Yoga Retreats in Charentes, the Loire and Camargue

Photo: Le Moulin BrégeonI know it seems crazy that I am encouraging you to leave Paris in May -- the month when the city is at the threshold of shaking the dew off of Spring and bursting into Summer -- but I am. When it comes to recharging your yoga practice or spending some contemplative time away from the hustle and bustle of the city, there is no wrong time to go on retreat! And frankly, experiencing meditation and asana in a new setting is one of the most profound ways to connect what happens on your yoga mat with what unfolds in your life, and vice versa.

• Study with London-based Graham Burns at the newly refurbished retreat center, Les Passeroses located just south of Angoulême in the Charentes region (Butter! Slippers!) Enjoy a week of asana, meditation, walks, massage, lolling poolside and eating seasonal, homegrown cuisine. You’ll sleep in an updated French farmhouse, and practice in a light-filled former barn with expansive views of the grounds and lake. Graham has studied with many world-class teachers, and has nearly completed Rod Stryker’s ParaYoga Master Training. In addition, he is currently pursuing a PhD. on the Upanishads so be prepared for great yoga and fascinating discussions.

Sat 5 May, 2012-Sat 12 May, 2012

More details here.

Photo: Abbaye de Franquevaux

• Join Elise Le Goff and Paris-based Anne Vandewalle for a weekend of yoga, relaxation and nature in Camargue! Stay at the Ancienne Abbaye de Franquevaux, a restored 12th century Cistercian abbey that merges history with modern amenities: charming rooms, delicious meals, and a heated pool. This region of France is absolutely stunning: situated in the Rhône delta, it is comprised of lagoons and marshes which are home to more than 400 species of birds including Europe’s only flamingoes. Famous for the wild horses who’ve roamed its wetlands for centuries, and for the pilgrimage site of Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer, Camargue is the ideal background for rediscovering and liberating your yoga practice.

Fri 25 May, 2012-Mon 28 May, 2012

More details here.

Photo: Michael Chichi

• Health, wellness and gourmet living in the Loire Valley! Guided by Paris-based yoga teacher Amanda Dates and Dr. Jay Kumar, this 7-day retreat boasts daily yoga, meditation, talks on conscious awareness, as well as cooking and wine classes. When you’re not relaxing on the beautiful grounds of Le Moulin Brégeon, a gorgeously restored 19th century water mill, you’ll be led on architecture and brocante tours through the historic towns of the Loire, and visit local markets and vintners. The theme of the retreat is the Rasas, a Sanskrit term which means “essence of life.” There are 9 Rasas, and together they encompass all of the colors, tones and flavors of human experience. In this retreat, you are certain to savor those of sight, smell, sound, touch and taste. The photo above perfectly captures the spirit of this retreat!

Sun 27 May, 2012-Sat 2 June, 2012

More details here and here.