Yoga Retreats in Africa

Yoga Retreats in Africa

Yoga and Meditation Retreat in the Gambia

Dates: TBA
Location - Sandele Eco-Retreat, Kartung, The Gambia, West Africa
Theme - Yoga to Relax and Revive
Level – Suitable for all – beginners/experienced, all ages
Cost –
EARLY BIRD OFFER:

Sandele Eco-Resort Yoga ClassI invite you to join me for a week of sun, sea and relaxing yoga at Sandele Eco-Retreat in Kartung. Sandele is one of those special places in the world which is both a haven to rest and recharge your batteries, and at the same time a place to become inspired. The beach, sea and forest provide a perfect setting for yoga. Just a 6-hour flight away from the UK, Sandele is a very appealing destination to take a week out of the British winter and practice relaxing and reviving Yoga in the ideal climate.

Yoga Practice

Yoga practice takes place in purpose – made shaded practice spaces. The climate, in the high 20s-30s over the dry season, is very pleasant in the shade and perfect for outdoor yoga practice

There are two yoga circles available for yoga practice. One is close to the beach, the other is in a quiet space in the shade of palm trees. There is a large expanse of beach, perfect for sunset and sunrise meditation. Yoga/meditation practice sessions generally take place twice per day – before a late breakfast and late afternoon before dinner.

The yoga practice is aimed at reviving and relaxing. Nourishing and recharging.  A mix of classic Yoga poses, pranayama and meditation. Classes will be taught with reference to the Sutras of Patanjali and modern texts that deepen our experience of Yoga in modern life. My teaching style is inclusive to suit  all levels  and adaptable to all abilities and ages.

The Venue

Sandele Eco-Retreat and Learning centre (www.sandele.com) is in the forest by the sea in the south of The Gambia. British hosts Geri and Maurice are pioneers in sustainable tourism and have created a wonderful place to stay and practice Yoga, in conjunction with the local village Kartung. In the afternoons you can rest in the shade of the palm trees or on the idyllic beach. You will be given a guided tour of the grounds on arrival and introduced to the many community and eco projects ongoing at Sandele.

Food and Accommodation

Half board accommodation is provided for the retreat. A substantial cooked breakfast, along with cereals, yoghurt and fruit is offered, which is usually eaten late morning after the first yoga practice of the day. Dinner is three courses including a starter, main course and dessert. There is always a vegetarian option. Special dietary requirements (vegan or gluten free) can be catered for.

If students need sustenance in the afternoon, the restaurant sells tea and biscuits, sandwiches, fresh juice, fresh coconut water, or a more substantial meal.

Accommodation is in large comfortable guest rooms. It is generally possible for students to pay a supplement for a single room or to upgrade to a luxury lodge. Being an Eco-retreat centre, Sandele has compost toilets and solar-powered showers. There is a safe in each room. Rooms are cleaned daily by the housekeeping staff. Security staff are around 24 hours a day to assist you at any time.

Sandele is off-grid and all its electricity is generated from solar panels and wind turbines, with a generator as back-up. Local water is clean but has a high mineral content, so it is recommended that you buy bottles of water to drink. These are available, chilled, from the bar. It is requested that you don’t operate hair dryers or travel kettles in the guest rooms. Power points in the rooms take UK 3-pin plugs.

Excursions and activities

There are various excursions and activities, such as drumming lessons, that can be arranged for you to give you a taste of Gambian culture during your week. I recommend a trip to the sacred crocodile pool where the women elders of the village will give you a blessing. Early in the morning, Morgan can take you on a guided bird walk and show you the abundance of amazing birds in the area, including hawks, pelicans, weaver birds, osprey, parrots, to name but a few. Jaineba offers tie-dying workshops (you'll see her work in the craft shop), and Fatou is available to braid your hair. A visit to the market in Brikama, the nearest town, can be arranged, and river trips too can be fun. (There is a fee for these activities; all are reasonably priced.)

Retreat fee

The fee for the retreat is £510, which includes all yoga sessions and half board in a shared en-suite room. Lunch and snacks can be bought from the Sandele restaurant (though you may find as I do that after a late substantial breakfast/brunch you don't need another meal before dinner). Single rooms are available for a single room supplement of £90. Non yoga partners/friends are welcome to join at a reduced fee.

