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 be based on yoga in the morning and creative voice and movement workshops in the afternoon with a yoga teacher (yet to be decided) and Tom Thumb.
The February retreat will be based on meditation in the mornings and contact improvisation dance with dance therapy in the afternoons with Durward Burrell and Giusi Tavilla.
Both retreats will feature singing, sharing, storytelling and music around the fire!
The Yoga and Creative Voice & Movement Retreat 24-30 January, 2021
Every morning there will be yoga workshops that are designed to meet the needs of both those new to yoga and those who already have a steady practice. There is no particular yoga style that we focus on but we encourage a playful, non-dogmatic approach to extending the range of the body and calming the mind.
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, theatre games and voice work, we’ll playfully explore how to express ourselves in ways that might surprise us. The workshops will on one hand by playful affairs where we encounter some of our habitual patterns of posture and movement and shake it all up a bit! But for those who choose to go deeper there’s the chance to release stuck emotions and connect with yourself in a way you might not have imagined possible.
No experience is needed – just a sense of humour and curiosity..
The Meditation Retreat 21-27 February, 2021
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.
Giusi Tavilla will be teaching c fusion of contact improvisation and dance therapy in the afternoons., guiding us on an exploration of our physical expression, communication through our bodies and how we meet others and ourselves.
You don’t need any experience and Giusi being brings a playful, spontaneous spirit to the dance and we’re guaranteed to have a lot of fun even as we learn and discover.
Durward Burrell will also contribute some aikido elements to the sessions with exercises that help ground us, find our balance and engage with each encounter in the spirit of creativity.
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…
- 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.