SPRING EQUINOX RETREAT
YOGA, BIOENERGETICS, NATURE & CEREMONY
We warmly invite you for a beautiful 4-day transformational retreat, celebrating the Spring Equinox and awakening of the earth through a deeper connection to Self, others and nature. Come join us as we dive into the principles of Yoga, Bioenergetics, Ceremony, sound and nature experiences amidst the breathtaking landscapes of Monte Velho Retreat Centre in South Portugal.
In this busy and fast paced world we live in, we have a tendency to live our lives on “auto pilot” for most of the time. We forget to recharge. We forget to stop and reflect about how we feel inside, or where we want to focus and invest our energy. Though this is somewhat unavoidable, sometimes we need to carve out space and create precious time for our Self - Self meaning the powerful influence we have, to change and construct our journey and the world around us.
This retreat is an opportunity to refocus and reconnect, to move towards being who you are, where you are. It is a chance to awaken the parts of you that tend to fall dormant or have never been explored. Tap into your essence and experience new, free and authentic ways of living life though connecting to others and your environment, from the inside out!
Why retreat during the Spring Equinox?
Equinoxes are natural times for reflection and celebration; traditionally, people would gather at these times to honour the earth and our place within the Wheel of the Year. Connecting to Mother Earth and the seasons in this way gives us time to pause and reflect, to gather energy and grow with the evolution and ascension of our being. The cosmos offers us one day each quarter to stop, turn within, and move forward in alignment with our own truth and guidance. This cyclical way of living is reemerging as an important counter balance to the societal disconnect from Gaia, the feminine or Earth, our provider and ultimate home.
Harnessing the power of creation is what spring is all about. The power you see in a sprouting seed is the same power that will sprout your own dreams and visions. When we come into harmony with the cycles of creation that the Earth shows us every year, we find a support, wisdom and structure that brings balance to many directions of our own life’s journey.
The most important reason to harness the power of creation is to overcome our own resistance to growth. If we turn resistance inside out we find that it is packed with energy, insight, and just the life lesson we need right now. How much energy do you have socked away in resistance? Let’s begin with harnessing that and move on from there!
What to Expect?
Our retreat program has been carefully designed to promote a 4 day journey of self-discovery, reflection, connection, relaxation and celebration. Your hosts Jayna and Sascha will guide you through each of the following practices:
The Yoga practices will range from slow, connected flows, incorporating somatic explorations and energy work to vinyasa practices of rhythmic sequencing to open and challenge the body with kindness.
All practices will orientate towards a principle of self development and spiritual growth, with a loving and reverent respect towards the emotional and physical body. An intention of support and nourishment will be present throughout, and classes will be flexibly adapted to fit individual needs, whether you are a beginner or experienced Yogi!
Conscious Movement Groups
A Conscious Movement Group encompasses somatic exercises, group dynamics and guided movement (dance!) with the aim of freeing your body and getting in touch with your emotions, creative expression and authentic being. Many of us go through our day to day restricted in our body expressions and disconnected from our physical Self, when this is the very core of our existence and the medium through which we act in the world. The aim of this practice is to:
*raise your body perception and consciousness.
*broaden your functional mobility, your movement repertoire and your ability to express.
*find access to your emotions, to move and express them and find balance
*to show you a way of being yourself and enjoy yourself in your body
Our emotional blocks tend to draw our energy and awareness away from our body and up into our mind. Being "uptight" (stuck in our head and physically tense) can therefore be effectively reversed by practicing "letting down" and fully reconnecting with our body. By letting down into our feet and legs and deep body sensations we release stress and make room for joy, vitality and pleasure to fill us again. Bioenergetic grounding is the basic place to begin, and involves promoting the flow of energy from head to feet through different standing poses and footwork.
Throughout our retreat we will have daily meditational practices in a variety of peaceful indoor and beautiful outdoor contexts. In each guided meditation we will concentrate our attention towards the elements and different sounds, objects, visualizations, the breath and movements in order to increase awareness of the present moment, reduce stress, promote relaxation and balance, and enhance personal and spiritual growth.
Ceremony & Ritual
Sound Baths are a passive experience where all you are required to do is simply lay down and allow the vibrations of sound to move through you. You will be led on a deep sound journey using Alchemic Crystal Bowls and Gongs which create deep theta sound waves. These frequencies will move through you physically, facilitating the drop into a lucid space where your subconscious has room to explore and your body and mind experience deep rest. Rhythmic percussion and vocal harmonie will accompany the sound baths for a true immersive sound experience.
Sacred Cacao Ceremony
Raw cacao is a powerful and potent medicine that can assist the ‘inner work’ and creative guidance we all need to stay balanced. It literally opens the blood vessels in the body allowing more blood flow through the heart, it is known to trigger bliss hormones, feelings of love. In our cacao ceremony, we will set the space together with intention, meditate by tuning into our heart centre before being guided into dream weaving through intention setting
Are powerful ways to share our truth in sacred space whilst being witnessed with with love and acceptance. Sharing circles are safe and non judgmental spaces. The power of speaking our truth in a small or large group can be immensely transformative. It is in these circles we see the reflections and similarities that bring us back into the oneness and interconnection of humanity. Sharing is never obligatory, witnessing can be an equally potent medicine.
Connecting with the elements, weather it’s the light from the stars, gravitational pull from the earth, immersion in water, or fresh breeze on the skin is an almost instant way for our body and mind to align with it’s natural place in this world. This retreat will be interspersed with nature experiences as well as free time for you to explore this connection on your own.
