Sunday 24th July 2022, 10 am – 4 pm
With modern life becoming ever faster and more demanding, the rise of a movement to live well and in natural harmony with the environment (Sattva) is becoming more appealing. The concept of Sattva is central to this desire to live simply, live purely and live happily. Sattva is the wish to have an awakened life, peaceful mind, vital body and pure spirit.
If you have a wish to ‘feel’ life a little more; to slow down and find your true purpose, then it’s time for you to rediscover your natural balance. This day retreat is designed to bring body, mind and spirit back into natural balance through carefully designed movement, creativity, food and deep relaxation. Retreats at The Well Nest are led by our resident expert and Director, Hannah. With 20 years experience in yogic study and practice, you couldn’t be in better hands.
Programme for the day:
9.45 am – Arrival and welcome
10 am – Kundalini yoga kriya (breath, mantra, movement and rhythm) to balance body, mind and spirit. The focus of this session will be creating hormonal balance for overall wellbeing
11 am – Creative aromatherapy workshop. Create natural, organic self-care products to be kinder to the body and to the planet. We will create a collection of products from bath salts, body scrubs, sugar scrubs and deodorants.
1.30 pm – Lunch and gin tasting at Mercia Spirits Lab. Delicious, healthy platters with bespoke gin creations and herbal additions.
3 pm – Yoga nidra (yogic sleep) and sound bath to leave you deeply relaxed and balanced to end the day.
What to expect:
Kundalini yoga is an ancient tantric practice of manipulating energy to find balance, vigour, vitality and to allow the body, mind and spirit to thrive. This isn’t yoga as you know it; this is a deeply beneficial holistic practice. The kriya (yoga set) that we will practice on this retreat is designed to balance hormones, bodily systems and mental wellness to bring the body back into a place of balance, strength and alignment. We will use rhythm, posture, breathwork and mantra to control the flow of energy and awaken healthy functioning of our physical and energetic body. If we are fortunate enough to have good weather, this part of the retreat may take place outdoors in the beautiful secluded grounds of Bishton Hall.
The retreat will then move into creative design and blending of self-care products that will continue the natural balance element of this retreat. Discover essential oils that can be used to address your specific health concerns so that your body can be cleansed, strengthened and rebalanced. We will create natural, organic deodorant, body scrub, bath salts and sugar scrubs – a complete self care ritual that will lift the mind, body and spirit.
Lunch and Gin Tasting
You will then visit Mercia Spirits Lab for a wonderfully warm welcome and carefully designed lunch to complement the sattvic life. As you enjoy the wonderful platters available at the Spirit Lab, you will also be treated to a gin tasting – a special blend of Mercia Gin with herbal additions. (Vegan and gluten free diets can be catered for upon request).
Yoga Nidra and Sound Bath
The retreat will then be rounded off with a wonderful yoga nidra practice – a guided visualisation to induce deep yogic ‘sleep’ where the mind is calmed into deeper brainwave states. The nidra will flow into a sound bath where you will absorb the wonderful sounds of instruments chosen to bring balance to mind and body. Relax deeply as the gong, Tibetan bowls, crystal bowls, chimes, wind and percussion instruments are played in this wonderful, soothing end to the retreat.
Participants will take away a bag of treats as well as the self-care products created on this retreat.
We can’t wait to meet you and help you to reclaim your natural balance.
NOTE: if the booking calendar fails to load, please book via this link
Book your space here for Sunday 24th July 2022:
We are celebrating our 5th birthday this month – come and join us for special offers, prizes and wonderful new workshops and experiences at The Vegan & Sustainable Living Festival 22nd – 24th April at Bishton Hall.
I’d like to start by saying a huge, huge thank you to everybody that has joined me for a yoga class, workshop, meditation, therapy or treatment over the last 5 years. I’m truly grateful to each and every one of you that have joined me on this journey. You have all helped The Well Nest to survive through the toughest of years. A lot of you have become great friends over the years – some have been with me from the start! – and I have absolutely loved seeing you blossom on your wellbeing journeys. It’s a great privilege and a joy to work with people and share the gifts of holistic therapy, meditation and yoga…there is so much more on the way from The Well Nest!
What’s on This Month?
To celebrate our 5th birthday, there are number of special offers, workshops and experiences to try.
