Winter well-being urban retreat day – Milton Keynes
Sunday – 25th November 2018
This is a day all about well being, winding down, health, nourishment, relaxation and renewal.
‘You’ are cordially invited to attend a ‘Wind down Sunday retreat day’ – and it’s all about you.
Unless we are balanced, during this time of year we are more likely to experience energy stagnation, a sluggish immune system and an imbalance in the nervous system with depressive or anxious moods, more stress, the winter blues, fatigue and generally lacking in energy. This day will be the perfect antidote for you and a peaceful environment to for you to simply relax and recharge.
After the huge success of our retreat days in 2017, I am delighted to be partnering up and collaborating with my friend Estella Ramos once again, for this very informative and self inquiring winter wellbeing day. Together we aim to nourish and pamper you as well as to share valuable insights about the benefits of specific yoga practices, ayurvedic practices, as well as juicing, that can help maintain complete health and well being throughout the winter season. This special day will be enlightening, uplifting, deeply relaxing and food for your body, mind and soul.
Schedule for the day
10 00 am – Meditation and affirmation for the day, then your first complimentary juice shot.
10.15 am – Pranayama (breath work) to balance and bring focus/clarity to the brain.
10:30 am – Yin Yoga practice – this 90 minute practice will be deeply releasing and healing. According to the principles of Ayurveda and Chinese medicine, water is the primary element of winter. Therefore this Yin session will focus on the water element, so that we can stimulate the flow of chi in the kidneys and other organs ultimately restoring our overall sense of vibrancy and vitality in the body. The stimulation of chi can also take you out of the stagnation in life and help you move through your intentions and move forward.
12:00 pm – Yoga nidra (guided meditation)
12:45 pm – Lunch – a winter soup made with seasonal produce, carefully prepared by Estella (locally sourced). This delicious soup will offer ingredients that are known to be grounding, warming, calming as well as extremely nourishing.
2.00 pm – Restorative Yoga session. This 90 minute Restorative yoga session will in fact be better than sleep for releasing tense muscles, relieving joint aches, and transitioning the mind and body quickly from stress to calm. This all over body practice will be deeply healing, you will recover fully from all the stresses and strains of life simply by relaxing muscles, lowering your heart rate, and allowing your nervous system to stop constantly reacting.
3.30 pm – Gong bath – sound therapy meditation.
4.30 pm – The final and perfect compliment to our day from Estella will be homemade raw chocolate made with love, (which is known to be an anti-oxident, improve your memory, increase your bliss, boost immunity, and lift your energy levels).
You will leave feeling peaceful, healthy, renewed and glowing
NB – All juices are fully vegan but may contain nuts so if you have any kind of nut allergy or anything else that Estella should be aware of, it is important that you let us know.
Estella first discovered juicing 7 years ago after a a week long retreat in the Turkish mountains with Jason Vale AKA the Juice Master.It changed her life radically. She learnt that some medicines and westernised diets can actually make us ill and that if we feed the body with ‘liquid oxygen’ this instead creates a vibrant, energetic and enlightened environment for mind, body and spirit to really grow .
She is now very clear about her direction in life, which is to spread the message of the value of a healthy body and mind in order to break free from addictions, sickness and depression to name but three modern day maladies.
This newfound inspiration added value and meaning to her qualifications as a nutritionist and yoga teacher. In 2015 she opened up a yoga studio and juice bar, which quickly gained a loyal following of people searching for both physical balance and nutritional refreshment.
The experience came full circle when she welcomed Jason Vale to her Juice bar for a Juicing afternoon and to meet and greet the local community of juicy fans and to promote his new book, 5:2 Diet. Juice Buddy provides juices at vegan fairs and street markets, and passes on the message that the nutrients within the vegetables (spinach, broccoli, carrots et al) are carried in the juice straight to the blood stream creating instant nutrition and much needed relief from years of toxic input.
Brigitte has been teaching yoga for over 14 years and is a Registered Senior Yoga Teacher with Yoga Alliance Professionals which is the highest accolade in professional yoga teaching. In that time she has been privileged to study with world respected teachers whom have offered her a wealth of skill and experience in many different styles of yoga. She is known for her in-depth knowledge and expertise with regards to body alignment, yoga for therapeutics, her inspiring writings and her keeping it real wisdom. She teaches weekly classes and private’s in Milton Keynes, UK and also mentors teachers and teaches vocational yoga teacher training courses. Brigitte also teaches workshops and yoga retreats nationally and internationally.
Water Hall Primary School is an award winning school building on the south side of Bletchley in Milton Keynes. Once inside, we are completely ensconced in the privacy of this warm, bright spacious venue that lends itself to holistic events. The large studio has a sprung wooden floor, under floor heating and light flooding in from all angles of the huge high windows. We have access to a kitchen and there here is also a lounge area with tables and chairs, there is also plenty of space for equipment and personal belongings.
This school won the Inspirational Primary School award in 2009, given by the British Council for School Environments, and a Royal Institute of British Architects award for Design Excellence in 2010.
