REVITALIZING ITALIAN HOLIDAY AND YOGA, TAI CHI CHUAN & CHI KUNG RETREAT IN THE MOUNTAINS NEAR ROME, IMMERSED IN THE LANDS OF SAINT FRANCIS FROM ASSISI AND SANTA RITA FROM CASCIA, NEAR UMBRIA AND TUSCANY
When : from AUGUST 13st to 21th 2011 (shorter stays possible)
holidays of between three and five nights, and long weekends, may also be possible. Prices are pro rata.
Experience an authentic cultural immersion in the heart of Italy, approx. one hour from Rome, Spoleto, Orvieto and very close to Umbria towns of Cascia and Norcia. The area is rich in sites of historic and natural beauty.
The retreat is based in the Rieti Mountains area, little more than 1 hour drive north of Rome in a beautiful countryside on the sunny side of central Italy Pennines on a plateau 1.100 meters high. The main town, Leonessa, is 10 minutes drive and the surrounding area is rich in historic sites of both natural and man-made beauty. The calm rustic setting is ideal for spiritual practice.
Your holiday will be a chance to immerse yourself in the Italian way of life and admire the spectacular panoramic views of the countryside.
You will stay in a holiday farm in Albaneto (www.albaneto.com), 10km from Leonessa (www.leonessa.org) , 12km from Cascia, 30 km from Monte Terminillo, 115 km from Rome and Perugia.
Our retreat is open to everyone from beginner to advanced. The Yoga style is a slow Vinyasa merging breath and Asanas, but rooted on the traditional Hatha Yoga and Tibetan Yoga (the practice will include the Five Tibetan Rites) and based on the major Hatha Yoga classical texts (Patanjali’s Yoga sutra, Hatha Yoga Pradipika, Gheranda Samhita). Yang style Tai Chi Chuan , classical Qi Gong and Meditation complete the daily practice.
A typical day on Retreat / Holiday :
8.00-8.30 am Meditation
9.00 -10,30 am approx, Multilevel classes . Yoga session, Tai Chi Chuan and Chi Kung.
5.30-7,30pm Multilevel classes . Yoga session, Tai Chi Chuan and Chi Kung ending in a guided Healing nidra-style relaxation
8pm dinner .
9.00-9.30pm silent Meditation.
OTHER ACTIVITIES AND EXCURSIONS AVAILABLE IN THE SOURROUNDING AREA
Free time is an important element in our retreat but is also interesting to know what is available in the area ; to choose freely amongst them it is important to have your own car, even if the location is reachable by bus from Rome :
Available at several stables nearby with a selection of horses, rides and treks in the surrounding hills and countryside. The riding is suitable for beginners and advanced riders.
Guests can go swimming all year round in the thermal baths at Terme di Cotilia and at the local indoors heated pools in Leonessa .There is a small fee for entrance.
The forest covered mountains (ranging from 1.800 to 2.200 meters high) surrounding Albaneto, are rich in flora and fauna, and rarely visited by walkers and offer astonishing trekking and scenery.
Cycling (bikes are rented in Leonessa)
Cycle on panoramic country roads, discovering the area. Cycling is a great way to see the location; it gives you time to take in the views and discover the countryside, breathe in the fresh air and taste the scents. There is a choice of routes, across quiet and low-traffic, hilly or mountain roads with spectacular scenery.
Learn Italian; Italian lessons can be arranged for those who want to begin to learn the language or brush-up their Italian
Relax with a good cappuccino or an afternoon tea in local village cafes. Cities and towns within easy access include Cascia and Norcia (30’), Rome , Spoleto and Orvieto (1 hour), Assisi (1hour and 15’). Spend an exciting day in Rome, visiting world famous monuments or shopping in the world-class shops, discover Umbria and Tuscany.
Take a walk across the mountains, waterfall (Cascata delle Marmore Piana di Castelluccio at 30’ driving distance) or valleys (Piana di Castelluccio at 30’) , or visit other neighboring medieval villages of Umbria, roman ruins, baths and temples (very close Vespasiano’s baths, Heracles’ temple in the archeological site of Villa San Silvestro, the Etruscan chariot of Monteleone di Spoleto), religious sites (monastery of Santa Rita from Cascia, San Giuseppe from Leonessa’s Sanctuary and the many monasteries where Saint Francis from Assisi lived many years ) and stop to enjoy the local cuisine.
PROFILE (OF THE TEACHER MARCO RICCI )
Marco has been teaching Yoga, Meditation, Tai Chi Chuan and Chi Kung classes and workshops in Bologna and Milan, Italy, for the last ten years (he started their practice in the early 80’s).
