7th – 14th September 2019
TAI CHI was born in the mountains and this week will offer an opportunity to bring the practice into the Monterosa summer landscape in a fully realised way. 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.
For followers in MINDFULNESS, TAI CHI makes such an entirely natural companion that an interest in one may, with guidance, lead freely to an experience in the other. Custom says of TAI CHI that it is: First in the Mind then in the Body, when in the Body then in the Mind again. MINDFULNESS practices mirror this Whole Mind Whole Body principle, sharing its origins in large part with the holistic wisdom traditions, perhaps mainly of the East, of which TAI CHI certainly is one. In other words, they are activities and Ways in common. To bring them together for a week in the mountains will allow both time and a setting in which to go beyond the encounter of a two-hour class or weekend’s study, and truly explore, truly sustain.
The Retreat will be led by highly experienced teacher, Tim Spratt, and will comprise both structured and informal teaching in TAI CHI and CHI KUNG, and with guidance in MEDITATION. It will be down- to-earth and practical in nature, so that those participating will acquire a set of take-home skills to apply in their daily lives and deepen into for themselves. There will be mindful walking and hiking incorporated into each day for those who wish to explore the landscape and nature of the area.
Without fixing too-rigid a schedule, the Retreat will include:
- Guided early morning practice. During the week those joining this voluntary session are encouraged to share their own start-of-day routines.
- After breakfast, a morning period of structured tuition in both CHI KUNG and TAI CHI. By the end of the week the group will have learned a CHI KUNG set of stand-alone exercises, together with a complete short TAI CHI FORM.
After lunch, guided mindful walks and hikes, suitable to varying levels of exertion, and which are optional.
- Late afternoon tuition each day, to re-cap the morning’s training and allow for personal practice.
- Periods of guided MEDITATION.
- One-to-one time with Tim, to explore areas of the practice of interest to the participant individually: as an example, the healing aspect of CHI KUNG.
More informally, Tim hopes to find time share his experience of CHINESE TEA culture, tasting some exceptional and rare varieties. He also aims to bring each day to a close with some quiet CIRCLE WALKING. For more information about Tim see here and in more detail on Tim’s web site here http://www.timstudio.co.uk/tim-spratt/
The Retreat will be suitable to all, as much to beginners as to those with experience wishing to further their training and knowledge in these arts; a sincerity in coming to the practice is the key here. Tim’s approach is direct yet gentle, focussing on both group and individual to make the experience as personal as possible. The practical study will be rooted in the wisdom of the tradition, being properly serious yet light-at-heart, and with the aim of moving deeply into a balanced wellbeing.
For those coming: a general level of good health, fitness and mobility is expected. It should be noted too: that the TAI CHI practice during the week will almost certainly not be examining self-defence/martial applications, these being unsuited to and too complex in a mixed group. However, some paired practice in testing postures may well be included. Hiking experience is not necessary, the walks are graded to suit everyone’s levels of fitness and aspiration.
More about the Tai Chi teaching can be read here , and on this short video.
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.
As mountain refuges go the Vieux Crest is very comfortable and cosy. Each room, of 3 or 4-person occupancy, has its own bathroom. All linen and towels are provided.
Although it is expected that the majority of the physical practice will be taught outdoors there is an indoor teaching area suitable for up to 15 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 and some interesting fusions. The menu can be modified each day to suit the tastes of everyone.
Access to the Refuge from Champoluc is by four-wheel drive vehicle via a 20-minute drive on a forest track.
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: flights should be arranged with this in mind.
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 Tim Spratt.
Daily guided mindful walking / hiking, 2/3 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 any Tai Chi, Meditation and Hiking 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
Tim will be pleased to answer your enquiries about Tai Chi, Chi Kung and the teachings.
Use the CONTACT form on this web site to ask him questions, beginning your message: For Tim –
Alternatively, you can reach him via his own website, here http://www.timstudio.co.uk/contact/
For questions related to booking and other areas please contact John through the CONTACT form on this web site.