“A fabulously revitalising week.” Come and join us for Claire’s amazing yoga retreat

The Watermill at Posara for painting, knitting, creative writing, Italian language, personal development and yoga holidays/vacations/retreats, Tuscany, Italy.

The Walled garden at The Watermill, the perfect spot for yoga and church bells.

“The air, the sun, the sound of the church bells brought a special feeling of lightness and childlike joy to the proceedings.”

That’s a comment from one of the participants on Claire Murphy’s relaxing and inspiring yoga retreat at The Watermill this year. Another said: “The Watermill is such a stunning, peaceful, green and quiet. We are pampered and well looked-after” That’s the setting and the Watermill hospitality.

The Watermill at Posara for painting, knitting, creative writing, Italian language, personal development and yoga holidays/vacations/retreats, Tuscany, Italy.As for the yoga, here’s what another of this year’s guests had to say:  “The yoga retreat was the perfect mix of physical postures, meditation and thoughtful contemplation in glorious mountain surroundings. I particularly appreciated how you created a gentle space for all attendees no matter where they were on their yoga journey or what physical issues they were dealing with. The journaling and art prompts offered the opportunity for creative experimentation and expansion. All in all, a fabulously revitalising week.”

Yoga in the Watermill studio

Yoga in the Watermill studio

Claire will be back for another fabulous retreat next year and she and we would love you to join us. More details and links below and don’t forget our Early Bird booking discount offer: £GBP (about $100) off is you book now. Again, there’s more below.

The Watermill at Posara for painting, knitting, creative writing, Italian language, personal development and yoga holidays/vacations/retreats, Tuscany, Italy.

Claire’s yoga retreat is inspired by the beauty of this area and by the elements and she’s been working hard on an even more inspiring itinerary for next year. She tells us: “The title of the retreat is Nourish Your Elemental Self and it will include yoga, meditation, creative writing & art journaling.”

Claire has been allotting themes for each day: Sunday: Earth; Monday: Water; Tuesday: Fire; Thursday: Air and Friday: Ether. It’s all part of our aim to nourish you mind, body and soul.  Claire’s working up the itineraries, which will include activities in the Watermill gardens, along the millstream and river and, of course, breathing in the wonderfully pure air of this environmentally protected area. And we’ll visit mountain villages, a market in a walled Medieval town and practise yoga and meditation in the peace and solitude of a 16th Century monastery.

The Watermill at Posara for painting, knitting, creative writing, Italian language, personal development and yoga holidays/vacations/retreats, Tuscany, Italy.

Revitalise among the mountains

Claire’s unique retreat will run from Saturday 25 August to Saturday 1 September 2018. You can find out more by clicking here.  

Claire will be back next year to nourish your mind, body and soul in another unique seven-day yoga and meditation retreat. It will run from Saturday 25 August to Saturday 1 September 2018.

We’ll nourish your soul on rural walks and visits to ancient walled towns and hilltop villages, castles and convents. You’ll also savour the relaxed atmosphere of la bella vita italiana in local cafes, shops, restaurants and markets.

We’ll venture a little journal writing and painting in The Watermill studio overlooking the river or under the shade of the vine verandah to nourish your mind.

And we’ll nourish your body with fresh, home-cooked, nutritionally balanced meals lovingly prepared by the Watermill cooks, with many of the ingredients freshly picked from The Watermill’s own gardens. There will be vegetarian options for every meal, of course. Private sessions with a local Shiatsu practitioner are also available, at cost, on request

Yoga, meditation and massage have been a way of life for Claire Murphy for more than 25 years and she’s passionate about teaching them. Together we’ve created a unique seven-day programme, which we’ll update and augment as time goes on.

Claire plus picNourish — mind, body and soul

Claire Murphy

25 August – 1 September 2018

To learn more about Claire and her retreat at The Watermill, please click here.

Clair yoga video 2

 

 

 

Plan your Summer’s creative course in Tuscany before the Christmas rush!

The Watermill at Posara for painting, sculpting, knitting, creative writing, Italian language, personal development and yoga holidays/vacations/retreats, Tuscany, Italy.

The warm and sunlit Watermill courtyard

How time flies! You’ve you’ve only seven more weeks to take advantage of our Early Bird offer, of £GBP 75 off any creative course, which expires at the end of the year. So why not plan some Summer relaxation and inspiration before the Christmas rush? Just click here and choose which course suits you best. Next year’s courses are filling fast, so get booked in before you’re overwhelmed with Christmas!

The Watermill at Posara for painting, knitting, creative writing, Italian language, personal development and yoga holidays/vacations/retreats, Tuscany, Italy.

