Jiva Healing, England

Restful healthy cooking, eating and juice fasting weekends at a beautifully converted mill in Wiltshire


Jiva retreats at Littleton Mill are all weekend retreats and run on a few weekends over the year.

Twin or double room, with shared bath: from £325 pp sharing a room and bathroom, or £375 pp sharing an ensuite. Single supplement £160. Includes all meals, room, and yoga classes. Treatments cost £55 per hour or £75 for 1.5 hours.

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Best for: Novice retreaters and anyone who wants a slow-paced nourishing weekend break

Not for: Anyone who is after a heavily scheduled programme or looking for spa-like facilities

In a nutshell: Hosted by Canadian nutritionist Rebecca Andrist, Jiva Healing run affordable and accessible weekend group retreats based at an eco-friendly and comfortable 17th century converted water mill near Trowbridge in Wiltshire. The Creative Cooking, Conscious Eating and Yoga Retreat weekends include all-levels yoga classes, cooking demos, nutrition talks and plenty of free time to enjoy the mill's restful atmosphere and rural surrounds, and there are occasional juice fast breaks if you want a stronger detox. Add on a treatment to aid de-stressing.

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What’s Queenly?

Unlike other retreat hosts who might prefer to keep their recipes under wraps or try and sell you a book, Rebecca is happy to share recipes from all her food and juices consumed over the weekend plus some tried and tested favourites, leaving you with a great resource to start making healthy changes to your diet.

What’s Lowly?

Littleton is a great venue, but as it’s someone’s home, it doesn’t have all the mod-cons of a hotel, such as hairdryers for each room. A more hands-on element to the cooking workshops would have been good.

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Ruth Rosselson reviews this creative cooking, conscious eating and yoga retreat weekend at Littleton Mill in Wiltshire and finds a stylish house, nourishing yoga and fact-packed healthy cooking demos.

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Retreat Activities


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You'll get two cooking demonstrations on a creative cookery weekend, showing you how to make some accessible, tasty and healthy plant-based dishes such as white bean and beetroot dip and a vegetable curried hummus dip. The sessions are an especially good way of showing you how to get creative in the kitchen with assorted vegetables and leftovers.There's also an hour-long nutrition talk giving you some guidance on what changes to make to keep up a healthy and nutritious diet going forward (such as giving up calorie counting and looking at nutrients consumed instead). Juicing weekends also include nutrition talks.

The yoga sessions take place in the huge open-plan first floor room, with natural light coming in from three sides. There is a class on Friday night, one before breakfast on both mornings, and an early evening class on Saturday.All of the yoga is gentle and accessible for all levels, with an emphasis on slowing down and switching on the body's rest and digest system, rather than on pushing your body to its limit, and sessions include around a ten minute meditation, some pranayama (breathing) and a decent length relaxation at the end.Hatha teacher Amy McFarling led the yoga when we visited, but Jiva Healing uses other teachers depending on availability, always picking teachers who lead a slower, gentler practice.

There are guided meditations included in all the yoga sessions. You will also be introduced to the idea of mindful eating during the course of the weekend. Mindful eating simply means focusing all your attention on the act of eating, using all of the body's senses, and being present as much as possible, to help your body digest, your mind appreciate the food and your psyche prevent you from over-eating.

Food is cleansing on all retreats here, but Jiva Healing also offers dedicated juice fast weekends sometimes as a short detox for the mind and body, helping you eliminate toxins and allowing your system to rebalance. They include one coffee (self-administered) enema a day. Alongside the gentle yoga, you'll give your body a well-earned rest, and kick in the body's important rest and digest system.

There are options to add on treatments during your stay, offered by local or visiting therapists, with a focus on massages of all kinds, from holistic to Ayurvedic, to help your body wind down and relax.

Littleton Mill's rural location means that you can enjoy the Wiltshire countryside without leaving the grounds, listening to birdsong in the garden, or taking a short walk to the canal and following the paths that meander around the woods.

Personal spaces

Bedrooms: There are just five bedrooms at the Mill, set over two floors, and painted in muted, calming colours. All have views over the water or the grounds, and are minimally but comfortably furnished, with high quality prints on the walls and interesting books on the shelves. Two of the bedrooms are ensuite ñ the rest share bathrooms.

Personal spaces

Studio: Mini Mill is a self-contained studio in the grounds provides additional accommodation. It has a galleried double bed accessed by a ladder, and a sofa bed, as well as a fully equipped kitchen and shower room.

Personal spaces

Other spaces to be: There’s a tree house in the grounds if you fancy squirrelling yourself away. If you’d like to venture further afield, there are easy, gentle walks close to the house, along the Kennet and Avon canal and in the woods next to the canal.

