Mountain Yoga and Hiking Retreat, discover your wild soul
1st – 7th August 2020
co-hosted with Alva E Malka (Alvayoga)
Is your wild soul calling you? or is it drowned out by your continuous loops of thoughts and being constantly plugged-in. Perhaps you only hear the urban noise of town/city not the subtle sounds of nature. When was the last time you really noticed the phases of the moon and how illuminated nature becomes under the light of a full moon.
It’s almost impossible to describe in words the magic of what happens to you in this special mountain yoga and hiking retreat, high in the French Alps, near Megeve. This is home, where your wild soul is encouraged to be seen, heard and nourished with yoga and hiking, meditation, kirtan, journaling and other processes.....
This is a real yoga retreat, away from the way we usually live, of being constantly “plugged-in” and on call, of being in isolation, of being in routines we don’t want to be in. This unique place is where you learn to re-wild and connect to yourself, to others, to nature, to unhurried time, to stillness.
I’ll let you into a secret I’ve discovered - self care is not baths with scented candles or the odd chocolate or cake as a treat. It is making the choice to build a life you don’t regularly need to escape from. To know that you are allowed to change elements of your life that no longer work for you, to open a new door.....take a new path. But to do this, you need to listen for your wild soul’s call, to discover and face your fears. By being in community, sharing our fears with other soul explorers, we find their fears are the same, just tied up in a different package or story. This bond helps us find our courage to move forwards and in the mountain yoga retreat space, you are supported and challenged by nature herself.
Humans are funny creatures, we like to disguise ourselves, hide behind masks, put up walls....all because we feel insecure or fearful of being truly ourselves. I have found, here in the mountains, that the naturalness and simplicity of living in nature, along with my yoga and meditation practices have encouraged me to let go of my masks. My artifices, guardedness and my want to stay stuck in the familiar are challenged and I become more accepting of me and able to connect to others from a sense of authenticity and open heart.
We would love to facilitate your journey to hearing your wild soul, just as I have discovered mine. Join me, Alva and other soul explorers on this adventurous mountain yoga and hiking retreat. Where we call to the parts of you you didn’t know existed or lost many moons ago. Re-discover your spirit, your passion for life, sit quietly and watch the kaleidoscope of light over the mountain tops as you become curios about your habits and thoughts and begin to inhabit your body rather than just your mind. Both Alva and I have such a love of nature and benefits of using herbs to nourish us. Have you tried fresh nettle and mint tea? or pine needle tea? both full of vitamins and anti-oxidants. This won't be your ordinary sort of yoga holiday!!
The rhythms of daily life in this mountain yoga retreat will revolve around; our two daily yoga practices (dynamic & restorative), meditation and connecting to our voice and heart through the practice of Kirtan. We forge connections preparing food together, eating around the evening campfire and contemplating in the hot tub under the stars. We will challenge our limited beliefs through yoga, creative processes and hiking. Finding deep nurturance from sleeping close to the earth, lulled by the chorus of crickets.
If you need to be on call all the time, to have a plug in hairdryer, need to have the luxuries of modern life, to have food prepared for you - this won’t be the retreat for you. BUT If you love the idea of un-plugging, being immersed in nature, connecting with other like minded peeps whilst chopping veggies, building campfires, drinking and bathing in fresh mountain water, taking off the masks.....this is THE YOGA RETREAT FOR YOU
About Les Fraissies
We will be staying at Les Fraisses, this is my home, a traditional alpine building that was originally handmade from trees cut down in the surrounding forest over a century ago. My partner started restoring it 15yrs ago with a vision of running yoga retreats here, most of my Summers of the past 8yrs have been spent digging, plastering, painting......Many people have offered their help along the way, with replacing the roof, carpentry, tiling, buffing, sanding, digging. It has been a labour of love and each part of the house is filled with memories of community restoration, all held by the vision and commitment of Mike. He has many stories to share, if you're interested, around the campfire.
The yoga studio was the original barn and has a beautiful rustic feel to it. This is a place of outstanding beauty on the side of a mountain, that invites you to pause just to gaze in wonder at the ever changing beauty of nature. The building is surrounded by alpine woodland, wild flowers and a gorge. As you walk around the perimeter, you are rewarded with views of Mont Blanc. Or spend time gazing at the stars whilst sitting in the wood fired hot tub. The village of Praz sur Arly is within easy transfer of Geneva airport but feels like a million miles away from the busyness. Accommodation is in teepees or tents (with proper mattresses), nestled amongst the pine trees surrounding the house. We do have a fully working bathroom with hot shower and toilet!
Alva started practicing Yoga in 1998. Her teaching is influenced by many different schools of Yoga, including Jivamukti, Sivananada, Dharma Mittra & Prana Vinyasa. She has a great love for ancient philosophies and includes those in her classes along with Pranayama, Asana, and Meditation. Alva also offers dedicated Yoga Nidra and Nada Yoga classes in which she is using different methods of Nidra and Hypnosis as well as Gong, Tibetan bowls and other sounds. Alva is currently doing her masters in Hypno-Psychotherapy in London. Alva is a Kirtan leader and in 2017 took her training with Nikki Slade with whom she works closely since. As well as being a qualified Yoga teacher, Alva is also a Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioner. She specialises in Acupuncture, Herbs, Tuina and Shiatsu and has practiced Tai Qi and Qi Gong. She is fascinated with Kabbalah, Shamanism (certified Wicca) and loves baking, making clothes, gigs, and sunny festivals. Alva will be offering some of her gifts as private sessions throughout the retreat, for those who wish to book.
