• Iyengar Yoga: Nudging the body into shape and health

    Teacher: Judy Farah
    Cost: 2 days accommodation + R350 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 25 June 2021 - Sunday 27 June 2021

    judy farah2019The upsurge of interest in the ancient practice of yoga attests to its proven physiological and psychological benefits. Our sedentary, western lifestyle has stiffened our limbs and spine to such an extent that many people find the yoga asanas (poses) difficult to perform. Iyengar yoga evolved to deal with this problem - safely, without forcing the body into harmful contortions. Iyengar yoga uses simple, but carefully calibrated props and other supports to achieve postures that would otherwise be unattainable except after years of practice. This retreat is suitable for beginners and for those who may have practised other forms of yoga. It is an introduction to the Iyengar method. For those who wish to consolidate their practice to a deeper level, the additional 5-day retreat is strongly recommended (28 June to 2 July).

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    Judy Farah began her yoga practice at the age of 18 and has been teaching Iyengar yoga for the past 18 years. She has travelled to Pune many times to study and practise under the guidance of Gurus, BKS, Geetaji and Prashantji. She has attended many seminars of visiting Senior Iyengar teachers and travelled extensively to study under various other Iyengar teachers. This included doing a 6-year Medical/Remedial Course with Stephanie Quirk. It is her ongoing devotion to yoga practice that is her driving force in life.

  • Iyengar Yoga: Deepening your practice

    Teacher: Judy Farah
    Cost: 5 days accommodation + R350 surcharge
    Dates: Sunday 27 June 2021 - Friday 02 July 2021

    judy farah2019For those who wish to consolidate and deepen their yoga practice, this 5-day intensive retreat is highly recommended. Apart from increased levels of fitness and vitality, you will reap the benefits of being in the tranquil, natural environment of Ixopo. You will leave feeling stretched, relaxed and fit for life.

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    Judy Farah began her yoga practice at the age of 18 and has been teaching Iyengar yoga for the past 18 years. She has travelled to Pune many times to study and practise under the guidance of Gurus, BKS, Geetaji and Prashantji. She has attended many seminars of visiting Senior Iyengar teachers and travelled extensively to study under various other Iyengar teachers. This included doing a 6-year Medical/Remedial Course with Stephanie Quirk. It is her ongoing devotion to yoga practice that is her driving force in life.

  • Mindfulness Skills For Challenging Times

    Teacher: Choden
    Cost: 2 day's accommodation + R350 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 02 July 2021 - Sunday 04 July 2021

    chodenChoden, a South African born Buddhist monk, will offer some mindfulness skills to help us navigate these times of insecurity, turbulence and uncertainty. He will draw on the Tibetan Mahamudra teachings as a context for his teachings.
    There will be a three-fold focus:
    Embodiment: learning to drop our centre of gravity from the ‘butterfly mind’ in our head to the wisdom awareness of our body.
    Acceptance: learning to accept and allow what arises in our embodied experience rather than resisting it and pushing it away.
    Self-kindness: learning to step out of toxic self-criticism and befriend ourselves by bringing kindness and warmth to our unfolding experience.
    This weekend retreat will be strongly experiential. Choden will introduce some simple yet profound methods; we will practice them together and share any insights. He will strike a balance between teaching, guided practice, sharing and inquiry, along with some periods of silent sitting and walking meditation.

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    Choden: A monk within the Karma Kagyu tradition of Tibetan Buddhism, Choden (aka Sean Mc Govern) completed a three-year, three-month retreat in 1997 and has been a practicing Buddhist since 1985. He is originally from South Africa where he trained as a lawyer and learned meditation under the guidance of Rob Nairn, an internationally renowned Buddhist teacher. He is now involved in developing secular mindfulness and compassion programmes drawing upon the wisdom and methods of the Buddhist tradition, as well as contemporary insights from psychology and neuroscience. He is an honorary fellow of the University of Aberdeen and teaches on their Postgraduate Study Programme in Mindfulness (MSc) that is the first of its kind to include compassion in its curriculum. He co-wrote a book with Paul Gilbert in 2013, entitled Mindful Compassion that explores the interface between Buddhist and Evolutionary approaches to compassion training. He is also the co-author of two other books: Mindfulness Based Living Course (2018) and From Mindfulness to Insight (2019). In 2016 he completed a one-year retreat focused on the foundation practices of Tibetan Buddhism.

  • Rejuvenating The BRC: A family retreat with children in mind

    Teacher: Anisha Maharaj
    Cost: 3 days accommodation + R250 surcharge
    Dates: Monday 05 July 2021 - Thursday 08 July 2021

    anisha maharajParents and children are invited to join us for some serious fun on a three-day retreat in the beautiful, natural environment and the rolling hills of the BRC. This retreat will instill an appreciation of simple pleasures, joy and gratitude. The days will be filled with games, drumming, making art, mandalas and wind-chimes, nature walks, ubuntu story-telling and toasting marshmellows under the stars and lantern-lit trees. The retreat is aimed at children of school-going age (10 years and up) and offers a basic, playful introduction to Buddhism. Children must be accompanied by an adult, preferably a parent.

