fri 5th - tues 9th jan 2018

“May I have the courage today, To live the life that I would love, To postpone my dream no longer, But to do at last what I came here for, And waste my heart on fear no more .” A Morning Offering, by John O’Donogue

Whilst nature takes its slumber in the heart of winter, Mel Skinner invites you to answer the call to rest, and in doing so, connect deeply with the courage, wisdom and love that lies within you.

This is more than just a yoga retreat: Mel will incorporate nature-based mindfulness, creative activities, inspiring poetry, philosophical wisdom, self-inquiry, as well as restorative and healing body movement. This is a retreat to boost your entire well-being this winter so that you leave feeling deeply rested, nourished, and whole.

The yoga

Mel draws on her years of personal practice, intensive study and training, and life experiences to create a retreat which encourages you to connect to your true self. Simply being at Hawkwood creates a safe and nourishing place in which you are invited to let go of emotional baggage and physical tensions to step fully into your life and embrace this new year.

Across our days together, we will explore moving from dark to light, working with the desire to deeply rest (by using restorative yoga, yoga nidra and plenty of personal resting time) with the yearning to return to light (through nature walks, exercises to stretch and warm the body, and creative practices to reconnect with the joy that lies in all our hearts). We will uncover the richness that comes from residing in deep winter, and learn to appreciate the power of resting as a time to plant seeds for spring in the fertile grounds of the heart.

This retreat is for you if you are:

  • Suffering from burnout, exhaustion, chronic fatigue, stress, PTSD, anxiety or depression
  • Wanting to build your personal resilience
  • Interested in self-inquiry as way to know yourself better
  • Looking to reconnect with yourself after the sometimes chaotic nature of Christmas
  • Looking for peace, tranquility and a place to breathe
  • Interesting in learning to be comfortable with darkness, not only in the season but within your own experiences of grief and pain
  • To step fully and confidently into your wholeness
  • Wanting to start 2018 with the confidence that comes from true self care
  • Interested in a type of yoga which is truly for everyone and deeply healing
  • Ready to approach to your body with loving kindness, not criticism

Mel teaches with wisdom and love, and firmly believes that yoga is a tool that we can all benefit from, regardless of age or ability. All are welcome here.

The schedule

Mel loves to share the practices which have brought her so much joy and peace in her own life. Before breakfast each morning there is the optional walk in nature to find the light that is always present at the start of each day.

In the morning we will come together in group circle and explore movement practice inspired by yoga, somatics, and tai chi, and find rest in yoga nidra. In the afternoon our activities will vary to include creative and nature inspired mindfulness and in the afternoon there will further yoga nidra, and the chance to walk, read, rest, or simply sleep.

Each night after dinner there will be a goodnight yoga nidra.

Mel's invitation to you is to learn to listen and respond to your own needs; as such everything on this retreat is optional, although you are deeply encouraged to attend group circle. 

The food

The food at Hawkwood is mostly organic, mostly local, and totally delicious! You certainly won't go hungry on this retreat as we start the day with a delicious breakfast including scrambled and boiled eggs, a variety of toast including sourdough, cereals and muesli, fruit, and a selection of organic tea and  coffee. Lunch and dinner are home-cooked with love, and include meat and vegetarian offerings, and the quality of the ingredients will boost and support your digestion.

Hawkwood is also the home of a local community agriculture group, and many of the vegetables, fruits and salads are grown in their own gardens. Dessert range from famous local ‘Winstons’ ice-creams, homemade cakes and fruit. All diets can be catered for, including vegan and gluten free, please make this clear when you book.


Non-residential (breakfast not included) - £380

Shared room, shared bathroom -  £460

Single room, shared bathroom  £540

Please bring yoga equipment including a mat and blanket, and journal. If you don’t have yoga equipment, please let Hawkwood Colege know at time of booking

Mel’s workshops and retreat have had a huge impact on helping me to manage my chronic fatigue syndrome in a way that nothing else has. I can highly recommend both, to those just wishing to treat themselves to some high quality R&R and for those managing stress or chronic illness.
— Helena