Friday 14th April – Sunday 16th April 2017

Not just a yoga retreat, but a full mind and body experience with a difference! Nourish your soul, awaken your body, empower yourself and follow your bliss on this unique retreat. Enjoy a blend of yoga, mindfulness, simple and empowering martial arts techniques, as well as self-development workshops.

Join us at spring, a time of new beginnings, in the idyllic East Devon countryside in an environment that will support you in shaking off old patterns, designing your ideal life and working towards your goals – leaving you with a sense of freedom and feeling inspired to move forward.

Your retreat experience will be a delicious combination:

  • Relaxing and restorative – time out for yourself with luxurious accommodation, relaxation exercises, immersed in Nature with delicious vegetarian food (vegan and gluten-free diets catered for).

  • Empowering and invigorating – a unique blend of of activities designing to move you past fear and towards what you really want in life. Yoga and basic martial arts are blended with self-development workshops on conquering fear, mindfulness and planning your dream life.

  • Inspiring and motivating – leave the retreat ready to step forward into a new way of being. Take home tools, techniques and a plan for your new approach to life to keep you motivated and on track.


Luxury accommodation and beautiful surroundings:

There is no sparseness or depriving yourself on this retreat! Our luxurious accommodation at Symondsdown House is a beautiful Georgian building set in over seven acres of land on an elevated position overlooking the stunning Axe Valley, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, with the Jurassic Coast and Lyme Regis resort just a few miles away. All the rooms are furnished to a high standard and have en-suite facilities. Stuart and Marina open their house to us exclusively for the weekend and their hospitality is second to none. There are beautiful walks right from our front door and a beach close by.


Healthy, nutritious, home-cooked food:

Nutrition is important to us and we aim to nourish both mind and body on this retreat. The food we eat sustains our daily activities. It is vegetarian, healthy (low sugar) and home-made with locally-sourced produce. We will enjoy a varied breakfast, a nourishing and wholesome lunch and a hearty dinner (with a home-baked pudding available for those who want to indulge!). On the Saturday night, we have a group dinner at the famous River Cottage Canteen in Axminster (see more details below).


A unique and complementary blend of activities:

All our activities are focussed on moving past fear and towards what we truly want in life. This includes:

  • A grounding and energising yoga class for all levels – whether you are a beginner or a more advanced yogi, you will feel alive and refreshed after this vinyasa flow session. Read more about my yoga background and teaching here.

  • A ‘Feel The Fear’ workshop to help you move past fear and towards your goals in life – as a licenced Trainer for the Susan Jeffers Organisation, I will guide you through some practical tools and techniques from the acclaimed book “Feel the fear and do it anyway!®”. This is a chance to explore some different tools from the ones I cover on my one-day stand-alone workshop. Read more about 'Feel The Fear' workshops here.

  • A physical and empowering martial arts basics workshop ('Find The Power Within') – not only is this fun and a great work-out, but it helps you express and release stuck emotions (as well as a lot of laughter!), leaving you free to move forward. Try something a bit different, push your comfort zone and surprise yourself at the power you have within you! Read more about 'Find The Power Within' workshops here.

  • Group coaching work, with self-enquiry and planning your vision – bring your journals, as you will be designing your life and looking at how you achieve what you put your mind to.

  • A mindfulness taster session – we are honoured that our host and renowned mindfulness professional, Marina, will run a one-hour session for us. Mindfulness was taught by Buddhists for more than two and half thousand years and is recently seeing an increase in popularity due to its relevance in our modern busy lives. Marina will explain the psychology behind the practice, combined with practical mindfulness exercises.

  • A special dinner out at the famous River Cottage Canteen (owned by celebrity chef and campaigner, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall) – this friendly and welcoming restaurant set in the historic market town of Axminster offers fresh, seasonal local produce and caters for all dietary requirements. Prices are the canteen are at a very reasonable local level and not a celebrity price tag! (Cost not included in package.)