Personal spaces

Other places to stay: You can also choose to stay offsite at a local B&B, paying just for the food and classes. Rebecca can recommend individual B&Bs, which include Newhouse Farm, a former Victorian farmhouse set in five acres of gardens and meadows a few minutes by car (rooms from £60 per night) or the simpler Antonia House, five minutes away by car (rooms from £35 per night).

Insider Tips

Bring your own toiletries and hairdryer (or just let your hair dry naturally), and some indoor slippers or socks as the house has a shoes-off policy and the floors can get a little cold.

When to Go

Spring and Summer time are pretty times for the garden at the mill, and the warmer temperatures make walking by the canal a joy. Winter is a great time to cosy up, replenish and boost your immune system before any traditional festivities.

Shared places

The mill: The mill is the family home of Melissa Kendall, co-founder of Jiva Healing. The family leave when the retreats run, and no rooms are off-limits except for the family bedroom which is used by your host Rebecca during the weekend. It's homely and comfortable, but there's no clutter, and rooms feel fresh and easy to be in, with interesting books on the shelves, a few framed photos and Japanese-inspired artworks on the walls

Shared places

The grounds: This mill is set in 10 acres of secluded woodland and meadows surrounded by water, with the river providing a relaxing soundtrack to any outside activities. Theres a restful garden, with a small and pleasant patio area with wooden garden seating.

Shared places

The yoga room: The huge yoga space on the first floor has high ceilings with exposed beams and plenty of natural light from the many windows. It overlooks the river, and at one end there are comfortable chairs and sofas to chill out in, and a bookcase filled with reference and coffee table books to help you while away some time.

Sustenance

All meals are served in the mill’s spacious and light kitchen around a traditional farmhouse table with long benches along each side.Food on the healthy eating weekend is free from meat, dairy, gluten and refined sugar, with a strong emphasis on fruit and vegetables in season, rather than filling you up on grains, and there is plenty of it, ensuring that you won’t go hungry.

Meals might include home made breakfast bars and a smoothie for breakfast, a tasty grain-free lasagne for lunch, with two or three side dishes including salad, and energy balls for dessert. On the juicing weekend, you’ll be getting freshly made fruit and vegetable juices or broths to help your body gently detox. Both weekends also have plenty of herb teas on hand to make sure you stay hydrated. It is, of course, an alcohol and caffeine free weekend.

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Sustainability

The mill was built highly sustainably, with brilliant insulation, and it has a hydropower generator to generate electricity alongside a wood-pellet heating system. Rebecca prefers to use organic and in-season fruits and vegetables wherever possible, and the house recycles as much as possible.

LOCATION

Littleton, Trowbridge, Wiltshire

Airport: Bristol

Train station: Westbury or Chippenham

Transfer time: 1 hour from Bristol airport 15 minutes from the train station

12 Reviews
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Debbie
How many stars would you give this retreat? :
     

Thank you so much Rebecca for a wonderful weekend at Jiva Healing. My sisters and I truly enjoyed our stay with you all. The food was amazing and has inspired me to eat more healthily, I’m already looking carefully at all the labels on food packets now and can’t wait to try some of your delicious recipes. Thank you also to Bruni for the fabulously therapeutic massage and the yoga, to Amanda for the foraging and to David for the lovely meals. You are a fabulous host and cook Rebecca and an inspiration. 🙂

Frances W
How many stars would you give this retreat? :
     

The accolades seem not enough to describe what a special weekend I had with Rebecca, Jemima and Charlotte. ( not to mention the lovey ladies who attended).
Firstly a warm welcome from Rebecca, who was preparing our dinner. But before dinner so many other things happened. Jemima, who oozes sweetness and light, was not only going to give me the most spiritual massage but was also our Yoga instructor for the weekend. The massage which was a proper Thai massage, was given outside under the vast canopy of trees, that danced in the wind. Leaves rustling and birds calling I let my body go, all the stress from work and life finally exited my muscles. I felt this huge release that I had been carrying for over a year, which was on a spiritual plane. I have no words for what happened, but since Friday my body has not hurt. Our Yoga was intuitive no pressure to perform to the classes ego, was refreshing. I have studied yoga for over 45 years and Jemima’s teaching was excellent. Then the food of Rebecca with Charlotte working alongside, epic! Never have I enjoyed eating raw / vegetarian food so much! The levels of taste in the mouth exceeded the many restaurants I frequent. I even came home and started to cook differently, my husband so far has loved all my dishes ( but it’s only day 2)! A beautiful venue, very special place and one that I found after weeks of trawling through the web I finally came across this place, the angels were guiding me here to heal. Many thanks to all of you for making my weekend very special!!