Here’s the list. First, painting courses:

paul plus pic28 April – 5 May 2018

Paul Talbot-Greaves

Watercolours 

To learn more about Paul and his course at The Watermill, please click here.

maggie plus pic9-16 May 2018 

Maggie Renner Hellmann

Oils, acrylics, pastels watercolours

To learn more about Maggie and her course at The Watermill, please click here

Sandra plus pic26 May – 2 June 2018 AND 2-9 June 2018

Sandra Strohschein 

Watercolours

To learn more about Sandra and her courses at The Watermill, please click here

Sarah Y plus pic9-16 June 2018 AND 16-23 June 2018

Sarah Yeoman

Watercolours

To learn more about Sarah and her courses at The Watermill, please click here.

terry plus pic7-14 July 2018 

Terry Jarvis

Watercolours (and oils, pastels and acrylics)

To learn more about Terry and his course at The Watermill, please click here.

Nel and Bec plus pic1-8 September 2018 

Rebecca di Mendonça and Nel Whatmore

Pastels

To learn more about Nel and Rebecca and their course at The Watermill, please click here 

mike plus pic8-15 September 2018 

Mike Willdridge

Watercolour and drawing (also gouache and acrylics)

To learn more about Mike and his course at The Watermill, please click here.

Painting by Claire Warner, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.15-22 September 2018 

Claire Warner

Watercolours (and oils and acrylics)

 To learn more about Claire and her course at The Watermill, please click here.

vicki plus pic6-13 October 2018 

Vicki Norman

Oils and watercolours

To learn more about Vicki and her course at The Watermill, please click here.

Tim plus pic13-20 October 2018 

Tim Wilmot

Watercolours

 To learn more about Tim and his course at The Watermill, please click here.

Knitting courses:

Sarah H plus pic5-12 May 2018

Sarah Hazell Three or four places left

Knitting and La Bella Vita

To learn more about Sarah and her course at The Watermill, please click here

The Watermill at Posara for painting, knitting, yoga, holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.14-21 July 2018

Marie Wallin Course full, waiting list

Knitting and La Bella Vita

To learn more about Marie and her course at The Watermill, please click here.

The Watermill at Posara for painting, knitting, yoga, holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.29 September – 6 October 2018 

Lisa Richardson 

Knitting and La Bella Vita

To learn more about Lisa and her course at The Watermill, please click here.

Italian language holiday:

The Watermill at Posara for painting, knitting, creative writing, Italian language, personal development and yoga holidays/vacations/retreats, Tuscany, Italy.30 June to 7 July 2018

Giulia Balestri

Italian language week

To learn more about Giulia and her course at The Watermill, please click here.

Creative writing holiday:

Jo plus pic22-29 September 2018 

Jo Parfitt 

Writing your Life Stories

To learn more about Jo and her course at The Watermill, please click here.

Yoga retreat:

The Watermill at Posara for painting, knitting, creative writing, Italian language, personal development and yoga holidays/vacations/retreats, Tuscany, Italy.25 August – 1 September 2018

Claire Murphy

Nourish — mind, body and soul

To learn more about Claire and her retreat at The Watermill, please click here

Personal development retreat:

Claire H&S plus midweek gigles cropped

18 August – 25 August 2018

Caroline Carr

Find your Oomph! retreat

To learn more about Caroline and her retreat at The Watermill, please click here.

Don’t forget your partner!

The Watermill at Posara for painting, knitting, creative writing, Italian language, personal development and yoga holidays/vacations/retreats, Tuscany, Italy.Why not bring your friend or partner? They don’t have to participate in the course, but they will be able to enjoy the wonderful hospitality of the mill and, whenever they want, to come out with you to our beautiful locations. For more details, please click here.  They also receive a generous £GBP 250 discount if they share a room with you.

And don’t forget our Early Bird offer:

New early BirdsIf you book before 31 December 2017 there’s a £GBP 75 per person discount on all our 2018 creative courses.  To enquire about availability and/or to reserve your place, please go to www.watermill.net, select your course and bedroom, then click on Booking Enquiry.  Or, if you prefer, email us on info@watermill.net or call us (UK no.) +44 20 7193 6246.

 

Bring your partner on a Watermill creative week and enjoy a ‘Posara Holiday’ scooter ride!

The Watermill at Posara for painting, knitting, creative writing, Italian language, personal development and yoga holidays/vacations/retreats, Tuscany, Italy.I used the still above, from the famous film Roman Holiday to urge people coming on our Watermill creative holidays to bring their partner with them. And it reminded me of one of the happy pictures we took this Summer of my daughter Lara and I posing on one of the old Vespas collected by our gardener Flavio Terenzoni:

Blog Lara and Bill on Vespa

I am no Gregory Peck, but I reckon Lara can give Audrey Hepburn a run for her money in the good-looking stakes!

We also had fun with Flavio’s vintage scooters during a Summer painting week with our Australian cobber Terry Jarvis. Here’s one of our guests, Geraldine Larkins, getting ready for a spin.. Behind is Terry himself, holding up a sketch of the scooter, which he made as a present for Flavio.