  • The opportunity to receive one-to-one personal coaching – I am pleased to be able to offer one-to-one coaching at the retreat to help you kick-off your new life with a session dedicated just to you. We will look at setting and progressing towards your goals. This will include a follow-up session by Skype after you return home to help you stay on track. (For a limited number of attendees and extra charge. Please ask me for details.) Read more about personal coaching here.


Getting to the retreat:

  • Drive: Symondsdown House is easy to find – just off the A35 on the Axminster-Lyme Regis Road. The drive is around 3 ½ hours’ drive from London.

  • Train: There are regular trains from London to Axminster with a journey time of around 2 ½ hours. Symondsdown House is a 5 minute taxi ride from the station (approx. £5 each way). Martina and Stuart also offer return transfers at about half the cost of local taxis.



Don’t just take my word for it! Read what other people have to say about workshop and retreat experiences with me:

  • “We had the pleasure to experience Jo's workshop at our Finland Summer Yoga Retreat and it added immense value to the overall retreat experience. Her workshops are a powerful combination of physical experience along with empowering self-inquiry, which truly opened the retreat participants up in an incredible way. I highly recommend this workshop to anyone seeking a fun, challenging and inspiring experience.” – Jack Boken, Founder/Owner at Happy Jack Yoga (Canada).

  • “I’m soooo thankful for this workshop. It was the best stress-relief, therapy and ‘aha’ moment of the retreat so far and you got me inspired to take up kickboxing! I realised that I still have some unresolved issues and that I am stronger than I think”Johanna, Helsinki, Finland.

  • “Jo – you were wonderful! So inspirational, clear and insightful. You were born to do this! The group dynamic worked wonderfully and I love that you left time for everyone to talk and share. It was a really beautiful day” – Azra, London, UK.

  • “I really love what you do – with such enthusiasm and a big heart! I will take away from this workshop a feeling of joy and realisation of the similarities between yoga and martial arts, especially from a spiritual point of view” –  Titi, Helsinki, Finland.

  • “I enjoyed the feeling of empowerment from the workshop. I was able to let go and give it a try and I found that I really enjoyed it. It was a good lesson for me in why it’s good to give new things a try”Riika, Helsinki, Finland.

  • "The workshop was very insightful and extremely well carried out. It was a joy to spend the day learning about myself through Jo's experience and amazing personality. I will read Susan Jeffers' work and put into practice her teachings. Thank you for a great workshop!" – Irene, London, UK.


Costs and payment:

Rooms in the main house:

  • Shared room (2 people, twin beds): £460 per person

  • Single occupancy room (double bed): £550 per person

(All rooms have either en-suite or private bathroom immediately next door)

A refundable deposit of £50 secures your booking, with full payment required two months before the start of the retreat. (As this is a busy period for Stuart and Marina, they understandably need to have us pay in advance to avoid loss of business. We don’t mind because they are lovely hosts!)

Cost includes two nights’ luxury accommodation, all meals except Saturday night out at River Cottage Canteen (so, it includes dinner on Friday, three meals on Saturday and two meals on Sunday) and full programme of activities over the three days. (Individual coaching and any beauty treatments are additional costs.)

N.B. There are also two beautiful cottages available, set in their own grounds – the Peach House and Orangery. This is 4 star accommodation – each with a shared bedroom for 2 people, twin beds with lounge and kitchen. These are only available for a limited period of time and need to be fully paid for in advance. Please ask about these asap if you are interested.


About your retreat organiser:

After 17 years working in the corporate world and not feeling like she was living in a way that was true to herself, Jo made the bold decision to redesign her life to follow her bliss. Now she is a qualified personal and business coach helping others to transform their lives. She is grateful to travel the world, run workshops (including as a licenced ‘Feel The Fear’ Trainer for the Susan Jeffers Organisation) and retreats, as well as coaching individuals and businesses, blogging and speaking about her experiences.

Her work is about finding your inner power and pushing through fear to achieve your goals. She holds herself up as proof that this can indeed be done and that you can truly live your dreams. She also has a background in martial arts (16 years’ experience), so uses this in a unique combination with her yoga teacher training and Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) skills to help empower others and encourage them to find their own power within by being true to themselves.