Rest and Restore Retreat

Friday 3rd - Sunday 5th January 2020

Enter the new year on a retreat which offers the perfect opportunity to create time and space to pause, and take stock. Deep winter is a time for slowing down, becoming still, and moving towards contemplation. This retreat will invite you to take rest, to gently soften and release muscular tension, and to bring focus and attention to the mind. 

The venue

Located within an enchanting 19th Century Grade II listed building surrounded by 42 acres of beautiful grounds, Hawkwood College is based just outside of Stroud, within easy reach from both the M4 and M5 motorways. A relaxed, quirky venue hosting a wide range of educational and nourishing courses and retreats and surrounded by woodlands, with simple accommodation, a generous kitchen, and a strong ethics at their core. I am always very honoured to be part of the vast and wonderful range of offerings here. 

The yoga 

From restorative yoga to take the body out of high stress mode, to slow long stretches to work deeply with physical tensions, and plenty of soulful yoga nidras, this retreat promises to boost your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual wellbeing.

Each morning after breakfast we will explore gentle yoga stretches to open up the body and allow for a full and spacious breath, and after the morning break we will rejoin to share the practice of yoga nidra, a healing form of meditation through deep relaxation. After lunch you can enjoy the gift of free time to walk in the beautiful woodlands, read or simply catch up on sleep. In the late afternoon we will use more restorative yoga practices designed to take the body and brain out of high stress, and into a state of complete relaxation before heading to another delicious home-cooked meal.

Although the yoga practices themselves are gentle and kind to the body, they are incredibly powerful. By creating the time and space for ourselves to find deep, nurturing rest, we are able to reduce tension in the body and mind, enabling ourselves to see more clearly, feel more calm, and be able to step into 2020 in a more mindful way.

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.

The Schedule

The aim on this retreat is to slow ourselves down. I encourage you to let yourself move at the pace of your body. You may be surprised by how tired you really are, so afternoon naps, relaxing with a book, or enjoying a stroll to the meditation hut in the woods are all welcome here. You are free to do as little or as much of the yoga as you like.

For a more detailed schedule, click here. Please note this may be subject to change.

Bedrooms and pricing

Non-residential (breakfast not included) - £240

Shared room, shared bathroom -  £280

Single room, shared bathroom  £320

Please note travel, insurance and treatments (where relevant) are not included in these prices.

Booking is made directly through Hawkwood College for this retreat. 

I loved every minute of the course. It was so restful, challenging at times but a perfect blend of nurture, rest and laughter. It exceeded my expectations. I left feeling completely rested and content. Mel is a wonderful teacher. She seem to pitch it just right for all who are there, for the myriad of stories and challenges we bring Mel patiently helps us wrestle through and reach a place of peace.
— Jo

This booking is handled by Hawkwood College. Please contact them directly for further information. 

Terms and conditions



A retreat can be wonderfully relaxing, allowing you time to focus on yourself and taking away the every day stresses of life. However retreats can also be times of emotional release, as slowing down often offers the chance for reflection and contemplation. It is recommended that you slow down before your retreat if possible, and also allow yourself time to return to the everyday world, perhaps taking an extra day off work if you can, and avoiding making any unnecessary social engagements or obligation. 

It is good to prepare for all weathers, especially when retreating in the UK! For this reason, I recommend wellies and/or walking boots, waterproof clothes, comfy warm socks and slippers, a warm jumper or two, hat and gloves, sunscreen, and swimming clothes (when relevant).

Prepare for your retreat