Mountain Yoga and Hiking Retreat, the practicalities, what is included
- 7 day stay at Les Fraissies, Praz sur Arly, Haute Savoie, France, with use of all the facilities. Arrival early afternoon on Saturday, departure by 2pm on Friday.
- 2 daily yoga practices, dynamic morning practice and restorative/yin late afternoon practice
- 2 hikes of approx 4hrs, for those that wish to participate.
- Accommodation of a tent to yourself, sharing a teepee with a friend, or single occupancy of teepee (price and availability dependant). All tents come with mattresses. You will need to provide a sleeping bag and pillowcase.
- all meals; fruit and herbal tea's before practice. Muesli, bread, coffee and tea after practice followed by substantial veggie brunch. 2 course Veggie evening meal. Herbal tea's and normal tea, fresh mountain water (straight from source!) and snacks available throughout the day. Special diets can be catered for, let us know at time of booking.
- All yoga equipment is provided.
What is NOT included
- You will need to bring: an all weather sleeping bag, pillowcase, towel, head torch, walking boots or similar, clothes for all weathers (mountain weather is very changeable, you can experience hot 30+ sun, dramatic thunderstorms, fog all in the same day), small day rucksack for the hikes. Rucksack of similar rather than wheelie suitcase (we are up a mountain).
- Flights are to Geneva Airport and easy transfers are available from Geneva airport to Praz sur Arly via Ouibus, we will collect you in the village to bring you to the retreat centre.
- Please note flights and transfers are not included in the price and you are strongly advised to have travel insurance. Additional treatments with Alva outside of our schedule are not included in the price.
I have enjoyed myself immensely, you have the most amazing space up here in the mountains that makes people really connect with themselves...to realise fully where they are in their life/journey no matter how hard that can be. The food and environment has also been amazing, I am in awe of the way you live up here. You have instilled sense of community with the indoor and outdoor teams and it's been so much fun, an amazing experience.
I have had an amazing time, I am not sure what I expected but I feel it has really opened up my mind and made me look at my life in a different way. A very emotional experience! An added bonus was making such wonderful new friends...Thank You
This experience has been absolutely brilliant for me and exactly what I needed in my journey at this time. I have been stretched out of my comfort zone, taken to my edge and made some massive breakthrough's physically, emotionally and spiritually. The standard of yoga teaching was very high and I feel blessed and appreciate I could be part of a very special group, who I found supportive, accepting and warm. I feel I have made some great new friends. I leave feeling totally inspired to made some radical changes to the way I live...to take myself on a journey of yoga, a lifetime journey. Thank you for your thorough love and care
What a wonderful experience of balance, integration and coherence. Soraya, you gave stillness and intuitive connection. The experience of slipping into the stillness of my soul, where words became a hindrance rather than a help. You helped me tune into this stillness and reconnect with the unlimited possibilities of my being. I feel a sense of wholeness as I leave and a deep connection with Mother Earth. Highly recommend to those who are trapped in the rat race of life.
The retreat was brilliant, yoga morning and evening is something you can rarely experience in the hecticness of everyday life. It resulted in a refreshed body, stronger and more able to function. It brought out emotional issues that needed to be resolved. Cooking, washing up and fire duties strengthened the group and led to a sharing of experiences and support which heightened and deepened the retreat. Walking was enjoyable, challenging and meant you could be immersed in the scenery, which was magical.
Beautiful setting and wonderful people. I was initially challenged by the retreat, which in retrospect, was a good thing. I hadn't fully understood the extent of the "retreat" nature of the week. Once I adapted to the idea of a very spiritual/reflective retreat, I found it both immensely rewarding, enjoyable and beneficial to me on an unexpectedly deep level. There aren't many yoga teachers who possess the ability and skills to teach on both a physical and spiritual/personal level and make you feel safe enough to embark on this, Soraya is all of these. The activities, lodge and food were really well organised and of high quality and it began to feel like home very quickly. I have had a really wonderful week and have learned a lot on many different levels
A really special retreat....full of beauty and natural poetry. It straddles the line between a personal visit and a revelatory professional group experience. The food and communal work was fantastic and helped anchor us in to this space together. Thank you.. Food for the soul and the body!
Cost & Bookings
£590 single occupancy tent (4 man tent that includes 1 mattress and pillow)
£590 shared teepee between 2 (4 man bell tent with 2 mattresses or 1 double and pillows)
£640 single occupancy teepee (4 man bell tent including 1 mattress and pillow)
If you would like to book a place, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
A booking form will be forwarded to you with the terms and conditions. Once the form has been received with a non- refundable deposit of £150, I will secure your place. Payment can be made via BACS. Full payment will be required 6 weeks before the retreat