Yoga + SoulMat with Chiara Guerrieri & Jen Mitchell

When: 1 Oct 2016 - 8 Oct 2016 (Sat - Sat, 7 nights)
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Il Borghino Retreat Centre in Lucca, Tuscany

Literally meaning “small village”, Il Borghino offers a secluded setting in a hill top position with magnificent views overlooking forests, vineyards, olive groves and mountains in the distance. Located just 10 km from the charming medieval city of Lucca, Il Borghino offers an opportunity to truly relax and unwind in a unique location whilst experiencing the best that Tuscany has to offer.


The retreat centre has been designed to maintain the original character of the village while still being both comfortable and modern. Meticulously restored with energy efficiency and a concern for the environment in mind, it has been completely restored using natural materials such as wood, marble and terracotta. With 11 bedrooms and 10 bathrooms, our centre can accommodate both small and larger groups.


Il Borghino retreat 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: Il Borghino comprises three separate houses and can accommodate up to 16 retreat participants plus two teachers. There are five twin bedrooms with private bathrooms, two twin bedrooms sharing one bathroom, two double rooms with private bathroom and two single rooms with private bathrooms. The rooms are large, simple and furnished tastefully in local Tuscan style, each with fabulous views from every window. There are fly screens on all windows and electric fans in every room. As the building is old, the walls are very thick which means the villa stays cool in the summer months.


Each house is fully self-contained and offers every facility to meet the needs and privacy of both yoga teachers and retreat guests. Tea and coffee making facilities are also available in each house for use by retreat guests outside meal times.


The large communal area, “L’Olivo “, is the hub of the retreat centre – a place for retreat guests to gather during the day, enjoy meals together, share experiences and of course, practice daily yoga.


There is a wood-fried pizza oven which we make use of during the retreat, and a gorgeous outdoor terrace with panoramic views for al fresco dining. Drinking water comes directly from a spring. There is also salt-water swimming pool with Jacuzzi that retreat guests can relax in whilst soaking up the views and a Turkish Sauna to help cleanse and detoxify during the week.


Yoga & Meditation Facilities: There are several indoor and outdoor spaces for practicing yoga – each with a unique atmosphere of peace and tranquillity for centering the mind and body. The indoor yoga room is located downstairs in the communal area with glass windows looking into the swimming pool. Constructed with wooden flooring, the yoga room can accommodate up to 16 participants plus 2 teacher(s) and is fully equipped with yoga mats, blankets, bolsters, belts and blocks. There are also several grassed terraces with views overlooking the hills and olive groves which can be used in the warmer months for sunrise & sunset sessions, where one can fully savour the serenity of the Tuscan countryside.


Meals: Our retreat menu is vegetarian and we have a wonderful local cook who prepares deliciously fresh dishes based on what is in season and the region’s specialities. 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. We source our food from local producers and wherever possible, we use organic grains, fruit and vegetables. We also make our own fresh fruit and vegetable juices and cleansing herbal teas using fresh herbs from the garden. Organic wine, olive oil and honey is produced in the surrounding agricultural area near Il Borghino and is served during our retreats. Upon request, we can cater for gluten free and other special dietary requirements.


Optional in-house Massage + 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

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Jen Mitchell

Jen began practicing yoga in 1997 at the age of 27, with the goal to be able to touch her toes…. for the first time in her adult life. From those humble beginnings, Jen’s yoga practice has been transformational in her life and has provided tools for contemplation & perspective for self and others.

Jen teaches with humor and humility, weaving life’s challenges with asana… ultimately so we may live a sweeter life off the mat.

She counts among her influences, her daughter Claire, and early in the early 2000s, NYC’s Om Yoga. Since then, her teaching (and practice) has evolved by encounters -brief or lasting – at Kirtan Camp with Jai Uttal, exploring loving kindness with Stephen Cope at Kripalu in Massachusetts and drop ins with Seattle teachers Troy Lucero & Amber Tande. Jen is further influenced by regular visits to Jivamukti Yoga in NYC, Ashtanga teacher MatyEzraty (and her assist, James Browne!) during a 2012 trip to India, and Judith Lasater, with whom she studied Level I and II Restorative Techniques and Non Violent Communication.

Jen’s classes combine physically challenging asana sequencing, with gentle, restorative poses. Expect japa mantra, pranayama and kriya in addition to asana. As an instructor, she invites individual exploration of the body, breath and mind as she believes that each student is their own best teacher.

Jen taught high school journalism from 1996 – 2014. In her spare time, you might find her playing with her daughter, gardening, at the Edmonds’ Off Leash Park with her dog, Lucy, or shopping at PCC. Most of all, Jen feels blessed to be part of Twist Yoga in Edmonds as she loves the energy, inspiration and unity that a yoga studio creates within the community. See more photos and other events by this presenter

Chiara Guerrieri

I began studying Yoga in 1983 as a way to rehabilitate and strengthen myself after a car accident. What I learned then was how to breathe, how to use the breath to connect with my body, how to track physical sensations from moment to moment, and how to find an internal wisdom to guide my movement and choices toward well-being.
When I teach, I aim to bring students’ attention to a place of presence and wonder. This is particularly helpful when students are working with injury or physical pain. My classes and workshops focus on wellness through discovery, guided by the extensive study I’ve done into the body’s inner workings. I focus on keeping instruction lively, accessible, encouraging and compassionate, with a dedication to work deeply and specifically, as well as with humor and irreverence.

Not only have I studied a wide-range of bodymind disciplines–Hypnosis, Neuro Linguistic Programing, Massage, Meditation, NonViolent Communication–but I’ve worked to master the material deeply enough to teach in each of these areas. Teaching itself is one of my greatest joys. A long-time mover and shaker, my passion for movement forms has enriched my entire life with dance, yoga and daily walks in nature. Several teachers have cast a huge and loving influence over my growth as a teacher, practitioner and human being. I began under the guidance of Bob Smith. Ana Forrest introduced me a really radical approach to yoga, and to my first teacher training certification. Shari Friedrickson and Donna Fahri brought me into a softer, feminine inquiry. Currently, Rod Stryker challenges and guides my development as a student and a teacher. See more photos and other events by this presenter

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