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    Anisha Maharaj worked for several years in corporate and global business roles tapping creativity and inspiring entrepreneurship. It is her playful, sociable nature and an unwavering belief in ethics, morality and kindness that have shaped her Hygge (contented) lifestyle. She is artistic, a yoga lover, a tree-hugger, a dance enthusiast, and widely travelled - with a knack for unleashing the inner child and finding beauty in simple pleasures.

  • Gardening For Happiness: The Basics of Gardening

    Teacher: Christopher Dalzell
    Cost: 2 nights' accommodation + R200 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 09 July 2021 - Sunday 11 July 2021

    chris dalzell pThey say that 'your life begins the day you start a garden'. If you are looking for some green thumb inspiration and motivation,  join Christopher Dalzell for a fun-filled weekend of basic gardening tips where you will learn the practice and art of gardening. The weekend will entail plant identification and plant selection of trees, shrubs, ground covers and bulbs. He will show you how to prepare a flower bed  and how to lay out your plants, and how to plant trees and other plants and their maintenance. Chris will advise on plant propagation showing the different forms of cuttings, seed sowing and dividing large plants and the pruning of shrubs and trees. He will also highlight the importance of soil and how to rejuvenate a nutrient-depleted soil and deal with pest and diseases. Growing and maintaining indoor plants will also be covered. Experience all this  - and more - and celebrate the BRC's gardens and its green spaces.

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    Chris Dalzell was Curator of the Durban Botanical Gardens where he was in charge of special collections. He has studied, lectured and travelled internationally, collecting plant specimens from USA, Canada, Brazil, S.E. Asia, Australia and New Zealand.  For many years he guided the South African exhibition at the international Chelsea Flower Show where his stall was consistently awarded Gold and Silver-Gilt Medals. He was appointed Assistant Director for the development of Gardens by the Bay in Singapore. He currently runs his own landscaping business Chris Dalzell Landscapes.

  • The Roots Of Sacred Drumming: Exploring natural rhythms

    Teacher: Richard Ellis and Marc Kress
    Cost: 2 days accommodation + R300 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 16 July 2021 - Sunday 18 July 2021

    richard ellismarc kressDrumming and music-making are ancient ways of transcending our routine lifestyle, opening ourselves to spiritual realms of healing and creativity, which is experienced as liberating and rejuvenating. This is because the universe is a flux of pulsating rhythms and drumming connects us to these rhythms, thus facilitating a change in consciousness and a sense of belonging and well-being, which, in turn, promotes deep relaxation and healing. In this retreat we will learn basic drumming techniques and explore rhythmic creativity which will be combined with meditation practice and contemplation. A Sound Journey meditation using exotic instruments will also be included. The objective of this retreat is to find a balance between the hands-on experience of drumming and its more profound spiritual effects on the human psyche.

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    Richard Ellis has been a drummer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist for the past forty years. He was a founding member of The Usuals with Kenny Henson. He formed the first all-percussion group Interitmo with Mike Mazzoni in 1997, and in 1999 started the first Drum Circle in Durban at the Bat Centre. Over the past twenty years he has conducted corporate team building, sound relaxation therapy and healing workshops with Marc Kress. He facilitates sound journey meditation/rhythm workshops on drums and percussion for all ages and levels of expertise. His mission is to connect people with their inner rhythm and sound, thereby helping to create a stress-free community.

    Marc Kress is a yoga teacher and percussionist living in Durban. He was attracted to the yoga path while travelling through India in 2003: “I discovered a path of self-practice and discipline that fulfils my desire to grow on a spiritual level by working with the body and mind”. He has been practising and studying in India and South Africa with various teachers in different styles of yoga, including Hatha, Vinyāsa, Astanga, Iyengar and Sivananda.

  • Yin And Yang: A Yoga Retreat: Release, relax and restore

    Teacher: Georgie Carter
    Cost: 3 days accommodation + R200 surcharge
    Dates: Tuesday 20 July 2021 - Friday 23 July 2021

    georgie carterYin yoga provides the balance to our hectic Yang lifestyle. In today’s busy world we are inundated with the pressure to do more, take on yet more and push ourselves even further. This This 3-day mid-week retreat provides a balance to our often frenetic, stressful lives and will restore harmony, health and calmness. In relaxing our muscles and surrendering into our yoga postures, we are able to work deeply into the joints, ligaments, fascia and bones of the body - releasing tension and detoxifying normally inaccessible parts of our bodies. The retreat is centred around releasing, relaxing and restoring our bodies, our minds and our energy and is suitable for everyone. Please bring your own yoga mats.

