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We come together in the midst of summer, the richest season of the year in which all that is around us flourishes. At no other time of the year are we surrounded by such a variety of different smells, sounds, colours, and spectrum of stimuli entering our sensory system. Nature invites us with this generous offer to go on a sensory journey with all of our being; body, mind and soul; to dedicate each day to diving into one of our 5 senses. In our Yoga and meditation journey we follow the same idea while improving our strength, endurance and flexibility, deeply relax our bodies and minds and explore them in a playful, dynamic and creative way. You will obtain the gift of new inspiration, knowledge and find deep contentment.
Accommodation is provided in beautifully furnished 5-metre bell tents. Nestled amongst the lemon and orange groves, the bell tents are simple but sumptuous, with electricity and comfortable beds. Each tent can sleep up to three people. Crisp bed linen and pool towels are provided. There are solar hot and cold powered showers facilities. Internet access is available. There is a small shop on site for all those little essentials you might need.
Starting each day with a meditation or mindfulness practice dedicated to a different one of our 5 senses, we do not only get the chance to begin to explore this one sense for an entire day but also to tune in with ourselves each time in a different way, consciously investigating one of our specific sense organs and prepare ourselves for the day to come.
In the morning yoga session we will work on our Yang side; core- strength and - awareness, stamina, in an energetic, mobilizing and flowing yoga practice including postural work, attention to correct alignment and breathing. We end with a calming-down second part and a final relaxation followed by a short closing meditation.
Our evening session will be calmer, more investigative, playful, looking into new physical connections and transitions of poses. It is more directed to our Yin side, making use of the principle of release and giving in to the movement preferences of the body before ending with rejuvenating stretches and lengthening of our muscles.
Following the calmed state of our body with our mind we end our day with either meditation, mindfulness, Yoga Nidra, Autogenic Training or a related practice.
The conjunction of our sessions and workshops is designed to guide our self- inquiry and observation and to encourage investigation into our own practice, physical and mental habits, anatomic understanding of our individual body and the patterns of our mind.
Connecting movement with breath is something you will hear Lara put strong emphasis on as breath has the grounding power to naturally settle us into our bodies allowing us to perceive ourselves in our entity as a living being.
You will enter a concentrated and open working atmosphere where everyone is encouraged to focus on their individual concerns, to listen to the messages of their bodies and to realize that we dedicate each practice to ourselves while following along the same red thread all together, feeling the supporting energy of the group around and with us.
During the course of the retreat you will receive a tool box full of useful and inspiring gadgets to take home and to apply to both your yoga practice and daily life.
During our joined journey at Bagend we are privileged to welcome the influences of the stunning environment and home of Bagend, contributing to our experience with all of its stimulating scents, sounds and the multitude of inspiring details they provide us with every single day anew, especially intensely sensed in this colorful period of the year, the peak of summer.
We will surely become more connected to the width and expansion in and around us.
This journey is about exploring and diving into our sensory experience of our being and surrounding, not only during our yoga and meditation practice.
After the retreat you might feel set back into the explorative and curious mindset of a child, perceiving the world around you in a richer, more colourful, even more multifaceted way than you did before.
You are invited to come and join in at our sensory playground, exploring the richness of our human being.
Times will vary slightly on each retreat. There is one workshop a day, it may be in the morning or afternoon. There is also the option to visit local markets on Wednesday and Sunday.
We start the day with meditation or mindfulness followed by a Vinyasa Yoga practice. This is Lara's ‘home’ teaching style, which is reflected in a dynamic, activating and energizing movement class. Variation and diversity play a major role for me as Lara believes that a balanced practice with alternate poses and movement principles (such as flow versus resistance, effort versus release, fast versus slow pace, …) applied as a colorful mixture, allowing us to reach a physical and mental state and perception of balance, stability and confidence.
In the evening practice we have a calmer, soothing and investigating Hatha and movement exploration practice, fusing yoga postures with other movement techniques and practices, encouraging us to take short investigative journeys into the anatomic logic and preferences of our bodies, ending with elements of Yin Yoga before closing with meditation, mindfulness or a related practice.
Each daily program and workshop is based on the exploration of one of our 5 sense organs.
The aim is to become more aware of our sensory perception and how we can mindfully direct our attention to certain sense stimuli to improve our general well-being in our daily life.