The Watermill at Posara for painting, sculpting, knitting, creative writing, Italian language and yoga, holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.Here’s the sketch:

Flavio scooter painting Jul 17

If you fancy a spin through the village yourself next year, I am sure we can persuade Flavio to take you. Whether you come with your partner or not…

Now it’s November you’ve only two more months to take advantage of our Early Bird offer, of £GBP 75 off any creative course, which expires at the end of the year. So why not scoot to our website (just click here) and choose which course suits you best. Next year’s courses are filling fast, so a quick scoot is advised!

Here’s the list. First, painting courses:

paul plus pic28 April – 5 May 2018

Paul Talbot-Greaves

Watercolours 

To learn more about Paul and his course at The Watermill, please click here.

maggie plus pic9-16 May 2018 

Maggie Renner Hellmann

Oils, acrylics, pastels watercolours

To learn more about Maggie and her course at The Watermill, please click here

Sandra plus pic26 May – 2 June 2018 AND 2-9 June 2018

Sandra Strohschein 

Watercolours

To learn more about Sandra and her courses at The Watermill, please click here

Sarah Y plus pic9-16 June 2018 AND 16-23 June 2018

Sarah Yeoman

Watercolours

To learn more about Sarah and her courses at The Watermill, please click here.

terry plus pic7-14 July 2018 

Terry Jarvis

Watercolours (and oils, pastels and acrylics)

To learn more about Terry and his course at The Watermill, please click here.

Nel and Bec plus pic1-8 September 2018 

Rebecca di Mendonça and Nel Whatmore

Pastels

To learn more about Nel and Rebecca and their course at The Watermill, please click here.  

mike plus pic8-15 September 2018 

Mike Willdridge

Watercolour and drawing (also gouache and acrylics)

To learn more about Mike and his course at The Watermill, please click here.

Painting by Claire Warner, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.15-22 September 2018 

Claire Warner

Watercolours (and oils and acrylics)

 To learn more about Claire and her course at The Watermill, please click here.

vicki plus pic6-13 October 2018 

Vicki Norman

Oils and watercolours

To learn more about Vicki and her course at The Watermill, please click here.

Tim plus pic13-20 October 2018 

Tim Wilmot

Watercolours

 To learn more about Tim and his course at The Watermill, please click here.

For knitting courses:

Sarah H plus pic5-12 May 2018

Sarah Hazell Three or four places left

Knitting and La Bella Vita

To learn more about Sarah and her course at The Watermill, please click here

The Watermill at Posara for painting, knitting, yoga, holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.14-21 July 2018

Marie Wallin Course full, waiting list

Knitting and La Bella Vita

To learn more about Marie and her course at The Watermill, please click here.

The Watermill at Posara for painting, knitting, yoga, holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.29 September – 6 October 2018 

Lisa Richardson 

Knitting and La Bella Vita

To learn more about Lisa and her course at The Watermill, please click here.

For Italian language holiday:

The Watermill at Posara for painting, knitting, creative writing, Italian language, personal development and yoga holidays/vacations/retreats, Tuscany, Italy.30 June to 7 July 2018

Giulia Balestri

Italian language week

To learn more about Giulia and her course at The Watermill, please click here.

For creative writing holiday:

Jo plus pic22-29 September 2018 

Jo Parfitt 

Writing your Life Stories

To learn more about Jo and her course at The Watermill, please click here.

For yoga retreat:

The Watermill at Posara for painting, knitting, creative writing, Italian language, personal development and yoga holidays/vacations/retreats, Tuscany, Italy.25 August – 1 September 2018

Claire Murphy

Nourish — mind, body and soul

To learn more about Claire and her retreat at The Watermill, please click here

For personal development retreat:

Claire H&S plus midweek gigles cropped

18 August – 25 August 2018

Caroline Carr

Find your Oomph! retreat

To learn more about Caroline and her retreat at The Watermill, please click here.

Don’t forget your partner!

The Watermill at Posara for painting, knitting, creative writing, Italian language, personal development and yoga holidays/vacations/retreats, Tuscany, Italy.Why not bring your friend or partner? They don’t have to participate in the course, but they will be able to enjoy the wonderful hospitality of the mill and, whenever they want, to come out with you to our beautiful locations. For more details, please click here.  They also receive a generous £GBP 250 discount if they share a room with you.

And don’t forget our Early Bird offer:

The Watermill at Posara for painting, sculpting, knitting, creative writing, Italian language and yoga, holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.

It’s a great offer! Pass it on!

If you book before 31 December 2017 there’s a £GBP 75 per person discount on all our 2018 creative courses.  To enquire about availability and/or to reserve your place, please go to www.watermill.net, select your course and bedroom, then click on Booking Enquiry.

Or, if you prefer, email us on info@watermill.net or call us (UK no.) +44 20 7193 6246.

