What really happens on a yoga retreat? Well, that depends on the retreat, but we think our retreats are up there with the best! A beautiful setting, yummy food, country walks, massages, sauna and of course, lots and lots of yoga, meditation and inspirational chats with a world class teacher. Who could ask for more?
This January Movement For Modern Life and a group of movers arrived at Tilton House for a long weekend with Andrea Kwiatkowski.
Tilton house is the former home of John Maynard Keynes, and steeped in Bloomsbury history. As we arrived we were greeted by Sean who right away made us feel at home, showing us to our rooms, looking after our bags and welcoming us into a kitchen warmed by a fabulous red aga. The kettle was on the go and a cake stand full of yummy macaroons stood waiting to be munched.
Andrea was already there and indeed she hung out with us all weekend to chat and giggle or answer questions we hadn’t covered in class.
After we’d all settled in we got stuck into our first class in the library, a beautiful room with wooden floorboards, a roaring fire and the alluring scent of ganesha incense. Andrea took us through a beautiful Jivamukti sequence suitable for all levels. Our class was set to music and included hands on adjustments and even an optional shoulder massage with aromatic oils in the final savasana – a magical experience for anyone unfamiliar with Jivamukti.
Andrea inspired us with a theme of transformation, gently and cleverly brought to life through the story of the Wizard of Oz. In our first class Dorothy helped us find there’s no place like Om! Other classes helped us seek courage through the lion, move beyond fear with the scarecrow and find our hearts with the tin man.
For many of us, Andrea instantly transformed our meditation practice with instructions on how to sit properly!
We soon settled into a daily routine of mediation followed by breakfast and jivamukti yoga in the morning. After lunch the early afternoon was free for massage, country walks across the Downs, quiet contemplation or chats with each other. Then we were back in the library for restorative yoga before dinner. Each evening finished with cosy chats with Kat and Andrea on the subjects of intention setting and transformation.
Tilton house also has a sauna in the garden which was a wonderful place to ease out tired muscles after all that yoga and marching around the countryside.
A special part of the retreat was gathering together for delicious vegan meals which were incredibly healthy and nutritious without feeling austere.
One delicious lunch included spiced black bean soup with ‘sour cream’, tortilla chips, tomato salsa, shredded cabbage and jalapeño mixed leaf salad with toasted seeds. Oh, and pumpkin pie for pudding!
To take away with us, Andrea gifted some beautiful affirmations that will resonate for years to come.
- My life is a work in progress
- All of the answers are within me
- Life is practice and practice is life
- I will do what is possible in this moment
- My courage is an expression of my love for myself.
Spending time on retreat is a truly special experience that will let you grow as a person and make great steps ahead in your yoga journey. In particular, an MFML retreat gives you:
- A chance to spend time with a yoga teacher and get all your questions answered
- The space to step away from the rush of everyday life and get things in perspective
- An opportunity to spend time with like minded souls and make new friends
- The time to find clarity and set realistic intentions
- And of course, days filled with our favourite thing: YOGA!