£5 off all 60 minute holistic therapy treatments – throughout the month of April, every holistic therapy (60 minutes or more) has £5 off. Get yourself booked in as soon as possible as spaces are already filling up.
Prize giveaway – enter our prize giveaway at The Vegan & Sustainable Living Festival. Your opportunity to win therapies, treatments and wellbeing products.
Workshops and experiences – This month there will be new workshops with sustainable themes such as making your own natural deodorant and body scrubs. There will be sound baths, mini holistic therapies such as Indian head massage and hand massage. Join me in the fabulous Nordic Tipi at the Vegan & Sustainable Living Festival.
More exciting things will be coming soon to The Well Nest…regular PILATES classes with our new teacher Sue: perfect for beginners and those wishing to begin a movement practice. Pilates is fantastic for building stability and core strength as well as assisting with hip and back strength and mobility. You might just find a new lease of life! If you’re interested in Pilates classes, use the button below to sign up to the waiting list and be the first to grab a space when classes go live:
MEDITATION classes with Hannah will soon be starting on a weekly basis at The Well Nest. This will be your weekly opportunity to take time out for yourself, practice meditation in a quiet and friendly atmosphere and seek advice on your practice. We will try meditations from lots of different traditions (not just mindfulness) so you can become a skilled meditator; able to find peace of mind even under the most difficult challenges of modern life.
See you soon!
We may still be in lockdown, but the stresses and strains of life don’t give us a break. Work stress may have slowed down, but family life has certainly ramped up. Living in containment, even with those we love can be challenging.
The Well Nest is still fully open and ready to help you with your mental and physical wellbeing. Classes are on offer throughout the week on a pay as you go basis, monthly subscription or donation/pay what you wish basis.
Tuesdays at 12 pm – Mindfulness on Facebook Live. Donation based.
Wednesdays at 12 pm Yin Yang Yoga on Zoom. £5 per session
Thursdays at 6 pm – Vinyasa Yoga on Zoom. £5 per session
Fridays at 10 am – Yin Yoga on Zoom. £5 per session
All Yoga classes are part of the monthly subscription – £25 per month, giving you access to up to 12 classes.
If you’ve never tried meditation or yoga, now is a great time to start your journey. All you need is a space to roll out your yoga mat or a chair in a quiet corner (headphones help!) and you can gain the skills to make a real difference to how you feel physically and mentally.
Life is about balance and there is a real strength in peace. Take your chance to get out of your mind and into your body – into your true experience of the present moment.
Mountains are often admired from afar for the qualities that they appear to have. Some of these qualities we find beneficial and seek in life: stability, longevity, calm, unwavering and balanced. When we spend some time really contemplating the image of a mountain, we see that it is constant and reliable through the seasons; it is a home for plants and animals; it provides shelter and protection; it abides in tranquility through the centuries.
While it’s often the case that we try not to actively ‘think’ in passive meditation, we can use the visualisation of a mountain in active meditation to assist us in contemplating and finding inner peace. If we spend time on the visualisation we can imagine ourselves taking on the qualities of the mountain.
The Mountain Meditation can be used as a regular practice or as an escape from the rigours of daily life as and when required. I use the Mountain Meditation often as a precursor to sitting with mindfulness of breathing; it acts as a relaxation technique and brings focus before working on expanding awareness.
How to do it…
- Sitting in a comfortable position on a cushion or chair, have the back straight but not tense and the hands resting in the lap.
- Bring the gaze down towards the floor and gently close the eyes.
- Spend a few minutes on breathing meditation/mindfulness of breathing
- Picture in your imagination a mountain – it could be a snowy mountain of the Alps or Himalayas, it could be a forested mountain bathed in sunshine
- Try to bring your image of a mountain into clear focus
- Observe its shape, lofty peak, solid based, gentle or sharply sloping sides, its surface (rocky, smooth, dusty, forested, snowy etc)
- Notice it’s enormous size and how solid and unmoving it is from afar and up close
- Try to bring the qualities of the mountain into your own body – your head becomes the lofty peak, sitting in your chair you are rooted at the base. Your arms become the slopes of the mountain. Feel the sense of uplift from the base of your body projecting through the crown of your head.
