The coronavirus pandemic has, of course, challenged everyone to think about how we can all move forward in such extraordinary times. Gayles Retreat centre is no exception.
Gayles Retreat centre is now limited to 11 people to comply with Government guidelines, thus allowing you the room to reflect, reconnect, feel nourished and restored in a relaxed and safe way. Please note that the venue is not able to provide yoga equipment at this time. Please bring your own mat, belt, blocks, blanket and a bolster if you have one.
Yoga Immersion Course, May 2021
Would you like to delve under the skin of your yoga practice and learn more about our amazing human body?
Do you want to expand your understanding of our myofascial connections and discover the truth about the strength and elasticity of our tissues?
Then join Catherine Annis and Gary Carter
for this year's Scaravelli inspired yoga immersion course.
Under the Skin - Fascia and Yoga
Scaravelli inspired yoga is unique and challenging – both to practice and to teach. Vanda’s approach to the body offers a fresh way of looking at the body and the postures, which will nourish and inspire you in your yoga journey.
Each year the Immersion course evolves, focusing on a different aspect of how we approach our yoga practice in response to requests from current and returning attendees. In 2021 we’ll take a deep dive to explore the amazing adaptability of our bodies, how our fascia affects our experience of our practice, enabling us to make complex and sophisticated movements. Join us as we travel:
Under the Skin – Exploring Fascia and Yoga
During the Immersion course we will:
∗ Explore our myofascial connections and biotensegrity and how they affect us in yoga
∗ Discover why we need the opposing forces of compression and tension and how they work together to create harmony
∗ Deepen our knowledge of anatomy and structural relationships
* Explore the interplay between effort and ease, and how creating a balance between them sustains healthy movements and bodies
∗ Learn how our tissues store energy and release it when we need a burst of explosive energy
∗ Develop a playful and exploratory approach to our yoga practice
∗ Develop fresh subtle approaches to adjusting / assisting your students
∗ Refresh and reinvigorate your own personal practice and teaching
The Importance of Personal Practice
As teachers, we can only teach from our own practice. Our personal practice nurtures our teaching, providing energy and inspiration which sustains us as we teach and support our students. The annual immersion course is an opportunity for us to refine and refresh our own approach, helping us unpick our own approach so that we can pass it on with skill and clarity. Each day on this immersion we’ll look at a different aspect or approach to practice, so that you leave with some fresh inspiration and answers to your specific questions.
This immersion course is designed specifically for yoga teachers, yoga teacher trainees and anyone with a serious interest in exploring their practice who would like to refine their practice and teaching. This Scaravelli Inspired Immersion Course is an opportunity to expand the ways we teach yoga as inspired by the work of Vanda Scaravelli, and evolves each year in response to the most current thinking in bodywork and movement practices and requests from current and returning attendees.
Immersion Course Outline
During this immersion we’ll explore how our practice emerges and evolves from
Under the Skin
We’ll delve under the skin to learn more about the amazing strength and elastic tensioning of our tissues and how these contribute to our ability to make complex and sophisticated movements. In practical sessions, we’ll explore the interplay between effort and ease, expansion and gathering, tension and compression and discover how balancing these opposing forces helps us move with lightness and ease, supporting a sense of elasticity and space in both our yoga and our everyday movements.
Our experience of yoga is deeply personal - as teachers, this is how we nourish ourselves and keep our teaching fresh and relevant.
During this Immersion, we’ll be exploring how our understanding of Fascia and Biotensegrity help us to achieve this balancing act in our yoga practice and our everyday movements.
There will be a Posture Clinic session, dedicated to answering specific questions on your favourite (or least favourite!) posture or any aspects of the practice you would like to explore in more depth.
We’ll be joined by Gary Carter once more, and he will share his profound understanding of the body, and his innovative approach to anatomy and the art and science of moving with ease.
He will present a full day of explorations and share with us his unique understanding including the latest discoveries from the world of fascia.
Fascia and Biotensegrity
Viewing the anatomy of the body from the perspective of fascia, rather than the more classical anatomy of bones and muscles, gives us a new understanding of the relationship between muscle and fascia.
We’ll be looking at the role fascia plays in our habitual movement patterns and how it combines with our anatomy to create structure, support and shape. This helps us deepen our understanding of our movement in all its forms.
