Mindfulness meditation and horse riding, France (Pyrenees)

Disconnect to Reconnect

From April 7 to April 12, 2019
From April 28 to May 3, 2019

If you are someone who need a pause to disconnect from the daily stress and reconnect with yourself and nature

Surrounded by the mountains, in a special place in the heart of the Pyrenees Atlantiques, we are sharing what we most love to do: meditation and horse riding. Join us for 6 days with kind french horses and enjoy the sensations of transformation as you connect to your breath, to the beauty of nature around you and the sensation of riding through the Pyrenees raw countryside. Relax into the rythm of riding cross country and find new confidence in yourself, and in your body. Learn Mindfulness meditation basics and how to apply it in your life, how to listen to your body and tune in with what you feel.

Learn to recognize autopilot and acting instead of reacting. Go deeper and develop your horse riding and meditation practice and enjoy it!

None of the activities require prior experience, all levels are welcome!

We have all the equipment   you need for both horse riding and meditation/yoga, but you are welcome to bring your own gear specially if you have your own horse riding material (boots and helmet) and favourite meditation cushion (zafu) or yoga mat.

Benefits

  • You will be challenged by and find joy in the week activities;
  • Energize your body, focusing on body and soul alignment that will harmonize your system;
  • Full immersion in nature and natural environment.
  • You will engage with the population. Real experience with special people;
  • Horse riding relieve negative emotions, learn to read nonverbal cues, trust and to be assertive, while gaining greater self-esteem, self-control, empathy, self-awareness, emotional awareness and the ability to stay in the present;
  • Mindfulness tecniques to apply in the daily life;
  • Develop awareness of the body;
  • Develop awareness of thoughts and of the "monkey mind";
  • Build the habit of arriving to the "here and now";
  • Allow you to slow down;
  • Yoga classes (soft yoga focused on calming and balance the mind and body and improve joints mobility);
  • Organic and home made food from the region;
  • Opportunity to disconnect your phone and to disconnect from social media and engage with yourself;
  • Small groups, for a more intimate and authentic experience;

Why should I go on this retreat

This could be a life changing experience. A transformational experience that you will carry to your daily life. In the end of this retreat you will have the techniques to slow down, to engage with your breath, to raise your level of self awareness which will lead to confidence and self-love.

The program is based on enjoying the present moment giving you tools to relieve stress, stress management and to live a more present life. You will regain control of your life and make every moment count.

Learn new skills to take home with you and feel empowered and confident beyond our 6 days together.

Experience stepping out of your comfort zone and the feelings coming with it. After this you won't be afraid to say yes to new experiences!

How are we doing it

Mindfulness meditation and horse riding are the main core of our retreat but there will also be a Yoga class at the end of each day (to stretch and relax any muscles and joints soreness), nourishing food (local and organic), the beautiful surrounding nature that you can explore with walks, and time to relax just doing nothing.

 

During the retreat Manuela, the Mindfulness meditation teacher, will be always available for individual talks and offer to give an individual support to anyone who needs help with their meditation practice.

Yoga Classes with Nadine Vanmanshoven. The Yoga teacher, Nadine Vanmanshoven, will also be available for any questions during her class and we appreciate if you inform her of any limitations or injuries.

For the horse riding there will be an introduction and a short demonstration of the riding techniques used, and you always be watched and accompanied by professional and experienced teachers like Mr. Jean- Louis Birou.

And there will always be the presence of Michel, to support and help you with any questions or doubt.

Between the four of us we speak English, French, Dutch, there will be no language problem.

Unfortunatelly there may be unforseen changes to the schedule, due to bad weather.

If you are someone who want to navigate life in a more aware and conscious way.