Each workshop begins with a short or more extended active exploration of the specific sense organ before turning to a more theoretic discussion of the topic and getting the chance to share our insights if we like to.
We will start with a short individual investigative walk around our beautiful Bagend environment, collecting impressions with our scent organ before gathering back together, exchanging our impressions and considering some interesting facts about odours and our specific responses to them, having a closer look at the way they can influence us, evoke memories, emotions, associations, etc. Are we aware of these effects in our daily life and can we influence our emotional state by making use of this knowledge?
Investigating into our organ of sight we might become aware of probably taking our ability to see for granted. Each day we take in a huge amount of visual information without even consciously ‘registering’ all of it. There are several theories about conscious and unconscious seeing; what do we remember, what do we forget almost immediately? Why? How is seeing connected to our person and system of beliefs? Do we choose what we want to see? Does education and experience play a role for how we ‘see the world’? These are examples of some of the questions among others which we will address.
As a second part we take a little journey into non- verbal communication. By the use of some playful exercises we explore the language of our bodies, gestures and how we use to communicate with our bodies.
We will use one of our human ‘basic needs’ as well as ‘pleasures’ to take our time to make the guided experience of mindful eating before diving into the topic theoretically and underlining the importance and benefits of a conscious eating behavior.
We will be encouraged to reflect upon our personal eating habits. Does the way we eat depend on our surrounding, mood, situation and emotional state? How can we eat more mindfully?
After our short daily explorative initiation of this theme, we discuss the use of sound; environmental, human, animal sounds and different music for our Yoga and meditation practices. Then we will consider theories on our acoustic organ and address the influence of our daily environments for our overall well-being, become aware of our personal and emotional responses and preferences and reflect upon our choices of physical surroundings.
In this workshop we take some more time for setting out on a blindfolded exploratory journey guided by a partner to dive into our experience.
We will discover some of the questions of how we use touch; Do we feel attracted to or torn away from a stimulus and why? How do we react to touch? What are our emotional responses? How do we use our body in relation to our environment? In relation to our objective space, in relation to other human beings?
Lara is a professional contemporary dancer and this is how she got her first access to Yoga, within her dance training. Hungry for more profound understanding and the desire to share her insights after already having been teaching Yoga in summer youth camps, she completed my teaching certificate in (Hot) Vinyasa Yoga in 2016 and started sharing her passion for Yoga with more Yogis. Now, she is continuing her Yogic path and research while teaching Vinyasa, Vinyasa Flow, Hatha, Yin and Aerial Yoga. Her teaching style is welcoming, open, encouraging and very dynamic.
Rustic Retreats run beautifully yoga retreats in the Sierra Espuna mountain range in Southern Spain. A stunning estate, totally off-grid, with zero light pollution, solar power, and fresh spring water. The unique yoga platform sits nestled into the side of the mountain, with breath taking views across the tranquil valley.
Stimulate all your senses whilst you absorb the bright colors, beautiful textures, tantalizing flavors, and sublime aromas of the fresh food served at Rustic Retreats. The chef will create a myriad of fresh, healthy vegetarian meals to tantalize your pallet, all using the ripest, freshest, seasonal ingredients that are locally produced either from their very own organic garden and vegetable patch or from the local market and farmers.
Varieties of fruit are growing freely on the site such as lemons, oranges, almonds, pomegranate, and carob to name but a few. All vegetarian meals are lovingly prepared by a trained chef in the outdoor kitchen and are served 'al fresco' whenever possible. All meals are included in the price. The meals have been so popular with the clients that they are looking at producing a recipe book for next season.
Contemplate life in the beautiful wooden meditation cabin
Play plenty of board games
Relax or read books on the hammocks, shaded terrace, and sun loungers
Take a dip in the swimming pool
Take a hike in the surrounding mountains
Use the outdoor shower block to literally shower under the stars
Transfer not provided
Fly into to Alicante, then it's a 2-hour train journey (6 EUR) through the beautiful Spanish countryside down to Totana station where Rustic Retreats will collect you.
Alternatively, fly into Corvera Airport Murcia (RMU). There is a bus transfer (costs 6 EUR), and it takes 25 minutes to Murcia train station. You can also get a taxi or hire a car (40 minutes by car to Totana). Train to Totana takes 40 minutes and costs approximately 3.75 EUR.