Saturday 21st – Saturday 28th September 2019
The Monterosa mountain range sits above the Valley D’Ayas, North West Italy, near Aosta and is the perfect venue for being in isolated landscape of mid-altitude forests and higher glacial terrain and lakes. The Mindfulness in Nature Mountain Retreat blends hiking, mindful walking, meditation and learning mindfulness into an experience which explores mindfulness through nature, the mountains, and your own meditation practice.
A typical day will include mindful movement and meditation before breakfast, walking / hiking during the day with some mindfulness teachings along the way. On our return to the mountain Refuge there is optional restorative yoga session with meditations before dinner. Social and sharing time is valued each day whilst we walk, hike and eat nutritious Italian food where all dietary requirements are catered for.
Practicing mindfulness in the outdoors brings us closer to nature and the essential elements of life, earth, water, air, wood and metal. Through activities such as walking, hiking, yoga, meditation and breath work, when practiced in the outdoors, results in positive effects on our energy levels. The bodies chakra points become more open enabling the body and mind to see and change limiting beliefs, thoughts and habits.
When we walk slowly and purposefully for example, in nature, our senses are treated to a vast array of sensations to notice and savour. In this state the body sooths itself and the mind clears of busy thinking. When walking in this way be receptive to the sounds, scents, sights and sensations of the air and temperature on the bodies skin, allow these to linger being curious and non-judgmental, witnessing everything around and inside yourself.
Absorb the way nature shows itself by replicating the sturdiness of trees or the groundedness of mountains in your pose and attitude. Imitate the nature of water in your mind as it flows from its source to the oceans taking the path of least resistance. Inhale the mountain air mirroring the rhythm of its movement through the forests. Allowing the movement of nature to influence us in these ways can have very positive benefits on our health and well-being, physically, mentally and spiritually. Here’s some of the ways in which you benefit:
- Extend your appreciation of nature and foster connections to its energy.
- Experience the exhilaration and vitality of exercising in the outdoors.
- Learn new meditation practices and renew your approaches to sitting.
- Engage in mindfulness activities and share with others your experiences.
- Explore how mindfulness can support you in being centred and grounded.
- Energise yourself and maintain your energy and focus in everyday life.
- Enjoy being part of a group of like-minded people and grow in one’s capacity for awareness, tolerance, compassion, resilience, clarity, insight and well-being.
For many of us it is a rare luxury to be in nature for several consecutive days, to have uninterrupted time and space where we can connect with ourselves and listen to what is alive in us, beyond all the doing and busy-ness. This is a unique opportunity to retreat and practice yoga surrounded by the majestic beauty of the Italian Alps. The Retreat is located in the north west Italian Alps, near Aosta and the border with Switzerland. The venue is Mountain Refuge Vieux Crest, situated at 2000 metres above the village of Champoluc. The teacher for this Retreat is John Arnold.
The Retreat is open to all people with much or little experience of mindfulness – the important thing is that everyone on this Retreat loves the outdoors and finds themselves drawn to Nature. Each day there is guided hiking and mindful walking led by John Arnold. Routes will be chosen to suit the experience and fitness levels of guests.
Without fixing too-rigid a schedule, the Retreat will include:
7.30 – 8.30am Morning routine of mindful movement and meditation.
10am – 4pm Walking, hiking, learning mindfulness through nature, including a packed lunch.
5pm – 7pm Yoga and meditation.
More information about the teaching can be read in this article, Outdoor Mindfulness.
Venue – Refuge Vieux Crest
The Refuge is located in the hamlet of Crest situated at almost 2000 metres above the village of Champoluc in the valley D’Ayas, 40 kilometres from Aosta in the north west Italian Alps. Vieux Crest web site is here and further photographs of the Refuge and surrounding area can be viewed in our Vieux Crest Gallery. Access to the Refuge from Champoluc is by four-wheel drive vehicle via a 20-minute drive on a forest track.
As mountain refuges go the Vieux Crest is very comfortable and cosy. There are twin rooms available and rooms of 3 or 4-person occupancy. Each has its own bathroom with shower. All linen and towels are provided.
Physical practice will be taught in the outdoor or indoor teaching area, depending on air temperature and weather conditions. The indoor space is suitable for up to 20 people which is the maximum number we will enrol for this retreat.
The Refuge’s restaurant is relaxing and highly recommended and caters for all dietary requirements. There will be traditional regional food, vegetarian meals and some interesting fusions. The menu can be modified each day to suit the tastes of everyone.
A Mindful Mountains representative and transfer vehicle will meet you at one of three airports; Geneva, Turin or Milan Malpensa. All three airports have daily flights from various UK airports, increasing your choice of departures. Transfer time from Geneva to Champoluc is 3 hours, from Malpensa 2 hours, and from Turin 1.5 hours. The transfer vehicles will be departing airports at 2pm on Saturday 21st September and arriving at airports by 1pm on Saturday 28th September. Please arrange flights to correspond with these times. In Champoluc you will transfer to a four-wheel drive vehicle to transport you to Refuge Vieux Crest.
The package price of £1150 and includes:
- Return airport transfers to / from Refuge Vieux Crest.
- 7 nights full board accommodation with a light sandwich lunch.
- 6 days of teaching with John Arnold.
- Daily guided mindful hiking / walking 3 to 6 hours.
The cost does not include flights or insurance.
Book this Mindful Mountains Retreat via our Contact form – providing your name, preferred arrival airport and a brief overview of Mindfulness, Meditation and Hiking / walking experience. On booking a deposit of £100 is requested and final balance required four weeks prior to the Retreat. On booking you will be provided details of suitable clothing and asked for dietary requirements which we will cater for.
Further information and questions
For questions related to booking and other areas please contact John through the CONTACT form on this web site.