Greetings from a very hot south of France! The beaches are full and everyone is in vacation-mode… meaning things are very lente, slow, here in Provence.
And speaking of a perfect time to relax and unwind… I had the absolute most relaxing and insightful time at the Soul Revive Retreat at Ashtanga Yoga Shala Provence in June. The retreat was organized by Claire Saunders, an accomplished yoga instructor and yoga teacher-trainer, and Sue Paget, a life coach who specializes in working with women at midlife. The retreat was held over one week, with yoga sessions in the morning, life-coaching activities until the early afternoon, and then evening strolls through the village of Calas and visits to enchanting Aix-en-Provence… with more than a bit of French food and wine thrown in for good measure.
I was able to attend the Saturday yoga session and life-coaching afternoon and upon receiving the invitation, I remember thinking, “Well, if this isn’t just perfect!”. It’s not always easy to connect with English-speakers in Provence, let alone practice yoga in such a supportive atmosphere and with such a well-versed, knowledgeable teacher. Being a yoga novice (which I felt obliged to blurt out before our session started) I have never felt so comfortable, and so relaxed, in a class. Claire made sure that we each advanced at our own pace and suggested different positions that might be easier / more challenging based on our individual needs. Plus, she has just the most soothing voice… ever.
And I thought I was most certainly dreaming when, at the end of the class, she gently placed a blanket over each participant, followed by a lavender sachet for our eyes, and then, well, I’ll leave the last “treasure” we were treated to as a surprise for anyone who is lucky enough to attend a class at Ashtanga Yoga Shala.
I was quite literally on another planet when our class finished and we were gently guided to the cosy kitchen area and offered an array of tasty treats lovingly prepared by Sue. She also provided each participant with a workbook to use during our life-coaching activities, and made sure that we all got to know each other through introductions and sharing a bit of what was going on in our lives at the moment. As Sue specializes in helping women at midlife, I found the session particularly helpful and have already applied several of the tactics we discussed to my own personal life. The overall theme was about finding out what’s most important to you, your core dreams, and giving a voice to them – however great or small.
My day spent at the Soul Revive Retreat was about as relaxing and insightful as they come. It was a chance to connect my physical self while being mindful of my own emotional well-being. Claire and Sue will be hosting another Soul Revive Retreat in June of 2017 (dates to follow) and I’m looking forward to being even more involved in this lovely event.
The Soul Revive Retreat is also coming to several locations in Australia in 2017 – you can book early-bird pricing now, for either Australia or Provence, directly on the Soul Revive Retreat page of Sue’s website, The Change Guru.