 

A ‘fabulous revitalising week’ on a yoga retreat with Claire. Join her next year!

Yoga in the Watermill studio

Yoga in the Watermill studio

We have had some excellent feedback from the yoga retreat with Claire Murphy which finished last week and we’d like to share it with you. Some of our guests were returning for another revitalizing week at The Watermill, while others, like Sylvia, were coming for the first time. As you can see, she’s coming back next year, too.

The Watermill at Posara for painting, sculpting, knitting, creative writing, Italian language, personal development and yoga holidays/vacations/retreats, Tuscany, Italy.

And this is from one of the returnees, Alessandra:

Alessandra feedbackAnd from another returnee:

Anita feedback

Claire will be back next year to nourish your mind, body and soul in another unique seven-day yoga and meditation retreat. It will run from Saturday 25 August to Saturday 1 September 2018.

We’ll nourish your soul on rural walks and visits to ancient walled towns and hilltop villages, castles and convents. You’ll also savour the relaxed atmosphere of la bella vita italiana in local cafes, shops, restaurants and markets.

We’ll venture a little journal writing and painting in The Watermill studio overlooking the river or under the shade of the vine verandah to nourish your mind.

And we’ll nourish your body with fresh, home-cooked, nutritionally balanced meals lovingly prepared by the Watermill cooks, with many of the ingredients freshly picked from The Watermill’s own gardens. There will be vegetarian options for every meal, of course. Private sessions with a local Shiatsu practitioner are also available, at cost, on request

Yoga, meditation and massage have been a way of life for Claire Murphy for more than 25 years and she’s passionate about teaching them. Together we’ve created a unique seven-day programme, which we’ll update and augment as time goes on.

Claire plus picNourish — mind, body and soul

Claire Murphy

25 August – 1 September 2018

To learn more about Claire and her retreat at The Watermill, please click here.

 

Join Claire for that Ahh! moment

Yoga retreat at The Watermill in Tuscany, yoga and meditation retreats

Our lovely yoga and meditatation tutor Claire Murphy wants you to come and join her for her week-long retreat this September, enjoy lots and lots of ‘aah’ moments and put yourself completely at ease. Claire says: “Your comfort during the retreat is of paramount importance to all of us, so when I ask if something feels comfortable and the response is, ‘it’s fine’, then that’s not ok. I’m not looking for fine I’m looking for that ‘ahh’ moment.”

You’ll get plenty of help. Claire adds: “One of the many features of yoga with me is the number of props that are employed to convey a sense of support, comfort and above all else, ease. Last year, our guests at the Watermill were quite amazed at the bolsters, blankets, blocks provided, as well as physio balls and scarves that I brought with me too”.The Watermill at Posara for painting, knitting, yoga, cookery holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.We still have two places on Claire’s wonderful yoga and meditation retreat, called Nourish — mind, body, soul, which will run from Saturday 9 September to Saturday 16 September, and we’d love you to join us. (There are links below to more details.)

A comment from one of our guests here with Claire last year: “I was extremely impressed by the beauty of the Watermill itself and of its location. The buildings are beautiful and comfortable and the location is green and luscious. The Watermill itself is surrounded by beautiful grounds and well tended gardens where you can sit or lounge and relax or go for peaceful walks and the only noises you hear are birds, water, and the occasional rutting deer! The yoga studio is airy and peaceful and the yoga tutor was all we could have hoped for. Also, great food and wine. And all, and I mean all, even a meal in a local restaurant and transfers to/from Pisa airport, is included in the price you pay, no hidden costs.”

We’ll nourish your soul on rural walks and visits to ancient walled towns and hilltop villages, castles and14432947_10154449229557557_403500150842892678_nconvents. You’ll also savour the relaxed atmosphere of la bella vita italiana in local cafes, shops, restaurants and markets. We’ll venture a little journal writing and painting in The Watermill studio overlooking the river or under the shade of the vine verandah to nourish your mind. And we’ll nourish your body with fresh, home-cooked, nutritionally balanced meals lovingly prepared by the Watermill cooks, with many of the ingredients freshly picked from The Watermill’s own gardens. There will be vegetarian options for every meal, of course. Private sessions with a local Shiatsu practitioner are also available, at cost, on request.
yoga Claire croppedYoga, meditation and massage have been a way of life for Claire Murphy for more than 25 years and she’s passionate about teaching them. Together we’ve created a unique seven-day programme. You can see the itinerary by clicking here. Claire has a wealth of teaching experience in both yoga and meditation, primarily focused on women’s health. Claire currently teaches classes for women through all stages of their life and has even run sessions for women in recovery from cancer. In addition, her approach is very much from a remedial perspective in which she sees yoga being available to everybody.

