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 November retreat will be based on meditative yoga in the mornings with Durward Burrell and the joy of movement workshops in the afternoons with Rikke Ebling.
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 with Durward Burrell and a contact improv dance teacher (yet to be decided) in the afternoons.
All retreats will feature singing, sharing and music around the fire!
The Meditative Yoga and Joy of Movement Retreat 14-20 November, 2021
Durward Burrell will be running meditative yoga sessions in the morning. In the Sahara Desert you feel your body all the time. The sand moving beneath your feet. The sun on your skin. The wind in your hair. Your heart beating fast as you climb a dune. All of these physical prompts bring us into the the moment.
In Durward’s gentle morning workshops you will sink into the heart of what yoga is: an opportunity to meet your body, your self.
Ideal for beginners and those who want to find more depth in their practice.
The joy of movement
Rikke Ebling will be teaching the joy of movement workshops. Wherever we go our bodies come with us. Throughout our lives they are sources of joy and pain, opportunity and limitation. When we learn to move with joy we discover the beauty in our bodies, unique and personal as they are.
Each afternoon Rikke will invite us to explore the simple joy of expressing and understanding ourselves through movement. With an emphasis on playfulness and spontaneity, we will discover new possibilities with breath, balance and dance. You don’t need any experience to take part and the only thing you need to bring….is your body!
The Yoga and Creative Voice & Movement Retreat 16-22 January 2022
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.
We’re talking to different yoga teachers at the moment and will announce who will be teaching here soon.
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 and Contact Improvisation Dance Retreat 13-19 February, 2022
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.
Contact Improvisation Dance
Contact improv is a form of dance where we move in constant contact with a partner – even if it’s only the fingertips that are touching. There are no steps or choreography to learn and neither person is leading the dance. Instead you cooperate on a journey of changing tempo and balance where neither dancer knows what will happen next.
No experience is required, just a spirit of curiosity. We’re still talking to contact improv teachers and will announce who will guide the workshops here soon.
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.
We will also be going for walks in the desert, climbing the high dunes for sunset, playing some games and 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.