Azaren & Dunton Hot Springs: Two of my favourite places I have taught Yoga Retreats & Yoga Holidays

Yoga escape to exotic Azaren, Morocco

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The expectations I had of Morocco, when I visited for the first time, did not disappoint. It is exotic culturally, stunningly beautiful and full of friendly smiling faces. The busy souks of Marrakech with the haggling commerce and step-back-in-time sort of feel, contrast magnificently with the breathtaking views and serenity from the heights of Mount Toubkal in the Atlas mountains. Morocco is an ancient and sacred land full of unforgettable sites and smells. In my travels in Morocco I have recently discovered my favourite place in which to soak it all up. It is called Azaren.

Azaren is a private home nestled at the base of the Atlas Mountains, 35 minutes away from the brand new Marrakech Airport. I have been coming here to lead Yoga Retreats for a couple of years now and I genuinely think it is one of my favourite places to take people and practice yoga together. This walled 16 acre estate has 4 main bedrooms and 5 villas spread out around a vibrant and flourishing garden underneath the backdrop of the soaring Atlas mountains.

A typical day would start with a sunrise filled walk around the gardens lined with pomegranates, moroccan rose and orange trees. This peaceful stroll would lead us to the vast pool where we prepare for our morning yoga. Our view is of the mountains reflecting upon the pool. The call to prayer echoes across the valley from the Minaret as birds sing and welcome the morning sun warming the night’s desert chill. After our poolside practice we would find breakfast beautifully laid out with fresh juices, tea, fruits, moroccan pancakes and freshly baked bread. The tranquil magic of the morning fades as the remnants of our practice sink in and mixes with the stimulation of food and conversation. This is the best part of an Azaren morning. Feeling so blissed with the magic of our surrounding and our practice and beginning to vocalise the experience with one another over a morning cup of coffee.  After the varied conversations of our practice, praise for the food and discussions of everyone’s plans for the day we disperse to all corners of Azaren. Some indulging in a double Hammam and Spa, some resting in the beds around the pool, others on their private terraces with a good book or some jumping into the taxi to Marrakech to explore the souks. By the late afternoon we would all gather to enjoy another more restorative yoga practice, basking in the sounds and smells of the lively garden. Just before sunset we gather again for drinks on the terrace, views of the Atlas mountains and dinner served at dusk. It is the epitome of of relaxation and restoration. I hope one day I can share it with you.

Soaking up the bliss at Dunton Hot Springs, Colorado.

Dunton Hot Springs, Colorado reminds me of HOME. I grew up in the Rocky Mountains, of Idaho. Natural hot springs were abundant in my state and a proper wilderness campsite was not a perfect 10 unless it had a natural hot spring in the vicinity.  Dunton (as the locals call it) is a little more than your average campsite with a hot spring. It is a privately owned, perfectly restored ghost-town just over the mountain from Telluride Colorado. Oh, and it just happens to be a Relais and Chateaux property so one does not have to worry about finding the right tree to pitch your tent under or whether or not bears will roam through your campsite in the middle of the night. All the luxuries of a 5 star hotel are available at Dunton, but the feel to it is rustic comfort in a serene and majestic setting.

Started as a mining town 1885 along the West Dolores River high up in the in the San Juan Mountains of SW Colorado, at it’s peak in 1905 Dunton claimed about 300+ residents. However, the boom and bust cycle of mining towns did not spare even Dunton and by 1910 it was all but abandoned. The current owners purchased the property in 1994 and have restored it to what it looked like as a mining town complete with a Bar/Saloon rumoured to have been visited by Butch Cassidy and his trusty side-kick Sundance. While the buildings on the exterior look weathered and worn, the interiors are luxurious and comfortable. Nothing extravagant, but all the details are attended to. Small rustic cabins dotted along the river for about a mile with the Lodge/Saloon and hot springs bath house in the centre of town. This restored ghost town keeps its rustic authenticity with the intrinsically woven modern country chic presentation. I immediately felt at ease with my surroundings. What a place to spend two weeks practicing Yoga!

