Time to Spring for a retreat!

If you’re anything like me, you’re beginning to grow tired of winter’s seemingly endless, flat gray light. All during the cold months, I repeat a phrase of Camus’s like a mantra, hoping it will have a talismanic effect on my mood, lifting it above the clouds and into the sun’s bright warmth. “Au milieu de l’hiver, j’ai découvert en moi un invincible été.” (“In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.”) I have found that when it’s frigid outside, the fastest way to feel this inviolable glow emanating from within is to wrap my hands around a steaming cup of chocolat chaud and let the heat and smell travel from my fingertips to my feet. I call it the yoga of hot chocolate.

If chocolate is not really your speed, and you’d prefer to fast-forward into Spring, how about traveling to a retreat in a different climate?

Anne Vandewalle (Paris) and Neesha Zollinger (Jackson, Wyoming) are hosting a retreat in Normandie at The Mill Retreat Center just west of Amiens. Anne and Neesha are excited to join together for a weekend in nature that will revitalize you, boost your yoga practice and awaken your Springtime energy. The top photo is of the retreat center which is located on 30 acres dotted with wetlands, over a mile of riverbanks, and a beautiful lake.

Fri 20 April-Sun 22 April, 2012

Contact Anne for more information at yogaplanete@yahoo.fr

• Renan de Germain of Espace Nataraja is leading three retreats this year, the first of which will take place in Aix-en-Provence. As the retreat is limited to 12 students, this is a really nice occasion to learn in a small group setting and receive personalized instruction in pranayama and dynamic asana (Ashtanga primary series, vinyasa.) Afternoon sessions will investigate Ashtanga’s second series, backbending, balancing, and more advanced poses, as well as include advanced pranayama techniques and meditations on the Chakras. Classes will take place at Yoga Evolution, and accommodations must be made separately.

More details and cost of the retreat are available here and here.

Mon 23 April-Sat 28 April, 2012

• If you’ve been practicing Iyengar for a year and are searching for an opportunity to go deeper, Centre Anjaliom’s Julien Cailleux is leading a 4-day retreat near Valence in the Ardèche region (picture above.) Each day you’ll strengthen your asana practice, and learn more about pranayama. This retreat is all-inclusive (yoga, accommodations, meals) and quite reasonable if you’re counting your euros.

Reservations can be made here or here.

Thur 17 May-Sun 20 May, 2012