Getting There

Fly to Banjul from Gatwick, Birmingham or Manchester . Flights and transfers are not included in the retreat fee. Flights can be booked via the Gambia Experience or Thomas Cook and cost from £300 return (prices vary). Transfer from Banjul airport to Sandele costs £20-£25 one way which can be shared by guests arriving on the same flight and will be arranged for you by Sandele.

What to bring
  • Yoga mats are provided, but you may prefer to bring your own (travel mats are a lighter weight designed for air travellers).
  • Yoga clothes and swim wear. Cardigan for cooler evenings.
  • Summer sandals. Walking shoes for excursions or walks.
  • Sun cream and hat, though it's quite possible to stay in the shade most of the time.
  • Insect repellent - there are very few flying insects around at this time of year, but it's a good idea to spray in the evenings anyway. (Nets are provided over the beds.)
  • Malaria tablets - contact your GP for advice. Malaria is rare at this time of year, but you should still take precautions. The most popular allopathic preventative medication is Malorone or Doxycycline - look on the internet for more information to help choose the one that suits you best. For homeopathic advice call Ainsworth's Homeopathic Pharmacy on 020 7935 5330, who provide a mail order service.
Before your trip
  • Please ensure that you have adequate travel insurance before booking your flights.
  • Immunisation - contact your GP for up to date advice (usually it's just typhoid and Hep B if you haven't already had those).

Mindfulness & Yoga in the Sahara

Dates – Tuesday 29th September – Tuesday 6th October 2015
Location – Morocco. Marrakech and The Sahara
Theme – Mindfulness: from melee to stillness, from medina to desert"
Level – Suitable for all – beginners/experienced, all ages
Cost – £860 (excluding flights) for 8 days -

Early Bird offer £774 if booked before the end of April 2015

sahara-07-resizedI invite you to join me for an eight day mindfulness adventure. From the melee of the old city of Marrakech, across the High Atlas mountains to the desert stillness of The Sahara.

Feel and experience the hustle and bustle of the Souks, the bedlam and rich carnival of life in Jemaa El Fna. Travelling over the most dramatic range of mountains in North Africa, onto the Sahara.

Three nights of camping under clear star filled skies and moving by camel train by day through the dunes of the Sahara. Returning to Marrekech to stay in the authentically oriental surroundings of an old style Riad in the heart of the medina.

Mindfulness and Yoga Practice

The practice will consist of both formal and informal awareness meditation . Watching  the sun rising from  the roof top terrace of the raid,  awareness whilst walking through the old city of the  intensive smells, colours and sounds of Souks, to watching the Sun setting in the desert.

Each day will consist of at least 3 hours of meditation and Yoga practice (Less on the two travelling days). The Yoga will be based on mindfulness of movement and breath with reference to the Sutras of Patanjali and modern texts that deepen our experience of Yoga in modern life. The Yoga of movement will be classic Hatha yoga asanas.  My teaching style is inclusive to suit all levels and adaptable to all abilities an ages.

Venue, Food and Accommodation

The first night and last two nights are at Riad Honey in the heart of the old city of Marrackech. The busy medina is forgotten once you step through the gate into the inner courtyard, a haven of peace and tranquility. High above, the rooftop terrace offers stunning views from  Marrakech to the High Atlas mountains.

Accommodation in the Riad is large comfortable shared en-suite rooms. It is generally possible to pay a supplement for a single room (subject to availability).

On the evening of arrival we all enjoy a traditional Moroccan Berber Dinner ( with a vegetarian option).  Breakfast of fresh fruit, local yogurt, honey, croissants and breads is served on the rooftop terrace.

The desert accommodation is two-person tents, basic but comfortable.

Travelling with us will be guides and a chef catering for all our needs including meals and mineral water. ( vegetarian options included).

With the  exception of two meals all food is included in the cost. The exceptions being menu options at a café lunch and our last evening meal in Marrekech.

