Welcoming Ceremony

Introducing Retreat Theme “AHIMSA, non-violence to oneself and all others”

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.

November 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 & Pranayama

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

Yogafest Schedule

Bi-Annual Yogafest Retreats in  Somers offer 3 days of yoga, meditation, workshops, masterclasses, relaxation and time in nature for students of all levels and experience. Queen’s Birthday Long Weekend in June 7-10, 2019  and Melbourne Cup Long Weekend in November 1-4, 2019 

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 and Afternoons

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

Beginners classes include introducing students to the techniques of alignment, balance and breath awareness.

Experience the challenging and fundamentals of standing and seated postures.  Remember to work within your own capacity.

If you are a ‘newbie’ to yoga,  or are returning after a break from practice, or seeking to go back to the basics for clarification in your practice, this class is perfect as a refresher.

hatha yoga materials at Yogafest Retreat Somers

General Asana

General Asana practice is challenging and strengthening 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.

Understand the postures, their depth, balance and alignment.  Develop the multi-dimensionality in your practice.

Emphasising technical awareness, sequencing and steady holding of the postures.

The class sequencing will cover a solid range of asana, suitable for practitioners with some experience.

participant learning how to use sound therapy and breathing techniques

Intermediate Asana

As we progress in our yoga knowledge, both physically and  metaphysically  we learn to be self controlled and independent. Via yoga understanding we become strong, flexible and self aware.

Intermediate level emphasises alignment and technical awareness, sequencing and steady holding of the postures. The sessions will cover the standing, seated, twisting, inverted postures.

Students with experience and enjoy contemplation and deep mental focus through the asanas. 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.

photo of our yin yoga

Easy Moves

The aim of this session is to encourage folk who consider regular Yoga to be too hard.  Joints, tightness, stiffness and ageing can make yoga practice rather challenging. With Easy Moves we seek to find ways to soften 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.

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.  The class will be more like a moving meditation.

Further Yogic Explorations

photo of equipment used for blindfold yoga

Two Headstand Workshops a basic headstand workshop for beginners and general practitioners. This would involve upper back preparation, headstand preparation.

Yoga Nidra is a safe and powerful guided descent into the subconscious mind, where your resolutions become a reality. In savasana the consciousness will travel around the physical body taking you into deep and silent heavenly peace.  During this session transformation takes place not only relaxing but very freeing.

Restorative/Nidra a quiet, contemplative practice using generous props to support the body in some of the classic asana seats, reaping the benefits of the body resting in these time-honoured postures, whilst deeply minimising impact and strain. The class is quiet and considered and provides lots of space and opportunity to explore within, including a yoga nidra guided relaxation.

Meditation & Pranayama

photo of art therapy yoga at the australian yoga retreat

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

Early Morning Meditation Guided, authentic meditations as a perfect way to start each morning.

Nadabrahama Meditation Through humming and hand movements conflicting parts of you start falling in tune and you bring harmony to your whole being

Kundalini Meditation Involves shaking, dancing, moving into silence and relaxation. It is a highly effective way to let go at the end of the day.

Nataraja Dance Meditation The dance of creation followed by stillness and peace

 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: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.

Gratitude Ritual: A little like a Tibetan rice mandala ritual…Using natural found materials each participant creates a piece of work, which is then offered and released.

The Antarayas: Obstacles to our Yoga practice.  A discussion on this complex topic in depth to enlighten new and interested students alike.

 Yoga Philosophy: 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.

Ahimsa Workshop: A guided happening built upon the group and the theme.  It’s an unknown until we open to the creative forces within.

Art Therapy: Drawing and colour express the feelings and thoughts during this practical session  Using art materials, you certainly do not have to be an artist.  The understanding is everyone is in fact an artist.  The teacher guides the group with discussion, suggestions, and understanding.

hatha yoga materials at Yogafest Retreat Somers

Spiritual Talk

Br.Shraddhamrita Chaitanya (Shraddhaji)  Retreat Theme – “Ahimsa, non-violence” – 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.

Outdoor Activities

photo of equipment used for blindfold yoga

Kite Flying on the beach: Learn the tricks to flying kites, enjoy the sea breeze, and feel free.

Astronomy: Armed with a telescope you can meet on the lawn in the evening and star gaze.

Jogging/Stretch: Get a sweat up, feel the sand under your feet, enjoy the bliss of nature in all her fullness.

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.

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:

“Ahimsa”.  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.

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!”