“Get on your mat with Kat” is an invitation to practice yoga with me. It is a call to slow down and breath, to start something by stopping. It is the opportunity, distractions free, to bask in yoga, beauty, nature and yourself. What a luxury!
On this retreat you will have the chance to immerse yourself in yoga and explore all that it can be. Every time we step onto the yoga mat to practice we cultivate just a little more presence. As a result of moving and bending and breathing in a certain way tension begins to slip away. From a quieter place we create space to see ourselves more clearly.
During this magical retreat week nestled in the mountains at Vale De Moses we will simply move, practice, be. Daily practice will be offered to build strength and stability, for greater comfort and flexibility, in a way that is explorative, playful and fun.
We’ll explore alignment, with emphasis on finding the right way to do a pose for you, and together we’ll take a look at some fundamental concepts that will enable you to empower your own practice; knowledge that will help you progress, unravel, open and grow. Sometimes sequences will be structured, sometimes we’ll flow. Sometimes practice is faster paced and dynamic, sometimes it is slow. In the warmth of the sinking afternoon sun we’ll slip into a more restful and relaxing rhythm with restorative or yin yoga.
Morning walks in the dewy mountains, amazing food, smiley people and massage are just a few of the reasons to retreat here! Hope you will join me in the spring, summer or autumn weeks.
|DATE||every week from 18 March to 20 October 2018|
We lovingly prepare three delicious and nutritious meals every day. You won’t be hungry as we feel it’s important to nourish your body while on retreat with us. We’re feeders! Fresh vegetables, salads and fruit available from our own or our neighbours’ gardens during the season and from our favourite local greengrocers in Oleiros. Rich in pulses and grains, low in salt and high in fresh herbs and spices. Honey from local wild bees is preferred over sugar.
Our chefs this year, Raul from Spain and Miguel from Portugal, bring a passion and joy to their cooking. They both have years of experience with vegetarian and vegan food in a variety of restaurants and settings around the world. Their fusion of ingredients, spices and flavours, according to the principles of Ayurveda, mean every dish is not only tasty but also easy to digest.
Typical Schedule at Val De Moses
Sunday afternoon arrival
from Lisbon at 5pm or from Porto at 8.30pm. Sundays are just to arrive, settle into your accommodation, meet the team and the others on your group and have dinner together.
Monday to Friday
|7.30am||Kitchens open for tea, fresh fruit and nuts|
|8am||Silent led meditation walk through the forest|
|8.30am||Yoga 2 hour class with your teacher for the week|
|10.30am||Big breakfast, a variety of delicious rice and grain porridges, fruit salads, toasted seeds, local honey and freshly squeezed juices|
|11.30am||Free time / massage treatments / swimming / walking|
|2pm||Large nutritious lunch|
|3pm||More free time / massage treatments / swimming / walking|
|7pm||Light evening meal|
One afternoon in the week we head off to the nearby Rio Zêzere for a wild swim and mud bath weather permitting.
Evening party with music and dancing
Check out at : 7am for 8am coach to Porto or Lisbon.
2pm for 3pm coach for Lisbon
There are 2 private double bedrooms, each with a double bed, in the farmhouse that also houses the main kitchens, a library with grand piano, musical instruments and internet access, herb and salad gardens and the enclosed wooden veranda where everyone on retreat is welcome to relax or enjoy some self practice during the day.
There is also a lovely 5m tipi and 3 delightful Soulpad belles each with 2 mahogany beds, drawers, carpets, electricity, hot water bottles, blankets, towels, mosquito nets and sun loungers, hammocks and solar outside. These are located in a quiet valley with the best views of the sunsets and stars at night.
Our guest cottage sleeps 4 and is surrounded by olive trees and newly planted fruit orchards. Inside it is open plan (no internal doors) over 3 storeys with a single bed on the mezzanine over the kitchen, a single bed on the ground floor, and 2 single futon beds on the first floor. Each have comfy mattress toppers for a deep sleep.
The bathroom is in the small building on the right, which used to be the kitchen and houses a large double bath with shower and a dry toilet built from the sweet chestnut panels of old wine vats.The fully equipped kitchen is perfect for early morning and night time teas.
Just below the cottage, there is a plunge pool fed from the cold running stream, essential for cooling off in the heat of the summer retreats. There are also a couple of natural pools in the streams for daily swimming (weather permitting).
The Adega is the name of the place where the Portuguese make their wine. We’ve restored it into a simple monastic living space. Sleeps 3, with singles on the ground floor, a mezzanine and in a tiny room at the top (fondly named the Ninja Suite). Built into the mountainside, with access up stone carved steps, right next to one of the rivers running through Vale de Moses. We added electricity in order to light the rooms more safely than candles in the summer.