Our day would start with a morning walk down to the Yoga Barn which framed the neighbouring mountain and its fertile mix of Aspen, Blue Spruce, Fir and the occasional Ponderosa Pine tree. Often times after class we would spend time walking to the waterfall to absorb the residue of the practice before heading off to the Saloon for breakfast. Each day was filled with different activities. Horse back riding guided by Dunton’s Horse-Guide, Alison Eddy and her team of well kept four legged mountain climbers who kindly take the intensity of being 10,000-14,000 feet (3,000-4,500m) above sea level off the body to explore the many trails that surround the area. There is mountain biking with wild trails full of ascents and long descents and for those who find it too challenging there are bikes with assistance; electric MOTORS! Great for some of the steeper inclines. While I was invited to Dunton to practice Yoga, the abundant free-time and activities kept me busy and what better way to unwind after a full day than a soak in the hot springs and relive the unique experience from home.

As a child and young woman growing up in Idaho I have fond memories of soaking in natural hot springs gazing up into the nights sky, witnessing it with zero light pollution and a billion stars all around. It’s been a while since I’ve been back to Idaho to reacquaint myself with the sensation but as soon as I dipped my toe into the mineral rich, warm springs and assumed the ancient Hindu hot springs soaking relaxation pose, I was reminded of just how amazing the sensation is (might also have had something to do with the high content of naturally occurring Lithium in the pools). Dunton is a mountain oasis where rugged meets relaxation and the Mountain setting humbles the most confident of Yogis. If you ever get a chance to stay in Dunton Hot Springs, Colorado, ask about the Yoga Barn and make sure to soak up every ounce of blissful experience Dunton has to offer.

 

To rent Azaren privately go to www.azaren.ma

To book a room at Dunton or to rent the whole ghost town go to www.duntonhotsprings.com

Sweat Life Lululemon Festival Saturday 22nd July 2017!

Lululemon Sweat Life Festival

I will be there offering my Yogic Experience to the festival!

A one-day festival packed from morning to night: sweat. yoga. learn. party.

Picture this: Squat, lift, punch, plié, burpee and dance with the best studios in London; downward and upward facing dogs with our local and global ambassadors; run club like you’ve never experienced before; and development workshops that will blow your mind – and that’s all before lunch. Then take in a gong bath (yep, you heard correctly), join a ping-pong tournament let loose on a bouncy castle and finish off with a kundalini yoga rave. Oh, and did we mention the dance party with Grand Master Flash? Mic drop.

Saturday July 22nd 2017 just got better.

Book tickets: http://tickets.thesweatlife.co.uk/

Got questions? Email info@thesweatlife.co.uk

Lululemon Website

Sweat Life Facebook Page

Lululemon Sweat Life Instagram Page

Yoga Garden Party 29th July 2017

The Yoga Garden Party 2017 will take place on Saturday 29th July at Bore Place, (formerly Commonwork Farm), near Sevenoaks, Kent. 

I will be offering a talk at 1pm

Zephyr Wildman– Yoga and it’s Power for Healing

The definition of Yoga has roots firmly grounded in a focus on self-understanding. The more we understand ourselves, our habits and our suffering the more we have choices to align ourselves with the true path and the state of balanced flow. The equilibrium and harmony of a balanced life takes in to account the spiritual, the mental and the physical. Yoga, at its fundamental core is an exercise in developing and refining a strong and balanced state for all three. Yoga puts the same amount of emphasis on, and gives an equal importance to, the emotional health as it does physical health. Through using Yoga as a therapeutic tool we increase our potential to heal on many levels. I look forward in sharing the key concepts that bring a layer of potential healing to our asana practice

and a full practice at 4:45pm

Zephyr Wildman – The Prana Vayus
Prana: Life-force, Vayu: Winds. The 5 movements of shaping the breath to manage our Life-force for optimum health and vitality.

These Prana Vayus govern different areas of the body as well as their physical and subtle functions. This class will offer the application of the 5 stages of working with Prana to draw our attention to the 5 Prana Vayus in a practice. This practical application of:
* sensitising our awareness in how Prana moves within us,
* experiencing the creation of alchemy in asana, pranayama and bandhas
* and finally awakening and intensifying our Prana culminating  into a concentration of Prana which then directs us to higher states of consciousness in our meditation practices. A class focussing on the 5 Prana Vayus and an applied practice using Asana, Pranayama, Mudra, Kriya and Meditation.

