselves.
The third workshop will explore dance/movement as a form of meditation and self expression. We will explore letting go of inhibitions and allowing movement to occur freely. Allowing the body to move fluidly like water, opening the heart and letting go of judgement and/or fear of being judged. We can discuss how this makes us feel and any emotions/feelings which arise as a result of this workshop.
We will close the day with a Yin yoga class focussing on the third and fourth chakras, and a loving kindness meditation further cultivating the feeling of unconditional love and acceptance for all beings everywhere.
On the fourth day our morning meditation practice will again focus on mindfulness, observing the sensations of the belly as the breath moves in and out of the body, observing how the body feels as a whole and noticing the feeling and sensations where the body touches the mat/cushion.
Our morning asana practice will follow on from the previous days workshop noticing how much more freely the body moves as a result.
The fourth workshop will use mandala colouring as a form of meditation. Allowing us to connect deeply to nature and to our true selves. After each colouring our mandalas we can have an open and honest discussion on challenges/successes/insights we have had during the meditations, asanas and workshops during the week.
We will end the day with a Yin yoga practice, meditation and ceremony to close and cleanse the space and the retreat.