We 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”.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!”
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.
with Claire Murphy Three or four places left
To learn more about Claire and her retreat at The Watermill, please click here