There’s a seductive authenticity to this luxury 6 night stay in our Berber desert retreat. It’s also faultlessly stylish and deeply relaxing. Join our intimate group where you will be nourished by the practice of meditation, secret Tibetan yoga and optional running.
The ancient Marrakchi Desert, 45 km from exotic Marrakech, is a haven for modern-day nomads where simple comforts and well-being merge into one. Rugged simplicity is in step with the beautiful severity of a rolling stone desert. It exudes an air of incredible romance in cinematic style. Berber rugs in vivid red, cushions and candles galore are the ingredients that set the cultural style of the ensuite mud villas & glamping tents. Bivouac dining tents are set on a meandering canyon.
Your 6 day meditation and yoga retreat Morocco will reset your life and give you profound tools to take home with you.
Your villa or glamping tent is designed to blend into the desert surroundings: simple mud-and-straw adobe walls or cotton canvas conceal sumptuous interiors awash with traditional Berber cushions, a profusion of thick Berber rugs, low tables with fresh roses, hand-sculpted bathrooms and huge, comfortable beds. All villa ensuites have wood stoves and comfortably furnished terraces with sun loungers overlooking vast vistas by day and night — some are on hilltops and others the river canyon. The glamping tents rest on a hilltop with large Bivouac lounging tents set on a little river canyon. Enjoy high thread count Egyptian cotton sheets, hot running water, luxury toiletries and bathrobes. Eco-friendly and without electricity, hundreds of lanterns, candles and wood fires light up the nighttime.
After our optional morning run/walk followed by Tibetan yogic exercises, you’ll enjoy a delicious breakfast Moroccan style. It’s comprised of homemade pancakes, traditional breads, Moroccan tagine eggs, fresh seasonal fruits, orange juice, coffee, green and mint tea. Lunches and dinners are traditional North African dishes combining the best of Moroccan and French cuisine. They are lovingly prepared and beautifully presented in our private nomad dining tent with rolling desert views. Rocket salad, flavoured with hand-made cold-pressed virgin olive oil, is picked daily from the garden completing the tantalising of all your sense perceptions. You will rediscover balance and happiness through a well-nourished self with greater life-force and energy.
Your day starts and closes with mindfulness meditation sessions guided by teacher Brian Hilliard. In a traditional Berber tent with thick carpets and rolling desert views you will learn the techniques and practice of sitting and walking meditation. There will be talks, discussions and some silence for inner reflection.
Our ability to perceive and enjoy an amazing display of desert sky resonates deeply with the experience of meditation. Senses are sharpened and clarified, felt newly in an expansive awareness which goes beyond our usual preoccupations. Deep personal experience is adorned with the beauty of sense perceptions. With deep relaxation you will experience the art of letting go. You will learn and understand incredible tools to take home with you. Suitable for beginners and advanced practitioners. See The Mindfulness Journal for more on mindfulness meditation.
We will start the day joyfully awakening our bodies with one hour of tibetan yoga. This strengthens and aligns body and mind, and leads to a sense of balance and harmony. This special yoga is suitable for all levels of fitness and ability. See our post: Tibetan Yoga Synchronises Body & Mind.
For runners and walkers (optional). Running with meditation is an introduction to meditation in movement. Reach the zone easily with practical instructions for combining mindfulness and movement. We have timed the April 2018 retreat to begin two weeks before the London Marathon. This is an ideal time to harness the extra energy runners feel during a pre-marathon taper period. See our post: Running with Meditation and a great article in The Sunday Times.
Spend the rest of your day lazing Moroccan Berber style — choose a terrace or colourful hammock under the ancient olive trees, or cool off in the tranquil swimming pool. You’ll find your ideal spots to relax, hide away or peacefully snooze. Keen eco-tourism travelers will find this a perfect starting point for adventures into the desert wilderness. Feel the freedom of the wide open spaces below the Atlas mountains. Go horse, donkey or camel riding, or maybe even try cross-golf?
Walks along the red clay river canyon are a must. You will see little turtles sunning themselves on rocks, shyly jumping into the water, or a shepherd and his goats crossing from one hilltop to the next. Browse the chic boutique for homemade olive oil, Moroccan blankets and teapots, slippers, essential oils and more.
Awaken to the gorgeous desert sunrise with optional running with Brian. Meet up with Brian and Shannon for one hour of Tibetan Yoga to wake up your body and prepare you for the day ahead.
Enjoy a delicious Moroccan breakfast to set you up for your morning meditation talk and practice with Brian Hilliard. In our meditation Bivouac tent, with uninterrupted desert views and thick carpets, you will be guided through the form and practice of meditation with talks, discussions and periods of silence for inner reflection. This is suitable for beginners or experienced meditators.
Then we enjoy a long fresh, delicious lunch with our retreat companions in private bivouac dining tents or amongst olive trees.
The afternoons are at your leisure to rest, read, write or nap on your terrace or at the pool. Or maybe you’d like to take a ride into the desert, enjoy a round of cross golf or take a walk along the river canyon?
We gently close our day with the evening practice before a delicious sunset dinner amidst lanterns, candles and campfires under Berber tents.
"Brian Hilliard and Shannon van Staden are leaders in their field when it comes to mindfulness and meditation. Brian is an expert guide - soft spirited, practical, full of empathy, tips and appreciation for the challenges of modern life. Shannon stylishly holds the space and ensures everything runs smoothly. Together they are a dream team on the wellness scene."
DAISY FINER, Spa and Health Writer
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