Natural movement and stillness - with Jess Stein
Natural Movement and Stillness
This retreat follows the usual Barn schedule with extra time for movement practices such as yoga, qi gong, walking meditation. Through these practices we will explore how a mindfulness practice which emphasises both movement and stillness can awaken our creative potential to engage with ourselves, each other and the world.
During this midsummer retreat we will take these practices off the cushion and out into nature (as much as the weather allows). We will take advantage of the Barn’s beautiful setting and the long midsummer days to explore how practicing movement and meditation in nature can enrich our practice and lead us into a greater awareness of our human place in the world.
There will be a variety of creative movement practices offered. Traditional practices such as yoga will be offered in a way which emphasises fluidity and awareness over achievement of particular postures. All activities will be accessible and adaptable to any body type and level of experience and there will always be an invitation to participate in a way that is nourishing to your own body and mind. The only prerequisite is a curiosity for how movement and mindfulness work together.
This themed retreat has a similar schedule to our standard six night retreat.
The weekly schedule provides opportunities for both individual reflection and group meditation.
It is important that you are willing to participate in working on the land as part of your mindfulness practice (we can easily find suitable tasks for people with health difficulties) and that you can commit to all the scheduled activities during the week. This includes three 30-40 minute meditation sittings each day.
Note that we hold silence from 9pm to 9am each day, and all day Wednesday.
General retreat schedule
Sunday: Arrive between 2pm and 4pm
4.30pm - Welcome talk, introductions and tour
5.30pm - Guided meditation
6.30pm - Light evening meal. Then settling in.
9.00pm - Silence starts
Monday to Friday:
|6.20am – Wake up||1.00pm – Lunch|
|6.50am – Meditation||2.00pm – Personal practice time|
|7.30am – Household tasks||Optional afternoon activities include yoga, therapies (shiatsu, etc), reading, walking|
|8.00am – Breakfast||5.00pm – Teaching session lead by visiting teachers|
|9.00am – Silence ends with house meeting (except Wednesday)||6.00pm – Supper prepared individually or in groups|
|10.00am – Mindful gardening||8.20pm – Meditation (guided Tuesday & Friday)|
|12.20pm – Meditation (guided on Monday and Tuesday)||9.00pm – Silence until 9.00am the next day|
Saturday: As above until 8.00am - silence ends at breakfast.
Then clear rooms and depart between 9.00am and 12.00noon
Cost: £285 plus dana*
*Dana is the Pali word for generousity or donation. The teachers are receiving only a small payment for teaching at The Barn and are generously giving their energy and understanding to us all. Please consider giving a donation to teachers for themed retreats.
Limited bursaries are available for those experiencing financial hardship. Please contact the Barn team for more details at least 4 weeks in advance if you wish to apply - [email protected], 01803 732661.
Jess completed a two year teacher training course with Dru Yoga in 2010. Since then she has been privileged to work closely with Scaravelli-inspired teacher Christine Borg and since 2012 this has been her major yoga influence. This approach is gentle yet strong, working with the natural alignment and rhythms of the body to deepen into the physical practice of yoga.
Jess’ teaching style is playful and poetic. She particularly loves to practice outside where yoga can take inspiration from nature and the cycles of the seasons. Her yoga practice is inspired by study in Qi Gong and conscious dance practices such as Five Rhythms. She also leads group pilgrimages which combine awareness and movement practices with connection to nature and sacred spaces.
Jess started facilitating meditation groups and retreats with Wake Up UK, based on the work of Zen monk Thich Nhat Hanh. Later she spent a year living and working at the Barn Retreat at Sharpham and has been facilitating retreats at Sharpham House and other venues since 2016. Alongside this she works as a palliative care nurse, supporting people as they face the end of life.