The Adega is a cosy place to sleep nestled into the earth, with lovely views down the valley, and with what our guests often describe as a timeless quality. Outside is a shower in the old grape pressing tank with water solar heated from an ancient Moorish water mine up the valley. On the olive terrace below is a wooden cabin wc and wash room. You are also welcome to use any of our other bath and shower rooms too as well as the kitchen in the Moses guest cottage round the corner.
It is our smallest stone cottage and the perfect place to “unplug” and rest deeply to the soundscape of the forest, the running water in the stream below and the hearbeat of the mountain. Bring a torch.
Kat says yoga is an attitude that arises from consistent practice that helps us to embrace life more fully from moment to moment in all its real, messy, rawness.
Kat teaches yoga with sensitivity and insight. Her classes are playful and purposeful, inviting a healthy amount of curiosity and challenge without heaviness. She provides students with a safe, nourishing space to explore and experience yoga by focusing on personal attention, alignment, adjustments and modifications that make practice available to you in a way that is safe and un-intimidating.
Her own yoga journey began as a way of dealing with the challenges of modern day life with a little more grace and humility. What started as a part-time curiosity developed into the sweetest adventure as it began to make her hungry for something that called from elsewhere.
Kat circled the globe, indulging her love of travel and seeking out new experiences and esteemed teachers, predominately from the Ashtanga Vinyasa tradition, that would later inform the teacher she would become.
It was while she was living in India that she was introduced to Ayurveda and how to use it as a framework for interpreting students individual needs in order to teach them on a more personal, theraputic basis.
Her interest in Ayurveda paved the way to her becoming Vale De Moses’ retreat chef two years running and inspired her to write ‘Nourish; Healing meals from Moses’ the cookbook.
Kat continues to travel, train and teach, splitting her time between Portugal, Italy and Amsterdam, with just enough space in her schedule for the occasional foray into the unknown.
Reviews are from Aug 2015 to Aug 2016
A week here is one of the best gifts you can give yourself. These are the reasons I hope to be back:
– The retreat is run not just like a well oiled business, but like a passion project. The Winter family have poured so much love and joy into this place, it’s hard not to feel it when you’re here. Each stone, each pathway, each cottage was lovingly shaped and restored by them and the community around them. It shows. The place oozes with character. It’s something special and unique. I doubt it can be replicated anywhere else.
– The people. Everyone comes here for different reasons. But great minds think alike, and the retreat gives you an opportunity to bond with some brilliant people from around the world. The space allows you to be as social or as solitary as you feel
– The environment. A Shala suspended in the mountains, cottages built into the hillside, tipis hidden away. Plunge pool and river swims a plenty. This place takes your breath away. Morning meditation walks around the property were an absolute highlight
– The food. You will never be hungry, and every taste bud will be satisfied! Rahul and his team create magic in their little kitchen
– The yoga. Last but not least, Fleur was our wonderful teacher. Every level of yoga was catered for. She was caring, gentle, supportive and funny. Couldn’t have asked for a better instructor for the week.
I’m still feeling the glow from my week at Vale de Moses, and I’m sure I’ll feel it for a long time coming. Thank you Winter family for so generously opening your home to us. I know I’ll be back very soon!
A TripAdvisor Member
Stayed August 2016, travelled solo
Aug 2016, I returned to Moses simply knowing that I would have a great time. Hard to believe that my experience topped the one from two years before. The quality of the yoga practice, the incredible food, the world class standard of treatments and the sheer beauty of the surroundings are unbeatable. Such a lovely family run business, they really do it right. So many laugh out loud moments together with the great group that i was with, the best retreat holiday I’ve taken in a long time. Can’t recommend it enough.
Room Tip: Go for the wild experience and opt for a soul pad or teepee!!
Stayed August 2016, travelled solo
This is a wonderful place, nestled in the mountains in central Portugal. Andrew and Vonetta and their lovely children Ellie and Josh plus the doggie crew welcome you wholeheartedly to their home and make sure that you have a really wonderful retreat. With amazing food cooked by Raoul and his helpers, and truly amazing massage/body work treatments by world class practitioners, this is a really awesome and loving place. Walking every morning with Andrew was really lovely, his passion and enthusiasm for the landscape are infectious and you are introduced to the environment you are staying in – and get to understand some of the history of the valley… Getting here is a bit of a trek, Lisbon bus is long (4 hours and all up hill!) but the ride back to Porto (with a few changes) was easier and felt quite quick.. Stayed in a Soulpad tent for two, which was great – roomy and comfortable. The whole place is quirky, charming and run extremely well which is a bonus. You feel looked after and your only job is to decide whether to spend the after noon in one of the many hammocks, or stretch out by the river or the irrigation tank (renamed the Infinity pool!)…
Stayed August 2016, travelled with friends
|Shared Stone Cottage||800€ / US$845.112|
|Private Room or Tipi||900€ / US$950.687|
After your 150€(US$169) deposit is paid, you can then send the outstanding balance for your retreat anytime up to 2 weeks before you arrive.