Sample Day Schedule

  • Day #1

    17.00/18.00 - Arrival 18.00/19.00 - Orientation session and Welcome 19.30 - Dinner

  • Day #2

    7.00/7.30 - Mindfulness Meditation practice 7.30/8.30 – Breakfast 8.30/9.00 – Break 9.30/12.30 - Mindfulness Meditation practice 13.00/14.00 – Lunch 14.30/17.30 - Horse riding 17.30/18.30 – Break 18.30/19.30 - Yin Yoga class 20.00 – Dinner

  • Day #3, #4, #5

    7.00/7.30 - Mindfulness Meditation practice 7.30/8.30 – Breakfast 8.30/9.00 - Break 9.30/12.30 - Horse riding 13.00/14.00 - Lunch 14.00/15.00 - Rest 15.00/17.30 - Mindfulness Meditation practice 17.30/18.30 - Break 18.30/19.30 - Yin Yoga class 20.00 - Dinner

  • Day #6

    7.00/7.30 - Mindfulness Meditation practice 7.30/8.30 – Breakfast 8.30/9.00 – Break 9.30/10.30 - Mindfulness Meditation practice and closing session 10.30/12.00 - Check out 12.00/14.00 – Lunch

Accommodation

We will be staying at "Le Domaine Des Deux Eaux" a special place in the Pyrenees. Feel free to visit their website and explore it.

This is a beautiful renovated bearnaise property in the heart of the Pyrenees.

The property is situated just outside the village in private grounds. Renovated with the help of a local architect, the gite is a mixture of old and new, modern lines with traditional charm.

It is simple and has everything you need for a comfortable stay with privacy. A large, open ground floor comprising of an American style kitchen, lounge and toilet accessible to those with reduced mobility.

The first floor offers four well lit bedrooms with private bathrooms (sink, shower and toilet) 3 bedrooms with a bed of 140cm and 1 bedroom with a bed of 160cm.

The second floor has a further two naturally lit bedrooms with exceptional carpentry and private bathrooms (sink, shower and toilet). Both bedrooms have a bed of 160cm.

Outside, the wooden cube which is planted in the ruins, consists of a bedroom and private bathroom for a person of reduced mobility.

One bed of 160 cm looks out of a large bow window 2m by 2m offering an amazing view of the Pyrenees.

Parking, garden, sun terrace, covered terrace, river with its own little beach...

Every participant will have yheir own private room with private toillet and shower www.domainedesdeuxeaux.fr/gite

There are no shared rooms (except for couples doing the retreat together)

If you are someone who never horse ride but would love to do it, or if you have experience in horse riding but want to do it in a more aware way

Food

Breakfast will be made and served at the house, fresh products and minute made.
Lunch and dinner will be at a local restaurant in the vila of Bruges, simple home made food with local products and dishes.
If the weather allows it, we will have the opportunity to lunch outside on the country side, next to the horses, "pic-nic style".

Please let us know if you have any diet restrictions or food allergies. There will be a vegetarian option. Fresh fruit and tea always available.

How to get there

Airfare or transport is not included. Please find a connection which gets you to the "Domaine des Deux Eaux, that is located at Route de Capbis, 64800 Bruges Capbis Mifaget, Aquitaine - France

Its in the heart of the Pyrenees but its really easy to get there! See FAQ on the details of how to get there, or send us an email and we will help you to plan your trip.

How much it costs

€1.200,00 per person.

Only 7 places.

Included

  • 5 nights accommodation at "Le Domaine des Deux Eaux" in a private room with toilet and shower;
  • 4 Horse riding walks with material;
  • Guided Mindfulness meditations;
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner;
  • 4  Yoga classes with trained teacher;
  • Transport between accommodation and the Horse center and to and from the restaurant.

Not included

  • Airfare and transportation to the retreat venue. You have to book your flight or plan your trip;

Terms and Conditions

Payment Policy

After we have received a confirmation from you about securing your space in a retreat with Âncora Retreats  a courtesy hold allows one week to send your initial deposit.

A non refundable deposit of 500€ holds your space. After the reception of your deposit we will send you a reply confirming your place in the retreat and with information relating to the retreat. If you don't receive our reply please contact us.

The deposit is always non-refundable and must be used within one year of the original retreat start date (see details below).

The rest of the payment must be done until 30 days before the retreat start date.

Bookings close 30 days before the retreat starts.

Together with the deposit you must submit this participant agreement  form signed . Guests who fail to do so, may be subject to an automatic cancellation and the policy below will apply.

 

Retreat Cancellations Definitions

"Cancellation" is defined as not attending your scheduled  retreat, including postponing or rescheduling.

 "You" refers to the guest booking at the retreat.

 "We" refers to Âncora Retreat .

It is your responsibility to read and understand our cancellation policy before making a reservation.

We are committed to providing a high retreat, have very limited spaces and maintain a standard of never cancelling a retreat with guests booked on it; therefore we expect to receive only firm bookings from intended guests.

