It can be hard to find a retreat that times nicely with your vacation time so here are some retreat centres in Europe where you can find yoga, meditation, tantra and dance courses among others going on throughout the year.
We’re slowly putting together a list of permanent retreat centres where you can take courses, visit or volunteer. We also include here some inspiring movements for social change that you can be part of.
The Lumi Association in the Postignano Castle, Perugia, Italy
In a setting amid pristine nature and historic architecture, the Lumi Association has its home in the Postignano Castle where it runs diverse courses, seminars and events directed to an international audience.
Founded by professionals from the fields of music, literature, photography, film, journalism, visual arts, teaching, publishing, performing arts, green architecture, new technologies, international cooperation, the Lumi Association at once attracts people from all over the world to take part in its inspiring program, and also breathes life into the forgotten village.
Learn more about the Lumi Asssociation!
Findhorn Foundation, Scotland
In their words:
‘The Findhorn Foundation and surrounding community at The Park, Findhorn and at Cluny Hill in Forres, is a vibrant, creative home to more than 400 people from all over the world. Together, and with the thousands of people who visit each year, we are exploring the challenge and task of creating new ways of living to promote:
- inner listening and self-knowledge
- peaceful relationships
- cooperation with nature
- sustainability on all levels’
Learn more about the Findhorn Foundation.
Ängsbacka Course Center, Sweden
Angsbacka is, in their own words: ‘Ängsbacka is among the most important meeting places in Scandinavia for people who want to live a more conscious life, live from the heart and care for our planet.’
There are courses, workshops and festivals going on throughout the year at this rural location in Sweden with a strong focus on tantra, sensuality and dance (they even have a tantra festival) and while it’s run as a limited company you can actually join it and become part of the center. Or run your own course there. Or just go and volunteer.
Learn more about Angsbacka!
2 Wheels 4 Change and Jonglirium
These Berlin circus and art collectives have been making inspiring projects for years now, riding their way through Eastern Europe and Mongolia, making circus shows in orphanages, refugee camps, small villages and anywhere they can find an audience.
They have many projects on the go and are open for you to get involved!
The Flying Seagull Project
These are another bunch of clowns and performers who bring creative workshops, laughter and joy to children in refugee camps.
You can get in touch to join them or just make a really useful donation at the Flying Seagull Project
Gaga Dance Workshops
Gaga is a dance movement originating in Israel and now they make gaga workshops across Europe.
It’s a little hard to define what separates it from ecstatic dance or aspects of contemporary dance but what’s apparent is how it has inspired thousands of people to explore the joy of movement and unlock an innate desire and ability to dance.
Learn more about Gaga dance and movement workshops.
The Tanzfabrik (“dance factory” is a creative centre in Berlin offering ongoing workshops, courses and performances. In particular they offer the chance to immerse yourself for a concentrated period in the world of dance.
They say: ‘Tanzfabrik offers four intensive workshop seasons each year: Oster-, Sommer-, Herbst- und Winter Tanz. Each season has their own particular atmosphere and features a unique combination of experienced and international teachers engaging in current topics of the dance world. Suitable for all levels from complete beginner to professional and with both participants and teachers ranging across several generations, our intensive workshop programmes welcome anyone curious to actively engage with the range of dance forms, bodywork and performance techniques available today within contemporary dance.’
Learn more about the Tanzfabrik in Berlin!
Bont’s Clown School
Eric de Bont has been teaching the art of clowning for decades and has established his own school on the island of Menorca where, along with other teachers of music and dance, he offers intensive clown seminars exploring the arts of improvisation and spontaneous humour through transparency and vulnerability.
There are also from time to time clown courses offered in different locations in Europe.
They say: ‘BONT’s is a small but professional International Center fully focused and dedicated to the beautiful art of clowning, a place where people from all continents meet, work together, attend classes and develop their own authentic Clown and show their work in an atmosphere full of humanity and with a very big heart.’
Learn more about the Bont’s Clown School
Sunflower Retreats, Italy
Sunflower Retreat has a rich and wide range of activities to offer, such as yoga and meditation classes suitable for all levels, a variety of holistic therapies with organic products and a visit to the wild springs. You can also take your time to swim in the pool, cycle through the villages and hills, join a free guided walk through the Sabina mountains. With a small fee, you may also take Italian cooking classes, enjoy horse riding, go for olive picking in October or November, experience wine tasting, take trips to historic sites with a private driver, learn Italian or watercolour painting. After all, you will never have to sit and wonder what else to do with your time.
Casperia is a picturesque, serene, historic town that is easy to reach from Rome.
Sunflower Retreat offers multiple 7-day retreats in June, July, August, September and October. You can check the specific dates on their website.
The retreat organizers say:
“Since 1998 Yoga Retreat & Wellness Centre based in the hilltop village of Casperia Sabina near Rome. Daily yoga and meditation classes, Holistic healing treatments, optional activities including : Italian cooking classes, water colour painting classes, creative writing, horseriding and cycling. We also facilitate group leaders and teachers with their own group events and host retreats in Costa Rica since 1994.”
“Each of the houses in which Sunflower Retreats’ guests stay is within a couple of minutes walk from the others and from our yoga studios, breakfast lounge and treatment rooms. Your walk will take you through the winding cobbled streets of Casperia.
The unspoilt structure and atmosphere of the village gives you a unique feeling of being in a historic place in time-gone-by: A place of natural beauty surrounded by olive groves, vineyards and forest-covered mountains where you can watch the changing scenery from every angle.”
Learn more about the Sunflower Retreats.
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