Itali 4 jpgIn addition to her yoga capabilities, Claire has studied meditation within the Tibetan Buddhist tradition for many years as well as being a qualified mindfulness for stress relief teacher. It’s this presence and focus that she brings to all her teachings and infuses all her sessions with mindful awareness. Claire’s style of teaching is very eclectic, borne out of studying and training in various traditions over the years across the UK and in many other areas of Europe and extensively in the USA. She brings a sense of humour and imagination to her teaching in order to make it accessible to everyone.

The sessions at The Watermill will be friendly and welcoming and no prior experience of yoga or meditation is necessary: all levels from beginner to intermediate will be catered for and we’ll also tailor our sessions to your particular needs. The classes are secular (non-denominational).

Claire Murphy head and shoulders 2Yoga portrait shape 39 -16 September Nourish — mind, body and soul 

with Claire Murphy One or two places left

To learn more about Claire and her retreat at The Watermill, please click here

Come and join us and nourish your mind, body and soul

Sound Healing Meditation with Claire at an atmospheric convent

The Watermill at Posara for painting, knitting, yoga, holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.
At Claire Murphy’s yoga and meditation retreat at The Watermill last year, our guests told us that their visit to the Convento del Carmine, was one of the highlights. Claire says: “We were very fortunate to have this beautiful venue to ourselves, to experience its stillness and utter beauty.”

And, of course, we will be returning to the convent this year for another private visit during Claire’s seven-day retreat, called Nourish — mind, body, and soul. There’s a link below for you to find out more details of this unique, joyful yoga and meditation retreat. Nine people have already signed up, so we have room for only two or three more.

Yoga Claire ConventWhen you arrive at the convent during the retreat, says Claire: “I shall take you through a gentle series of movements in the cloisters which are based on Tibetan Healing Exercises.

“Then you will be treated to a sound meditation, as the acoustics are wonderful there. During your stay at the Watermill, you will experience a variety of meditations, whether its mindful walking of a morning, guided practice during our yoga sessions, as well as the optional silent sitting of an evening.”The Watermill at Posara for painting, knitting, yoga, holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.Claire says: “Sound is a healing modality as it is based on the vibration created that is not only heard through our ears, but felt at a very subtle level by the cells within our body. I shall once again bring along my Tingshas (pictured above). These are used in many rituals within Tibetan Buddhism, as well as having a more recognised place in yoga and meditation classes. They are made of a sacred 12 metal alloy and are generally used to cleanse space before and after sessions.”

Claire will also be bringing a Tibetan singing bowl, made from consecrated 7 metal alloys that are created skilfully to produce at least five individual yet simultaneous tones. The bowls sounds are said to synchronise brain waves and encourage a therapeutic effect on the body. The seven alloys used and the principles attached to them are: Silver – Moon, time, joy, instinct; Gold – Sun, heart, spirit; Mercury – Mercury, intellect and speech; Tin – Jupiter, insight and wisdom; Lead – Saturn, conscience and discipline; Copper – Venus, love and art; Iron – Mars, action and sexuality. 

Claire says: “All you will need to do is sit (we are fortunate that the cloisters has a very low wall all round, just perfect for sitting on) and allow the sound to come to you. Even more fortunate, we shall be spending longer at the convent this year, and will enjoy a picnic lunch together, giving us longer to soak up the magical atmosphere that it offers.”

The Watermill at Posara for painting, knitting, yoga, holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.

Yoga retreat at The Watermill in Tuscany, yoga and meditation retreats

The sessions at The Watermill will be friendly and welcoming and no prior experience of yoga or meditation is necessary: all levels from beginner to intermediate will be catered for and we’ll also tailor our sessions to your particular needs.

Claire Murphy head and shoulders 2

Yoga portrait shape 39 -16 September Nourish — mind, body and soul 

with Claire Murphy Two or three places left

To learn more about Claire and her retreat at The Watermill, please click here

Come and join us and nourish your mind, body and soul.The Watermill at Posara for painting, knitting, yoga, holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.

 

 

Seeking that ‘ahh’ moment on Claire’s yoga retreat

yoga Claire croppedWe already have eight bookings on Claire Murphy’s wonderful yoga and meditation retreat, called Nourish — mind, body, soul, which will run from Saturday 9 September to Saturday 16 September, so we just have room for three or four more people. (There are links below to more details.)

Claire has been sending us a series of yoga and meditation techniques which you can try at home before joining us at The Watermill, but her latest note concerns putting yourself at ease. She says: “One of the many features of yoga with me is the number of props that are employed to convey a sense of support, comfort and above all else, ease. Last year, our guests at the Watermill were quite amazed at the bolsters, blankets, blocks provided, as well as physio balls and scarves that I brought with me too”.The Watermill at Posara for painting, knitting, yoga, cookery holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.Claire adds: “Your comfort during the retreat is of paramount importance to all of us, so when I ask if something feels comfortable and the response is, ‘it’s fine’, then that’s not ok. I’m not looking for fine I’m looking for that ‘ahh’ moment.