- The mountain experiences the force of the seasons – sun, rain, snow, gales. Through it all, it sits unchanging, experiencing all that comes its way
- The mountain never resists, complains or judges – it accepts everything, just being itself
- We can imagine embodying the same unwavering stillness and calmness.
- We can experience the fullness of life and its changes through the seconds, hours, years
- We will experience the changing nature of our minds, our body, the outside world. We will have periods of shade and of light. We can maintain the peace of the mountain throughout.
- Sit in stillness for a while.
- Gently open your eyes and mindfully arise from meditation after around 20 minutes.
If you’ve seen Eat Pray Love you know one of the benefits of silent retreat is a fabulously smooth and relaxed throat from giving it a rest. But, do the benefits go deeper?
We’ve all heard the stories of monks and nuns spending years in silence to achieve higher spiritual realisations, but unless you live in the mountains of Tibet, this isn’t really an option in our busy modern lives. One way to try the silent treatment is to go on a short retreat led by an experienced teacher who, periodically, can offer guidance on meditation and how to make silence your friend.
What Silent Retreat Looks Like
When I went on retreat earlier this year, I really had no idea what to expect from the period of silence. It sounds so simple…so simple that I thought it would almost certainly be a waste of time. I was wrong. We started the day on our meditation cushions with some mindfulness of breathing (a simple breathing meditation that usually starts off a period of meditation) and brief guidance from the teacher. We were then instructed that we should try to maintain mindfulness through breathing, sensory experience, body scan and mindful movement for the morning session of approximately 2 hours. There would be a short break, but no talking throughout.
Although I’ve been meditating and practicing mindfulness for over 6 years, this was by far the longest I have spent in meditation. I was daunted, but remembering my mindful practices of non-attachment, I just went for it! I can honestly say that by not having any expectations before the day, it actually helped me to just sit and see what happened. I experienced some mind wandering (obviously) but also achieved the longest period of peace and inner calm than I have ever previously achieved. This was done through listening to the environment – really letting the sounds of ‘now’ into awareness. I don’t mind admitting that I have struggled to have peace of mind for any great length of time over the years, but the benefits of any peace of mind are liberating to say the least. It was interesting to note on silent retreat that even when we were permitted to speak, nobody took up the offer. I also confess that there was a border collie in residence at the retreat and I may have forgotten myself and said hello to him…but I think he kept my secret.
The afternoon continued for another lengthy period of silence; around another 2 hours. Luckily the weather was good enough for mindful walking outside. It was interesting to note that people definitely preferred to stay in their own company drifting off to various corners of the retreat centre and garden, making no eye contact; as though when one kind of social interaction was off limits, all kinds were off limits. It was increasingly difficult to find lengthy periods of peace of mind throughout the day, but when concentrating for such long periods, attention does wander. I tried not to give myself a hard time over this. All participants reported different experiences: some really enjoyed it, others struggled. Spending time alone and in silence is a massive challenge for some personality types. Another reason why it’s so important to let go of judgment and move towards kindness.
What to ‘expect’ from yourself
Silent retreat isn’t easy. It’s a test for experienced meditators and can easily lead to frustration. It’s important to have a solid meditation practice before attempting silent retreat to get the most out of it. There isn’t much time for instruction, no guided meditation and no questioning so you need a full quota of practices to try out through the day/s.
You will find you become tired. It will definitely test your patience. You will have positive and negative thoughts and of course general busy-ness in the mind. That’s all ok! Try to welcome everything and push nothing away. We can place an expectation on ourselves on silent retreat that there will be some kind of breakthrough in our practice. This expectation is something that should be released as soon as possible. Holding onto expectation fuels attachment which definitely gets in the way of awareness. It should be approached the same way as any mindful meditation; without attachment to thought, without agenda and without the need for an outcome. I’d had this retreat booked for about 6 months in advance (people clearly queue up to not talk to each other) so it helped that I had no plans other than to be at the retreat. I had nothing to do but be there – how often does that happen in modern life!?
Above all else, remember to be compassionate and kind towards yourself…it’s the key to progress. I think this retreat advanced my practice by giving me a good length of time to practice in isolation. Without the distractions of everyday life and the pressing demands on my time I could really let myself be at ease with meditation. Silent retreat really does feel like a journey (cliché I know) but it’s true! All emotions are experienced. It’s definitely something I’d recommend and it’s certainly something I will be doing again.