Tag Archives: Retreats

Relax & Restore Winter Retreat

Relax & Restore Winter Retreat

Relax & Restore Winter Retreat 13th-15th November 2015
Florence House (exterior front)

Our regular retreat at Florence House in Seaford in East Sussex is a wonderful blend of Dynamic, Hatha and Restorative Yoga and Pilates. Facilitated by Sally Parkes and I, this retreat focuses on re-balancing both the body and mind.

Classes are suitable for all abilities as well as beginners. There will also be a delicious, healthy menu and plenty of time to relax and enjoy the beautiful surroundings and stunning Sussex coastline.

I’m really looking forward to returning to Florence House this November! This is the last retreat I will be teaching on in 2015, so if you would like to join us please click here to book via Sally’s website.

Plus you can find 2016 Florence House retreat dates here.

Spanish September Sun

Spanish September Sun
Join us at the beautiful Hacienda Retreat in Andalusia

Join us at the beautiful Hacienda Retreat in Andalusia

Relax and Restore Spain Retreat with Sally Parkes Yoga 5-11th September

Join Sally Parkes and I in Andalusia for a week of yoga, Pilates, relaxation and delicious food.

Set in the beautiful Andalusian countryside with panoramic views of the Sierra Nevada and in an area of outstanding beauty and ecological diversity, this retreat offers a complete getaway from everyday life.

To find out more and to book visit Sally’s website here.

P.S. Still looking for an excuse to take yourself on retreat? Check out my 5 Reasons to Go on A Yoga Retreat article on En Route Traveler.

Gift to Self: 2015 Yoga Retreats

Gift to Self: 2015 Yoga Retreats
Gift to Self: 2015 Yoga Retreats

While you’re Christmas shopping why not treat yourself to a yoga getaway in 2015.

I’m excited to be teaching on more yoga retreats for Sally Parkes Yoga in 2015.

If you’re thinking of a yoga getaway yourself, or would like to treat someone you know then you can find Sally’s full retreat calendar at her website here.

I’m next teaching on the Relax & Restore Weekend at Florence House (pictured) with Sally from 6th-8th March. This retreat features a wonderful blend of Hatha, Dynamic, Restorative Yoga and Pilates, a delicious, healthy vegetarian menu, beautiful surroundings and treatments available (click here for details). And for info on all the retreats I am teaching on in 2015 you can visit my retreat calendar here.

5 Reasons to Go on a Yoga Retreat

5 Reasons to Go on a Yoga Retreat

Yoga in the Yurt at Tilton House

Yoga in the Yurt at Tilton House - photo by Kat Kinsella

Originally published on Urban Lucy‘s Urban Blog.

Despite practising yoga for a decade I didn’t go on my first yoga retreat until 2011. One of my very first thoughts once I was there was “What took me so long?!” The retreat I’d chosen was a weekend break in the UK, yet it was just enough to bring my mind and body back into balance. And suited by budget too. I’d always thought that a retreat was a pipe dream but whether you want to head off to far-flung sunny climes or have a short but sweet weekend break closer to home there’s such a wide range of choice out there that it is possible to find a getaway to suit your tastes and needs.

I loved the experience so much that I now teach yoga on retreats and believe so much in the value of taking time out for you. Far from being selfish, taking that time to take care of you allows you to recharge and, in turn, enables you to give the best of yourself to your loved-ones. I recently returned from teaching on a weekend retreat in Sussex and was reminded all over again of why it’s so good. Here are just a few reasons for you:

Delicious food on the Sally Parkes Yoga retreats at Tilton House

Delicious food on the Sally Parkes Yoga retreats at Tilton House

1. No pressure to ‘do’ anything
Ever been on holiday and ended up with an itinerary so packed that you came back feeling like you needed another holiday? Well, one of the great things about being on retreat is that there’s no pressure ‘do’. We have enough pressures and ‘shoulds’ in our day-to-day lives and even on holiday that can creep in when what our minds and bodies really need is the opposite. On retreat you have the genuine opportunity to slow down with no guilt whatsoever. You can opt in or out of as many of the classes and other activities on offer as you like. Hang out with the group, or spend time alone. It’s your choice! It’s a real chance to Relax and restore.

