Winter Solstice Yoga - An Inner Learning Retreat

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Fri 18Dec
Sun 20Dec

Reflect - Relax - Restore

Facilitator: Mel Skinner

Winter Solstice is a time of reflection, relaxation and restoration. This retreat gives you the time and space to slow down and reconnect with yourself. With yoga practices designed to bring steadiness and ease to both mind and body, journaling exercises to help you process the year gone by and look ahead with hope, and deeply restful Yoga Nidra meditation, this retreat offers the chance for self-inquiry, self-care, and self-acceptance.


Event time: Fri 18th Dec 2020 at 4:00pm - Sun 20th Dec 2020 at 2:00pm

At a glance

  • Experience a variety of yoga techniques including asana (postures), pranayama (breathwork) and meditation for all levels, including yoga nidra
  • Explore the powerful practice of journaling as a way to reflect and contemplate
  • Connect with the land at this time of year with nature-based meditation walks

Participants will gain

  • A sense of deep relaxation to the whole being through yoga postures and breathwork proven to soothe the nervous system and boost immunity
  • Philosophical guidance and practical support from Mel, experienced yoga teacher and writer of Rest Is Radical
  • The opportunity to embrace the stillness and contemplative quality of winter

Winter can be a time of reflective, contemplation, introspection and softness. Unlike the bright extravagance of summer, winter offers us a quieter energy. Although, the winter period can be a time of exhaustion, stress and depletion. Here is an invitation to surrender to the darkening skies and colder weather and to embrace the gifts of the season.

We will explore hatha-based yoga practices including the more restful practices of yin and restorative yoga, alongside yoga nidra, sometimes referred to as “sleep of the yogi.” This practice alone can replenish and restore the most weary of hearts.

Exploring, too, more meditative nature-based activities, such as foraging in the beautiful grounds and woods of Hawkwood to find gifts for the altar, and taking meditation walks to the woodland sanctuary before breakfast. We will incorporate journaling activities to help us reflect on the year that has gone by – certainly, 2020 has been one to remember – and to help us feel more confident in navigating into 2021.

This retreat is for all who long for the chance to slow down, listen, and relax. All activities are optional. This is time and space for you.


Retreat at home

If we are unable to go ahead with this retreat at Hawkwood due to Government Regulations, Mel has devised a lush schedule for all to Retreat at Home. Therefore there need be no concern of whether you are able to retreat or not – the answer is yes! Below is a description of the Retreat at Home, something we may transfer to if we cannot come together due to lockdown/guidelines. This can be bookable via “Non Residential Ticket”, and the cost remains the same. A pre-retreat package will be sent to you by Mel in advance of the retreat.
Enjoy the ease and convenience of a retreat at home – sleep in your own bed, stock your cupboards with your favourite snacks, and avoid the hassle of driving and carrying lots of yoga equipment. For this online retreat at home, we recommend that you spend a little bit of time beforehand preparing, so that you really get that retreat-vibe…
  1. Clean your house and tidy up a little – at least make sure your yoga space is clean and tidy
  2. Give yourself clean sheets and water all your plants
  3. Do your food shopping first – you’ll see a suggested shopping list and recipes that you can of course amend to your own tastes, but get as much done beforehand so that you can fully relax during retreat time
  4. Tell your friends and loved ones that you are on retreat even if you are still at home so that you can minimise your time on your phone and caring for others

Hawkwood has developed a flexible model for our 20/21 programme. This allows us to move forward with our courses regardless of changing alert status of Covid-19.
Rest assured, this retreat will be delivered and beautifully held by Mel Skinner – onsite, and if this is not possible, online. Where you may not have the deliciousness of Hawkwood’s cookies and crumbles, extra time, care and attention will go into ensuring this programme is delivered to you with equal holding. Please refer to our flexible booking policy here.

Price Options

£330 Residential Single
£250 Non Residential


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Practical Information

Please bring your own yoga equipment if possible, including
- A yoga mat
- A yoga bolster
- At least one blanket
- An eye pillow
- A yoga strap (or scarf)

Mel will have beautiful unique Tibetan blankets for sale on retreat as well as eye pillows.

Bring suitable clothing footwear for the outdoor activities, such as waterproof coats and trousers, walking boots or wellies (the ground may be muddy)

Warm clothing is always good for the afternoon yoga sessions, and a change of clothes should you get wet on the outdoor sessions.

If you’d like to join the early morning meditation walk please do bring a torch.

Bring a journal and a pen, too!

All levels are truly welcome - no experience required, Yoga is for all.

Mel Skinner

Teaching yoga since 2014, Mel is experienced, kind, and knowledgeable, She aims to bring warmth and depth to her teachings. Her first book, Rest Is Radical was published in September 2020, and she believes wholeheartedly in the power of rest as a tool of self care and self acceptance. Based in Bristol she teaches online and face-to-face, to individuals and groups.

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“I always love Mel’s courses, they are well balanced, thoughtful and enjoyable. Mel is a fabulous tutor, she is receptive to the needs of students, acting with compassion and intuitive.”
- Melisa

“This retreat was more than I could have hoped for. I’ve got so much out of the course. Mel is made for this. Calm, kind, clear and helpful. I would recommend everyone to do this,”
- Audrey

“I really enjoyed Mel’s retreat. Mel provided a very safe, kind space to practice yoga and was informative around what we were doing.”
- Linda