Itinerary

( subject to change)

Day 1
Arrive at Marrackech, transfer to Riad Honey
6.00pm- Meditation on the Terrace
7.00pm - Dinner – at the Riad
8.30pm - Group visit to the Jemaa el Fna

Day 2
7.00am - Meditation and Yoga on the terrace (Sunrise)
8.00am - Breakfast on the rooftop terrace
9.00am - Leave to go to the Sahara
Picnic lunch in the Palms - Draa valley of the south Atlas Mountains
6.00pm - Arrive at camping site near Mhamid
Evening meal
Camp fire

Day 3
7.00am - Sunrise Meditation and yoga
9.00am - Breakfast
10.30am - Move (camel train) to the next camp site
1.00 pm - Light lunch
Afternoon - Excursion to the village and  Museum in Mhamid (small charge for entry)
Afternoon - Meditation/Mindfulness/Yoga
6.00pm - Sunset med
7.30pm - Dinner
Evening Campfire plus singing/ drummer

Day 4
7.00am - Sunrise Meditation + Yoga
9.00 am - Breakfast
10.30am - Move to the next campsite
1.00pm - Light lunch
Afternoon - Excursion into the desert
Afternoon - Mindfulness /Sunset
7.30pm - Dinner
Camp fire
Evening - Desert story telling

Day 5
7.00am - Sunrise Meditation + Yoga
9.00 am - Breakfast
10.30am - Move to the last camp site
1.00pm - Light lunch
Afternoon - Excursion – Camel ride (extra charge)
7.30pm - Dinner
Evening - Singing round campfire

Day 6
7.00am - Sunrise Meditation/Yoga
8.00am- Breakfast
9.00am - Leave for Marrackech
Lunch - Tannougalt ( Chez Yacob)
6.00pm - Arrive Riad Honey
8.00pm - Dinner – Riad Honey

Day 7
7.00am Sunrise Meditation on the terrace
8.30am - 10.00am Breakfast
Visit to the souks (individual not group)
Possible Hamman ISIS (extra charge)
Evening Group visit to OSCARS RESTURANT (extra charge - individuals to pay).

Day 8
8.00am – 10.00am - Breakfast on the rooftop terrace
Transfers to airport

continued after photo gallery

Retreat fee

The fee for the retreat is £860, which includes:

  • Riad accommodation ( shared en-suite)
  • All meals ( with the exception of a lunch and the last evening meal)
  • All Meditation and Yoga classes
  • All tents and mattress ( 2 persons per tent)
  • Transfer to and back from the desert
  • Support during the camping ( food and mineral water)
  • Camels for transporting luggage
  • Transfer to the airport

Price does not include flights from The UK.

EARLY BIRD OFFER: £774 if booked before the end of April 2015.

Getting There

A number of scheduled and budget airlines fly direct to Marrakech, prices range from £150 – 300 return. Transfer to the Riad will be arranged.

What to bring
  • Yoga mats (travel mats are a lighter weight designed for air travellers).
  • Yoga clothes .
  • Summer sandals. Walking shoes for excursions or walks.
  • Sun cream and hat.
  • T-shirts or cotton shirts ( long sleeves ensures more protection against the sun
  • A sweater or fleece ( for cool evenings )
  • Kway or a raincoat (rarely but possibility  rain in the desert)
  • Good sunglasses
  • A toiletry kit and basic pharmacy
  • Travel bag , preferably flexible , or backpack
  • A small backpack for the day hiking
  • A bottle of one litre minimum , preferably isothermal and lip protection
  • A warm sleeping bag :
  • A torch or head torch batteries and spare bulb
Before your trip
  • Please ensure that you have adequate travel insurance before booking your flights.
Please contact Aston for details or a booking form
About Aston

I am a British Wheel of Yoga trained teacher and have a number of weekly Hatha Yoga classes in Worcestershire. I am also a Mindfulness practitioner and teach Mindfulness at Central Holistic College.  A central tenet of both Yoga and Mindfulness is the stilling of the mind. My goal is to help people realize and experience the transformative power of these practices.

If you would like to attend  my Yoga classes or are interested in Yoga please fill out this web form or give me a call 01386 870893.

Yoga Classes

ASTON COLLEY D Yoga (BWY)
Professional Mindfulness & Yoga Teacher