Yogafest Retreat Somers: Mornington Peninsula, Victoria | Melbourne Cup Weekend & Queen's Birthday Weekend
Program 2018-01-31T00:01:28+00:00

Yogafest Retreat Somers offers 3 days of yoga, meditation, workshops, masterclasses, relaxation and time in nature for students of all levels and experience. Full information on our next event – Queen’s Birthday Long Weekend, 8-11 June 2018 – will be updated here. To see what the program for our last retreat, Cup Weekend, November 2017: download the November schedule here. 

Guest International Teacher

hatha yoga materials at Yogafest Retreat Somers

Philosophical and Spiritual Talks

1.  Retreat Theme – Compassion in action and Q & A

2. Yoga Sutras and Meditations

Br. Shraddhamrita (Shraddhaji)

Br. Shraddhamrita will be joining Yogafest for his fifth visit. Living as a monk for many years, his insight and clarity on any subject gives us a chance to witness the depths of the truth spoken by one who has journeyed beyond average daily life. Amma has again blessed us with his presence and we experience Amma’s Grace and love with Shraddhaji.

Integrated Amrita Meditation (IAM) Technique


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

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.

yoga equipment in somers, australia

Welcome Dynamic & Gentle

Phoebe Dougall: Dynamic

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.

Elizabeth Bell: Gentle

Arrival yoga is a must after arriving through busy Friday traffic.  Let yourself feel refreshed with gentle moves and breathing.  The yoga mat revives your energies and your mind settles into a peaceful flow.  Everything is relaxed. The class will soothe your soul.
hatha yoga materials at Yogafest Retreat Somers

Hatha Yoga: General

Johannes Mochayedi

The Hatha Yoga Trilogy is designed to align and calm body ,mind and spirit, creating peace and harmony in preparation for higher meditation. The sessions will run as the early morning practice over the three mornings of the retreat. Each morning different asanas will be practiced with a particular focus.

  1. Day one will focus on soft salutes (Surya Namaskar), standing poses, seated posture and twists.
  2. Day to will introduce dynamic salutes (Surya Namaskar A + B), arm balances, back bends and seated forward-bends.
  3. Day 3 will focus on salutes to the moon (Chandra Namaskar), calming forward bends and Inversions.

Every session will conclude with deep relaxation and Pranayama as well as increasing periods of stillness and meditation. The trilogy is suitable for all levels of experience.

participant learning how to use sound therapy and breathing techniques

Beginners Trilogy.

Douglas (Vishal) Brook

What is the tailbone? Internal rotation? Is this safe for my back? Vishal has been teaching beginners courses for years and he has distilled some simple techniques to help beginners understand the key yoga foundation poses. Once you get the basics right your yoga practice can quickly develop. It does not matter how strong or flexible you are – what matters is working the body correctly in the poses. We will learn some of the important elements about how the body moves as we work through a series of poses. After the three sessions you will know what your tail bone is, you will know how to bend forward safely with tight hamstrings and how bending your back is really making it get longer.

participant learning how to use sound therapy and breathing techniques

Experienced Morning Asana

Michelle Giordmaina

The first/second & third in a trilogy of classes that will culminate in more challenging asana. An emphasis will be placed on appropriate sequencing, technique, postural alignment and moving in and out of postures whilst building up to and warming down from advanced asana in order to make them more accessible.

photo of our yin yoga

Yin and Myofascial release

Jo Stewart

We’ll use tennis balls to massage our muscles and connective tissues.  We’ll also explore the landscape of our bodies. Then we will use calming and passive Yin yoga postures to encourage free movement, health and hydration of these layers of connective tissues.
photo of equipment used for blindfold yoga

Blindfold Yoga

Eugenie Knox

Removing the sense of sight brings about an entirely different view of the body and its space/mass/balance.
Experiencing yoga from the inside out delivers positive feedback on multidimensional levels. The practice with the blindfold covering the eyes removes egocentric awareness.
It is  truly enlightening.

photo of equipment used for blindfold yoga

General Asana

Phoebe Dougall

This session is suitable for all levels. The style is classical yoga moves.  Take it at your own level, and work within your own capacities.  Many yoga styles condense into one style which is the perfect balance between Yin and Yang, negative and positive.  Opposites, left and right.  Back and front, in and out etc. Observe the weight changes, the deepening and centering, the transformative sensations of Hatha Yoga.