Marco’s initial Yoga Teacher Training was a 200 Hour Teacher Training at Yoga Institute Carlo Patrian, Milano, in 2000, mainly in the Shivananda tradition, with Indian teachers (mostly from Shivananda Ashram and Kaivalyadhama Institute, etc…); he also got certified Yoga teacher with with Coni Uisp , Bologna, where he attended 1 year Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga teacher training. The style he teaches is the results of many years of Yoga practice and study in the tradition of classical Hatha Yoga texts (Hatha Yoga Pradipika and Gheranda Samhita) and in the ancient Tibetan Yoga tradition with many gifted teachers from India and Tibet; he also practiced Taoist Yoga with Chinese teachers in the tradition of Wudang and Shaolin monasteries. Marco is also Certified Tai Chi Chuan and Chi Kung teacher from Coni Uisp ADO Eastern arts 2006-2008. He contributed to many Yoga and eastern martial arts magazines with articles, reviews, and the first Italian translations of two Hatha Yoga ancient texts (Goraksha Paddhati and YogaYajnaValkya). He is a member of Yani Italian association of Yoga teachers and CONI UISP -ADO - eastern arts.
Marco’s Yoga is heart centred: fusing Asana, Pranayama and Meditation. Marco feels it is quintessential to focus on three major points in the practice: in order of importance they are Bhava, inner mental disposition, Vinyasa, maintaining slow and deep breath to connect the Asanas, and proper alignment of the spine, in order to create space in the body to let the Prana flow through the major Nadis, or energy channels. Nadis Visualization, Perception and Purification is an ongoing process which increases and becomes more and more active through the continuous practicing.
HOW TO REGISTER
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Excluded: getting there, insurance. extra -activities and excursions
A certificate of attendance is given at the end of the intensive.
Families with children
If you are considering bringing your children to your Yoga holiday, we can arrange self-catering accommodation for you in the village of Albaneto. To increase your enjoyment of this retreat holiday it is recommended that you have your own means of transport, which can be rented in any Italian airport, to give you flexibility of scheduling.
What to bring
a Yoga mat , warm socks and a jumper, a blanket, any props that you like to use !
Things you might need on your holiday include:
Good walking shoes , Flip-flops, A lightweight waterproof jacket, a European plug to charge your mobile phone.
TRAVEL FROM ROME OR OTHER ITALIAN AIRPORTS
Albaneto is located about 1 hour and half drive from Rome's airports. 3 hour drive approx. from Pisa, forlì, Ancona airports.
Great deals are now offered on flights to Rome Ciampino airport by Ryanair and Easyjet.
Hiring a car
Car hire is available at both Rome airports. We suggest booking Hertz, Europcar, or other leading European companies. Car hire can be extremely useful for guests who would like to be independent and make their own way to restaurants and local attractions.
Directions by car
From Rome airports, take the A1 Motorway north up to the exit Fiano Romano, then follow the signs leading to Rieti and then continue directed to Ascoli. Along the way (much before reaching Ascoli) when you reach Posta follow the sign leading to Leonessa, you will see the small village of Albaneto along the way on your right.
What is Tai Chi Chuan?
Originating in ancient China as an internal martial arts, Tai Chi can be best thought of as a moving form of Yoga and Meditation combined. It is a system of exercises for the health of your mind and body. Tai Chi is gentle, focusing on fluid, circular movements that are relaxed and slow in tempo. Breathing is deep and slow, aiding concentration, relaxing the body and allowing the life force (chi) to flow unimpeded throughout the body. Total harmony of the inner and outer self comes from the integration of mind and body achieved through the ongoing practice of Tai Chi.
How Tai Chi Chuan is practiced?
There are a number of so- called forms (or 'sets'); any form consists of a sequence of movements. Many of these movements are originally derived from the martial arts (and perhaps even more ancestrally than that, from the natural movements of animals and birds) although the way they are performed in Tai Chi is slowly, softly and gracefully with smooth and even transitions between them.
Who can practice Tai Chi Chuan?
Almost anyone can learn Tai Chi. The slow and gentle movements and the degree of exertion can easily be adjusted, making it suitable for people of all ages
What are the Benefits of Tai Chi?
Tai Chi integrates the mind, body and spirit to promote mental and physical health. Tai Chi improves muscular strength, flexibility and stamina, as well as relaxation and concentration, balance, posture, and immunity. Most practitioners find it incredibly enjoyable and beneficial.