Yoga and Meditation

Tuscan Retreat: Yoga, Meditation and Creativity 18-25 July 2020

Facilitated by Daniel Nogués (Sn Yagnamurti) and Caroline Brothers (see details below)

Whether you’re a seasoned practitioner of yoga and meditation or just beginning to explore what they can bring to your life, you are warmly invited to participate in a seven-day retreat at Grempoli in the Tuscan hills.

Join us on a healthy, holistic holiday in the beautiful Italian countryside, where you can disconnect from the pressures of a busy life, immerse yourself in nature, explore your creativity and learn new yoga practices. The effects of this retreat, in a beautifully natural environment shared with like-minded people, will enrich you long after you leave.

Grempoli is a very special place. It is not a resort but an organic farm and non-profit cultural association based on principles of co-operative living, yogic lifestyle and karma yoga (light tasks for the wellbeing of the community). Rooms here are beautiful and comfortable, and bathrooms are shared. The internet can be slow and the signal sparse, so be ready to disconnect. Tuscany can be hot in July, so we will adapt our pace accordingly.

Yoga and Meditation

Yoga and meditation are tools for transformation that can help connect you with your creative mind, body and soul. Experience some of yoga’s powerful techniques in a systematic and practical way in sessions comprising Asana (physical postures), Pranayama (breathing exercises), Mudra (psychic gestures), Bandha (locks), Yoga Nidra (deep relaxation), Antar Mouna (inner silence) and other meditation practices.

Together they bring forth energy, clarity of mind and inspiration for life.

Asana (posture work) removes sluggishness and blockages in the body that impede well-being and concentration. Asanas bring greater awareness to the physical body, making it supple and helping it let go of tension. Regular use of the different postures brings increased relaxation, improved blood circulation and muscular tone, and regulates the functions of the internal organs.

Pranayama (breathing practices) strengthens the nervous system and helps regulate the breathing process, enhancing concentration, creativity and clarity of mind.

Mudra (psychic gestures) and Bandha (energy locks) allow you to go deeper, further harmonising body, mind and energy.

We will also be using concentration techniques like Trataka (gazing, for example at a candle), that prepare the mind for deeper states such as Pratyahara (withdrawal from the senses), an essential step for meditation.
Yoga Nidra is an important meditative relaxation technique stemming from the Tantric tradition. Yoga Nidra is not just relaxation. It is a method of building a bridge between the inner and outer consciousness. – Swami Janakananda

Antar Mouna (inner silence) is a fundamental meditation practice for letting go of mental tension, training your awareness by using your senses and surroundings as a gateway to deeper states. The ‘witnessing’ aspect of your awareness is developed by observing thoughts, emotions and feelings, and by experiencing all these without suppressing or clinging to anything, and without judging or analysing. This brings about one-pointedness of mind and concentration, allowing your creativity to flourish.

Creativity through wordcraft

For those interested in exploring creativity through language, the retreat will include a series of sessions led by a published author. Join us in playing with words to liberate the creative thoughts that lie within.

Leaving our inner critics at home, we will explore the pleasures of word play, the power of observation and the liberating experience of free writing as a path to discovery. We will allow the increased openness of yoga and the beauty of the Tuscan countryside to energise and inspire our creativity. All languages and levels of experience welcome, writing materials will be provided, and there’ll be no pressure to read your work aloud.

A Typical Day:

  • 6.50 – 7.00         Tuning in’ for yoga class
  • 7.00 – 8.30          Yoga class
  • 8.30 – 9.15           Breakfast
  • 9.15 – 10.15          Karma Yoga
  • 10.15 – 10.45        Yoga Nidra (deep relaxation)
  • 11.00 – 12.30        Wordcraft session
  • 12.30                     Lunch
  • 13.30 – 16.30       Free time, walks, reading, etc.
  • 16.30 – 17.30      Yoga and Pranayama
  • 17.30 – 18.00      Antar Mouna (inner silence)
  • 19.30                    Dinner
  • 20.30 – 21.15       Evening program
  • 22.00 approx      Bedtime

Practicalities
Getting there: Nestled in the Tuscan countryside, Grempoli is 45 minutes from Florence airport, and 30 minutes from the centre of Florence (easy bus ride from Pisa airport). Taxi ride (for 4 or 6 people) from Florence main railway station (Santa Maria Novella) to Grempoli costs €100 – €120. Groups may wish to organize a meeting point to share taxi costs. Alternatively, for those who wish to use public transport, collection and drop-off at the local station (Scopeti) will be arranged for a small fee.

When: The retreat will be held from Saturday 18th July—arrive by 3 pm—to Saturday 25th July—departure after lunch at 1 pm.

Meals and Accommodation: Participants will enjoy three healthy, organic, vegetarian meals a day, all largely sourced from the garden.

Accommodation is in beautiful, simple, double-occupancy rooms with shared bathrooms.

Other information: Language medium: English.  Maximum number of participants: 12.

Cost of the Retreat
Early bird prices till 30th April 2020 €650

Full price after 30th April 2020 €720

Reservations:

To book, please fill in the sign-up form – see link at the bottom of the page.
We request €100 confirmation deposit (please note this is non-refundable).

Balance is payable by bank transfer one week prior to commencing the retreat or by cash on arrival.

Account Name: Grempoli Retreat – IBAN: IT 20 M 01030 38040 000000491678
Bank: Monte dei Paschi di Siena – Branch: Rufina – BIC/SWIFT: PASCITM1W61

The seven-day retreat includes three meals per day, accommodation and tuition.

Sign Up

About the tutors:
Yoga and meditation
Daniel Nogués (Sn Yagnamurti) is originally from Uruguay. In 1995 he completed a two-year teacher training course with Swami Pragyamurti. In Uruguay he ran regular yoga classes, led Pranayama and Meditation tuition for teacher training courses, and in-service training workshops and retreats for instructors.

He currently teaches in London, leading meditation workshops and Yoga Nidra training courses. His main interest as a teacher is to encourage students to incorporate yoga in their day-to-day lives and to develop a sound practice based on awareness and understanding of Yoga and its powerful methods for transformation.

Wordcraft
Caroline Brothers is an award-winning author and former journalist who has published two novels and a nonfiction work on photography. The stage version of her first novel, Hinterland, is now touring internationally as Flight. Born in Australia, she has given talks about writing from Paris to Auckland and has a particular interest in the unconscious aspects of the creative process. She is currently a Royal Literary Fund writing fellow at the University of Westminster in London.