photo of a yoga class at Yogafest Retreat Somers

Forward Bends/Twists

Eugenie Knox

for Experienced practitioners.
In this session it is advantageous to be able to sit in half or full lotus. Some of the poses are intricate and demand full flexibility and strength.

photo of participants learning how yoga affects alignment

Intro: Tantric Yoga

Telford Scully

The Session will speak to the 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.

photo of art therapy yoga at the australian yoga retreat



Breath is the source of life and energy.  Explore the many variations of breath and breath awareness.
Ujjayi, Kapalabhati and Nadi Shodhana to mention just three practices.

photo of equipment used for our restorative yoga classes

Restorative Yoga

Phoebe Dougall

Calming, balancing session consisting of very well supported postures resting for longer periods of time. A very effective way to release tension and balance the nervous system, restoring energy.

photo of one of our yoga asana classes - spirit of yoga

Compassion in action

Eugenie Knox

This session is to be explored by the group.
Be prepared for this to be spontaneous, creative and fun.

What do we do when we see someone suffering? How can we help? Let us try some ideas in supporting, helping, adjusting and treating others with care and consideration.  The old adage “Treat others as you wish to be treated yourself.”


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

yogis exploring how yoga affects their joints

Yoga and Pilates

Jo Stewart

Yoga and Pilates compliment each other beautifully. Pilates is great for strengthening our core and precisely targeting specific muscle groups- yoga asana use the physicality of the body to explore all aspects of who we are. In this workshop we’ll do a bit of both!

yogis exploring how yoga affects their joints



Breath is the source of life and energy.  Explore the many variations of breath and breath awareness.
Ujjayi, Kapalabhati and nadi shodhana to mention just three practices.

participant learning how to use sound therapy and breathing techniques

Acro Yoga


Experience weightlessness, balance and aerial playfulness.  Find yourself doing weird and wonderful counter balancing with others body weights.  Liberating and exciting.  The feeling of exhilaration at challenging one’s sense of body-centred reality and finding another entirely shared centre of gravity with others help.
photo of the ovarian temple classes at Yogafest Retreat Somers

Ovarian Temple

Elizabeth Bell

Ovarian Temple invites women on a gentle, private and incredibly relaxing journey through the mysterious inner landscape of the womb. It is a practical mediation using visualisation and breath awareness to cultivates vitality, creativity and fosters positive self regard.

While Ovarian Temple makes no claims to heal or cure, over the years many women have reported longed for pregnancies, relief from menstrual pain and endometriosis, a balm to the symptoms of menopause, reconciliation with birth trauma and solace in grief. Creativity flourishes and good ideas find fruition. Quite simply, Ovarian Temple offers you the chance to connect an flourish.

participant learning how to use sound therapy and breathing techniques

Yoga for Digestive Ease.

Jo Stewart

The connection between relaxation and a happy digestive system is well known. This workshop uses pranayama, gentle asana, self massage and meditation to help ease you into the relaxation response to enhance mental and digestive contentment.


Enjoy a number of specifically tailored relaxation sessions over the 3-days to ensure time to restore and explore inner peace.

Yogafest participant enjoying morning meditation

Morning Meditation

Brahmachari Shraddhamrita Chaitanya (Shraddhaji) has years of monastic experience and knowledge.  Residing at the feet of Amma the Mother of Eternal Bliss, Shraddhaji has become a world teacher and is blessing us with his knowledge and love once again.
The early morning meditations are a very special offering, as he will lead us through the I Am Meditation that has been prescribed by Amma.  This meditation is a powerful tool to settle the mind, heal the body and bring transformation to one’s whole being.
photo of decorations in our yoga nidra class

Performance Night

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!
participants on a nature and meditation walk in Australia

Nature Walk, Swimming & Meditation

Come rain or shine we will 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.

attendants participate in our welcoming ceremony at the start of Yogafest Retreat Somers

Welcoming Ceremony

“Introducing Retreat Theme Peace – Compassion in Action”

Special welcoming event to explore our retreat theme from the first moments of our time together. A wonderful opportunity to connect as one and to consider, contemplate and harness heart-felt intentions for your own retreat experience.

photo from our chanting ceremony at Yogafest Retreat Somers


Dance Of Life Kirtan Ensemble & 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.

photo of happy participants at Yogafest Somers

Closing Circle

Each Yogafest Retreat will close with a meaningful and grounding practice to seal in the sacred work over the weekend.

The closing ceremony was magical! – Ornella

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!”