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Saturday 9 February  -  Saturday 16 February 2019


I'm thrilled to be collaborating with Chaya Yoga to welcome you to a seven day yogic exploration of 'hrdaya': the heart, in a truly magical and mystical corner of the world.

The sanskrit word 'hrdaya' can be translated to mean 'centre', 'core of something', 'essence', or 'the Self'. A great sage named Abhinava Gupta,  beautifully described hrdaya as ‘resting place’.

This retreat offers an opportunity to immerse yourself in a wide range of yogic practices in an exquisitely beautiful natural setting so that you may come home to your deepest resting place, and remember your true essence. As we are in the deepest part of winter in the UK it will also be a chance to top up on some much needed healing sun, sand and sea...

They say that our heart is connected to our hands, and that when we work on connecting to our heart, this manifests through our hands into our actions in everyday life.  Through the practice of yoga and taking time away from our daily lives and habits to retreat, we can softly and slowly listen in to our heart's deepest, most quiet yearnings, so that we may then  take what we discover and move from that place back out into our lives.  To work with the heart we must approach with subtlety and allow time.  In this way we quietly start to unfurl and melt away any holding, armour,  or protective layers that may have built up over the years, so that we may soften and return to being and living fully in heart.   When the heart becomes our compass we can move into our lives with more skill, clarity, discernment, purpose and joy. 

goa beach yoga.jpg

Set amongst cashew and mango groves and only minutes from the magnificent Ashwem beach, is one of Goa’s most luxurious eco retreats; Kaju Varo. Winning Conde Naste Traveler's award for best luxury boutique stay in Goa, this is a truly awe-inspiring retreat venue. Each individually designed eco-lux villa demonstrates contemporary elegance and minimalist design, creating a perfectly private, serene and peaceful environment to unwind. 

goa breakfast.jpg

We are incredibly blessed in Goa to work with an outstanding selection of personally curated healers, therapists and practitioners across a broad spectrum of treatments such as holistic, aromatherapy, Swedish, intuitive, deep tissue, sports and remedial, stomach and internal massage, Reflexology, Breathwork, Kinesiology, Ayurveda, Voice coaching, Reiki and energy work, plus many more. 

Included in the retreat will be a 1 hour treatment of choice, plus a 1-2-1 consultation with esteemed local Ayurvedic doctor, Dr Rohit.  Ayurveda is the ancient, Indian holistic medical science and Dr Rohit's work is profound. Within his sessions he assesses and evaluates medical, emotional and physical issues and offers treatment plans and support where necessary. He'll also outline your 'dosha' - your Ayurvedic constitution, giving insight and recommendations on how to best support you in reaching your highest happiness and wellbeing.

Chaya founder, Lucy Hill, will be bringing her knowledge and understanding of wellbeing food to the retreat; ensuring a completely balanced and nourishing, not to mention tasty menu. The food will refer to the pillars of a therapeutic diet to best support you during retreat. With daily juices and homemade plant-based mylks, two nourishing and delicious alkaline-focussed unlimited meals per day, free-flowing coconuts, fresh fruits and herbal teas; all designed to leave you feeling clearer, lighter and brighter on every level.

Lucy will host a 2 hour workshop, covering wellbeing topics such as nut and seed milks, raw chocolate alongside other healthy and delicious ways to upgrade the way you eat - and the way you feel. 

The wonderful chefs at Kaju Varo work alongside Chaya Kitchen and are adept in catering to every desire; using local, seasonal ingredients to create a delicious, varied and healing vegetarian menu which will balance and clear the body whilst stimulating the palate. 


07:30 - 08:00 Herbal teas, coconut water
08:00 - 10:00 Dynamic flow Vinyasa class + meditation (2hrs)
10:00 - 11:00 Buffet brunch
11:00 - 16:00 Treatments, free time
16:00 - 17:30 Restorative class (90 mins)
19:00 - 20:30 Dinner
20:45 - 21:30 Yoga Nidra or Guided Meditation (1 per week)

To note, we take off the middle day from evening group practice, as it's important for rest and for assimilation and reflection. No dinner is served on this day - guests can dine out at any of the beautiful, inexpensive local Goan and international restaurants. 

We are so excited to share our many years of Indian travel and Goan love with guests, which makes for a very unique experience. If you have any questions at all about India, Goa, travelling solo, safety, what to expect, where to go afterwards or before... just get in touch. 



  • Inbound private airport transfer
  • 2 x daily yoga and meditation classes, 1 x Yoga Nidra or guided meditations, 1 x Kirtan
  • 1 x 1 hr Treatment of choice
  • 2 hr wellbeing food workshop with Lucy Hill
  • Sacred heart opening ritual and practices
  • 1-2-1 Ayurvedic consultation with Dr Rohit
  • Sound healing and gong bath
  • 2 x multi course gourmet meals, plus unlimited teas, coconuts, fruit and mineral water




  • Option 1) £1111 based on 3/4 sharing a suite 
  • Option 2) £1221 based on 2 sharing a suite
  • Option 3) £1331 based on 1 solo room with sharing bathroom
  • Solo suite pricing available on request


We are always open to discussing ways to make our retreats accessible to everyone - please do be in contact if you would like to discuss how we can make it work for you.