For the full schedule and to book tickets go to www.charityyogaday.org.uk

Yoga Garden Party Facebook Page

Yoga Garden Party Instagram Page

Trew Fields: Cancer Awareness & Holistic Health Festival 8th & 9th July!

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I will be teaching on the Saturday 8th July a class for ALL!!!!

A holistic health, cancer awareness, comedy and music gathering launching on July 8th, 2017! Bringing together a community to explore, learn, connect, have fun and feel more empowered around health 🙂

Look forward to supporting this Trew Fields Festival in Thatched House Farm, Dunsfold, Surrey.

To book tickets go to www.ticketsforgood.com

Go to their Facebook Page Trew Fields

Go to their Instagram Page Trew Fields

Ourmala & Movement For Modern Life, yoga practice with Zephyr Wildman

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FREE YOGA CLASS with Ourmala and Movement for Modern Life Emily Brett, Yoga teacher and Ourmala CEO invites Zephyr Wildman, ambassador for Ourmala, to offer a beautiful yoga sequence in support of our charity. For more Movement for Modern Life videos, subscribe with our exclusive OURMALA30 code and receive 30% off forever and a free 14 day trial. Click here for more information.

A grounding, centring mindfully paced vinyasa flow. Bring an open mind to this beautiful flow which uses pranayama and the mantra SO-HUM is weaved throughout the class. Learn how to unify the body, mind and breath, and use your breath with the mantra to organise the mind, whilst the body is led through a mindfully paced flow class. Perfect for starting your morning in a mindful way whilst energising the body. With thanks to Emily, Founder of OurMala for joining Zephyr in class.

Ourmala sharing socially conscious yoga practices. Our mission is to help refugee and asylum-seeking women find strength, hope and a space to breathe through yoga.

To practice with Zephyr and support Ourmala click here

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Applied Yoga as a Therapeutic Tool to Heal with Zephyr Wildman 31 May – 4 June, 2017 at Yogacampus

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31 May – 4 June, 2017 at Yogacampus

Yoga refines our movement and breath. In its therapeutic applications, asana and pranayama become the tools by which we address patterns of movement, breath and being that are at the root of chronic pain, limitation and even disease. Because of the way we’re built, and the lives we live, we all face challenges individual in our life and practice, often with chronic pain. Our own structure and patterns of movement often lead us directly into these problems, unless we recognize and change them. Even when we exercise regularly or have a regular practice, we allow some muscles to dominate, leaving others weak and unused. This can eventually lead to pain and injury, even for the experienced practitioner.

Each morning will involve an exploration of the structural alignment, anatomy, muscles and function of the area that is the days focus plus time to review the prior days learning. In the afternoon we will apply the morning’s tuition through practice, utilising yoga asana, pranayama, kriyas and basic massage techniques.

Day 1: Foundations and Introduction to the 5 Koshas

A.M.: Students will be introduced to the concept of the “Middle Path” through a lecture on the philosophical and practical approach to working therapeutically with people’s injuries, ailments, mental health, chronic pain and addiction. Using the modality of the Koshas, we will dissect each sheath individually with applied philosophy to treat an individual or class effectively. The emphasis for Day 1 will be on creating the foundations to be referenced throughout the 5 days and include an overview of;

  • common structural problems
  • patterns of movement
  • Ayurvedic imbalances
  • Pranic problems in the body and mind

P.M.: The afternoon will continue with customised sequences inspired by the Koshas to start to gain tools to treat common imbalances and pain.

Day 2: Postural Integrity and the Spine

A.M.: With a thorough comprehension of the Koshas and a holistic approach, we will now begin to look at specific alignment issues and causes of pain with a focus on the spine and postural integrity. Evaluation of posture will be our focus for the morning, however it takes more than just “good” posture to maintain “good” health and balance. We will explore methods of assessing problems with movement, the three diaphragms and we will also discuss the myofacial planes. We will assess techniques for dealing with Flexion and Extension Syndrome, while putting a special focus on understanding the focal points of weakness and stability and how they are affected by our lifestyle and genetic predisposition.

P.M.: After a morning of theory and observation, we will put into practice some application techniques that have been effective in reducing chronic pain and common conditions of the spine and posture.