Tina Phelan
How many stars would you give this retreat? :
     

OMG! Amazing experience! My first,but definitely not my last!
Stunning location! So peaceful and relaxing.
Rebecca was an amazing host and made my stay unbelievable. Her food was delicious,!! I learnt so much from her.
The yoga and massage by Jemima was out of this world!
I can not recommend this retreat enough!
Book now you will love it and feel amazing,

Katie Dixon
How many stars would you give this retreat? :
     

An incredibly relaxing, rejuvenating and restoring retreat hosted by Rebecca, who is caring, kind and fascinating! The vegan food is truly delicious and has inspired me to become one. I was amazed how easy it actually was and I feel healthy and happier for it. The yoga is aimed at all levels and is truly restoring and calming! Littleton Mill is situated in an idyllic location with beautiful canal walks…I’ve already revisited the retreat once and hoping to again soon. If you’re looking for a relaxing, restoring and inspiring retreat this is the one for you!!

Lynne Moffitt
How many stars would you give this retreat? :
     

I attended the Creative Cooking, Conscious Eating and Yoga retreat at Littleton Mill in Wiltshire and learnt so much and would highly recommend the experience. The amount of information offered was amazing and the whole weekend was very informative and relaxing. The food was delicious and Littleton Mill is a secret haven! Rebecca is a mine of information and makes the whole experience an absolute pleasure. I will definitely be back.

Sue Jenkins
How many stars would you give this retreat? :
     

My friend and I booked Jiva Healing, it was our first yoga retreat and we were not disappointed. The house was lovely with comfortable rooms. Rebecca is a fantastic cook and the cookery demonstrations inspired me to try some of the recipes at home. The yoga sessions were good. A real chill out weekend.

Thandi Bates
How many stars would you give this retreat? :
     

We were a group of tired, over worked stressed out mums – looking for a calm healing weekend away. Rebecca’s retreat at Littleton Mill was a haven, and we couldn’t believe how lucky we were!
The whole experience was perfection. Littleton Mill is situated on a canal and the vistas from the house and yoga studio are tranquil and hypnotic. As soon as you walk through the doors, the smell of Rebecca’s cooking lure you into the kitchen where she tempts you with culinary masterpieces! I’m not vegan but have been so inspired and impressed with the delicious and healthy food Rebecca prepared with consummate ease. She is so knowledgeable about food, nutrition and mindful eating- but there is zero judgement, everyone who attended was on their own journey and it was a very open non critical environment.
So what more could you ask for? Beautiful lodge, world class food…? But there’s more! The twice daily yoga sessions calm and invigorate the body and mind. And individual massage sessions can be booked to complete the relaxation experience.
Rebecca and I often have laughed that I have tried to get her to come home with me as the weekend draws to a close, but she’s too passionate about what she does, so I’ll keep going back to her Jiva Healing retreat again and again!

Louise Dimmock
How many stars would you give this retreat? :
     

I recently visited a Jiva Healing weekend retreat and would have no hesitation in recommending it. Not only was the house spacious, relaxing and calm but the setting was stunning and the weekend allowed you to explore on foot the beautiful Wiltshire countryside. The food was incredible and inspired me to become meat free . I have been making many of the recipes still that Rebecca made for us – wonderful! The yoga was perfect and allowed for all abilities. There were 13 fabulous guests taking part with a few people experiencing yoga for the first time. I can’t wait to return.

Dr. Scott Daniels
How many stars would you give this retreat? :
     

The Creative Cooking, Conscious Eating and Yoga Retreat with Jiva Healing was simply amazing. First of all, Rebecca provided excellent instructions on getting to the retreat and I made it there early (even with the jet lag coming from Arizona, USA). Probably the best thing was the food. Such a large variety of deliciousness made from all vegan ingredients. Even now I’m attempting to make some of the meals today. Another great thing was the yoga, we had morning and evening sessions that were perfect for energy and relaxation. It was just enough to be challenging and Jemima, the yoga teacher, made every effort to be accommodating for all body types. My last comment is the company. We were a small group of 10 people from all varieties of life. I was made to feel comfortable within a day of being there. I truly wish that the retreat had gone on longer. I had planned my vacation for a weekend at the retreat and then 5 days in London. I now wish that it had been 5 days of retreat and 2 days in London! I’m looking forward to saving up for the next retreat with Jiva Healing. Namaste and Thank you Rebecca, Jemima, and everyone else!