“Many of the practices that will be shared will be of a restorative nature, enabling your body and mind to feel supported, comfortable, leading to a feeling of deep nurturing and nourishment. The use of cushions and blankets encourages you to understand the internal cues your body gives you. The question we continually ask is, ‘how can this feel better?’ This is the role of a prop. It offers transformation. Making use of cushions or yoga blocks prevents over-extending in a yoga posture, which could lead to injury”.

Want to try it for yourself now? Have a blanket handy, folded in half and half again (depending on size and thickness) and pop it to one side.Claire says: “Begin by lying on the floor semi-supine – this is on your back, with your knees bent and your feet flat to the floor. Make sure your feet are parallel and arms are a little way away from the sides of the body. Take a few moments to ‘check in’ – this means closing your eyes and surveying your body and noticing areas that may instantly alert you to discomfort. Pay particular attention to the backs of the shoulders, lower back and behind the pelvis. 

“After a couple of minutes, make a decision as to where you believe it would benefit you to place a blanket beneath you in the areas mentioned above. Then lay down again, this time with the blanket beneath you, maybe even a slim cushion just under the base of the head.  Notice the difference?

“I’m looking forward to helping you get to grips with this and many more uses of props too – even a shoulder stand using a yoga bolster!”

Yoga retreat at The Watermill in Tuscany, yoga and meditation retreats

The sessions at The Watermill will be friendly and welcoming and no prior experience of yoga or meditation is necessary: all levels from beginner to intermediate will be catered for and we’ll also tailor our sessions to your particular needs.

Claire Murphy head and shoulders 2

Yoga portrait shape 39 -16 September Nourish — mind, body and soul 

with Claire Murphy Three or four places left

To learn more about Claire and her retreat at The Watermill, please click here

Come and join us and nourish your mind, body and soul.

Mindful Walking with Watermill yoga tutor Claire Murphy

Italy- Mindful Walking (004)Our delightful yoga and meditation tutor Claire Murphy is returning to the Watermill this September for a special seven-day retreat, called Nourish — mind, body, and soul. There’s a link below for you to find out more details of this unique, joyful yoga and meditation retreat. Eight people have already signed up, so we have room for only three or four more.

And to whet your appetite and get you into the right mode — mind. body and soul — Claire has prepared a series of relaxing yet invigorating exercises for the week, which you can enjoy NOW, even before you come (or even if you don’t!)

This one is Mindful walking.

Claire says: During your stay at the Watermill, it is anticipated that at least on a couple of mornings before breakfast we will engage in some mindful walking. The aim is not having a particular destination in mind; rather, it’s about bringing our attention to the experience and sensation of walking.

“Meditation is often assumed to be a practice that exists solely on a cushion or a chair; however we reap the benefits more when we take it through all our everyday activities. When we usually walk, we are taking our constant chattering mind along with us. It may be thinking about the train that was delayed; feeling miserable that it’s, yet again, raining; worrying about work / home / children; or even fantasising about the weekend ahead (even though it’s only Monday morning). This means we miss out on so much that can enrich our moment-by-moment joy.”

Claire says: “In mindful walking we notice the sensations of our feet as they make contact with the earth, or even the finer details of how one heel lifts up, there’s more pressure in the ball of the opposite foot. In noticing the sensation through the feet, we then move the awareness up to understand how our knees, hips and pelvis are all part of this amazing action of walking.

“As we walk, the focus comes into our breath, then can slowly be expanded to smell – what aromas do I notice? Visually – taking in all that you see, the colours and textures. Not forgetting sounds. Listen to all that is happening around you.  Rather than listening to the voice of your mind.

We may also use the mindful walking of a morning within the mindful writing we shall engage in too. Even more reason to join us before our delicious breakfast is served!”

Yoga retreat at The Watermill in Tuscany, yoga and meditation retreats

We’ll nourish your soul on rural walks and visits to ancient walled towns and hilltop villages, castles and14432947_10154449229557557_403500150842892678_nconvents. You’ll also savour the relaxed atmosphere of la bella vita italiana in local cafes, shops, restaurants and markets. We’ll venture a little journal writing and painting in The Watermill studio overlooking the river or under the shade of the vine verandah to nourish your mind. And we’ll nourish your body with fresh, home-cooked, nutritionally balanced meals lovingly prepared by the Watermill cooks, with many of the ingredients freshly picked from The Watermill’s own gardens. There will be vegetarian options for every meal, of course. Private sessions with a local Shiatsu practitioner are also available, at cost, on request.
yoga Claire croppedYoga, meditation and massage have been a way of life for Claire Murphy for more than 25 years and she’s passionate about teaching them. Together we’ve created a unique seven-day programme. You can see the itinerary by clicking here.

Claire has a wealth of teaching experience in both yoga and meditation, primarily focused on women’s health. Claire currently teaches classes for women through all stages of their life and has even run sessions for women in recovery from cancer. In addition, her approach is very much from a remedial perspective in which she sees yoga being available to everybody.