 Naturally, no one books with the intention of canceling or postponing their retreat, but unexpected things do happen, so please consider purchasing travel cancellation  insurance.

A portion of your payment may be used as credit for another retreat within one year of your original retreat date.

We will gladly transfer your credit to another guest for the same retreat you originally booked, with the same level of accommodations.

Depending on when you cancel, cancellation fees may apply.

Fees are determined by the following schedule:

  1. If you cancel more than 90 days before your retreat start date, 90% of your payment may be applied to another Âncora Retreat  within one year of your original retreat start date.
  2. If you cancel 60 - 89 days before your retreat start date, 75% of your payment may be applied to another Âncora Retreat within one year of your original retreat dates.
  3. If you cancel 45 - 59 days before your retreat start date, 50% of your payment may be applied to another Âncora Retreat within one year of your original retreat start date.
  4. If you cancel 30 - 44 days before your retreat start date, 30% of your payment may be applied to another Âncora Retreat within one year of your original retreat start date.
    *** If you do not use this credit within one year, you will be refunded 0% of your original payment (whether that is a deposit or full payment).
  5. If you cancel 29 days or less before your retreat start date, you will forfeit your entire payment.

Exceptions to our policy cannot be made for any reason.

We do not offer credit for arriving late or leaving early.

All cancellations must be received in writing sent via email

 

Retreat Cancellation Policy

The retreat will occur with a minimum  and maximum number of participants (limited places available). In the eventuality of not having the minimum registration established we will have to cancel the event.

If the retreats must be cancel for any reason, you may transfer your full retreat payment to another retreat, or you may request a refund of your payments to us, constituting a full settlement. No other financial compensation can be indebted for any other reason on behalf of fraudulence.

As Âncora Retreats is not a travel agency it cannot be responsible for your expenses incurred in preparation for any canceled retreat, such as airline tickets, loss of work, and/or other costs associated with preparing for your trip. 

We strongly recommend that all participants obtain travel insurance with a trip cancellation policy.

 

Our Responsibility to You

Ancora retreats organises retreats that combine meditation with a variety of sports activities.(horse riding, sailing, yoga)

As the retreat operator, we make arrangements with other parties ( seaspirit, among others) to provide you with some of the services on your retreat. These parties are independent suppliers over whom we have no direct control.

Âncora Retreats hold no responsibility for independent contractors or weather conditions, changing services on the retreat.

Âncora Retreats is not responsible for any claims, losses, damages, costs or expenses arising out of injury, accident or death, damage, loss or delay of baggage or other property; or delay, inconvenience, loss of enjoyment, or frustration, whether physical or mental resulting from: (1) the act or omission of any party including Âncora Retreats or its employees; (2) mechanical breakdown, government actions, weather or other factors beyond our control; (3) your failure to read information provided and follow instructions including, but not limited to, obtaining sufficient travel protection & health insurance and providing correct & complete personal, health and travel information; (4) your cancellation or change for any reason in travel services offered; and (5) your medical or health problems or physical disabilities.

All participants are expected to have their own individual civil liability insurance.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How do i get to the Pyrenees retreat?

  • By car: any GPS can take you there (gps coordinates and address are in the website)
  • By train: The nearest train station to the Domaine is Coarraze/Nay (10 minutes away from the Domaine). You can get TGV trains from almost any European capitals to Paris or Bordeaux. In Paris or Bordeaux you can take a direct train to Pau. And from Pau a city train to Nay.
  • By air: You can fly from all major cities in the world to Paris, to Pau, to Tarbes/Lourdes (these 2 airports are 30 minutes away from the Domain) or Toulouse (in Toulouse you can take the train directly to Coarraze/Nay).
  • Please notice that there is no public transportation directly to "Le Domaine des Deux Eaux".

If you need help planning your trip or to pick you up near by, just let us know.

 

2. At what time should i arrive to the retreats? When does it finish?

  • Arrivals are on Sunday (day 1 of all retreats) between 17.00 and 18.00 hours. During that hour we will process your arrival and settle you in your room.  Please let us know if you are arriving earlier then 17.00 hour or later then 18.00 hour on the 1st day.
  • On the last day (Friday, day 6 of all retreats) we will have breakfast followed by a last farewell group session and lunch. After you are free.

