We are very happy to of discovered these very special retreats whilst we were visiting the OM Yoga Show, and met with Graham, the founder of River Flow Yoga Retreats. It’s wonderful when you meet someone who is so passionate about what they do and who puts their heart and soul into it.
River Flow Yoga Retreats are perfect for those of you looking for a relaxing weekend away to deepen your yoga practice and recharge your batteries in the most beautiful surroundings.
Each month the retreat focuses on different themes, taking seasonal foods, the wonders offered by the night sky, lunar events, seasonal holidays and the impact of the shifting seasons of Mother Nature herself as inspiration for the teachings and activities.
The food is home cooked with love and locally sourced where possible, vegan and vegetarian feasts prepared by Graham and his partner Matthew. Often its Gujarati recipes from Graham’s family cookbook as well as tried and tested dishes offered at their legendary supper club ‘the last supper’ held on the last Friday of the month at the local chapel.
Walks in nature around the area are simply stunning at any time of the year, ”even our grey skies hold beauty and wonder” says Graham who is a firm believer there is no such thing as bad weather…. just bad clothes, and getting wet is an excuse to wrap yourself up in big fluffy towels and enjoy getting dry with a cuppa and maybe a slice of cake!
We are really excited about their upcoming retreat in January, which is all about intention setting and planning for a harmonious and satisfying 2019. Journaling and rituals will form part of the weekends yoga teachings as well as food to reflect new beginnings and a kick start to your year.
Then in February the focus is all about love (of course!) but not the romantic love of Hollywood but a deep and universal love of the self and others. Traditions of Bakhti yoga will influence this weekend where your voices will be accompanied by waterfalls and bird song in chants of love and joy.
Other themes include their signature ‘Flow like a River’ where the heart is lifted by canoeing down the tranquil and peaceful river on our doorstep. Expect Vipasana walks in the mountains, picnics, willow weaving workshops, moonlit rituals and fireside gatherings.
Graham himself has been practicing yoga for over 20 years – having found an exceptional teacher in his early 20’s he did a 500 hour Yoga Teacher Training with the British Wheel in 2008. He recently graduated with an MSc from the Groningen University in the Netherlands in Communication and Deafblindness.
His thesis focused on using yoga techniques and mindfulness with social care staff to create opportunities for better tactile communications with people who are deafblind. He has since presented workshops and talks at international conferences on yoga and the senses and has been a specialist advisor for other teachers and practitioners with the BWY and the Special Yoga Foundation in London.
The venue for River Flow Yoga Retreats is a stunning Gothic Chapel located one minute walk from the tranquil flow of the river wye and situated within a valley between beautiful mountain walks.
The Chapel itself is also a contemporary art gallery hosting exhibitions and many of the bedrooms are designed and decorated by artists in residence. There’s even a mural with a treasure hunt game to play in your free time!
The Chapel was built in 1866 and is situated in a really quiet village green with only the sounds of nature to assist you to rise in the mornings. There are three resident dogs at the chapel who are also exceptional yoga instructors and inspirations for a life at one with nature and living in the moment.
What shines through is the hands on hospitality that Graham and Matthew offer that starts with cooking, baking and prepping the home for their new group of visitors. They open their home with love and genuine passion for sharing their surroundings with people new to the area.
The feedback has been exceptional – after the retreat guests can expect to feel energised, nurtured, peaceful and often go back to their homes having achieved some kind of personal development. Graham says ”there is really something magical about what we offer which has a profound impact and causes visitors to keep coming back every year.”
You will come as visitors and leave as friends. Graham’s warmth of spirit and love of life is infectious – one of their favourite testimonials is ‘every time I think of my time on retreat at River Flow Yoga – my face spontaneously responds with and ear to ear grin’.
Upcoming Dates at River Flow Yoga Retreats
Setting Intentions Jan 4th -6th 2019
Love and Acceptance Feb 15th -17th 2019
Let in the Light March 29th-31st 2019
Flow Like a River April 26th -28th, June 28th-30th and August 30th-Sept 31st 2019
Mindfulness in Natural Forms May 17th -19th and July 26th-28th 2019
Recharge with Nature September 20th -22nd 2019
Autumnal Offerings October 25th -27th 2019
Fireside Gatherings November 22nd -24th 2019
Tel: 01497 – 842915