Itali 4 jpgIn addition to her yoga capabilities, Claire has studied meditation within the Tibetan Buddhist tradition for many years as well as being a qualified mindfulness for stress relief teacher. It’s this presence and focus that she brings to all her teachings and infuses all her sessions with mindful awareness. Claire’s style of teaching is very eclectic, borne out of studying and training in various traditions over the years across the UK and in many other areas of Europe and extensively in the USA. She brings a sense of humour and imagination to her teaching in order to make it accessible to everyone.

The sessions at The Watermill will be friendly and welcoming and no prior experience of yoga or meditation is necessary: all levels from beginner to intermediate will be catered for and we’ll also tailor our sessions to your particular needs. The classes are secular (non-denominational).

Claire Murphy head and shoulders 2Yoga portrait shape 39 -16 September Nourish — mind, body and soul 

with Claire Murphy Three or four places left

To learn more about Claire and her retreat at The Watermill, please click here

Come and join us and nourish your mind, body and soul.

 

 

The sun and moon of alternate nostril breath: another yoga tip from Claire

Italy- Alternate Nostril Breath (002)Our delightful yoga and meditation tutor Claire Murphy is returning to the Watermill this September for a special seven-day retreat, called Nourish — mind, body, and soul. There’s a link below for you to find out more details of this unique, joyful yoga and meditation retreat. Seven people have already signed up, so we have room for only four or five more.

And to whet your appetite and get you into the right mode — mind. body and soul — Claire has prepared a series of relaxing yet invigorating exercises for the week, which you can enjoy NOW, even before you come (or even if you don’t!)

This one is Alternate Nostril Breath.

“The sun (right nostril) and the moon (left nostril) divide time into day and night”  —Hatha Yoga Pradipika 4.17

Claire says: The foundation of yoga is the breath. It is also an important aspect as a means of support for meditation too. So, throughout your time on retreat at the Watermill, you will hear me mention the breath an awful lot. We often give it very little regard unless we have a heavy cold and therefore blocked sinuses, or we may have asthma or other respiratory conditions.

“Our whole system relies on the nourishment that is provided with each breath that we take; it boosts our energy; improves our ability to focus; can reduce anxiety and bring calmness, plus many other benefits.”

 Claire continues: “Alternate nostril breath helps us to align and balance the energies of the inner body. Most are unaware, until they are experiencing a heavy cold, that one nostril will be more dominant for a couple of hours and then the other. This cycle continues throughout the day, mostly unnoticed, that is until we are congested. (We all know that scenario: we can only breathe through the right side of our nose, and then suddenly we feel the left side clearing, only for the right side to then become bunged-up!) The science of right/left side nostril breathing and how it corresponds to the hemispheres of the brain is quite a lengthy subject, and one best saved for another day.”

Practically, however, says Claire, “You can check right now which channel in your body is more open. Sitting upright, hold the back of your hand beneath one nostril and breathe out, then move your hand so it is beneath the other nostril and do the same. Notice which side is stronger? When repeated a couple of hours later, you may find it has changed – it normally does every 1 ½ to 2 hours.

“Practising alternate nostril breath promotes the balancing of the energies within the body, the masculine and feminine, the hemispheres of the brain and helps to prepare us for meditation.”

Claire adds: “I look forward to seeing you on the cushion in Italy soon where we can explore this and so much more.”

Yoga retreat at The Watermill in Tuscany, yoga and meditation retreats

We’ll nourish your soul on rural walks and visits to ancient walled towns and hilltop villages, castles and14432947_10154449229557557_403500150842892678_nconvents. You’ll also savour the relaxed atmosphere of la bella vita italiana in local cafes, shops, restaurants and markets. We’ll venture a little journal writing and painting in The Watermill studio overlooking the river or under the shade of the vine verandah to nourish your mind. And we’ll nourish your body with fresh, home-cooked, nutritionally balanced meals lovingly prepared by the Watermill cooks, with many of the ingredients freshly picked from The Watermill’s own gardens. There will be vegetarian options for every meal, of course. Private sessions with a local Shiatsu practitioner are also available, at cost, on request.
yoga Claire croppedYoga, meditation and massage have been a way of life for Claire Murphy for more than 25 years and she’s passionate about teaching them. Together we’ve created a unique seven-day programme. You can see the itinerary by clicking here.

Claire has a wealth of teaching experience in both yoga and meditation, primarily focused on women’s health. Claire currently teaches classes for women through all stages of their life and has even run sessions for women in recovery from cancer. In addition, her approach is very much from a remedial perspective in which she sees yoga being available to everybody.

