Restorative Retreats for Peacemakers
These one-week restorative retreats are designed for professionals who work on the frontlines, offering yoga for managing stress and anxiety and maintaining inner balance.
Journalists, aid workers and international officials who serve in conflict zones, far from home and loved ones, often witness traumatic events in the course of their work. We brave dislocation and push our own mental frontiers to try to make sense of the world, to bear witness, to alleviate suffering. Our work is often based on compassion and the ideal of supporting peace, yet we ourselves are affected – and often experience stress and burnout. These retreats are designed to help build resilience and unwind after assignments.
The key is deep relaxation – learning to regulate the nervous system and integrate any tensions or past traumas held in the body. This is achieved through a gentle and systematic yoga practice, combining asana (postures), pranayama (breathing techniques), yoga nidra (relaxation) and meditation.
“Since the retreat I have done the yoga practices every day, ending with yoga nidra. I feel so many changes. One really important one is that my breath has become much deeper in daily life. Yoga nidra is helping my nervous system become calmer and calmer. I want to say thank you to all of you for the great journey. After the retreat I have felt much richer.”
– Simone Back, Restorative Retreat, July 2016
I spent an unforgettable week of reflection and recovery last summer on a Tools for Inner Peace retreat. I was fairly sceptical of the practice of meditation and had almost no experience of yoga. It was a transformative experience; I can’t recommend it enough to anyone who is looking for a moment of peace and reflection in their busy life.
The day was structured around yoga, meditation and workshops to understand the theory and practice of yoga and meditation. Even if I never did yoga again, the week itself was beneficial in providing a structured way to clear out the clutter and detritus of my head.
The day started at 7am and finished at 9pm and, apart from a couple of hours of free time for reading or naps, the whole day was structured around yoga, meditation, guided discussions, and other forms of self-exploration. We learnt about the physiology of yoga and mindfulness, including things like breathing exercises and guided deep relaxation as well as more traditional stretching poses. We were offline for the week too, which was just a wonderful break and part of the attraction for me, and immensely beneficial.
I was not familiar with the practice of yoga and found the week challenging, but ultimately very beneficial. I processed a lot of thoughts, all crowding up in my mind after too many months of busyness and the constant interruptions of a life lived online. I went through some fairly harsh self-reflection during the week. At first I thought I was failing in the basics of meditation, but I realised by the end of the week that the torrent of thoughts was just the process of letting them all rise up in my brain and sort themselves out. I came away from the trip feeling more relaxed than I have in years, and when I returned to work everyone remarked, unprompted, that I looked healthier and more relaxed than when they last saw me.
– Thomas, Restorative Retreat, July 2016
For enquiries about future Restorative Retreats, please fill in the contact form below: