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A direct, simple and accessible stress reducing retreat in a natural healing forest and river environment in the foothills of the French Pyrénées. Based on the Japanese method known as Shinrin-yoku 'forest breathing' which is proven to have immediate positive results. This retreat will include gentle unchallenging walks where all the senses are invited to take part. Find new and more natural ways to see, feel, listen, touch and make sound. The experience of the retreat is deep release of accumulated stress in the nervous system rather than to impose exercise on the physical body. The gentle Tao yoga sessions complement the principle of deep relaxation as a means to ensure increased efficiency of natural bodily resources and functions.
The manor house at Tourné is set in a secluded river valley in the foothills of the Ariège Pyrénées mountains. Spacious accommodation in the main house or adjoining stone cottage offers an excellent base for your holiday in France. The manor has large bedrooms all with private bathrooms.
Tourné and the Artillac River are in the very center of the Pyrénées Ariégeoises Natural Regional Park. Tourné also has substantial gardens and outside seating areas with 1,000 meters of private river frontage. The altitude of just under 500 meters allows you to enjoy exceptional air quality, warm sunshine with cool shade never far away.
Depending on weather and conditions, you may drive to a higher altitude forests at 1600 meters with magnificent views of the whole chain of the Pyrénées. Each day you will walk at least once in the forest of Bellissens which surrounds the retreat center at Tourné (500 meters altitude).
This is an invitation to completely digitally detox your senses with daily Tao yoga sessions at your option to learn a 20-minute Tao yoga form completely and healthy balanced diet-made with local fresh or garden produce. Feel all your senses come alive as your nervous system deeply and gently relaxes. This is an ancient natural protocol for stress reduction, be in nature and relax.
Ideally, you will come to experience a deep nervous system detox and release, including a digital detox where you have no need to use electronic devices. Rest and regenerate without needing to do anything, we recommend sitting by the river, reading, exploring but above all, allowing the body's natural systems to help your nervous system release accumulated stress associated with high pace lifestyle and electro-magnetic exposure.
Introduction to the center, meet Paula Davidson and Ram Chatlani. Discussion on requirements, specific issues and the introduce the program. Evening meal served around 19:30.
Breakfast served from 08:30. First, introduction to the forest during a walk with basic simple sensory organ exercises to begin gentle nervous system release. Lunch at your choice - either walk or cycle (bike provided) to the village restaurant, prepare a light meal in the dining room or picnic in the garden or by the river. Afternoon session around 16:00. More walking or a gentle Tao yoga session. Evening meal served at around 19:30.
Dependent on weather and season, a short pre breakfast roam in the forest. After breakfast, a forest walk or in-river walk with a picnic for lunch. You may also choose to eat in the village or prepare your own light lunch in the dining room. Afternoon Tao yoga session around 16:00 or continue to open your senses in the forest. Evening meal at 19:30.
Departure day. Pre breakfast walk or Tao yoga session. Departure around 10:30.
Paula Davidson has been running retreat centers in the UK and in France since 1997. She has vast experience in discreetly attending to the needs of retreat participants as well as teachers. She has hosted over 100 residential retreats, since 2003 at the Tourné Retreat Center in the French Pyrénées. She has been forest walking every day for over 20 years, never missing a day! Her natural ease and connection with nature makes her a perfect guide to forest "breathing" as a means to reduce stress and support profound healing.
Ram is an expert teacher of Tao yoga, Tai Chi, Bagua (eight trigrams circle walking), Qigong, and meditation with over 30 years experience. He has been certified by Master B.K. Frantzis as a teacher of various Qigong forms, breathing, and Bagua circle walking for health and meditation. His other teachers include Dadi Janki, Sepa Dorjé Rinpoche, Lama Lena Yeshe Katyub, and Victor Sanchez. He has students worldwide and is an inspiring teacher with vast practical knowledge and a unique approach to the universal methods of Tao. He has trained extensively in Buddhist, Yogic, and Taoist tradition.
This retreat will take place in Tourné, set in a secluded river valley in the foothills of the Ariège Pyrénées Mountains, France. Enjoy the totally natural forest and river environment on your doorstep and breath the clean mountain forest air. No night time light pollution - excellent for stargazing. The location has an abundant wildlife including deer, boar, ibex, lynx and many breeds of raptor.
Numerous local activities like skiing, walking, lake bathing, cycling, paragliding, horse riding, and white water canoeing are available for you. The area is surrounded by many historic sites, as well. The area is a favorite with serious cyclists many of whom have chosen Tourné as a base within easy reach of challenging Tour de France climbs. The nearest village to Tourné is Castelnau Durban which is on the edge of the Forêt de Bellissens where one can walk for days without meeting a soul.
Tourné is situated 90 minutes drive or train south of Toulouse. Driving, you will find Tourné is 3 kilometers from the D117 which is the main road between Biarritz and Perpignan that runs along the chain of the mountains.
Tao Meditation is the expert at providing for all types of dietary needs. Tao Meditation will provide you with a three or four-course evening meal dependent on your appetite. Comprehensive breakfast. You may prepare your light lunches in the dining room or walk or cycle (mountian bike provided) the 2.5 kilometers to the village along the river for picnics or to eat in the restaurant, chez Victor. Daily menu is 10 EUR (soup, plat du jour and dessert). An excellent and locally reknowned thrid generation family restaurant.
Transfer not provided
Please book your flight to arrive at Toulouse-Blagnac Airport (TLS). Take the train to Foix (90 minutes) and either take a taxi (about 45 EUR), bus (1 EUR) or Tao Meditation can organize to have you collected from Foix train station for 25 EUR if you let them know.
You can also fly to Carcassone Airport (CCF), but car hire form there is recommended as the train to Foix takes up to 3 hours. Once you book Tao Meditation will help with any specific questions about travel.
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