For more information, to book a place on this retreat or for any further details, please contact Chaya Retreats. E- mail: or call Lucy: 0044 7866 368798.


tiny & Vast: a week long yoga retreat in south west portugal 

SAturday 8 June -  sATURDAY 15 june 2019

Let's consider the idea that the infinitely tiny and infinitely vast coexist simultaneously all the time.  That the macrocosmic vastness of the universe is contained in the tiniest microcosmic expressions of nature. That tuning in to nature or our inner experience with a sense of curiosity and wonderment can be a gateway to remembering ourselves as the vast, bright, beautiful beings that we inherently are.  

"This is the Self within my heart: smaller than a grain of rice, or a corn of barley, or a mustard seed, or a grain of millet, or the kernel of a grain of millet.  This is the Self within my heart: more vast than the earth, more vast than the atmosphere, more vast than the heavens, more vast than all these worlds". 

From the Chandogya Upanishad 3.14.1 - 3 translated by William K. Mahony

Sunrise.  Photo: Gemma Bannister

Sunrise.  Photo: Gemma Bannister

This yoga retreat is an immersion into a wide range of practices from yoga and embodied movement practices that generously offer us different ways to come home to our vast selves. With a full week to slowly un-hold our daily habits and routines, we have time to feel our natural rhythms resurface, to allow the nervous system to rebalance, and to down regulate from city life.  We have space to immerse ourselves in the practice, exploring philosophy, yoga asana, embodied movement principles, chanting and the yoga of sound, meditation and breath work. 

Monte da Orada is an incredibly magical retreat centre and organic farm nestled into a green valley near beautiful surf beaches in south west Portugal.  The hum of nature, birdsong, exquisite starry skies, the sound of the frogs from the bio pool, the river running near,  the mountains and the green everywhere offer us the most spectacular setting for our retreat experience.  It is also near beautiful beaches and cliff side walks for adventures, sunbathing and surfing. 

Nestled into Nature.  

Nestled into Nature.  

The retreat is designed to offer a space in which yoga practitioners can take their practice deeper in a held, beautiful space.  On this retreat you can enjoy:

  • Twice daily asana practice (both explorative, dynamic and creative vinyasa flow and restorative, somatic practice) with one day off on Wednesday to have a beach day/ surf/ relax 
  • Morning sessions: guided meditation, chanting, pranayama (breathing exercises) and kriyas (morning practices)
  • Integrated yoga philosophy discussion/ lectures
  • A range of specialist complimentary therapies with experienced therapists
  • Sunset chanting and sacred sound
  • 3 organic, beautiful and balanced vegan meals a day 
  • A Thai yoga massage workshop
  • Deep relaxation & quiet time
  • Meeting wonderful people and cultivating a sense of community
  • Free time to swim in the natural pool, hike, go to the beach, surf, swim, read...

This is a open level retreat with lots of options during asana class.  You can just come as you are and enjoy. 

The meditation temple.  Photo: Gemma bannister 

The meditation temple.  Photo: Gemma bannister 

"O green caterpillar, you are solemnly using your body to measure the length of the rose branch that grew last Summer. Everyone says that you, my beloved, were just born this Spring. Tell me, how long have you been around? Why wait until this moment to reveal yourself to me, carrying with you that smile which is so silent and so deep? O caterpillar, suns, moons, and stars flow out each time I exhale. Who knows that the infinitely large must be found in your tiny body?" 

—from Call Me By My True Names: The Collected Poems of Thich Nhat Hanh

Practice Room.  Photo: Gemma Bannister

Practice Room.  Photo: Gemma Bannister

Example Day

  • 7.30 am Morning Practices
  • 9.00 am Light breakfast
  • 11-13.00 Morning Asana 
  • 13.15 Lunch
  • 14.00 Pool, beach, surf, massage, read... 
  • 18.00-19.30 Evening Asana
  • 20.00 Dinner
  • 9.30-10.00 Meditation/ Camp fire/ Chant/ 



Sparks of Fire.  Photo: Gemma Bannister

Sparks of Fire.  Photo: Gemma Bannister


Accommodation ranges from private ensuite rooms in traditional Portuguese country house style to full nature immersion in a teepee, treehouse or nature bungalows.  There is also beautiful shared dorm options available. Lots of options for different tastes and budgets. 


From £850 

Price includes tuition, accommodation and 3 beautiful organic meals per day. Does not include flights, airport transfers, surfing lessons, bus/ taxis to the beach, massages and treatments. 

Concessions or monthly payment plans are available, please get in touch if you would like to discuss.

Getting there & Timings

Check in for the retreat is from 1.30pm on Saturday 8th June.  Check out will be 1.30pm on Saturday 15th June.  

Monte Orada is 1.5 hours from Faro airport.  

From Faro car rental is recommended, car share groups can be arranged.    


For more information or to book please e-mail To reserve your place a £200 deposit will be required.  Full payment will be required by the 8th April 2019.  We understand that sometimes circumstances change.  If you have booked, you can receive a full refund up to 3 months before the retreat (8  March 2019).  After that, you can sell or offer your place to friends or family. 


Please make sure you take out travel insurance in case of unexpected circumstances.  

One of the beaches near the retreat centre. Photo: Gemma Bannister

One of the beaches near the retreat centre. Photo: Gemma Bannister

"A magical experience to hold in my heart for ever." 

Retreat Yogi, May 2018

          "A deeply special week. A true inspiration. I feel so blessed."

          Retreat Yogi, May 2018


"What an incredible experience. The schedule was so well thought through; such a beautiful space for us to connect to ourselves and each other. "

Retreat Yogi, May 2018