Join Sally Parkes & I on our Relax & Restore retreats at Florence House

Join Sally Parkes & I on our Relax & Restore retreats at Florence House

2. You get to indulgently focus on your yoga practice (or even begin your yoga practice!)
If you already love yoga, then what better opportunity to practice every day! Though if you’ve never done yoga before, a retreat is a great place to start. There are lots of beginner-friendly retreats out there in the UK and abroad, including the ones I teach on for Sally Parkes Yoga (www.sallyparkesyoga.com). As a beginner you’ll be in a safe, nurturing environment and guided by teachers who want to support you.

Experience a nurturing Restorative Yoga class on retreat at Florence House

Experience a nurturing Restorative Yoga class on retreat at Florence House

3. It can be an opportunity to support a transition phase in your life
When I went on that first yoga retreat I was in the process of being made redundant from the job I worked at for almost ten years. Though it was a change I wanted, it was still a lot to come to terms with at the time. Being out of my regular surroundings was a great chance to step back, take stock and reassess things. It helped me get clearer about what I wanted. I’ve heard similar stories from other people about how they found a new perspective while on away on retreat and consequently, were able to take positive action once back at home.

4. It’s okay to go on your own (if you want to!)
Of course it’s okay to go on any holiday on your own, though holidaying alone isn’t something everyone feels comfortable with. From my experience, going away on retreat is a great way to go away on your own. The environment is safe and supportive and you get to meet some great people. People come from diverse backgrounds, yet often similar experiences have brought them to a retreat. It’s not uncommon to form lasting friendships.

Beautiful grounds at Florence House

Beautiful grounds at Florence House

5. The effects can last when you get back home
I feel this is best summed-up by a recent retreat guest who at the end of our weekend retreat totally humbled us with the following:

“I came on one of these retreats a while ago and came away with a warm feeling that lasted a long time. This time I’ve got that feeling again.”

So what are you waiting for? Why not start planning your next, or even your first yoga retreat? Do something nice for you.

This Summer you can join me on the following weekend retreats with Sally Parkes Yoga:

20th – 22nd June & 8th – 10th August – Summer Detox Retreats: Yoga and Meditation Weekend Retreats at Tilton House, Firle, near Lewes, East Sussex. Click here for more details (NB – only twin share rooms remaining for these dates. Autumn Detox Weekend 10-12th Oct is now SOLD OUT.)

29th – 31st August. With Sally Parkes and I – Summer Relax & Restore Retreat: Yoga, Pilates and Meditation Weekend Retreat at Florence House, Seaford, East Sussex. Click here for details.

Watch this space at the U Can Yoga website for upcoming retreat dates in 2015!

Chunky Kale & Vegetable Soup

Chunky Kale & Vegetable Soup

Chunky Kale & Vegetable Soup simmering on the stovetop

Here's some I made earlier - Chunky Kale & Vegetable Soup simmering on the stovetop

It’s a wet, cold February in London and in this kind of weather I crave comforting soups. Sally Parkes shared this recipe with me and it’s one of my favourites to make at the moment. I’ve been doing a bit more writing at home lately, working on a script, so it’s perfect for lunch and also nice for when I get home from teaching yoga in the evenings. It’s tasty as it is, though sometimes I like to serve this with quinoa. You could try it with rice too.

They always have some fantastic soups on the menu at Florence House in Seaford where I will be teaching with Sally on our twice-yearly Relax and Restore Retreat from 14-16th February. I’m really looking forward to a weekend of delicious, nourishing, hearty vegetarian food. We get to have (healthy) dessert too :) . There are still a few places left if you’d like to join us for a weekend of Yoga, Pilates and Relaxation at this lovely Sussex venue. There will also be a range of treatments on hand with therapist Jo, so you can pamper yourself with a massage too. Find out more about the retreat and details of how to book here: Relax & Restore Retreat – 14-16th Feb 2014.