The Immersion course is held at Gayles Retreat, one of my favourite venues, which is set in ten acres of land next to the Seven Sisters Country Park (an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty), The National Trust Crowlink Estate and Friston Forest. The surrounding countryside is extraordinarily beautiful, and there are excellent walking opportunities all around.
With its open fire, high ceiling and refreshing artworks, The Stables is a beautifully converted 1930s stable which provides a warm and practical area for eating, chatting and relaxing for small groups of up to six, or up to 10 if you are members of an existing support bubble. Immediately outside there is a large, decked, seated eating area which is wonderful for informal meals on warm sunny days.
The sleeping accommodation has been reconfigured to comply with social distancing regulations. The two dormitories have been thoughtfully updated to accommodate up to 4 people in each. Each dorm is now fitted with individual beds, sofas and tables providing space and freedom to move around safely. Duvets, pillows, linen and towels are provided.
In the main house, there are two further rooms - one single, and one twin, which is suitable for two friends (or a couple) in an existing support bubble. If you prefer, there are is also capacity to camp in the picturesque gardens.
If you choose to camp, you can either bring your own tent or use the tents provided by the venue. Campers will be provided with pillows and towels but will need to supply their own bedding and sleeping mats. Campers have their own dedicated bathroom and the much loved "loo with a view".
The environment and ambience at Gayles encourages an open, relaxed and intimate atmosphere that promotes learning and self-development. The venue owners share our belief that retreats should be fulfilling and inspiring and we all work together to do we can to support you in making the most of your time here so that everybody leaves feeling stimulated, nourished and refreshed.
Much of the food we eat is grown on site in the vegetable garden, and all of it is delicious. Derry is our cook for the week, and his recipes are in constant demand. Food is vegetarian and organic, and is a highlight of our stay at Gayles.
The Immersion course is fully catered and Derry's nourishing cooking will be served to you individually in your room. If the weather is good, there is the option of eating out in the open on the terrace.
Dietary Restrictions and Allergies
It is essential that you inform Catherine of any dietary requirements when you book so that she can liaise with the retreat venue and make the necessary arrangements.
If you are prone to a severe reaction to an allergen, for example, a very small amount on a kitchen knife or board, it is essential that you give us advance notice. Please note that we are unable to offer absolute guarantees for such allergic conditions.
If, for medical reasons, you follow a highly-restricted diet, we advise you to bring with you any essentials you might need for your well-being. There is a small fridge, which you may use to store small amounts of perishable items for the duration of your stay.
Gayles retreat centre is situated in an area of outstanding natural beauty on the South Downs, surrounded by stunning countryside and beautiful coastline.
The Seven Sisters Country Park is on the doorstep. It’s made up of 280 hectares of chalk cliffs, meandering river valley and open chalk grassland.
Friston Forest offers a number of waymarked routes for visitors to explore the beech woods. Its undulating terrain makes it popular with walkers who enjoy being outdoors. Quiet valleys within the forest offer sheltered habitats for many species of wildlife. Glimpses of rare butterflies, such as fritillaries, and elusive deer can reward patient observers.
Travelling east on A27 from Worthing/Brighton, follow signs to Newhaven/Lewes. At the roundabout after the rail crossing you have a choice between Lewes and Newhaven; take A26 to Newhaven / Seaford. Alternatively follow the coast road A259 from Brighton to Newhaven. In Newhaven, follow sign to the left for Seaford A259.
Carry on the A259 until you reach Seaford and a mini roundabout with the train station on your right hand side. Stay on the A259 going out of town and continue in the direction of Eastbourne. You will come upon a small bridge spanning a water course. Continue over the single lane bridge and you will then come upon a farm house and the Seven Sisters Cycle hire shop on your left where the road begins to start to climb up a small hill. Approx 2 miles beyond these buildings, towards the crest of the hill there is a bus stop on the right hand side of the road where you will find the entrance to the private road leading to Gayles.
You may find that the postcode does not pinpoint the location exactly. These are the GPS coordinates:
Latitude: 50.76144 or N 50 45.686 or N 50 45 41.2
Longitude: 0.18097 or E 0 10.858 or E 0 10 51.5
There is a direct train line from London, Gatwick, Brighton and Ashford International etc. to Eastbourne Station. From there we are a 15 minute bus ride away – there is a request stop at the entrance.
The telephone number for National Rail Enquiries is: 08457 484 950.
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I send occasional newsletters which include updates on my forthcoming retreats, new courses and workshops, together with occasional meditations or inspiration to help you develop your practice.