We keep a very relaxed vibe on the retreat and there’s no obligation to take part in any of the workshops. If you just want to walk in the dunes all day and come back at mealtimes, that’s fine. The idea is for everyone to find their own rhythm according to their needs.
Just please turn off your mobile phone, don’t bring alcohol or drugs and treat everyone with respect.
The January retreat will have a focus on yoga and the creative voice and movement.
The February retreat will be based on meditation and contact improvisation with some aikido elements.
Both retreats will feature singing, storytelling and music around the fire!
The Yoga and Creative Voice & Movement Retreat 20-26 January, 2019
The morning yoga will be taught by Signe Gabriel, who has been teaching vinyasa and yin yoga in Denmark and Sweden for the past 5 years.
During the retreat, she will be teaching a mix of the two, first moving us through the playful flow of vinyasa yoga where we connect our breathing with joyous movement, opening ourselves to the vast space of the Sahara around us. Each class will also have elements from yin yoga, where long gentle stretches and relaxing restorative poses will give us a chance to gently turn more inwards to allow the body to truly relax.
The classes will be aimed at everyone – both those who are trying yoga for the first time and those who have a solid personal practice.
Creative voice and movement
Tom Thumb will run afternoon workshops exploring new ways to use the voice and body.
What do people hear in our voices beyond the words we use? What are our bodies saying when we stand, walk and run?
Drawing on elements of dance and theatre games, we’ll playfully explore how to express ourselves in ways that might surprise us. We’ll encounter some of our habitual patterns of posture and movement and shake it all up a bit! Mostly, we’ll have fun.
No experience is needed – just a sense of hunour and curiosity..
After we’ve eaten at night and the stars have come out we’ll gather around the fire to play music, tell stories and also from time to time share our experiences through talking circles, a Native American tradition designed to encourage an atmosphere of listening and empathy. Year after year we see long-lasting friendships formed in the retreat as each person finds their self-expression and a new capacity to relate.
Tom Thumb will also do some storytelling – modern fairy tales to let your imaginations go wandering through journeys of myth and metaphor…
The Meditation Retreat 17 – 23 February, 2019
Durward Burrell will be teaching the art of meditation each morning, helping us find the spaces between our thoughts and connect with who we are beyond the surface agitation of habitual mental chatter and worries.
While this is a meditation retreat we won’t be jumping up at 4 to chant mantras; rather we have the morning group meditation for those who wish to join and also when we climb the high dune in silence at sunset. The retreat has more of a gentle focus on mindfulness and connecting with the heart through all of our activities.
You’ll find that just being in the Sahara increases the awareness of your mind, your breath, your feelings. Just taking a walk in the dunes is like a meditation.
Marta Iucci will be teaching contact improvisation dance in the afternoons. There are no steps and no experience is needed, just a willingness to listen, feel and discover.
If you’re new to contact improv check out the video below. Marta brings a playful, spontaneous spirit to the dance and we’re guaranteed to have a lot of fun even as we learn and discover.
Contact improv is all about finding new ways to communicate, move and express yourself without words. It’s an amazing journey of discovery that can be slow and subtle or free-flowing and acrobatic. Check out a contact improv jam in the video below to get an idea of where it can take you…
Aikido – the Art of the Third Way
Durward will also introduce some aikido elements in the afternoon sessions in harmony with the contact improvisation. Aikido can be seen as the art of negotiating the challenges we face in our lives and creating a middle way between resistance and surrender. Through gentle physical exercises, Durward will show us how to bring the mindfulness of meditation into each of our movements.
It makes a perfect complement to the contact improv sessions.
- Welcome dinner in the village of Hasalbied on Sunday at 9.30pm. We’ll sleep there and in the morning put our bags on the camels.
- Monday we walk out into the dunes and hold our opening circle.
- Each of the following days will be structured around meal times, meditation, workshops and music round the fire at night.
- Then on Saturday morning we’ll load our bags onto the camels again and head back to town. You can stay an extra night in the village or take the night bus out.