W i n t e r S t i l l n e s s
1 – 5 Feb 2022
A yoga & silence retreat with
Peter Roussel & Ellen Paalman
A yoga & silence retreat with
Peter Roussel & Ellen Paalman
Daily yoga practice, nourishing meals, warm fires and slow walks in the forest all serve one purpose.
You will feel it ….
Wed 1 Feb – Sun 5 Feb 2023
Arrival on Wednesday from on 14:00 and the retreat ends on Sunday at 12:00.
These prices includes:
These prices do not include:
Transportation to the Ardennes
How to get there
You will be staying at ‘La Grange de Lesse’ near Redu in the Ardennes in Belgium. The easiest way to get there is by car (3 hour journey from The Hague). We support carpooling, so let us know if you have place available in your car or if you are looking for a ride.
Booking & more info
Bookings are to be paid in full at time of booking. Making a payment means you agree with the terms and conditions.
If you have questions email Ellen: email@example.com
In the winter season nature comes to a standstill. The earth’s energy is held close to the ground. It is an appropriate time of year to slow down and to seek stillness. The practices of yoga, silence and walking bring us close to the reserved energy of this time of the year.
In the Winter Stillness Retreat, you turn within for four days. You will leave the busy city life, agenda’s and devices behind to create breathing space. You will practice silence as a ritual to save your attention for yourselves. This creates a container for your inner process. It gives time to be and to reflect. It’s a personal exploration of a deeper sense of stillness.
Ellen and Peter, your guides, create a warm retreat atmosphere to slow down in. Wood fires, oven dishes and pranayama will light you up to guide the way through dark winter days. Skillful meditation practices will be taught to help you get a handle on ‘the mind’. The yoga will relax, open and move the body to calm you down and to create a spark in the heart. The rugged wild that surrounds the gite has easy access for long and short walks.
In this winter stillness retreat Peter and Ellen will invite you to go slow. The yoga practice emulates the grounding quality of the darkness before the vitality of spring. At this time the focus is on stability and bringing balance to the upward and downward forces. You will relax and activate the physical body to release sluggishness and inertia as well as bringing balance to the mental and emotional realms.
Both Peter and Ellen will be guiding sessions (50%-50%). You will be guided through active and calm practices. The calm practices include yogic meditation, pranayama and restorative asanas. This allows you to release and light up unseen places within. The active hatha practices build up slowly and combine slow flow and activations to hold. This stimulates to stay present and keep the energy moving.
As with all our retreats, each morning you come into contact with ourselves by remaining without speech. On the Winter Stillness Retreat we go one step further. You practice one whole day of silence. The practice of going into silence and back to speech reveals more about what stillness is.
Although it is a practice of restraint, silence brings energy and awareness. Being in the moment and remaining there, just as it is, without comment, can bring clearity about what you wish to give and you feel more stable in our own energy.
La Grange de Lesse has been chosen as an ideal place to practice yoga and remember your connection with nature. The house is picturesque, set between farmland and forest, and is surrounded by a large garden with majestic trees. The rustic mansion feels homely and offers plenty of space for communion and seclusion. For an extra cozy feel Peter and Ellen will light the several fire places indoors and in the garden.
The forest trails on the doorstep of the gite lead straight to a rugged river valley. Walking is one of natures best medicines. Even though it can be cold this time of year, plan to spend time walking and sitting outdoors. It greatly supports the process of unwinding into stillness.
Healthy vegetarian meals
Ellen & Peter love to cook and on this retreat they will do the cooking themselves. They will serve two delicious, nourishing vegetarian meals per the day: a brunch after the morning practice and diner in the evening. All meals are prepared with fresh, mostly organic ingredients, combined in a way that promotes good digestion. You can expect delicious Indian curries (Peter’s mother was born in India!), nourishing oven dishes, creative stampots and lots of fresh salads.
Please inform in advance about any dietary requirements.
During this retreat you will follow a simple schedule that allows for ample opportunity to practice, but also leaves you with free time to reflect, connect and explore the surrounding area. Brunch will be a help-yourself buffet, while dinner will be served family-style in the main house.
Thursday – Friday – Saturday
All practice sessions, reflection sessions and meals are optional.
* Resting time can be used to sleep, walk, write, read, sitting by the fire (indoor and outdoor options) etc.
How many spaces are available?
To keep the retreat intimate we only have 9 spaces available. This allows us to provide plenty of personal attention during the practice sessions and have group discussions where everyone has the opportunity to be heard & seen.
Do you have a cancellation policy?
If for some unforeseen reason you are no longer able to attend the retreat the following policy is in place:
Cancellation 4 months before retreat – Full refund.
Cancellation 4 – 2 months before retreat – 50% refund
Cancellation 2 months before retreat – No refund (unless you find someone to take your place).
Are the practices suitable for all levels?
The aim of the retreat is to create a space where you can dive deep into your practice. Having taught mixed level studio classes for many years, both Ellen and Peter are skilled at accommodating a wide variety of bodies & abilities. The sessions will be accessible to established beginners, as well as intermediate & advanced practitioners.
Can I bring my non-practicing partner/friend/child with me?
This retreat is structured around having space for ourselves. Non-practicing individuals cannot be accommodated.
Do you offer ride share?
Let us know when you book if you would be interested in offering or receiving a ride share. We will connect you where possible.
What are the sleeping & bathroom arrangements?
Most rooms are single occupancy for maximum privacy and reflection time. Some of them come with a private shower and/or toilet. There are a limited number of couples/friend suites. All the couples suites have a private bath room and toilet. The rooms will be assigned on a first come first served basis.
Do you cater for food sensitivities, allergies and other dietary choices?
Our menu for the week will be vegetarian and we can accommodate most food requirements. Inform us of any dietary needs before you book your spot.