What’s On: Melbourne Cup Weekend – 3-6 November 2017
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 November retreat will be uplaoded soon. See below for what was offered last June to get a feel for the event and download the November schedule here.
Guest International Teachers
Philosophical and Spiritual Talk
Retreat Theme – Peace: Together We Make A Difference Plus Q & A
Br. Shraddhamrita (Shraddhadji)
Br. Shraddhamrita will be joining Yogafest for his fourth 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 Shraddhadji joining us to open to our retreat with this very special talk.
Amrita Yoga is a school of yoga directly formed from Amma’s sankalpa (a divine intention) prompted by unconditional love and an attitude of service to the world. Amrita Yoga offers a holistic approach, focused on awareness with heart-centred intention. The foremost aim of Amrita Yoga is to transcend from a physical asana practice into yoga’s original meaning and purpose, including to enhance and deepen one’s awareness and to foster not only physical, but also mental and spiritual evolution as well. This is an open level class.
Hatha Yoga Demonstration
And Discussion on Shat Karmas
Dr Rakesh Pandey
Joining this Yogafest from India is the highly respected Dr Pandey who will deliver a specific demonstration and workshop on Hatha Yoga from a deeply traditional and authentic lineage. Dr Pandey will also include a discussion on the Shat Karmas which are a series of cleansing rituals that have been part of the Hatha Yoga tradition for over a thousand years. These are highly specialised and incredibly challenging practices and are part of teachings which are reserved for only the most advanced yoga student. This will be a very unique and fascinating opportunity to experience techniques and practices that have been kept separate from the western approach to yoga.
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.
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.
- Day one will focus on soft salutes (Surya Namaskar), standing poses, seated posture and twists.
- Day to will introduce dynamic salutes (Surya Namaskar A + B), arm balances, back bends and seated forward-bends.
- 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.
Spirit of Yoga
As asanas purify and strengthen the physical body, breath purifies and strengthens our subtle body, meditation and mind control purifies and strengthens our metaphysical body. With this awareness we enter into the Spirit of Yoga, rising within as the rising sun brings the dawning of light.
Vinyasa Yoga: Open to the Space Between
A dynamically flowing practice of breath and asana to invigorate the body’s energy, and awaken the experience of peace that exists eternally beneath the activity of the mind. Focusing on intelligent body alignment and exploring the doorways to peace that hover between the breaths, we drink deeply, and emerge renewed.
Rethink Advanced Yoga
Ready to connect more deeply with your practice? Advancing a yoga practice does not require flashy poses and bulging muscles. It requires commitment to yourself and your practice. Learn how to reaffirm this with every breath and how to reframe a practice to invite new perspectives, allowing for an exploration of yoga. Let’s awaken your voice and the purpose of bringing yoga into your life.
Hug Your Joints; Free Your Spine
We’ll ease our way through a thorough yoga practice with awareness of our joints and what they do for us. With gratitude we’ll acknowledge their importance in supporting our trusty spine.
Cultivate Energy, Harness Awareness
Asana should be performed with minimal effort, minimal imposition and strain. We want to cultivate a practice that teaches us to move efficiently, safely and to touch upon a lightness and gentleness – no matter what posture. A dynamic movement session which will explore techniques to harness awareness of movement patterns, breath and cultivating energy rather than expending it.
Find steadiness in your postures and lightness in your body, heart and mind as we move through a slow vinyasa redolent with space, steadiness and playfulness. Bask in the glow of your secret smile and find strength and lightness. And all to music to make your heart sing. This class is suitable for all levels.
The five senses are how we experience the physical world with hearing, seeing, smelling, tasting and touching. To remove the sense of sight using a blindfold immediately changes our perception of space and our body. Performing the physical movements of the asanas exposes the imbalance of left and right sides as well as fine tuning alignment and breath, internalisation and deep understanding. A positive experience.
Yoga: the Other Side of Alignment
We will look at the implications of alignment in our yoga poses from an energetic perspective. In particular we will explore the link between the therapeutic aspect of alignment and an integrated practice.
Peace: Together We Make a Difference
Coming together on the yoga mat in the same spirit brings a great sense of togetherness and peaceful vibrations. Yoga means unity. We will study our similarities not our differences. Everyone laughs and cries and in this session we will explore our emotions and our deep aspirations. Expect to experience the unexpected. This class promises to be entertaining and profound at the same time. Aum Lokah Samastah Sukino Bhavantu.
Gentle Welcome Yoga
Be immersed in the rhythm of your own breath in union with the gentle healing shapes you create with your own body. This session utilises sound therapy, breath practices, gentle flowing movements and some longer supported holds to lull your nervous system and energy body back into your natural centre of peace and power.
AcroYoga Therapeutics is a bodywork practice which offers wonderful benefits from being a weightless, inverted and restorative treatment session. Working with the support of a partner, the “flying” yogi ,or receiver, is able to relax the body and mind to reduce stress and welcome greater body awareness, extend the spine naturally and loosen the body from unconscious tight holding patterns and restrictions. Throughout the session receivers will enjoy the benefit of removing physical blockages so energy can flow more effortlessly and emotions can be processed.
Relaxation & Meditation
Enjoy a number of specifically tailored relaxation sessions over the 3-days to ensure time to restore and explore inner peace.
Guided morning meditation held at the break of dawn, with the peaceful sound of breaking waves in the distance – a beautiful, quiet and grounded way to start your day with connection and clarity.
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.
Phoebe Dougall and Rebecca Horne
Restorative practice gives us time to settle into ourselves and our true nature. Using props to support the body, a number of supine, reclined and gentle inversions will be explored to invite a quiet, contemplative time to digest, unwind, release, surrender, connect and genuinely find peace. Open to all people, and particularly beneficial if requiring time to heal physically or emotionally.
Yoga Nidra – Chakra Bath
Lie down, relax and be guided through the deepest relaxation for body, mind and spirt. The practice will journey you through each of the seven main energy centres of the body, awakening and connecting each one in turn. Ultimately you connect to the infinite, your true nature, and align to your own true heart’s desire.
“I loved the variation of classes and workshops. So many fun activities! My favourite moment was yoga nidra when I felt like I was floating!” – Daniella
Nature Walk & 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.
Group Activites & Discussions
We’ll come together throughout the retreat to explore our retreat theme, share in new experiences and to delve into deep conversation and inquiry.
“Introducing Retreat Theme Peace – Together We Make A Difference”
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.
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.
Shiatsu Partner Workshop
A retreat favourite, join experienced Shiatsu practitioner Johannes as he guides partners through a Shiatsu healing treatment – a beautiful gift to give to another, and to receive. The Shiatsu workshop will teach a basic understanding of Japanese acupressure massage with a guided 50-minute partner treatment focussing on the back of body, shoulders and neck.
Creative expression and application can be insightful ways to explore a deeper understanding or experience that could be hard to express in words. Rebecca is a beautifully qualified Art Therapist and has been running these much-loved workshops at Yogafest over the years as a complement to the exploration of yoga and time on retreat. No creative talent is required nor previous experience.
Dance Of Life Kirtan Ensemble
Beautiful night of devotional chanting which is a retreat favourite. This singing is far from the importance of toned voices or musical talent – it’s to open your heart and feel that together we can make a difference … and have fun!
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
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!”