A dramatic yet tranquil location that opens the mind and challenges the body as much as you choose, within easy reach of the ocean and the mountains. A climate that encourages being outdoors. A magical village with a unique cultural history and vibrant present that attracts all kinds of seekers after transformation. There are plenty of reasons why more and more yoga teachers are considering offering a yoga retreat in Deia.
But, as anyone who has organised a yoga retreat in Deia – or any other kind – knows, there are plenty of things to get right. It starts with finding the perfect location.
The Clot, the area below the main street that runs through the village, is the green heart of Deia and home to a community with connections to the music industry and the worlds of art and literature. Intriguing music often floats on the pure mountain air from mysterious sources to mix with the sounds of the torrent and of nature.
On a practical level, The Clot is the coolest, most tranquil area of the village, ideal for morning and evening yoga practice and contemplation. The shops, cafes, restaurants and bars of the village are a short walk away and it’s about 20 minutes by foot to Cala Deia.
Jeannie and Stewart Pickering own a charmingly refurbished 300-year-old, four-bedroom home tucked away in The Clot that will host mindfulness and yoga retreats in Deia throughout the year. The house has three bathrooms and can accommodate up to eight guests. An open plan living, kitchen and dining area opens out on a salt water swimming pool and space to practice yoga and bodywork in a shaded garden. The house is centrally heated and has an open fireplace.
This will be Jeannie and Stewart’s 14th year in Deia. They discovered the village after reading about its long-established community of artists and musicians. ‘After visiting the village,’ Jeannie says, ‘I knew there was something there for me. I especially felt a huge connection to The Clot. Buying the house was very spontaneous and a bit irrational but it’s the best thing we’ve ever done.’
Jeannie has created an interior that ‘uses white as part of the vibrational energy of the house and chosen artwork and Buddhas to help create a spiritually uplifting space. A musician friend who retreated here to write songs described it as “a vortex of magic” which I love.’
For Jeannie, who practices yoga and mindfulness herself, offering her home as a centre for yoga retreats in Deia is ‘a belief thing and not about making huge amounts of money. It enhances my life and my being here. I think it’s so nice to have these things in the village. The retreats bring in people who then go to the shops and restaurants and support Deia. We need this place to be a thriving community and we play our part by bringing in creatives, which for us is what the village is all about.’
On the practical side of things, Jeannie and Stewart provide a framework that allows people using their house for a yoga retreat in Deia to pick and mix whatever suits them best. Elena, the housekeeper, deals with making sure that the house is always at its best. Jeannie and Stewart are happy to handle the catering but if you’re planning a retreat at casa Pickering you can make your own arrangements.
In keeping with the couple’s mindful approach to life, Jeannie and Stewart are highly selective and this approach has paid off. Their relationship with Pernille Elvirose, who has offered retreats in their home for the past seven years has blossomed, Jeannie says, ‘because she’s the real deal, very authentic. She loves our house. It’s her first choice for retreats in Deia. Pernille has also been a great ambassador for us. Her energy has inspired me to do more to create awareness of our house as a retreat centre.’
Pernille Elvirose is Danish and has an impressive set of credentials. She trained in psychology as a gestalt therapist and followed this with training in neuroaffective development/somatic experiencing and shock trauma therapy. Today, she teaches at leading psychotherapeutic institutes. Pernille is also a Cultivation of Presence and Mindfulness coach and offers performance training. She produces retreats and events for private clients and the corporate sector.
The retreats Pernille offers in Deia combine yoga, mindfulness and walking.
For Pernille, who discovered the Pickering’s home when she was looking online for somewhere to hold a retreat, ‘the house is like a beautiful pearl. It has an amazing energy and plenty of space and light, both inside and out. I feel at home there and so do my guests. The Pickerings are the most generous, kind and open people and I’m honoured that they share their house with me.’
Email Pernille at email@example.com to find out more.
There has been many a yoga retreat in Deia but never VOGA. Sadie Pickering, daughter of Jeannie and Stewart, has coordinated the village’s first ever VOGA retreat at the family home between 1 and 5 June. Another will follow between 18 and 22 September.
The VOGA yoga retreat in Deia will be led by VOGA founder, Juliet Murrell. VOGA combines yoga with Vogue-inspired dance moves to a soundtrack of 80s and house beats. As Juliet explains, ‘It’s about celebrating female empowerment through body language and self-expression and generally celebrating the feminine. On the retreat, there will be a morning sunrise VOGA practice to awaken and energise the body. Sunset VOGA will work slowly into the muscles and release any tension or stress, with flow and fluidity at its roots.’
Sadie, a successful actor and musician, will be offering full body massages as well as Skin-Soul ‘Rhythm of Beauty’ Spring/Summer Seasonal Alignments and Facials. ‘I will be using award-winning flower and medicine products which integrate the earth, fire, water and spirit of each season and create a space for true nourishment, beauty and awakening,’ Sadie says. She will also be running a singing and harmonising workshop with her band Gypsy River.
Guests will enjoy ‘organic, fresh produce, tailored to your body’s needs that will nourish you and positively benefit the Earth too, leaving you feeling clear, focused, healthy and energised’. It will be prepared by Lauren Breckon of Sin Free Kitchen.
In keeping with the Pickering family commitment to enriching the lives of all people in Deia, Sadie and Juliet are offering day passes so anyone can join in and experience VOGA. As Sadie says, ‘We don’t want our retreats to be elitist and beyond people’s means.’
To find out more, email Sadie at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you feel inspired to consider a yoga retreat in Deia at the beautiful Pickering house, email Stewart at Stewartpickerting@icloud.com