When was the last time you took time out to simply be?
The frantic pace of our lives demands us to be constantly busy doing something. Distracted and frazzled, we forget how to simply be.
Do you ever feel out of sync with your body and your sense of who you are?
This retreat is a rare chance to spend four days becoming deeply connected and in tune with your body, your true voice and your inner purpose.
We use mindfulness, singing bowl meditations, Yin Yoga and writing as intentional practices that cultivate stillness and provide emotional, mental and physical release.
Do you yearn to integrate more stillness and a sense of inner peace into your daily life?
In this retreat you’ll learn simple and effective mindfulness practices that will help you to feel anchored within yourself and in the present moment during your busy, demanding day-to-day life or when life feels overwhelming and a struggle.
You will learn how to use writing as therapeutic practice that can make you become focused, inspired and open to your inner wisdom.
Do you crave nourishing yourself in nature?
The small boutique resort that will be your home for four days is immersed in lush nature and surrounded by tranquil waters. It is an ideal place to relax deeply, without thinking about the next thing on your to-do list or reaching for your phone.
Mindfulness is being in touch with your own deepest human nature and letting if ‘flow’ out of you unimpeded.
Following the Vietnamese Buddhist Zen monk Thich Nhat Hanh, in this retreat we’ll practice mindfulness both on and off the meditation cushion.
Mindfulness is the practice of resting in engaged awareness. Being present to whatever is, without judgement, expectation or reactivity, deeply nourishes mind, body and soul.
The practices used are simple yet powerful tools that will help you to calm the mental chatter and to feel grounded inside yourself, using the breath as an anchor, whenever life feels hard and overwhelming.
Release mental, physical and emotional tension with Yin Yoga
We combine the quiet, contemplative practice of Yin Yoga with gentle early morning Hatha Yoga. Yin Yoga is as much a physical practice of releasing tight muscles, softening and lubricating the joints and the fascia, as it is a contemplative practice in stillness and mindful awareness.
Yin Yoga challenges us to find stillness as sit with our physical edge and to observe whatever arises without judging. Observing your reactions when tight hips are speaking to you, trains the mind to become focused and non-reactive.
Feel in tune with Singing Bowl Meditations
Singing bowl balancing is one of the most effective ways to reach a state of deep relaxation quickly.
Spending too much time in ‘doing’ mode, forgetting to simply ‘be’, makes us feel frazzled, disconnected from ourselves and out of tune. Singing bowls harmonise the body’s frequencies and the hemispheres of the brain, making you feel back in sync with yourself.
Enjoy the deeply calming vibrations of the Himalayan singing bowls during Yin Yoga, mediation & mindful journaling sessions, group sound baths and a complimentary one-on-one sound massage.
Discover the therapeutic benefits of writing
No writing experience is necessary for this retreat. Using Natalie Goldberg’s approach of writing as practice, we focus on the process of free writing without attention to spelling or editing. We are not aiming to produce something (although you might feel inspired to write a story or a poem), but to listen deep inside.
Writing feeds the soul, provides release and weaves new meaning into our lives. By writing things down, we give voice to our emotions, we untangle what is messy and painful, we name our fears, hopes and desires and we release long-held stories and limiting beliefs.
Imagine a deeply effective self-care practice that is always available to you!
The only journey is the one within.
― Rainer Maria Rilke
The present moment is filled with joy and happiness. If you are attentive, you will see it.
– Thich Nhat Hanh
The retreat is held at An Villa Boutique Resort. Ideally located half way between Cua Dai beach and the charming World Heritage listed Old Town of Hoi An.
Situated right on the river, this small boutique resort is a tranquil oasis amid palm trees and tropical gardens in a peaceful authentic Vietnamese neighborhood.
There are six unique living spaces – ranging from two-person studios to three-bedroom family villas – designed by a French expat architect and furnished with an eye for artistic detail.
Each living space comes with a private garden or terrace and a well-equipped kitchen, though you’ll hardly be cooking at home during this retreat.
There are plenty of quiet spaces to retreat in contemplative stillness and to connect with your creative flow.
“If you are thinking of a writing retreat, I wholeheartedly recommend Kerstin’s retreats, for seeing with fresh eyes. You will love the self-care, stimulation, reflection and perspective it provides. The writing experience on the retreat prompted us to hone in on our unique voice. Writing sessions focused on a theme such as beginner’s mind, writing for the senses, storytelling, memoir and crafting a personal creative manifesto.
Kerstin was adept at crafting a gentle writing curriculum experience that opened us up to our voice and skill. It was so valuable for me to work with themes, prompts and exercises to dust off and access my voice.
An individual hour-long sound bowl meditation with Nigel was included and involved the placing of sound bowls around us and on our body. It was the deepest of relaxation experiences. That night I slept like I hadn’t slept for a long time.
Kerstin arranged a well-balanced itinerary and journey through the week. The yoga and writing complemented each other perfectly as we attended to both practices.”
“This was an outstanding, deepening and inspiring experience. Kerstin clearly poured her heart and soul into providing the most spacious, accepting and safe environment for writing together. There was a great balance of prompts, discussion and teaching, writing, reading and sharing.
As the week progressed, we all went deeper and deeper into our creative expression. I particularly liked that there were a variety of approaches to opening up our writing: visual, verbal, drawing.
The yoga, meditation, sound baths and excursions were all wonderful. Kerstin attended to every aspect of being in a foreign country. The individual consultations were extremely helpful, motivating and inspiring and as a result, I am leaving with a project that I knew I needed to do but was avoiding.”
Heidi, craniosacral therapist, Woodstock, NY
“The short length of the retreat worked great with my travel schedule and my budget, but before arriving I wondered how useful a 4-day retreat could be. Very useful apparently because I feel it really helped me make some progress with my yoga and meditation. I also really appreciated the mindfulness focus.”
Melanie, lawyer, West Virginia
“I wanted to thank Kerstin for a very enjoyable and renewing yoga/ meditation/ writing retreat in beautiful Hoi An. It really made my holiday in Vietnam! The 4-day retreat was laced with peaceful meditative times as well as more active/ sight-seeing adventures such as the sun-set boat ride and bike ride through the rice fields. Kerstin is worldly,warm and insightful and guided us elegantly through all the exercises. Nigel’s sound bowls massage was especially a unique experience, with the deep vibrations and dreamy sounds resonating in the air and through the body.
Kerstin and Nigel are knowledgeable Hoi An residents and have shared many great tips from choices of beach hang-outs to helping us bargain for good prices at the market. We were also fortunate to have a very open and like-minded group of participants to share this journey with. I came away feeling relaxed, happy and good as new.
The An Villa was very comfortable with many thoughtful and tasteful design details. The food was to die for and the owners/ staff kind and helpful. I had the best and deepest sleeps I have had in months.The only regret I have was to have to leave after the 4 days. I would absolutely recommend this fabulous guided journey to all and looking forward to returning for more adventures!”
Shirley, architect, Bejing/Seattle
And you? When will you begin that long journey into yourself?