Our goal is to create a writing retreat that offers a whole experience. Though entirely optional, you will have the chance to participate in four one-hour dynamic yoga sessions in a peaceful, beautiful and natural environment. In addition, Maureen can write you a ‘yoga prescription’ to continue your practice at home.

Each morning begins with a five-minute walk past the Foron waterfall to your dynamic flowing yoga practice – outside on a wooden deck overlooking the valley if weather permits – while afternoons will be spent exploring the stunning alpine setting, if you choose to. 

In addition, Maureen and Marcus can sit down with you at some point during the week for a chat to determine how yoga might be able to feed into your writing, perhaps exploring issues that are causing problems, perhaps finding ways to balance your writing, or release your true writing self. After this, Maureen will write a ‘yoga prescription’  so you can keep up this beneficial practice at home.

You will stay at the lovely Etienne’s renovated centuries-old chalet d’alpage. Stepping out the door of the chalet you will find a cedar wood Scandinavian hot tub warmed by a quiet fire, and plenty of walking trails. In the winter, we can lend you snowshoes, and you can explore something that looks a lot like Narnia…

Maureen Hansman colour portrait

About Maureen

Maureen is a qualified and insured yoga teacher and potter. Formerly a fitness instructor and personal trainer, she has practiced many styles of yoga over 19 years, incorporating that experience into her teaching. Her classes are welcoming, relaxed but challenging, and accommodate all levels of experience.

Progressing Your Writing with Yoga

The idea of using yoga to impact writing began after Marcus had had a treatment with a very talented osteopath who questioned him about “where” he writes. Marcus described his shed at the end of the garden, but before he could finish, the doctor interrupted and said, “No, from where in your body do you write?”. Marcus was quick to respond: from my head. The osteopath suggested he try writing from someplace else.

As soon as Marcus recounted this story, Maureen immediately started thinking of ways one could use a yoga practice to feed into writing, tapping into something that is under the surface or shutting down areas that are dominant and taking over. Together we thought this could be a way to address writing issues, balance out a particular piece of work or release something that is being held back, while at the same time getting the benefit of a strength and stretch practice which helps prepare the body for long sessions of writing.

We decided to offer a morning yoga practice at our writing retreats and a private chat with both of us to see how a yoga practice might be able to assist you individually. After this session, you will receive a “yoga prescription” so you can continue a practice at home and understand how you can adapt your practice for the future.

The yoga is entirely optional and flexible, you can attend every session or only on a day when it suits you. Your writing is our priority.

The Evolution of a Yoga Practice

The first time I practiced yoga was 19 years ago while I was living in Poland. I had a group of friends who were very sporty and active and we all got together and joined a class to try yet another way of using our bodies to move and get fit.

My life, then, was full of constant change, of coming and going, starting and stopping and saying goodbye. My yoga practice was the same and it gradually moved from being a purely physical pursuit to something that is nourishing, like food and water.

Trying many styles of yoga in seven different countries and learning from numerous teachers with varying philosophies allowed me to find a yoga practice that suits me and to reap the rewards of what yoga can offer. More importantly though, I went through myself to get over myself.

I have been many things over the years, sometimes dictated by my situation, other times with determined intent, but I finally became a yoga teacher in 2014.

What have I learned as a yoga practitioner and teacher?

Yoga just happens. That is what I often end up saying to students. I don’t dictate what yoga is. I don’t want to use the ancient yoga teachings or modern yoga lingo. I don’t presume to know what everyone “needs” from their practice and don’t want to be another voice telling someone what they should or shouldn’t do or be. What I hope to do as a teacher is to help people safely use a yoga asana practice (physical postures) to quiet the noise around them in order to see themselves, to then be able listen to themselves and know what is true. There is a discovery to be made that is liberating and simplifies everything: a sense of peace.

Combined yoga and writing retreats

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