Day 3: Feet, Knees and Hips.

A.M.: Working from the ground up, we will learn to see the body in action and how the interconnected lines of intelligence inform our patterns of movement and pain. Literally the foundations of our bodies health and balance, we will evaluate the alignment of the feet and legs and discuss how to assess alignment highlighting common problems, misalignments and causes of pain.

P.M.: The metaphor for the Middle Path as our centre of balance is well illustrated in the application of techniques for this afternoon’s session. By looking at the feet, knees and hips as the foundation for the spine and the connections the spine has to the rest of the body, we understand that this foundation is critical to supporting that well being and balance for the entire body.

Day 4: Pelvic Girdle

A.M.: We will discuss and develop techniques for assessing problem areas and imbalance within the uniqueness of every pelvis. A keen attention to detail will aid the student to look at the alignment and observe and identify misalignment. We will discuss common problems and causes of pain, and most importantly how the pelvic girdle influences structural alignment for the rest of the body.

P.M.: Hands on practice of applying the mornings lecture and developing techniques that build alignment, flexibility and stability of the pelvis to alleviate misalignments and pain due to every day lifestyle problems.

Day 5: Shoulder Girdle

A.M.: We will observe how improving range of motion can ease chronic pain in areas around the shoulder, neck and head, especially when the individual has experienced injury in these areas. We will pay close attention to evaluating posture and what it tells us about the state of the shoulder girdle. Observing the alignment and correctly ascertaining the causes of imbalance are crucial to this area as its range of motion and susceptibility to injury make it one of the more complex areas of focus.

P.M.: Applying yoga asana and basic massage techniques that help to extend the range of motion with a specific injury related approach (e.g.,frozen shoulder, rotator cuff injury) will be unique to this afternoon’s application.

Related Video
In this interview with Conscious2, Zephyr shares her story of finding purpose in her life through yoga, and how yoga helped her move through deep grief and into fulfillment and joy. Get to know more about Zephyr here.

_Please note that this workshop counts towards elective hours on the Yoga Therapy Diploma Course

Certification

On completion of the whole five days, you will receive a Yogacampus certificate of completion.

Dates

Wednesday 31st May to Sunday 4th June 2017

9.30 am to 5.00 pm each day with lunch break.

Cost

£500

Cost Includes

Includes course manual.

Other Information

Maximum participants: 30

Number of hours: 30

How to book?

Booking

Yogacampus London

Our Mala Classes at The Life Centre

Mondays 5:30-6:30pm with Zephyr Wildman at The Life Centre Notting Hill

“At The Life Centre we are always looking at ways to better support our local communities. With that in mind, we are proud and excited to announce a new partnership with the charity Ourmala, that will help us better serve the wider yoga community.

Ourmala to help refugees and asylum-seekers recover from the atrocities they have experienced and rebuild their lives. Yoga is at the heart of their approach. For the cost of £10, two refugees or asylum seekers can attend a yoga class, enjoy a hot lunch and attend an English class.

From Monday 3 April two of our regularly scheduled classes will become Yoga for Ourmala classes – this means that every week, your practice will contribute to yoga classes for 50 asylum seekers and refugees so that they can experience the healing power of yoga for themselves. You can read more about some of the people that Ourmala has helped here.

The Yoga for Ourmala classes are:

Yoga All Levels with Lisa Sanfilippo on Wednesdays 18.30 – 19.45 at Islington.

Vinyasa Yoga level 1-2 with Zephyr Wildman on Mondays 17.30 – 18.30 at Notting Hill.

The proceeds of these classes will benefit Ourmala, however the style and format of the classes will remain the same as always.”

www.thelifecentre.com

www.ourmala.com

Unravelling the Knots that Bind Us, 25th June 2-4pm

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With Zephyr Wildman
25 June 2017, 14:00–16:00

The Life Centre, Notting Hill
15 Edge Street, London W8 7PN

020 7221 4602

£25

Granthis are “knots” binding the physical body and the psycho-emotional subtle body together. There are three Granthis covering 6 out of our 7 Chakras. These “knots” inhibit a healthy pranic flow of intelligence and function in these centres. Each of these Granthis are said to be the embodiment of 3 Hindu God-Heads, Brahma: The Creator, Vishnu: The Sustainer, and Rudra: The Roarer/Destroyer.

