What To Expect On A Retreat…

4 weeks ago I stayed in Wasing, Oxfordshire. A beaut place in the countryside with fields for days and the freshest O2 I’ve inhaled since the last shire I was in.

‘Journey to Stillness’ was a 3 day retreat, hosted by the incredible Rebecca Dennis and Jess Horn. If you listen to the podcast, you will have heard Rebeccas story on episode #024 (link here). She’s a transformational breathing expert, all round life guru and absolute legend. She hosts 3 hour afternoon breathing workshops for groups in Marylebone London, more intimate 121 sessions, & remote extended retreats through her business ‘Breathing Tree’. Having been to a number of workshops and having had a single 121 with insane results, I had to get on the retreat this year to give more time to the practice, as well as find benefit from Jess’ yoga.

Jess is a Yoga expert with amazing energy! It was the first time we’d met - She has an incredible vibe and aura around her and reminded me of the elvish princess ‘Galadriel’ from Lord of The Rings. I’ve never really liked yoga because football destroyed any chance I had of flexibility, and not being good at something doesn’t sit well! But Jess was brilliant at reminding us all that yoga isn’t about performing the most difficult move - it’s about listening to what you body needs and acting on that. No judgement, no competitiveness and no stress! Which is perfect for me as I still have chocolate hamstrings - One wrong move and they’ll break.

Transformational breathing is difficult to explain. It is one of those things that must be experienced to truly understand. After all, the words we use are only ever our closest representation of what we have experienced, and this practice is the ultimate example of this. Essentially, the breath allows us to reach higher levels of consciousness, accessing deep parts of our subconscious helping us overcome past trauma, emotional issues and other physical and mental health conditions. There were some wild stories of what people went through, including visions of past lives, profound messages and experiences of death. Of course if you find that hard to believe (which I would if i was hearing this for the first time), the lighter benefits are feeling calm, relaxed and generally having more mental space with less anxiety, an increase in mood - as well as being more centered with a deeper connection to self.

I’ve been quite open with some of my struggles on the podcast and have personally seen huge benefits from seeing Rebecca. This time I had the added pleasure of meeting so many amazing people over the course of the three days including, authors, entrepreneurs, CEO’s, lawyers, politicians and parents (not one single hippy!). All with their own shit, all amazing in their own right and none of which can be identified purely by their job title!

I was introduced to Transformational Breathing by one of my best mates about a year ago. After he explained what it is, I was super skeptical and felt massive resistance about trying it. We talk a lot on the podcast about how personal growth and progress is on the other side of that feeling of resistance. We don’t want uncertainty, we don’t like the unknown, why leave our comfort zone? But why are we here if not to learn and progress in life? Feeling that resistance is ultimately what made me decide I had to go in the first place. Now, a year on, 6 workshops, a 121 and one retreat later I have learned so much about myself. I also had the pleasure of introducing another close friend of mine to the practice so he can start his journey. Put simply, life has been better since meeting Rebecca and I can’t recommend the practice, and more importantly this retreat with Jess, enough! Follow links below to find out more about the next sessions.