I’m delighted to announce that I’m leading another yoga retreat for writers next summer at Totleigh Barton, the Arvon retreat centre in Devon. The theme for the week is “Find your balance, on and off the page”. Booking is now open on the Arvon website, here.
The course runs Monday 19th – Saturday 24th August, 2019. It costs £648 (single room, all inclusive); there are grants available for those who can’t afford the full course fee, plus a special bursary fund for teachers.
Totleigh Barton is a gorgeous 16th century manor house, nestled in a sleepy hollow with no mobile phone signal. The walls of the house are about two feet thick, ancient and unshakeable, containing an atmosphere of deep, unhurried calm and safety.
It’s a magical place to fall silent and listen to your innermost thoughts. Apart from the optional yoga sessions, the whole day is yours to write, walk, think and rest. All the rooms are single-occupancy, and each one has a writing desk. There’s also a wonderful library, where you can sink into a sofa and take inspiration from a familiar book, or discover a new writer. You can be as sociable or reclusive as you like: the evening meal is a communal gathering, and a good chance to catch up with everyone. But there’s no enforced “sharing” or critique: some writers choose to read each other’s work, many don’t.
The studio is a converted barn with underfloor heating. When the weather’s hot, we sometimes spread our mats on the lawn in the shade of a monumental oak. Group sessions take place morning and late afternoon; all are optional and tailored to the needs of the group, from beginners to experienced yogis. I don’t teach yoga as a religion, but nor is it just an exercise in body conditioning. The emphasis is on practices that foster a sense of calm and stability, helping you tune in to internal wisdom and find your writing rhythm.
If you’re a writer, at any stage of your career, who simply craves a little space and time to move your project to the next stage, I can’t think of a better place to make that happen.