Satvada Retreats, Norfolk
A nurturing, luxurious long weekend of mindfulness and soft yoga practices
Best for: Stressed-out city dwellers looking to experience the benefits of mindfulness in comfort
Not for: Ashtangis or those looking to sweat
Takes up to 15 guests
These long mindfulness weekends, held at a dedicated luxury retreat centre formed of lovingly restored barns, have been designed for city softies who want to experience mindfulness without the discomfort you can sometimes have on more traditional, large group meditation retreats. You can expect a small group, boutique ensuite accommodation, underfloor heating and top-notch vegetarian and vegan meals. Periods of mindfulness practice are mixed with more contemplative forms of yoga such as restorative yoga and yoga nidra. This is a real chance to pause, soften and do less, rather than more.
There’s a high teacher-student ratio on these retreats, with two beautifully trained and experienced teachers, including company co-founder Lucia Cockcroft, who leads sessions with gentleness and sensitivity.
No treatments are on offer, and there are no spa facilities.
On this retreat there are six sessions per day, plus a silent morning walk around the lake. Rest further between sessions with quiet, calm and natural surroundings.
The mindfulness sessions are taught in a therapeutic, nurturing, accessible way, and in various positions, with absolutely no enforced crossed legged on the floor postures! Sessions are 30-45 minutes in length, and spaced out at intervals in the day. Your teacher is Satvada Retreats co-founder Lucia Cockcroft, who leads with gentleness and sensitivity.
The yoga offered is incredibly gentle, and taught as a mindfulness practice. Expect early morning mindful movement, restorative yoga and late evening Yoga Nidra, a powerful form of deep guided meditation. The invitation is to slow down and let go of a strong, striving asana practice. your teacher for these sessions is Vikki Stevenson, who has extensive training in yoga nidra and mindfulness and other therapeutic approaches to gentle yoga.
Do take walking boots for morning silent walks and any local hikes, and some good books for downtime. Try to be prepared to turn off phones and all technology.
When to Go
Retreats run over the Winter period, from December to March, and are a perfect time to cosy up and go inside (both your body and the manor house) to rejuvenate. The venue is incredibly warm, with two wood burners and underfloor heating throughout.
Meals are enjoyed at a vast central table in the main dining and lounge area. The feeling of space is intensified by triple height ceilings and views to the garden.
Breakfast may comprise rye bread with tomatoes, garlic and avocado, muesli, toast, coffee and teas (standard and herbal). A light lunch (usually home made seasonal soup with wholemeal or rye bread and salad) is followed by a two-course evening meal, comprising main course and desert. There is a no alcohol policy.
Satvada has a company policy of working with local suppliers and staff, rather than bringing staff in from afar. All food waste generated on the retreat is composted and the venue has a comprehensive recycling policy.
West Lexham Manor, Near Kings Lynne, Norfolk, PE32 2QN
Transfer Time: 2 hours, 20 minutes