RETREAT ITINERARY

From 3pm - Arrive and Settle In

On arrival you will be greeted personally, meet your Facilitator, and be shown around the Cottage and your room. Given you may have had a lengthy travel, a late lunch has been arranged for any time after arrival. You'll be able to speak with your chef Ryan about what portion of lunch you need and any other drinks or snacks needed at this time. Self service tea, coffee, water and soft drinks will be available at all times throughout the retreat. Your Facilitator, Nicola, will be available on arrival, and for the duration of your stay.

You can use this time after arrival as you wish; to settle into your room, to have a shower and make use of your robe and slippers if you wish, to read or relax in your room or any of the communal areas or the expansive garden, or you may wish to have a walk around The Castle Estate.

6.30pm Dinner
7.30pm-9.45pm Welcome Circle and Yoga

We will gather together at 7.30 pm for introductions and an informal, welcome circle. During this opening circle, you can enjoy your first yoga session as Janet guides you through a gentle, relaxing yoga practice (8 pm-9 pm) before we continue with our chat and introductions. Janet's yoga, which will be calming and meditative and suitable for all levels, and our informal welcome circle, will help you to settle into your new supportive, caring space following your journey.

8-9pm Yoga with Janet

Janet Baxter, our very talented local yoga Teacher, teaches a range of styles and will customise the class to suit the needs of our group across the week. She’ll lead you, whether you’re a beginner or an experienced yogi, through a class offering a range of options and adaptations, so that your body receives the yoga it needs today, whether that is a gentle stretch or a more dynamic flow. Janet Baxter's yoga sessions will offer either Yin Yoga, Hatha Yoga, Yoga Nidra, or a hybrid range of styles. She teaches with an empathetic and compassionate approach, with a gentle voice and a gentle heart.

7.15am-7.45am Juice Boost Time!

Your daily energising, nutritionally amazing juice will be available from 7.15am. You may enjoy this in the dining space or grab it and run like a ninja back to bed, to enjoy and allow it to nourish and awaken you. You are also welcome to bring it to our writing session.

8-9.30am Mindful Walk and Creative Writing Session

After a short time of mindful walking in the Cottage gardens, we will have our first creative writing/journaling session guided by your facilitator. A combination of creative writing styles will be used across the week, including a method devised by original Beat Poet Clive Matson 'Let the Crazy Child Write', a freeing, stream-of-consciousness style approach to inviting your unconscious mind to guide your daily writing practice. No writing experience is needed and there's no obligation to share; sharing your work will be completely optional.

9.30am Breakfast

Your chef Ryan will serve you a nutritious, healthy breakfast, with power snacks as required across the day. You'll have time after breakfast to rest and digest.

11.15am-1pm Hypopressive Workshop with Janet

Janet will guide you through a Hypopressive workshop and practice; this workshop will help you get the most out of the movement sessions on your retreat and will introduce you to a training system that has the potential to radically improve your life beyond the retreat. The Hypopressive training system is a full body approach to restoring and then maintaining your pelvic floor and core health. Hypopressive uses breath, alignment and postures to strengthen the deep muscles of your core. There are many benefits to Hypopressive work, including helping you to breathe better, preventing and treating pelvic floor dysfunction, increasing flexibility, improving posture, reducing waist size and flattening the abdomen. It also helps to calm and nourish the nervous system. As Janet describes when talking about Hypropressive; it's for Everyone - from new mums, to the golden years and to elite athletes.

Janet will be joining us for lunch after the workshop, where she will be able to answer any questions you might have about Hypopressive, or Yoga. Janet also runs retreats in East Lothian, along with Jo your Kundalini Yoga and Gong Bath practitioner. Details of their own retreats (Soul Sisters Retreats) can be found on their websites.

 

1pm Lunch

Lunch - by now you will already be realising that your chef Ryan is truly passionate about his intention to ensure you have optimum nutrition during your Wild Willow Retreat Experience. There may never be another week in your life (or you can always come back and then there will be!) when you have a personal chef entirely devoted to your nutritional needs. This is no half-hearted pop it on the plate chef. This is his life’s passion. Ryan has vast experience of catering wellness retreats and plans to launch his own retreat business. He has genuine motivation for ensuring all of your nutritional needs are met for the entire 7 days. By now you will also be realising that being served a plant-based, naturally gluten free diet does not detract from the absolute deliciousness of the all-inclusive food on offer.

