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Nature & Meditation Retreat

Find your inner peace: a contemporary retreat for modern day life

1st to 4th April 2022 at The Sanctuary at Broughton, Yorkshire

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Why Join this Retreat?

Most of us have been taught that in order to be successful in life we need to "struggle", or "fight", or "focus" or "concentrate". The trouble with this approach is that the more we struggle, the more tense we become. And the more tense we are, the worse we perform. 

In order to be at our best, in order to give each moment our best and to receive the best from each moment we need to be as aware as possible. And to be aware, we need to be relaxed.

We recognise that for many people, it's almost impossible to just stop, sit silently and relax.

 

On this retreat, we approach the pressures of modern life with a number of easily accessible techniques to bring about the much sought after relaxation, peace and calm. Get ready to:

 

  • Learn new ways to meditate

  • Unwind from physical and mental stress

  • Deepen your connection with the natural environment

  • Experience vibrant energy

  • Be free from distractions with a digital detox

  • Establish a deeper connection to who you are

  • Have some fun!

What to Expect

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Forest Bathing...

This Japanese practice is a process walking slowly through the forest (or other setting in nature) and experiencing nature directly through hearing, seeing, smelling, tasting and touching.  Other senses are heightened too; perhaps the imaginal sense or the heart sense or the felt sense. 

As sensory experience only happens in the present, we begin to appreciate the joys of simply being, allowing for deeper connection with ourselves, with others and with nature.

Forest bathing is now increasingly practised across the world as a preventative medicine and also to combat stress, anxiety and low mood

The typical forest bathing walk that Liz leads lasts about 2.5 hours, and involves no swimming but some gentle walking (covering no more than a mile).

During the walk, Liz offers a series of invitations (which are entirely optional) and which assist participants to connect to the woodland through sight, smell, touch, taste and sound. We finish off with a tea "ceremony" (foraged or herbal tea and snacks). 

Breath Work & Ice Bathing 

Breath work: the benefits are immediate! 

Just one session will leave you feeling renewed and often in a completely different state of mind.

Breath work is all about linking our mind and body and you will feel how deep breathing and the techniques we practise together, help to stimulate our parasympathetic nervous system, which brings us to a calm state.

We all suffer from the daily stresses that modern life delivers and science tell us that stress creates reactions in our body that negatively affect our physical, mental and emotional wellbeing.  

 

Breath work is an active form of meditation; through deep rhythmic breathing we increase the oxygen flow through our body, resulting in a relaxed state of mind.

Ice baths are incredibly beneficial for the mind and body too. Research shows that ice bathing improves circulation, heart health, enhances mental wellness and boosts the immune system, in fact the list of powerful benefits is endless .. life changing for some.
 

Ice bathing is optional yet is highly recommended!

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Wild Swimming...

Over time, our relationship with the world we live in has changed. Our lifestyles have disconnected us from the natural environment.

Because of this disconnection, our age-old survival mechanisms are no longer triggered and we’ve lost touch with our inner power.

Yet wild swimming helps to reinvigorate this inner power that can create a more balanced lifestyle.

 

Wild swimming is essentially swimming outdoors in natural spaces, such as rivers, lakes or the sea. On the retreat, we'll be be swimming in a natural pond in the most stunning location (as shown in the photograph).

Whilst being great for your mental health, alleviating stress, and allowing you to reconnect with nature, cold water swimming in particular boosts the immune system. Totally invigorating, you'll be over the moon you did it! And then, we'll jump in the woodland sauna! 

Woodland Sauna...

Stress left untreated will have a lot of bad effects on your health.  It can cause diabetes, obesity, heart disease, and high blood pressure. Headaches, chest pain, fatigue, and stomach problems are all side effects of working too much.

 

Spending time in the woodland sauna can lower your stress levels and reduce the risk of depression and mental health problems. How?:

 

  • Your body makes more endorphins or the “happy hormone”

  • Your body lets go of tension, relaxes and your mind follows suit! 

  • Assisted blood flow releases toxins and eases stress

We'll be spending time in the magical woodland sauna after taking a dip in the wild swimming pond. A truly magical experience which leaves you feeling calm, happy and really quite blissful!

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Freestyle Dancing..

(Meditation in Motion)

Remember what it was like to dance when you were a child? Wild and free, without any restrictions. You moved your body however you wanted to the beat of the beat, you let go of control completely and surrendered to the moment and the music..

Dancing has been proven in several studies to increase happiness on all levels. When we dance, our brains release endorphins, hormones that can activate neurotransmitters that create a feeling of comfort, relaxation, pleasure and strength.

It also. reduces stress on a physiological and mental level.

 

Being fully in the body and moving freely and without thoughts or limitations while listening to the music will bring you back to the present moment, lowering the secretion of the stress hormone cortisol and taking you out of fight-flight mode and into a state of bliss and satisfaction.

 

You can literally shake off all your stress and worries.

It's also a great way to to play and allow your life energy to flow!

Mindfulness Meditations..

Mindfulness is simply about awareness of your actions, your body and your mind and during the retreat, we will practise  a number of different meditations which will enhance this awareness such as:

  • Walking the labyrinth; to develop mindfulness of sensations created as we move and to experience the link between bodily posture and mental and emotional states:

 

  • Mindfulness of breathing: functions as an anchor to our awareness because we are narrowing it to a particular detail of experience - the specific sensations of the breath in the body. This fills the mind space and offers less opportunity to get ‘lost’; it facilitates disengagement from other mind activities and encourages the cultivation of a settled mind state. 

  • Body Scan: Learning to deliberately engaging and disengaging our attention with different parts of our body gives us greater awareness of where our attention is directed, and ‘trains the muscle’ of shifting attention to an alternative focus. In turn, this develops concentration, calmness, flexibility of attention, and mindful moment-by-moment awareness.

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Location
The Sanctuary at Broughton, Skipton, Yorkshire

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Accommodation

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Yellison

Sitting at the edge of an ancient woodland, this former goat farm has been lovingly refurbished into a joyous and friendly holiday home in a truly enchanting setting.

With two twin ensuite bedrooms and two single occupancy ensuite bedrooms with either a a super-king or king bed each equipped with freestanding baths, Yellison is a gorgeous  space to gather. 

Higher Scarcliffe

Nestled discreetly into the edge of Yorkshire Moorland, Higher Scarcliffe is a romantic and welcoming 17th century farmhouse within a dramatic and secluded landscape.

With three twin bedrooms, one bedroom with ensuite bathroom and two bedrooms with a shared bathroom, Higher Scarcliffe is a cosy, home away from home that offers a welcome retreat from the fast pace of everyday life. 

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