Program 2018-05-01T04:12:28+00:00

Welcoming Ceremony

Introducing Retreat Theme “Inner Reflection, Outer Connection”

Br.Shraddhamrita Chaitanya will speak about Amma and her ways – seeming to be still and yet performing momentous connection – and through his loving talk will introduce Amma to many whom have not met her before.

June will see a very special Welcoming Event to introduce our Retreat theme from the first moments of our time together. We come together from the first part of the weekend to connect as one and to consider, contemplate and harness heart-felt intentions to support your own Retreat experience.

yoga equipment in somers, australia

Welcome Dynamic & Gentle Asana

Strong: Johannes Mochayedi: A strengthening movement-based yoga practice to kick start a fantastic weekend of yoga ahead! With two classes held on the Friday night, this session will be more suited to those with yoga experience.

Gentle: Janaki Forrest: Yoga is a must after leaving our busy lives and the frenetic traffic behind.  The aim of the class will be to bring steadiness into the body and stillness to the mind. The breath will lead us into the postures, removing stuck energy so that by the end of the class we will feel revived and grounded, ready for the weekend’s explorations.

Pranayama: Bryan Rogers: Basic lying and simple sitting Pranayama – this practice starts and maintains the purifying and healing process of Pranayama.

Yogafest Schedule

Yogafest Retreat Somers offers 3 days of yoga, meditation, workshops, masterclasses, relaxation and time in nature for students of all levels and experience. Queen’s Birthday Long Weekend, 8-11 June 2018 download the June schedule here. 

Integrated Amrita Meditation (IAM) Technique

Br.Shraddhamrita Chaitanya. (Shraddhaji)

A meditation practice for modern times.

A simple combination of yoga, pranayama & meditation. A synthesis of traditional, time-tested methods suited for the modern times.

The IAM Integrated Amrita Meditation Technique® is a powerful way to reconnect with our real centre, our inner Self, and thereby experience true joy and peace in life. Born out of Amma’s Divine inspiration, the Technique, when practiced with dedication, is designed to bring about integration in our lives – an integration of body, mind, intellect and heart; an integration of our True Self with God.

Yoga Asana Mornings

Morning and afternoon yoga asana practices every day for students of all levels of experience, providing engaging, intelligent and genuine learning experiences. Yoga asana sessions are two hours and include movement, breath practices, focus and relaxation.

participant learning how to use sound therapy and breathing techniques

Beginners Asana

Sunday: Michelle Giordmaina:  Inspired by the Iyengar method, emphasising alignment and technical awareness, sequencing and steady holding of the postures.

Monday: Johannes Mochaeyadi: An open session that will include basic standing poses , forward bends, backbends and twists.

hatha yoga materials at Yogafest Retreat Somers

General Asana

Saturday: Phoebe Dougall: A challenging and strengthening asana practice covering preparatory salutations and standing postures moving into forward and back bends and considered inversions. Will be suitable with a minimum of 6 months yoga experience.

Sunday: Douglas Brook: A light flowing Vinyasa Yoga Class for students with some yoga experience through to intermediate students.

Monday: Eugenie Knox: As each asana unfolds naturally into the next the sense of deepening is experienced. Non competitive in approach, working within the boundaries of our own body is very illuminating as Self discovery also unfolds.

participant learning how to use sound therapy and breathing techniques

Experienced Asana

Saturday: Michelle Giordmaina: Asana class inspired by the Iyengar method, emphasising alignment and technical awareness, sequencing and steady holding of the postures.

Sunday: Phoebe Dougall: A minimally guided practice offered as a chance for students with experience to enjoy contemplation and deep mental focus through the asana. The challenge will come in having the efficiency to move into the asanas, support them and transition  with minimal effort, focused strength and avoiding distraction.