Ryan has offered throughout the week to share his knowledge in creating nutritious, delicious, healthy food that will truly allow your body to thrive, via juicing, and food prep demonstrations. This may help you carry forward a sustainable healthy diet beyond the retreat, especially if you’re used to a more meat-based diet. With his carefully prepared menu and attention to nutritional detail, I am confident Ryan can enable you to thrive and flourish. 

2.30pm-4.30pm Life Coaching

Now you’ll be handed over to an absolute gem of a life coach, Caroline Kirk of Embrace and Evolve, for a life-affirming coaching session that will set you on your path to realising your dreams. Coaching you on this full Harvest Moon, this will be a powerful Life Coaching session.  This is part One of Two intensive life coaching workshops with Caroline, which forms a crucial part of your Wild Willow Journey. Invest in yourself and in your dreams; It is time.

4.30pm-6pm Guided walk around the gardens, local river and woodland, and the Village

Your first full day at Wild Willow Retreats will be like no other. It’s sometimes a difficult transition to move from ‘normal’ life, through travel, to Retreat Life (which offers not only relaxation and a time for peace, but may also challenge your comfort zones). This first full day on retreat does leave a shorter time for reflection, but don’t worry - that will come. All activities are optional, although I would suggest this is a good day to embrace all that is happening - but it’s up to you. Going for a sneaky snooze will never be off the cards.

Orientating yourself around the estate and village may be important early on in the retreat, so you can get the most from your stay. Hopefully, it will be a late afternoon of sunshine, and after all that thinking in your life coaching worskshop, it’s good to get wild outdoors. Ryan will provide a high-energy snack to see you through this guided tour of the estate and village. You’ll be guided around the grounds of The Castle Estate (excluding the private Castle Garden unless by prior arrangement), experience a beautiful river walk, and bask in the sunshine (fingers crossed!) streaming through the surrounding forests. You will be introduced to our beautiful village and the local village amenities. You will meet the River Tyne at various intersections and be given details on local walking routes if you choose to go for walks around the estate or beyond, across the week. A time to walk in silence if you prefer, or to chat to your fellow attendees or your facilitator. You have an evening of blissful relaxation and gong bath meditation ahead; this is a good time to enjoy the space of the outdoors.

6.30pm Dinner

Dinner, carefully crafted by Ryan.

7.30pm-9.30pm Full Moon Kundalini Yoga & Gong Bath Ceremony/Meditation

It’s the Harvest Full Moon. We are so very lucky to have the highly experienced and talented Jo McCoy leading us in a full moon ceremony like no other. Jo is not only an experienced practitioner, with a previous life in the corporate world so she understands the needs and experiences of those seeking retreat from work, but also a busy self-employed mother of 3, with a flair for intuitive, loving, and globally compassionate work in her therapeutic field.

You will be treated to a gentle kundalini yoga warmup, possibly a short kriya (depending on your energy levels), then a relaxing yoga Nidra (yogic sleep), followed by a Gong Bath Meditation.

This is a truly beautiful way to celebrate the arrival of the New Harvest Moon. Afterwards, you are invited to enjoy one of the best sleeps of your life.

7.15am-7.45am Juice Boost
8am-9am Yoga

Yoga with Janet

9.15am Breakfast
10.15am-11.15am Creative Writing
11.45am-12.30am Zumba

And now for something completely different – Zumba on the Grass! For those of you who would like to increase your heart rate, enjoy some dance and music, and burn through a good chunk of calories, local and longtime experienced Zumba teacher Sheona will pump up the volume in the beautiful garden of Winton Cottage for an energetic session of Zumba – all levels welcome!