Here’s that soup recipe for you :)

Chunky Kale & Vegetable Soup
Serves 4-6

With vitamin, mineral and phytonutrient packed kale, heart-healthy garlic and fibre-filled and cholesterol-lowering beans, this soup really packs a nutritional punch.

Half a tablespoon of olive oil (I’ve substituted with coconut oil)
1 small red onion
1-2 garlic cloves
1 large bunch of kale
1-2 large carrots
1 stalk of celery and inner leaves
2 courgettes
½ teaspoon of pepper flakes
5 fresh sage leaves
2 large tomatoes (or tin chopped tomatoes)
1 tin of cannellini beans
2 or 3 pints of water depending of desired level of consistency

Chop onions, garlic, carrots, celery and sauté with oil, sage and pepper flakes.

Chop tomatoes, courgettes and kale and add them to the pot. Rinse beans and add them to the pot too. Mix to coat the vegetables and beans in oil. Add water and bring to the boil..

Once boiling, lower the heat and simmer for 45 minutes.

Serve on its own or for a more substantial meal, over quinoa or brown rice.

Enjoy! :)

A Healthy Start to 2014

A Healthy Start to 2014

January Yoga & Wellbeing Retreats 17th-19th Jan & 24th-26th – EARLY BIRD DEAL: Book and pay by 30th Nov for £225. £250pp thereafter.

January 2014 Yoga Retreats with Stretching the City  - Early Bird Offer 'til 30th Nov

January 2014 Yoga Retreats with Stretching the City - Early Bird Offer 'til 30th Nov

I’m delighted to be teaching alongside the fantastic Sally from Stretching the City on two yoga and wellbeing weekend retreats in the beautiful Sussex countryside. Join us at Brantridge Park manor house in Balcombe where we’ll stretch, twist and breathe out the festive excess. Arrive after work on Friday and stay until 3pm on Sunday, enjoying twice-daily yoga classes, healthy vegetarian meals, a guided countryside walk, raw chocolate making workshop*, pampering treatments* (*incur an extra cost) and plenty of time to rest and unwind. There’s just a few days left to book for the early bird price of £225. (Price will rise to £250 from 1st Dec onwards). So before the Christmas chaos commences, book yourself in for a healthy weekend to kickstart 2014. Join us on 17-19th or 24-26th Jan.

Click here for full details and to book please email sally@stretchingthecity.com

Relax & Restore for the New Year

Relax & Restore for the New Year

You can use props at home for your Restorative Supported Savasana

How was your Christmas? I hope it was good for you. Maybe you’re still enjoying some time off in the run-up to the new year, or maybe you’ve already headed straight back to work after having just Christmas Day off.

Either way, it’s easy to feel a bit of a slump at this time – the celebration of Christmas has passed and that phase between now and New Year’s can sometimes feel a bit ‘blah’.

The impending New Year can prompt reflection, and the altered pace of the things in the outside world can make us slow down whether we wish to or not. I suggest embracing that slower pace. Take some time to relax and restore your body and mind. One very accessible way to do this is with some restorative yoga at home. In my latest post for Urban Lucy, I’ve included a Simple Supported Savasana exercise that you can easily do at home – if you can give yourself twenty minutes a day then you can do this. And if you’d like to learn more about Restorative Yoga and its benefits then check out my Book of the Month by Judith Hanson Lasater.

And as we move into 2013, I’m really looking forward to teaching with Sally Parkes on the Relax and Restore New Year Retreat at Florence House in East Sussex Jan 11-13th. It will be a wonderful mix of Dynamic, Hatha, Restorative Yoga and Pilates.

If you’d like to join us and Bring a Friend for Half Price, then you can visit Sally’s website here for full details and to book. (Classes are suitable for all abilities including beginners.)

Florence House is situated between the stunning Sussex coastline and surrounding wild landscape and there will be plenty of time during the weekend to relax and enjoy the beautiful surroundings. There will also be the chance to pamper yourself with a range of treatments from expert therapist Jo Poxon.

It’s a great way to kickstart 2013 on a positive note and I hope Sally and I will see you there :)

In the meantime, however you plan you spend your New Year’s, I wish you peace, happiness, good health, prosperity and much love in 2013.