Tag Archives: france

Yoga and human development weekend retreats in Europe, summer 2014

Come and join me for one of four refreshing weekend retreats this summer in Europe!

imageInspired by the popular retreats in Auroville, South India, I’ll be facilitating three human development retreats in three places in Europe that are close to my heart.

I’m also super excited about co-facilitating a yoga coaching retreat weekend in London with the wonderful Laura Graham Dullaert (12-13th July, see more info below).

Through coaching, we distinguish our inner leader and saboteur voice, connect with our life purpose, and discover where we store our emotions in our body. Listening for the answers within, we create more awareness in our body, mind and soul, and how they’re connected.

The retreat will give you coaching tools so you can start using your listening capacity and intuition both with yourself and others. We’ll tune into that life affirming fulfillment energy so you can unlock your full potential. You’ll come away feeling refreshed and empowered.

Each retreat we’ll draw upon the beauty of the natural environment.

In the Provence, there’s the lavender fields and the gentle June sun. In the Cotswolds, there’s the ancient English forest and village life. In Amsterdam North, there’s the water, the boats and the harbour looking out over the busy city life from a distance.

Get in touch with me to reserve your place!

The lavender retreat, 28-29th June

image Bonnieux, Provence, France (1hr drive from Marseille airport) Explore your full potential in the fresh early summer in the Luberon. Sample the air filled with herbs, lavender and the gentle June sun. For more info, click here.


The green retreat, 19-20th July

imageLower Slaughter, Cotswolds, UK (1.5hr train drive from London Paddington) Retreat into the green forests and English village life. Rejuvenate and explore in a beautiful garden home. Register by 7th June to qualify for the early bird fee! For more info, click here.

The water retreat 16-17th August 

imageAmsterdam North, the Netherlands (location tbc, 30 min cycle ride from Amsterdam Central station) Jump on the ferry away from busy Amsterdam town and take in the quiet harbour perspective. See the sun or rain drops play with the water. Register by 19th July to qualify for the early bird fee!

Yoga and coaching retreat, 12-13th July

imageSynchronicity yoga studio, Clapham, London SW9 Join Laura and Julie for an urban retreat to build awareness in your body, mind and soul through yoga and coaching.

Laura and I have been working together for the past 10 months on fusing yoga and coaching. We’re super excited to share our learning with you on three key themes: listening, intuition and balance.

imageYoga and coaching invite you to listen to the conversations going on between your mind, body and soul. You learn to recognise the different voices and to find your own path, in your life and on the mat.

You start to become familiar with the voice of your intuition and how to use it to enhance your well being and your relationship with others. You learn to look after yourself, to trust yourself to create the yoga practice that you need.

Balancing the need for discipline that a daily practice requires, with adapting it according to your needs is the key to a sustainable, injury-free and joyful yoga. This integrity is exactly what we’re looking to achieve in life. We want to make empowered decisions which are in line with our values, instead of following what our circumstances dictate.

Check out Laura’s website to see the amazing teacher she is, making ashtanga yoga accessible, sustainable and a lot of fun! For more info, click here.
Register by 31st May to qualify for early bird fee.

The good life in the Provence: do you hide or flaunt your riches?

I’ve just spent another week in the Provence, one of my favourite parts of Europe. Steeped in the good life, for centuries now it has attracted the artistic, the wealthy, and the artistically-minded. Our road trip took us from the hilltop villages of the inland Luberon massif to the sea side villas of Saint Tropez on the Côte d’Azur. It was also a fascinating journey from the cultured bourgeois code of hiding your riches, to the flash Riviera culture of flaunting them.

The Luberon is an Unesco-protected natural park to the North of Aix-en-Provence. On its hilltops are the ‘golden triangle’ villages, each with its distinctly different twist to a theme – being nestled around a medieval church or castle on the top of a hill, and having narrow streets full of cafes, restaurants, shops and galleries, all in impeccable Parisian style. These places are mostly run by urbanites who chose the good life and helped preserve the villages, which like most in France were facing desertion. They mixed the best of urban and rural, catering to the tastes of French and foreign owners of second homes.

And the Luberon is brimming with culture. In Bonnieux (see picture left), Louise Bourgeois has recreated a chapel. In Lacoste, on the next hilltop, Pierre Cardin hosts an annual arts festival in Marquis de Sade’s old castle, while American art students spend the summer drawing the village. In Ménerbes, on the next hilltop, Picasso bought a house for his mistress Dora Maar. Each year a writer is invited to spend the summer. Next door, American painter Jane Eakin retired after her busy Parisian life.

In Ménerbes (see picture left) we went to see one of the region’s many classical concerts, bringing together musicians on their summer breaks with their decamped urban audiences. This time, the concert in the little kitsch baroque chapel was a little disappointing. ‘Bach dans l’intimité’ lasted two hours, at least half of which we had to spend listening to a certain musicologist with a white shawl draped loosely over his black suit, for exquisite effect. Indulging in the worst of French oratory, he spoke heftily about endless details of Bach’s personal life. The distinguished St-Germain-des-Ménerbes audience gave a standing ovation even though the singer and harpsichordist repeatedly lost the plot.

But on the whole the cultured bourgeois code of hiding your riches contrasts favourably with the glitzy culture of flaunting it in the Riviera. In Saint Tropez, the cult of the super rich and their admirers is in full swing. In the port, super yachts are moored on the quay and its jet set owners gazed at from the swanky terraces on the quay. Riviera Radio advises the local English on property management, Monaco royalty and tax rules. On the local market, the seeing and being seen game is perfectly executed, although most players are not so well-preserved. It’s a bit of a sad affair to see ageing Brigitte Bardot lookalikes, kept going by botox and baring more than most people would care for. Only a handful of girls are truly beautiful, and they tend to trail their older husbands on high heeled and diamond studded sandals, chihuahua in handbag. Again, the common people stare and dream from their swanky terraces. I overheard a 30 minute conversation by a group of Belgian men about the difference between a yacht and a super yacht. They clearly couldn’t afford either.

It makes for a hilarious viewing though, and despite the massive construction spurs, the Côte still hasn’t lost its original splendour. The sea is deep blue, the sunshine effortless, and the flowers abundant among palm trees. Yet I prefer the Luberon and will spend September there writing. If you’re keen to visit, let me know!