1pm Lunch
2.30pm-4.30pm Mindful Art Workshop

Another workshop like no other, this time a journey through art as you are guided with love and the honest eccentricity, often hilarious, grass roots talent of one of East Lothian’s/Scotland’s best and most ethical Artists – Lynn from Fantoosh Arts. No previous experience in art is needed. The theme of this workshop is yet to be decided. Lynn has enabled women to express their own individuality via art an extensive variety of ways and has offered a range of options for this workshop – ranging from Mindful Sketching indoors and outdoors (her Sketch and Wander workshops); Lunar Moon Cycle Sketching; Women’s Arm Painting workshop; ‘Sketchy Self Love’ session; or Vulva Sketching (and no – this last one is not a life/nude session!).

Lynn has a generous capacity to capture your heart and soul and with her workshops give you permission to express yourself in a way that you may not have done before. Unleash the innovative artist in yourself. A beautiful, moving, heart led journey that truly lives up to the idea of the Wild Willow Experience being one of a magical mystery tour of the self.

6.30pm Dinner
Evening - Free Time

Feel free to take the evening to yourself. The sun is due to set around 9pm so take a group or individual twilight or sunset walk or further explore the village, read a book (you are welcome to borrow from our extensive inspiring Wild Willow library - both fiction and non-fiction), rest and integrate your journey so far. An inspiring film may be playing in the cinema room. The choice is yours. Take the reset you need. Your facilitator will be on hand if you fancy a chat, want to talk through anything, or just meet for a laugh and a blether. The time is yours.

7.15-7.45am Juice

Juice boost time!

By now you’re settling into the Wild Willow rhythm, where you know you’ll be nourished and supported, hopefully feeling replenished and eager to meet the approaching Autumnal equinox, and getting to know each other and your practitioners well. You’ll also be becoming familiar with the regular routine, as well as expecting the unexpected!

 

8am-9am Creative Writing Session
9am Breakfast
10.45am-11.30am Zumba

Zumba on the Grass with your Zumba Instructor Sheona

11.45am-1pm Yoga
Janet Baxter will again skilfully guide you through your daily yoga.
1pm Lunch
2pm - 5pm Light my Fire Experience on Yellowcraigs Beach

An afternoon on the wild coastal beach of YellowCraigs, East Lothian, with our own 'Light my Fire' experience designed for Wild Willow by practitioner Anna from 'WanderWomen'.

You’ll be transported from the grounds of your Castle in Pencaitland to YellowCraigs beach and wildland, for a Friday afternoon like no other. On this Wander-Women Adventure you'll embrace the elements, learn how to make a fire, ignite your inner fire by dipping in the sea (optional!), enjoy some meditation, reflect on life, re-balance yourself and find peace in the wilderness. Your experience includes: Mindful, gentle walking; Forest bathing; Barefoot Walking; Silent Reflection; Meditation; Yoga Play; Making fire; Sea Swimming (optional); Nature Art.

'You will leave feeling refreshed, invigorated, inspired and happy to be alive, smelling of fire and freedom!' (Anna, Wanderwomen)

 

6.30pm Dinner
Evening Free Time

An evening of free time, to use as you wish. Your facilitator Nicola will again be available all evening on site for individual or group chats. Again, you’ll be free to take the time to yourself, borrow a book from our inspirational library, or explore the surrounding countryside or village. The choice again will be yours. It might be wise to have an early night tonight in preparation for an earlier start tomorrow

From 6.30am Juice and a Packed Breakfast to Go

This morning offers you something a little different! Your usual juice boost is offered and available a little earlier this morning from 6.30am and you'll be provided with a 'packed breakfast' to enjoy on route, or after your yoga on the Beach.

 

8am-9.30am Wild Kundalini Beach Yoga and Gongs

Weather permitting, this morning will offer you a once in a lifetime opportunity to join a Beach Yoga session with Jo McCoy in the beautiful town of North Berwick for 'Wild Kundalini Yoga with Gong Relaxation on the beautiful East Beach in North Berwick' (LINK?)

Those choosing this option will leave The Castle at 7.15am. This is a weather dependent event and must be booked in advance. An alternative is offered if the weather is poor.

