Gentle Yoga in Tuscany with Rudy & Joyce Peirce

When: 10 Sep 2016 - 17 Sep 2016 (Sat - Sat, 7 nights)
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Villa Benvenuti

Villa Benvenuti Retreat Centre offers yoga retreats and holidays in the warmth & intimacy of a family home in a gracious setting. The fully restored 17th Century villa is part of 28 hectare private estate, completely surrounded by forests and natural woodlands and overlooking a panorama of olive groves, fruit trees and vineyards. The centre is ideally located 15 minutes from Lucca, 35 minutes from Pisa, 1.5 hrs from Florence and 1.5 hrs from the breathtaking Cinque Terre region, making it the perfect base to explore Tuscany and Liguria.


Accommodation: The retreat centre can accommodate up to 14 retreat participants plus two teachers in twin share accommodation. There are 7 bedrooms and 5 bathrooms consisting of 3 twin rooms with private bathroom and 4 twin rooms sharing two bathrooms. There are also generous indoor and outdoor living spaces. A separate apartment located adjacent to the villa provides an additional twin rooms and one bathroom. One room is available for use by the retreat facilitators. The other room is reserved for Villa Benvenuti staff to ensure there is always someone on hand to answer any queries during the retreat, help arrange optional excursions and generally make sure everything runs smoothly.


Yoga + Meditation Facilities:  Yoga and meditation is practiced in several indoor and outdoor spaces – each with a unique atmosphere of peace and tranquility for centering the mind and body. Constructed with terracotta flooring, the yoga room can accommodate up to 14 participants plus 2 teacher(s) and is fully equipped with 6mm yoga mats, blankets, bolsters, belts and blocks. There are also three grassed terraces with views overlooking the hills and olive groves which we use in the warmer months for sunrise and sunset sessions, where one can fully savor the serenity of the Tuscan countryside.


Meals: Wine, olive oil, herbs, vegetables & fruit are all produced on the estate and provide the essential ingredients for our deliciously fresh, vegetarian meals. We have a wonderful local cook who prepares dishes typical of the region during the retreats using fresh pickings either from our garden or local producers. As we are in Tuscany, we do indulge in local cheeses, pasta, breads, wines and other delights, so although our menu is not a strict cleanse,we do offer plenty of healthy choices with nuts, seeds, legumes, plenty of vegetables and salads, rice, amaranth, quinoa, buckwheat, fresh fruit and yogurt.


Our retreat centre is very relaxed and informal and participants are free to help themselves to fresh fruit, water and herbal teas every day. We also make our own fresh fruit and vegetable juices and cleansing teas using fresh herbs from the garden. Upon request, we can cater for gluten free and lactose free dietary requirements.


Optional in-house massages + healing art therapies: Massages and holistic treatments are available in-house during your retreat with our team of experienced therapists. We offer Body Massage, Reflexology, Reiki and Energy Healing – all of which will help participants relax, unwind, release tensions and improve well-being. Treatments can be booked upon arrival


Swimming pool: There is also a lovely secluded swimming pool located away from the villa where retreat guests can cool down after long hikes or simply relax whilst soaking up the tranquility.


Internet Access + Mobile Phone Reception:  Internet access is available at Villa Benvenuti. However, as we are in the countryside, mobile phone reception can be intermittent. Whilst we recognize the need to stay in contact with friends and loved ones during your retreat, we try to encourage guests to leave their virtual world behind.


Washing Facilities: Washing facilities are available for use by retreat guests.


Check-in + Check-out times: Our retreats run for one week from Saturday to Saturday. Check-in is strictly 4pm on the day of arrival and checkout is strictly 10:00am on the day of departure. As we often have new retreats starting the same day as one finishes, we ask you to ensure your retreat guests observe these times.

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Joyce Peirce

Joyce Peirce is a certified Kripalu Yoga Teacher and Shake Your Soul® movement facilitator. Together with her husband, Rudy Peirce they run a Gentle Yoga business. They share a commitment to leading yoga and movement experiences that work for every person that wants to learn. See more photos and other events by this presenter

Rudy Peirce

Rudy Peirce, MA, E-RYT 500, has studied and practiced yoga and meditation for more than 30 years. Rudy’s passion is helping people discover the best of themselves through a self-nurturing practice of yoga. His gift is leading Gentle Yoga, a particularly accessible, yet deep and effective style of yoga he has developed over the years.


Rudy has practiced and studied yoga and meditation since 1973, when he attended his first yoga class while a student at New England College in Henniker, New Hampshire. Though intrigued with the physical practice of yoga, it was really peace of mind he was after when he began his spiritual journey.


He began a regular meditation practice at 19, managing to find a quiet place to court stillness for twenty minutes twice a day which he credits for significantly reducing the shyness and insecurity he had experienced as a child and young adult.


Rudy’s yoga and meditation practice continued in earnest throughout his undergraduate studies and attendance at Lesley College where he obtained a Masters Degree in Counseling Psychology. He also worked at a Community Mental Health Center working with adults whose dis-eases required them to live with continual supervision.


He attended local Kripalu yoga classes in Concord, NH, during this time and began going to retreats at Kripalu in the Berkshires. Rudy currently teaches Gentle Yoga programs at Kripalu Center several times a year, and offers Gentle Yoga and advanced teacher training workshops throughout the northeast.


He leads Kripalu Center guest classes regularly, and a week-long yoga vacation in Tuscany every fall. He also teaches men’s yoga retreats, workshops and classes—a program he developed long before men’s groups and personal growth programs became popular—at Kripalu Center and around the northeast.


For those interested in a home practice, Rudy’s popular Gentle Series CDs are appropriate for anyone interested in yoga regardless of experience, flexibility or strength.

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