Monday: Douglas (Vishal) Brook: A strong Vinyasa practice covering more challenging poses – suitable for those with stamina – fine-tuning how to work in more complex poses.

photo of our yin yoga

Easy Moves

Saturday: Douglas (Vishal) Brook: Joints, tightness, stiffness and ageing can make yoga practice rather challenging. With Easy Moves we seek to find ways to softening difficult areas in our body and find new and possibly alternative ways to enter and exit a posture.  The session hopes to be both fun and corrective.

Sunday: Janaki Forrest: This class will focus on the movement of chi through the energy pathways.  It will be more like a moving meditation coming from the core,  often referred to as the ‘dan tien’, assisting in softening the body.

Monday: Phoebe Dougall: An uncomplicated session for any student, particularly people who are cultivating a slower, more even paced practice without too many physical demands on the body.

Yoga Asana Afternoons Saturday & Sunday

photo of equipment used for blindfold yoga


General: Headstand Workshop: Bryan Rogers: 4:00- 5:30 pm: a basic headstand workshop for beginners and intermediate practitioners. This would involve upper back preparation, headstand preparation.

General: Douglas (Vishal) Brook: 4:00-5:45 pm: A light flowing Vinyasa Yoga Class pitched at people who have some yoga experience through to intermediate students

All Levels: Chakra/Nidra: Eugenie Knox: 4:00- 5:30 pm:  the Nidra takes you to the reality of Life’s purpose as your consciousness absorbs the subtle yet powerful experience. Deep Relaxation

Experienced: Johannes Mochayedi: 3:00-5:00 pm: Awareness of alignment, observation of breath, deepening focus on holding and strengthening in the postures, standing, sitting and inversions.

photo of art therapy yoga at the australian yoga retreat


Experienced: Eugenie Knox: 3:00 – 5:00: practice postures that are considered difficult and not often in classes generally. Flexibility and strength are needed in equal quantity.

Beginners/General: Restorative and Yoga Nidra: Phoebe Dougall: 4:00-5:45: a quiet, contemplative practice using generous props to support the body in some of the classic asana seats

General: Michelle Giordmaina: 4:00-5:45: Inspired by the Iyengar method, emphasising alignment and technical awareness, sequencing and steady holding of the postures.

 Experienced: Headstand: Bryan Rogers: 4:00-5:45: Bandha and mudra session for people who can do uddiyana bandha and headstand. This involves some pranayama in the postures.

Meditation & Pranayama

photo of equipment used for blindfold yoga

Early Morning Meditation: Jayashree: 6:00-6:30 am: Guided, authentic meditations as a perfect way to start each morning.

Nadabrahama Meditation: Nirupa: 12:00-1:30 Sat & Sun: Through humming and hand movements conflicting parts of you start falling in tune and you bring harmony to your whole being

Kundalini Meditation: Nirupa: 4:00-5:30 pm Sat & Sun: Involves shaking, dancing, moving into silence and relaxation. It is a highly effective way to let go at the end of the day.

Pranayama: Bryan: Mornings 7:00 – 7:30 am and Afternoons 6:00 – 6:30 pm: Basic lying and simple sitting Pranayama – this practice starts and maintains the purifying and healing process of Pranayama

Saturday Workshops & Activities

We’ll come together throughout the retreat to explore our retreat theme, share in new experiences and to delve into deep conversation and inquiry.

photo of a yoga class at Yogafest Retreat Somers

Shiatsu: Johannes and Janaki: 11:30-1:30 pm: A Retreat favourite! Guided 45 minute therapeutic practice session done in partners. Learn how to give and receive non-confrontational acupressure along the meridian lines within the body for healing and release.

Roots of Yoga: Bryan: 12:30 – 1:30 pm: The roots of Yoga come from the dawn of consciousness, through the Vedas, particularly the Upanisads and on through Samkhya and later via Patanjali and his commentators. Bryan will discuss this complex topic in depth to enlighten new and interested students alike.