9.30-1pm Explore Coastal Town of North Berwick

Enjoy spending the morning exploring the coastal town of North Berwick, which was this year voted 'The Best Place to Live in the UK' by The Sunday Times

1.30pm Lunch

 

 

 

Free Afternoon
6.00pm Dinner
Free Evening

7.15-7.45am Juice

Juice boost time!

8am-9.30am Creative Writing Session

In today's creative writing session you'll be invited to explore a number of themes, on the Autumnal Equinox; that of Balance and Equinox (the importance of balance in our lives and the harmony we can create between work and rest, effort and relaxation), or Letting Go of that which does not serve you, and of Closure and New Beginnings, reminding ourselves at this time of acknowledging the abundance of our achievements and rewarding ourselves for our hard work in life and how we may prepare for new beginnings

 

9.30am Breakfast

Ryan’s balanced, nutritionally complete breakfast is served.

11-11.45am Zumba

Your daily plant-based sweet treat will nourish you through Zumba on the Grass with your Zumba Instructor Sheona

1pm Lunch
2.30-4.30pm Life Coaching

You will again be in the skilful, capable hands of Caroline Kirk of Embrace and Evolve for session two, your closing session, of your life coaching journey at Wild Willow Retreats. The themes of the Harvest Full Moon and The Equinox will be brought together in this journey with Caroline as you explore moving forward into the next season of your life

5.45pm Dinner

An earlier dinner will be served tonight, to prepare for your Equinox Event, the main closing ceremony to your time on your Wild Willow Retreat.

6.45pm-9.45pm Equinox Yoga with Gong Bath Event/Yin Gong

Janet and Jo will guide you through a unique relaxing, Equinox event with the potential to be transformative, aligning you with your power with in and allowing you insight during deep meditative practice.

You will begin with a gentle flowing yoga with Janet, potentially Yin (JANET AND JO POP A DESCRIPTION FOR ME OF YIN GONG a Yin Gong experience that Janet and Jo are founding as a new style of Yin Yoga and Gong relaxation, giving your body and mind permission and the perfect space to hold Yin poses for longer and to provide an even more transformative experience). The yoga Janet offers will be guided by her knowledge of you as a unique group. Similarly Jo, after getting to know you across the week, will offer the kundalini style she feels will serve you all best, and your celebration of the Autumnal Equinox will end with a Gong Bath, a true opportunity to surrender to the meditative state of deep relaxation.

Afterwards, you can stay warm and cosy as you transition to your haven of bed, and enjoy yet another night of beautiful sleep.

7.15-7.45am Juice

Juice Boost time!

8-9.30am Mindful Walking and Creative Writing

Our closing morning together! Following our experience of the Equinox Event yesterday evening, and your full day of Walking, Writing, Yoga, Zumba, Life Coaching, Kundalini, Meditation and Gong Bath – this morning is a gentle end to a wondrous week, keeping in mind that we leave not on an ending, but on a beginning for ourselves as individuals and as a group as we may choose to stay in touch and connect as we journey further.

Our final mindful walking and guided writing session, this time with the theme of Closure and Beginnings in mind.

9.30am Breakfast
10.15am-12pm Closing Circle

Our retreat will close with either an indoors or (sunshine permitting) outdoor circle during which we’ll reflect on our week and how to take what we've gained from the retreat into the new seasons of our lives.

12.30pm Checkout

It's Check Out time, and Check In time for you to commit to taking forward all of your wishes, ideas, dreams and promises to yourself, including to care for yourself.

CURRENT BOOKING OFFER - ENTEND YOUR STAY FOR FREE!

Your Wild Willow Equinox Retreat ends following our closing circle, with check out at 12.30pm.

We are currently running an offer to extend your stay on a room only, free time basis, allowing you to extend your stay to include the rest of the day and evening on Monday 23rd September, a stay overnight, and checking out on the morning of Tuesday 24th September. If you book while this offer is running, this will include advice on places to eat locally and in surrounding areas, assistance accessing public transport should you need it, and advice or help with any bookings for activities you may wish to make.

If you would like to take advantage of this offer, you are encouraged to book as soon as possible.