With Yang-like lifestyles, one of the most difficult things to do is to stop and sit still. However, if we ride the Yang train for too long, physical and mental exhaustion ensues. This can manifest itself in either breakdown and/or injury, ironically forcing us to embrace more Yin-like activities. One of the biggest yin challenges is to find the perfect balance between the physical and the mental. Our mind can often be a poor judge of the body’s abilities. It can be either pushy and inattentive to the body’s signals, or it can retreat in fear and interpret any strong physical sensation as a threat. If we apply too little stress to our tissues, they atrophy, however if we apply too much stress, tissues degenerate. Yin Yoga will take you well outside your comfort zone. Much of the benefit of the practice will come from staying in this zone of discomfort, despite the mind’s urgent pleas to leave. I like to call this “effortless effort” and acceptance is key. Yin yoga poses apply moderate stress to the connective tissues—the tendons, fascia, and ligaments—with the aim of increasing circulation in the joints and improving flexibility. They are also designed to improve the flow of qi, the subtle energy said in Chinese medicine to run through the meridian pathways of the body. Improved qi flow is hypothesized to improve organ health, immunity, and emotional well-being. Ultimately Yin is a meditative approach to yoga and aims at cultivating awareness of one’s inner silence, and bringing a deeper level of awareness to your being.
The last 30 minutes of the session will be a guided meditation yoga sleep which is an even deeper effortless state of relaxation. You simply lie down comfortably, completely allowing your body to let go and relax whilst my voice guides you. Yoga Nidra brings an incredible calmness, quietness and clarity and is one of the deepest of all meditations, leading awareness through many levels of mental process to a state of supreme stillness and insight. The state of Yoga Nidra, conscious Deep Sleep, is beyond or subtler than the imagery and mental process of the Waking and Dreaming states. In Yoga Nidra, you leave the Waking state, go through the Dreaming state, and into the Deep Sleep state, yet remain fully awake.
Restorative Yoga is healing, it uses yoga props such as bolsters, blankets and blocks to provide a completely supportive environment for total relaxation. The equipment helps us to shape each posture to an individual body, while also providing support to enable us to stay and be present in the pose much longer than in active poses. In a Restorative Yoga pose we also have time to use aids like eye pillows over the eyes to relax the ocular nerve, and it’s much easier to really slow down and notice where we’ve been holding tension in our body. A Restorative Yoga practice can be just as balanced and well-rounded as an active practice, taking the body through a variety of shapes and ranges of motion, but in a completely supported and restful way. This makes Restorative Yoga an absolute blessing for anyone dealing with serious conditions or recovering from illness. However, it’s also incredibly useful for anyone, including those blessed with strength and good health … because it’s a perfect balancing practice for our busy modern lifestyles and our usual way of going about things. We often feel that we need to be “doing something” or working hard to receive any well-being benefits from a practice, but this is simply not the case. Letting gravity and supported positioning unwind tension in your body for 10 or even 20 minutes can be so much more efficient than striving to hold a stretch and the benefits are longer lasting. Restorative Yoga can also greatly assist chronic pain sufferers. Regularly practising well-positioned rest and relaxed breathing are essential for pain relief, and for coping with the fatigue of chronic pain. Stress inhibits the body’s natural healing abilities and tightens the body unevenly, resulting in physical imbalances. Restorative Yoga can help break the cycle.
Gong bath – sound meditation
A gong bath is a form of sound therapy where the gong is played in a therapeutic way to bring about healing. The term gong bath means that you are bathed in sound waves, there is no water involved, or clothes removed.All you have to do is lie comfortably and close your eyes and relax. The gongs will begin very softly, increasing the volume as the session progresses. Alpha brainwave state is achieved very quickly and is followed by the Theta brainwave state. Alpha waves are defined as brainwave frequencies between 8 and 12 Hz. Daydreaming, imagination and associative thinking are all part of alpha brainwave activity. Alpha waves are present in states of relaxation. Theta waves are defined as brainwave frequencies between 4 and 7 Hz. Theta waves occur during dreaming sleep – or REM (rapid eye movement) sleep, although they also occur during deep meditation. Theta brainwave frequencies are most often where the gongs will take you. You will most likely enter a dreamlike, deep meditative state. Some people might enter the Delta brainwave state (deep sleep frequency). Theta brainwave is a good state of consciousness to be in for healing to occur. The gong is an amazing and powerful instrument for healing.
If you have booked to attend this retreat day, please read below;
Please set off early and arrive at least 20 minutes prior to 10am so that you can get settled, have drink and place your mat down. The car park is not large and will get full but there is plenty of free road parking outside the school too.
If you haven’t been to the venue before, give yourself plenty of time just in case your sat nav gets you lost, it’s a hidden gem around the back of Bletchley. My number is 07876337908 just in case.
There is plenty of room outside of the studio for personal belongings and the school is very spacious and secure.
Please can you bring, socks and a warm top for yoga nidra and the sound meditation.
A blanket if you have one, I have plenty to go around but it’s always good to have too many.
Your yoga mat, I have lots spare mats if you don’t have one but not enough for everyone.
If you are a seasoned yogi and have your own bolsters, then please bring them too.
There will be plenty of water, herbal teas and fruit.
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me by phone or e mail firstname.lastname@example.org
I’m really looking forward to sharing an inspirational and restful day with you.
Love Brigitte & Estella