Ashtanga and yin yoga holiday – Italy 2015

You never want a holiday to start with a text from your airline saying that your flight’s been cancelled. And particularly when it’s a flight that a group is booked on.

That’s what happened to us a few days before departure for In Sabina yoga retreat near Rome but we didn’t let that put us off. As soon as we’d all arrived we got down to the serious business of relaxing, breathing, moving and being.

And In Sabina is an easy place to be. With fantastic food, beautiful surroundings and little nooks to while away the hours, we settled in very quickly.

I enjoyed practicing morning Mysore under Cathy’s watchful (aka hawk) eye. She split the group of 12 in two with staggered start times allowing for personal tuition. She beat a few naughty habits out of me on day one (“You can cut that out right now…”).

Face-down Richard demonstrating Cathy's exercise that allegedly dislocates biceps (according to Sally)
Face-down Richard (middle) demonstrating Cathy’s exercise that allegedly dislocates biceps (according to Sally)

Teaching afternoon yin yoga for two hours on the platform was simply bliss. Rachel placed her eyebag over her sunglasses which I found highly amusing and I gained an unexpected teaching assistant.

Twisted root pose, afternoon yin on the platform
Twisted root pose, afternoon yin on the platform
My teaching assistant
My teaching assistant

I gave people the chance to experience some AcroYoga one afternoon and we spent an evening chanting whilst watching the sun go down.

AcroYoga: Celia flies with Elaine
AcroYoga: Celia flies with Elaine

Between the end of brunch and yin, we relaxed some more. Richard and Martin’s favourite spot was poolside, while Claire was intent on moulding a shady red hammock to her exact body shape. Massages, walks into town, a trip to a waterfall and an olive oil tour were all had.

Pool, In Sabina
Pool, In Sabina

On the final night we had dinner in nearby Casperia, an 11th century hill town. We sat outside admiring never-ending views over Italian countryside. For dessert, Celia ordered a black man drowned in coffee and ice cream. Apparently ‘nero’ and ‘negro’ mean quite different things in Italian.

Final night dinner in Casperia
Final night dinner in Casperia

Thank you to all who came and made it a wonderful and memorable experience. Both Cathy and I enjoyed it very much.

Unfortunately In Sabina is fully booked for 2016 but we’re looking at going to Morocco for a yoga holiday next May/June. We’ll announce more details when available. If you’re interested, let me know.

The group (minus Alli)
The group (minus Alli)

Italy yoga holiday feedback

Clare and Cathy, both your classes had everything and more to help develop my practice. I loved the place and the unique group of lovely people.

Thank you so much for all the effort and expertise you put into both planning and teaching. Easily the best yoga retreat I have experienced!

Di piu per favore!



Thank you Cathy and Clare for organising a wonderful week. I’ve been on a few of these types of things now and thought this one topped them all! The yoga teaching was amazing and I feel I have come on leaps and bounds (although that sounds a little aggressive for yoga progress!)

Wonderful week made possible by an amazing group of people. ‘Til we meet again… pause, breathe and smile.



A very positive week – except I’ve managed to gain three pounds, which I guess is positive feedback for Jessica’s cooking in itself!



Cathy and I
Cathy and I

AcroYoga hits Hertfordshire – a weekend of fun and flight in St Albans

Emmeline and I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who joined us at the weekend. We were really impressed with your:

  • willingness to give things a try – even if it felt scary
  • communication skills – saying what worked, but giving feedback to each other about how it could feel better
  • openness – being able to feed back to the group
  • ability to build trust in people you’d only just met
  • sense of fun – lots of laughter!

Here are some photos and more information about the practices – text taken from

Saturday’s solar practice


Trust is the currency that we exchange in acrobatics. With this blanket of trust we become empowered and empower others.

The AcroYoga solar practices are the tools that unlock that power in others and ourselves. The solar elements build strength and feature inversions and partner acrobatics.

As we build strength by using acrobatic and gymnastic training techniques we build confidence. Push ups, down dog push ups, abdominal exercises and partner conditioning are some of the building blocks that create strong teams. We also cultivate the ability to coach each other to encourage positively.

The inversions give us the chance to build trust and efficient acrobatic techniques for headstands, handstands and so on.

Partner acrobatics is where we put it all together in a group of three: base, flyer and spotter. The base creates the foundation for the acrobatics, the flyer trusts and consciously moves through the air and the spotter makes sure this all happens safely! These practices build a playful, strong community that can help us all realise our true potential.









Sunday’s lunar practice


The first steps in the practice of AcroYoga are listening and relearning to be open. The lunar therapeutic practice includes massage, therapeutic flying and partner yoga. The aim in these practices is that both the giver and receiver can feel more full and balanced. Our main tools are gravity, sensitivity, loving kindness, feeling and releasing.

Massage is an ancient gift from traditions. It is a practice that can be cultivated to open the body using bodyweight, loving touch and mindfulness. Before students fly each other it is key for them to have some massage technique so they can be more confident when they massage people while they are in the air.

Therapeutic flying is an inverted aerial massage. The base supports the flyer with their legs as the flyer hangs passively. The base uses gravity, stretching and sensitive touch to open the flyers upper body. When the flyer comes down they do massage on the bases warmed up legs. The session is complete when both partner have given and received, based and flown, inhaled and exhaled.

Partner yoga is the art of using each other’s body weight and breath to open and warm the body. This is a way for us to use a partner’s strength or bodyweight to open our bodies in new ways. In all of these practices gravity and loving touch help us to let go of fear and pain. As we learn to listen deeply we can use our power in a sustainable way.






We will be running another weekend of AcroYoga in St Albans in Spring 2016. If you’re interested in coming, let us know.