 

3. Is it possible to arrive earlier or to stay after the retreat ends?

Yes, but please let us know if you are arriving earlier or if you want to stay a few more days, for us to be able to help you.

 

4. I want to go with my partner can we share a room?

Yes, if your partner is going to participate in the retreat too. If not its better to do it alone. The price is per person.

 

5. Is there wifi and mobile phone connection?

Yes, but our advice is not to use your mobile phone during the retreat. Just leave it in the room and forget about it. In the end of the day it is still there and you can talk to your family.

 

6. What do i need to bring?

We have all the equipment you need for  horse riding, sailing and meditation/yoga, but you are welcome to bring your onw gear, specially if you have your own horse riding material (boots and helmet), sailing material or your favourite meditation cushion (zafu) or yoga mat.

We would advise to bring harm and comfortable clothes for the Pyrenees and Portugal retreats.

The rooms have bed sheets, towels, blankets, but you should bring all the toiletries that you usually need (e.g., shampoo, soap, etc). Also bring comfortable walking shoes to use on the gardens/forest.

 

7. Do i have to have experience in horse riding? I NEVER DID IT!

It's your first time horse riding? You will love it! The Pyrenees horses are special ones. These are strong but gentle horses, accustomed to the mountains, they are part of them and will make you feel comfortable.

There will be an introduction and a short demonstration of the riding techniques used. We mount up and ride for a bit in the ring for a brief evaluation to make sure you are well matched with your horse, and after we go on a trail ride in the scenic wilderness surroundings.

Trust us.  It is as simple as that. It happened to us. And you are going to feel improvements and progression every day.

There are endless interesting destinations with varied walks to be explored and you will have the opportunity to meet one of the most interesting men of the Pyrenees,  Jean- Louis Birou.

 

8. Do i have to have experience in meditation?

No! And that is the beauty of mindfulness meditation. You dont need anything to start doing it. Just an open mind and the desire to slow down.

Do you sometimes feel that you need a button in your head to disconnect your mind and control your thoughts? Well, guess what… mindfulness meditation might be that button. Give it a chance.

 

9. What exactly is Mindfulness meditation?

It’s most commonly defined as “paying attention in a particular way, on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgmentally.”

Mindfulness meditation practice couldn’t be more simple: take a good seat, pay attention to the breath, and when your attention wanders, return. By following these simple steps, you can get to know yourself up close and personal.

It was popularized by a Vietnamese Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh and an American Doctor Jon Kabat-Zinn over the last 40 years.Mindfulness meditation is acclaimed by many as the very best tool for mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual wellness.

Anyone can practice it. Mindfulness meditation transcends all religious and cultural backgrounds.

Benefits of practicing mindfulness meditation:

  • Improves well-being: makes it easier to savor the pleasures in life, helps you to become more engage with activities, and creates a greater capacity to deal with adverse events.
  • Improves physical health: lower stress and anxiety.
  • Improves mental health: improve sleep, and by focusing in the “here and now” you are likely to be less caught by worries about the future or regrets of the past.
  • Feel more connected to all living things, with more love and compassion.
  • Quiet down the “mind monkey”, resulting in inner peace.
  • Powerful intuition, accurately guiding you through life. Clear, lucid thought, with creativity.

 

10. How do horse riding and Mindfulness meditation work together?

There is a synergy between these 2 activities. By getting rid of all the extra noise we make horse riding an even more special experience. Our natural tendency is to be noisy and too active with our minds and bodies. When we work with horses we can slow things down and practice just being in the moment.

We can develop greater self-awareness, by becoming mindful of our breath, our emotions, body language, touch, smell of nature, and everything actually, when working with horses.

But dont worry you are not going to meditate on top of horses.

It needs practice but we will share our experience and teach how to apply the ideas . It's going to be a relaxing and a pleasant journey for you.

 

11. Yin Yoga what is this? I have never done Yoga before.

Yin Yoga is a soft Yoga that releases the muscles fascias, improve joint mobility and flexibility and balances the internal organs.

With the Yin Yoga exercices in the end of the day you will have the streching that your body needs for the physical demands of the day.

 

12. Why should i go to a retreat?

Because sometimes the most bold move you can do is to rest.

 

13. Upss.. i need to cancel.

Just let us know. Take a look at our cancelation policy at "Terms and conditions".

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