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    Georgie Carter has been practising Hatha Yoga for 8 years. She completed her 200-hour teacher training with The Jivananda Centre for Well-Being in 2010 followed by an intensive Iyengar yoga course in Rishikesh, India with Usha Devi in 2015. Her passion is to apply yoga to everyday life in order to find a balanced and better way to manage daily challenges, to enable us to live  a more loving, compassionate and purposeful life. She has travelled to India many times to deepen her practice. She currently lives in the Natal midlands, where she teaches yoga.

  • Circles of Compassion: Reconnect with self and others in a socially-distanced world

    Teacher: Graham Williams
    Cost: 2 days accommodation + R350 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 23 July 2021 - Sunday 25 July 2021

    graham williamsCompassion Circles have emerged as a fine way to bring resilience, wisdom and compassion into being in families, communities and beyond. We find ourselves in a separating, polarizing world where true communication is breaking down everywhere. People are no longer able to hear each other, especially in a climate where individual and collective trauma are heightened by the effects of the pandemic. Many are afraid, uncertain, cynical and feel empty and angry. They are experiencing a sense of meaninglessness and isolation. Compassion Circles are spaces where we can re-imagine the future, experience wisdom, compassion and healing in conversation and sharing anecdotes. Sharing circles help shift dysphoria to euphoria and despair to delight. They help us to flip the truth mandala to discover the riches on the other side. Learn about inspiring initiatives and successes around the World and leave armed with an understanding of where the magic of circles emanates from, how and why it happens. Leave equipped with an ability to form circles successfully in your own family and community.

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    Graham Williams is an old friend of the BRC who is passionate about personal healing, growth and being relevant in a strident, divisive, combative, fragile and threatened world. He is the author of a number of business books on values, service, resilience, and the use of story as a contributor to better business.

  • Moving Meditation: Cultivating the four energies of tai chi

    Teacher: Brett Vallis
    Cost: 2 day's accommodation + R150 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 30 July 2021 - Sunday 01 August 2021

    brett vallisTai chi is a practice embracing the mind, body and spirit. Originating in ancient China, it is one of the most effective exercises for the health and well-being of our body and mind. The essential principles include integrating the mind with the body; the control of movement and breath; generating internal energy, mindfulness, song (loosening) and jing (serenity). The ultimate purpose of tai chi is to cultivate the chi or life energy within us to flow smoothly and powerfully throughout the body like water flowing in a river: beneath the tranquil surface there is a current with immense power - the power for healing and wellness. This retreat is for beginners and seasoned practitioners alike - for many, it starts somewhere and continues as a lifetime journey.

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    Brett Vallis is a qualified tai chi, shaolin and chi kung instructor who has been teaching for 28 years. His interest in Eastern philosophy started at the age of 14 when he attended his first retreat at the Buddhist Retreat Centre. He studied Chinese Martial Arts at the age of 20 under the tutelage of Jacques Bois, To Dei. Thereafter he opened his own school and the late Leslie James Reed, Sifu became his teacher. After emigrating to the UK, he studied under Derek Frearson, Sigong. On returning to South Africa, he opened a school in Cape Town where he received his traditional Sifu title. He now resides and teaches in Margate in KwaZulu Natal.

  • Saying Yes To Life: How we can live wholeheartedly in the midst of a challenging world

    Teacher: Richard-John Chippindall
    Cost: 2 days accommodation + R350 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 06 August 2021 - Sunday 08 August 2021

    rj chippindallWe have a choice in how we meet the difficulties that life presents us with: we can be defensive and erect barriers to pain, or we can choose to approach discomfort with an attitude of friendliness and curiosity. Being open to what is challenging requires courage and practice as it is not in the nature of the human brain to remain calm in the face of difficulty. In relaxing into what is painful we are making friends with ourselves and our world and developing maitri - the unconditional self-acceptance - that is the basis of compassion and well-being. In this retreat we will have the opportunity to say yes to life in all its forms, delightful and painful. We will draw on the writings of Pema Chodron to inspire us to live fearlessly by giving up control and waking up to everything we experience in and around us. Loving-kindness meditations will support us in our journey, as will the tranquil, containing environment of the BRC. The weekend will include sessions of sitting and moving mindfulness practice, as well as walking the labyrinth and group discussions. Silence will be observed throughout the weekend.

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    Richard-John Chippindall had an academic career in Microbiology until attending Louis van Loon’s retreat in the 1990’s. This introduction to Buddhist philosophy inspired him to study clinical psychology. After qualifying, he spent eleven years working at St Bartholomew’s Hospital in London where he gained extensive experience in providing mindfulness-based interventions to patients with emotional and psychological difficulties, as well as chronic health problems. He is now in private practice in Johannesburg.