Intro to Tantric Yoga: Telford: 11:30 – 12:30 pm: A theory class aiming to introduce and explain the Tantric tradition and how it relates to a broader yogic practice. We will have a completely safe and open discussion about this somewhat mysterious aspect of spiritual transformation – expect engaging, rigorous discussion, not partner exercises.

hatha yoga materials at Yogafest Retreat Somers

Spiritual Talk

Br.Shraddhamrita Chaitanya (Shraddhaji)  Retreat Theme – “Inner Reflection Outer Connection” – and Q & A

Shraddhaji will be joining Yogafest for his sixth visit. Living as a monk for many years, his insight and clarity on any spiritual subject gives us a chance to witness the depths of the truth spoken by one who has journeyed beyond average daily life. He has lived under Amma’s guidance for over  20 years and now teaching and travelling around the world bringing Amma’s truth to all who gather at his satsangs.   We experience Amma’s Grace and love with Shraddhaji.

Sunday Workshops & Activities

photo of equipment used for our restorative yoga classes

Workshop: Exploring “Inner Reflection Outer Connection”: Eugenie Knox and Janaki Forrest: 11:30-1:30: Focussing on the Yogafest theme of “Inner Reflection Outer Connection”, this will be an engaging group-led session creating ideas through movement, voice, song and theatre, investigating the opposites and the unification of both.

Patanjali Yoga Darshana: Bryan Rogers:12:30-1:30: A discussion on Avidya (wrong thinking based on ignorance that we are the body and the mind) and how Yoga can support one to overcome it.
Non Duality Philosophy: Telford Scully: 11:30-12:30: Discussion group on Monistic Yogic philosophies – most notably Kashmiri Shaivism and Advaita Vedanta – of oneness. We will uncover the jewel of ‘witness consciousness’ and how the contemplation of ‘Who am I’ or ‘I am’ underpins all our spiritual endeavours.
participants on a nature and meditation walk in Australia

Nature Walk, Swimming & Contemplation

Come rain or shine, walk through and around the Somers property and beach. The Lord Somers Camp is surrounded by some of the most beautiful seaside nature with native bushland and wildlife on our doorstep. Experience silence, breath and nature as one.

Performance Night

photo of decorations in our yoga nidra class

Fun for all!  Bring your ideas to be as creative as you like! The joy of performance is ours for  the night.  You don’t have to be a professional, just someone who loves to show off.  Talent is hidden everywhere.  Bring it out and share it!
Song, dance, acting and comedy are all part of this evenings entertainment.  It comes together like magic over some spare time on Saturday.  It is amazing what comes out of the group.  You can sit and enjoy or you can get up and become the star you know you are!
photo from our chanting ceremony at Yogafest Retreat Somers

Sunday Evening Kirtan

Dance of Life Ensemble and Group Participation

Beautiful melodies and simple sacred chants with call and response.  Everyone can sing and join with others to create harmonious sounds and vibrations.  With the musical orchestra of harmonium, guitar, drum and flute the songs shower us all with sweetness and bliss.  A beautiful way to end the Sundays sessions.

our barista makes drinks in our onsite cafe

Onsite Cafe

We have our own onsite cafe open morning and afternoon, led by the barista extraordinaire Chris from Plug Nickel Collingwood. Not only is there the sensational quality coffee, hot chocolate and chai to purchase, you’ll also be able to grab a number of sweet/healthy homemade treats for a pick up in between sessions! Supported by Plug Nickel

“The café is fabulous – creates an informal opportunity for people to mingle!”

photo of happy participants at Yogafest Somers

Monday Closing Ceremony

Yogafest Retreat will close with a deeply meaningful and considered ceremony sealing in our time together over the weekend and considering our theme: “Inner Reflection Outer Connection”.  Coming together in ritual as a group, as one, acknowledging self and others, is a powerful way to cross over from being in this healing environment to home, responsibilities and daily life.

Yogafest participant enjoying morning meditation
yogis exploring how yoga affects their joints
photo of one of our yoga asana classes - spirit of yoga
yogis exploring how yoga affects their joints
participant learning how to use sound therapy and breathing techniques
photo of the ovarian temple classes at Yogafest Retreat Somers
participant learning how to use sound therapy and breathing techniques