Using storytelling of these archetypes we will unravel the complexity of why we get knotted up in certain areas and how to use the Yogic technology to assist in our unfolding and creating a free-flowing current towards seeking contentment, serenity and stillness.

Expect a lecture, breath-centric asana, pranayama, kriya, mudra, mantra and meditation.

**** If booking for more than one person, please call 020 7221 4602. Please do not book via the website. ****

Anatomy Centred Approach to Alignment 2 & 3 December 2017, Yogacampus Manchester Manchester

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Yogacampus Manchester invites Zephyr Wildman to teach on the therapeutic wisdom Yoga.

The way we carry ourselves sends a message to the world conveying our state of mind, perspective and our physical health. To the trained eye posture is the tell-all for those suffering from pain and those that live in balance. The foundation of our body is inherently based on our feet, knees and hips and a little bit of TLC in those areas can have remarkable effects for our overall health. Our main objective with this workshop is to re-educate the body for pain-free movement by restoring postural balance, increase self-knowledge in dynamic flow, habits and routine and most importantly re-learn how to carry ourselves off the yoga mat.

We will look at specific alignment issues and causes of pain with a focus on the spine and postural integrity. Evaluation of posture will be our focus, however it takes more than just good posture to maintain good health and balance. We will explore methods of assessing problems with movement issues, the three diaphragms and also discuss the myofacial planes. We will explore techniques for dealing with Flexion and Extension Syndrome, while putting a special focus on understanding the focal points of weakness, stability and how they are affected by our lifestyle and genetic predisposition.

This workshop will introduce the importance and functions of the Pelvic Girdle. We will discuss and develop techniques for assessing problem areas and imbalance within the uniqueness of every pelvis. Hands on practice of applying and developing techniques that build alignment, flexibility and stability of the pelvis to alleviate pain and aid balanced holistic health. Zephyr will instruct students on bespoke yoga asana and basic massage techniques to alleviate misalignments and pain due to every day lifestyle problems.

Throughout the workshop there will be focus on anatomy and function of the feet, knees and hips. Working from the ground up, we will learn to see the body in action and how the interconnected lines of intelligence inform our patterns of movement and sometimes can result in pain. Approaching the feet, knees and hips as, literally, the foundations of our bodies’ health and balance, we will evaluate the alignment of the feet and legs and discuss how to assess alignment highlighting common problems, misalignments and causes of pain. By looking at the feet, knees and hips as the foundation for the spine and the connections the spine has to the rest of the body, we understand that this foundation is critical to supporting that well-being and balance for the entire body. The metaphor for the Middle Path as our centre of balance is well illustrated in the application of techniques for this session. Zephyr will use yoga asana and massage techniques as well as customised sequencing to create paths to long term healing.

To book: Yogacampus

Spring Yogic Gardening Sunday 7 May 2-4pm

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With Zephyr Wildman

7 May 2017, 14:00–16:00

The Life Centre, Notting Hill
15 Edge Street, London W8 7PN

020 7221 4602

£25

It’s that time of year again for a spring cleaning!  The awakening of the northern hemisphere is a great time to plant seeds of wise intention and what better way to start by digging up the roots of suffering to skilfully grow a healthier, more vital and abundant crop (your dharma).

Roots of suffering can be branched out into 5 kleshas (mental emotional afflictions) and our choices can reinforce this binding and can stain our perspective leaving one feeling alone, broken and in some form of dis-ease. Our personal struggle has no “one size fits all” yoga prescription for relief. However, a bit of guidance from suggested living methodologies and a focused mind, heart and body can do wonders to alleviate that which creates the suffering. The hardest part of finding relief from suffering is identifying just what it is that causes the suffering to begin with. This workshop will explore different types of suffering in detail and create an active path to the relief we seek. We will explore 4 steps to liberation from our roots of suffering, nurturing them with a bodhicitta state of mind, aware-ful choices and reinforced practices to grow from healthier roots and fertile soil.

Expect lecture, asana, pranayama, kriya, mudra, mantra and loving-kindness meditation.

Please bring pen & paper.

**** If booking for more than one person, please call 020 7221 4602. Please do not book via the website. ****