Who is this retreat for?
This retreat is ideal for anyone looking to reconnect with themselves in a relaxing and stimulating environment. No previous experience is required in any of the above described practices, as our facilitators will consciously guide you through each experience with all the support and instruction you need. Nonetheless, it is important to recognize that given the intensity of body-oriented and therapeutic work that will be done, this retreat is not suited for those suffering from acute physical or mental illness.
Aside from that, a basic level of health and mobility is preferable for the more dynamic practices such as vinyasa Yoga, so if you are injured, pregnant or recovering from a medical condition/illness please get in touch with Jayna or Sascha to see whether this retreat would be of service to you.
Meet the Team:
Sascha Anna Vriend
Sascha is a Certified Clinical Psychologist and passionate Body Psychotherapist. Her love for the expressive arts, sports, nature and people have all contributed to her holistic approach to human growth and development, where the link between mental and physical well-being is inextricable. Dutch, born and raised in beautiful Portugal, she lived abroad for years before returning to dedicated the past 4 years to clinical work and collaborative projects that incorporate dance, bioenergetics, dynamic group work and other forms of mind-body therapy.
“I love to watch people break free and come alive, to help them identify which parts of them faded or got lost somewhere along the way and are yearning to blossom back into being. It is my life’s joy to bare witness, support and hold space for those who dare and chose to do this for themselves.”
Jayna originally trained as a dancer before falling in love with Yoga in India in 2010. She is also a musician and singer. Her experience in dance, various trainings across the globe, music and community have given her classes a unique style with a focus on kindness being the most important thing we can cultivate personally and culturally.
Jayna started KIND Yoga 6 years ago, first as a freelance yoga teacher and KIND studio space in London. This expanded to include Jayna’s passion for healing and spiritual development. Her offerings now include transformational practices such as sound healing, women’s work, mentorship, breath work, sharing circles, meditation and preventative health and emotional support through essential oils.
Jayna has held multiple KIND retreats over the past 5 years, developing a beautiful community of men and women around her work. Her devotion to service combined with her skill at providing unique places for people to unfurl, heal, receive and open has touched hundreds of people and continues to do so.
“ I am a strong believer in the power of the mind, our bodies ability to heal, the importance of creativity, soul connection and conscious communication. This is at the heart of my KIND work, it has brought transformation within myself and I hope I can share some of that with you!”
Karma Yogis The retreat will be supported by two Karma Yogis who will assist with practical matters whilst also sharing their energy and knowledge.
Massage 1-1 bodywork and massage therapy will be available to book separately on retreat.
Length of Retreat: 5 days / 4 nights
Daily Program: Every day of the retreat will include a physical practice of Yoga, meditation and pranayama, combined with one - two different mind-body therapy sessions.
Other retreat activities such as sound healing, voice work and ceremony will be interwoven throughout the retreat
Accommodation: You will be staying in our spacious and charming Monte Velho Retreat Center. The rooms are cozy with simple decoration, all that is needed to let go and surrender to the space of being taken care of. The retreat centre is situated on the breathtaking ocean-front of the Portuguese Alentejo, where contemplation, long walks, and relaxed beach time are all possible during your free time. https://www.montevelhoecoretreats.com/
Meals: Three delicious vegan and vegetarian meals a day, cooked following ayurvedic and sustainable principles and using unprocessed, fresh and locally sourced food. Our chefs are prepared and happy to adapt meals to any intolerances or diet restrictions you may have given advanced warning.
Travel | Practical Information:
What airport do I fly into?
You will book your international ticket into and out of Faro (airport code: FAO).
Are airport transfers included?
Airport transfers are not included.
What are the accommodations like?
The holistic center is designed to offer all the comfort and space you need for your
practices. The yoga spaces are made with round wood architecture and heated cork floor,
inspired by a space in the Brazilian rainforest, surrounded by nature.
The rooms are cozy with simple decoration, all that is needed to let go and surrender to the
space of being taken care of.
How to arrive to Monte Velho?
Faro is the closest airport (1.15h away from the venue), and from there you have 3 options:
* Rent a car and drive yourself. Takes around 1h 20min drive
* Take a Transfer, around 100€ each way (not included on the retreat fee),
We will arrange two group transfers to Monte Velho on the arrival day and departure day that you are welcome to share - timings and price TBC
* Public transport (the cheapest option but takes a little longer): Take the bus to Faro
railway station and then the train to Lagos. From there, walk to the bus station and take a
bus to Vila do Bispo. From Vila do Bispo the only way to arrive is by Taxi (15€) We can
book it for you.
Where can I rent a Car?
Car rental is advised to be arranged in Faro Airport where there are several international
car rental companies. Otherwise, the closest car rental services around are in Lagos:
Is there a town at walking distance?
Carrapateira is the closest village; it has some restaurants and small shops and two
stunning beaches. The distance is 4kms from Monte Velho.
Is there a beach in a walking distance?
Carrapateira has 2 beaches: Amado and Bordeira, both located around 3,5 kms from the
venue. Is it possible to go to Amado walking (may take 1:15h), by car (6 min), by taxi or by
bike (can be rented in Carrapateira).
Is there a shop and restaurants in walking distance?
There is a shop in Carrapateria as well as restaurants and bars
What other activities can be organized around?
Dolphin watching with in Sagres,
Winery visit to Monte Casteleja
What about wifi at the location?
Only in the main hall and reception there is Wi-Fi