The Retreat, France 2016

456598_db61727750a6411caec87e500c1a078cLast month My Soul Space took a lucky team of yoga-lovers on a French Retreat to the gorgeous St Felix in the South of France.

Our aim was to “Retreat” from the daily hustle and bustle of life, media and all the distractions that go with it. No specific itinerary, the idea of not being “busy” and, importantly, to be “free” to do and think what you like.

456598_4ca0f289781e45249b8bd237075aca62-mv2“What a view!”

This is something that my dearly loved Mum always had to remark upon – the stunning scenery. We used to tease her at the time, but now I find myself doing the same thing and smiling at her memory: just soaking up the enjoyment of the scenery and nature.

Nothing to do, all the time in the world to do it

When in a normal day do we usually have no plans? Very, very rarely, but this is exactly what our Retreat offered.

For some this was a little daunting at first, but with the beautiful French Countryside just outside the window it was a pleasure to be riding bikes and walking exploring the little ricolas, and simply going with the flow.

We encouraged our yogis to practice a personal meditation practice as well as the 10 minute time out sessions and asked guests to spend time alone – and not tapped into the internet. Just a little homework for the holiday. For most this was a welcome pleasure, especially for the mums in the group who literally basked in the idea that while there, there was nothing you needed to do for anyone else but you.

Us mums seem to think and do so much for our children and family – that the sheer joy of being able to rest and take stock and find ourselves again is heavenly.

A lovely way to reconnect

To spend a whole week with my dear friend and Yoga Teacher who I met all those years ago whilst doing our teacher training in Byron Bay, was wonderful. We had talked for years about working together and we finally did it!  Julia Rose is a true inspiration and a kind lady who makes me laugh out loud daily. We enjoy planning classes, practicing and making playlists together. Such a joy to be able to support each other through the hard times as well as enjoy the fun times.  

Take time to do what makes your soul happy

I truly believe that everyone needs a little time out from time to time – to jump off the treadmill and actually nurture oneself. This is a skill that not everyone “gets”. But those that do can go on to really heal their tired souls and tap into the creative energy that is born from true REST.

Yoga Asana can really “bring stuff up” emotional-wise, so we had moments of tears and laughter, but our Retreat allowed us to delve a little deeper into our Practice and do more than just the Asanas.

We practiced Vinyasa yoga most mornings, really building on the sequence and enhancing it, so by the end of the week most yogis were feeling stronger and more flexible but more confident to try things.

In our last class we did some partner yoga where we could all offer support into deeper, stronger or more relaxing positions. Everyone had a go at a supported handstand and were really pleased with how strong they felt.

But it also gave opportunity to teach the other aspects of yoga that are so beneficial and often missed a normal week. We can put too much priority onto fitness and using the strengthening and flexible “yang” parts that the deeper more profound aspects (such as meditation and pranayama) can be missed out. We included evening practices of meditation, restorative flows and Yoga Nidra.

Yoga every week

If you missed out on our French Retreat, don’t worry! We offer brilliant classes every day at My Soul Space in Shrewsbury, including Hot Bod Yoga, Pilates and @ The Barre, a great mix of ballet work and yoga.

Plus, since the summer’s here Park Yoga has officially begun! We’re battling the weather occasionally (it is Shrewsbury, not France) but whenever we can we’re out in The Quarry connecting ourselves to nature. Do come and join us – we’d love to see you there!


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