 

Itali 4 jpgIn addition to her yoga capabilities, Claire has studied meditation within the Tibetan Buddhist tradition for many years as well as being a qualified mindfulness for stress relief teacher. It’s this presence and focus that she brings to all her teachings and infuses all her sessions with mindful awareness. Claire’s style of teaching is very eclectic, borne out of studying and training in various traditions over the years across the UK and in many other areas of Europe and extensively in the USA. She brings a sense of humour and imagination to her teaching in order to make it accessible to everyone.

The sessions at The Watermill will be friendly and welcoming and no prior experience of yoga or meditation is necessary: all levels from beginner to intermediate will be catered for and we’ll also tailor our sessions to your particular needs. The classes are secular (non-denominational).

Claire Murphy head and shoulders 2Yoga portrait shape 39 -16 September Nourish — mind, body and soul 

with Claire Murphy Four or five places left

To learn more about Claire and her retreat at The Watermill, please click here

Come and join us and nourish your mind, body and soul.

Why the hands are important in yoga and meditation

The Watermill at Posara for painting, knitting, yoga, cookery holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.As you know, the Italians use their hands a lot in communication – indeed it has been said that they had to make Italian telephone boxes larger than those in the rest of Europe, otherwise people were unable to communicate properly by waving their arms and hands abou!

But did you know that hand gestures are an important part of yoga and meditation practice, too? I didn’t until our inspirational teacher Claire Murphy sent me another of her fascinating notes about some of the poses and practices she will be teaching on her yoga and meditation retreat here in September. The retreat is called Nourish – mind, body and soul, and there are details of how to find out more below.

Today Claire is telling us about mudras, gestures that are made with the hands – bringing the fingers into different positions that promote the stimulation of the five elements: fire, air, water, earth and sky. She says: “Our yoga postures, breathing and meditation practices promote balancing and normalising of the body/mind energy system and mudras encourage the same.”

Claire tells me: “We have a tremendous amount of energy in our hands and each finger represents one of the five elements: the thumb is fire (agni), the index finger is air (vayu), the middle finger is sky (akash), the ring finger is earth (prithvi) and the little finger is water (jal).” (The words in brackets are the Sanskrit terms for the elements)

Claire will particularly be teaching her students here about Pushan Mudra: “We bring the tips of the thumbs to the two middle fingers. The other two fingers (index and little fingers) are extended. 

“The mudra signifies accepting and receiving with one hand and letting go with the other. It is also said to be stimulating for the brain. Given that the mudra is dedicated to the sun god, it is suggested that it helps with the digestive system, which also corresponds to the element of fire (agni).”

Claire adds: “Unlike yoga postures and breathing practices, which are best understood by working with an experienced teacher, mudras are easy to learn and safe to practice solo.”

So, you can try this at home and prefect your technique during Claire’s week-long retreat at the Watermill this September.
Yoga retreat at The Watermill in Tuscany, yoga and meditation retreats

We’ll nourish your soul on rural walks and visits to ancient walled towns and hilltop villages, castles and14432947_10154449229557557_403500150842892678_nconvents. You’ll also savour the relaxed atmosphere of la bella vita italiana in local cafes, shops, restaurants and markets. We’ll venture a little journal writing and painting in The Watermill studio overlooking the river or under the shade of the vine verandah to nourish your mind. And we’ll nourish your body with fresh, home-cooked, nutritionally balanced meals lovingly prepared by the Watermill cooks, with many of the ingredients freshly picked from The Watermill’s own gardens. There will be vegetarian options for every meal, of course. Private sessions with a local Shiatsu practitioner are also available, at cost, on request.
yoga Claire croppedYoga, meditation and massage have been a way of life for Claire Murphy for more than 25 years and she’s passionate about teaching them.

Together we’ve created a unique seven-day programme. You can see the itinerary by clicking here.

Claire has a wealth of teaching experience in both yoga and meditation, primarily focused on women’s health. Claire currently teaches classes for women through all stages of their life and has even run sessions for women in recovery from cancer.
Her approach is very much from a remedial perspective in which she sees yoga being available to everybody. In addition to her yoga capabilities, Claire has studied Yoga portrait shape 3meditation within the Tibetan Buddhist tradition for many years as well as being a qualified mindfulness for stress relief teacher. It’s this presence and focus that she brings to all her teachings and infuses all her sessions with mindful awareness. Claire’s style of teaching is very eclectic, borne out of studying and training in various traditions over the years across the UK and in many other areas of Europe and extensively in the USA. She brings a sense of humour and imagination to her teaching in order to make it accessible to everyone.

The sessions at The Watermill will be friendly and welcoming and no prior experience of yoga or meditation is necessary: all levels from beginner to intermediate will be catered for and we’ll also tailor our sessions to your particular needs. The classes are secular (non-denominational).

Claire Murphy head and shoulders 2Yoga portrait shape 39 -16 September Nourish — mind, body and soul 

with Claire Murphy Four or five places left

To learn more about Claire and her retreat at The Watermill, please click here

Come and join us and nourish your mind, body and soul.