THE DEEP HEART:  

 

 Women's Yoga, Meditation &

Psycho-Spiritual Inquiry Retreat 

 

with Sara Avant Stover 

 

August 29 - September 3, 2022

Moulin de Chaves; Dordogne, France 

 

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A Week-Long Women's Retreat in Nature

with Yin & Slow Flow Yoga,

Insight Meditation,

and Internal Family Systems Inquiry

 

Early Registration gifts are available until May 13.

 

The increasingly uncertain times that we’re living in are pressing us to do one of two things: evolve...or devolve.

Which will you choose?

To evolve, we need to regularly take time to recharge in our spiritual depths. 

To do this, we need to turn off the relentless faucet of technology and communications and to instead steep ourselves in stillness, silence, sacred teachings and practices, and self-care– at least for short stretches.

This retreat provides a chance to take a break from the whirl of the world and to do just this within an incredibly potent container for respite, connection, and transformation. 

Together, we’ll journey from your surface to your depths, all the way into the deepest heart.

This is neither your heart nor my heart– rather it's ours. There lies the guidance you need to face whatever is unfolding in your life, and in our world. 

This is why all true spiritual paths always lead back to….the heart. 

Anchored in your deepest heart, you have access to everything you need to not only heal but also to thrive– even in the midst of tremendous adversity.

The deepest heart is your greatest refuge, teacher, ally, and beloved. 

During our five days together, we'll examine the "5 Hindrances" from Buddhist teachings to help us understand what obstructs us from accessing and living from our deep heart. We'll also draw inspiration from The Radiance Sutras, a cherished text from Vijnnana Bhairava Tantra. 

This retreat is for women who are deeply dedicated to their spiritual paths and are ready for a deep dive. 

Together, we'll explore:

  • How to access the essential qualities that live in our deepest heart (joy, truth, beauty, peace, freedom, love, and more)– regardless of external circumstances
  • Ways to heal and restore your body through women's yin and slow flow yoga, as well as periods for deeper rest
  • The gifts that come from extended periods of stillness and silence
  • Internal Family Systems self-therapy and dyad inquiry practices for working with the "5 hindrances" so you can live from your deep heart more readily 
  • Authentic ways to bring your insights and deeper gifts back into your life– and the world

OUR VENUE

 

Moulin de Chaves is a place to "be."

 

Located in a magical region in the south of France, Le Moulin is a place to put aside the outer focussed busyness of our everyday lives, and to turn inwards to explore our bodies, hearts, minds, and lives.

A retreat center grounded in the Buddhist tradition of Insight Meditation, Le Moulin is set in beautiful grounds with shady riverbanks and bamboo groves.

Contemplative practice is supported by an environment of deep kindness and care, with delicious, organic vegetarian meals.

Learn more about Moulin de Chaves here.

Find out how to get to Moulin de Chaves here. 

RETREAT FORMAT

 

Each day will include:

  • A wisdom talk from Sara (on the retreat's theme)
  • Guided women's yin and slow flow yoga sessions
  • Sitting and walking meditation
  • Journaling
  • Time for rest and self-care
  • Internal Family Systems guided mediations and inquiry practices 
  • Nature walks
  • A couple of Breathwork sessions in the evenings

We ask that you unplug from technology during this retreat.

We'll also observe periods of silence from 6:30 pm each day to the following morning at 9:30 am. And we'll observe silence all day on days 3-5. 

 

OUR SCHEDULE:*

 

ARRIVAL DAY:

2:00 - 5:00 pm: Arrive at Moulin

6:00 pm: Dinner 

7:30 pm: Opening Circle 

 

DAYS 2-5: 

7:30 - 8:00 am: Meditation

8:00 am: Breakfast followed by Karma Yoga (see below) 

10:00 am - 1:00 pm: Morning Session with Sara (widom talk, journaling, meditation, slow flow yoga)

1:00 - 3:30 pm: Lunch & Self-Care Time

3:30 - 5:30 pm: Afternoon Session with Sara (meditation, yin yoga with Internal Family. Systems inquiry, dyad/group work)

5:30 - 6:15 pm: Nature walk

6:30 pm: Dinner followed by Karma Yoga

7:45 - 8:30 pm: Meditation or Evening Activity

 

DEPARTURE DAY: 

7:30 - 8:00 am: Meditation (self-practice) 

8:00 am: Breakfast followed by Karma Yoga (see below) 

10:00 am- 12:30 pm: Packing & final self-led practice

12:30 pm: Lunch

2:30 pm: All participants must leave Le Moulin

 

 * Schedule is subject to change. 

 

KARMA YOGA COMMITTMENT:

In order to keep the accommodation costs to a minimum for you and because Le Moulin de Chaves is a not for profit retreat center, predominantly serving meditation and yoga retreats, and to keep in line with the monastic traditions and Buddhist Vipassana insight Meditation/Thervada values, they ask that all participants offer 50 minutes per day of work periods/karma yoga.

Karma yoga is a practice that supports the running of Le moulin, with participants helping in areas such as kitchen, chopping veggies, gardening, weeding, sweeping paths, household such as cleaning communal areas, bathrooms, etc., which contributes to lower daily rates for participants and can help integrate meditation/ mindfulness and yoga practice into everyday activity.  The main Karma yoga is at 9 am and again after the lunch and dinner period.

 

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WHAT IS IFS?

 

An evidence-based psycho-spiritual therapeutic model, Internal Family Systems was founded by Richard Schwartz in the early 1990s while he was working with women suffering from bulimia.

He found that traditional modes of therapy that tried to control or manage the binging/purging behavior only made things worse. Yet, as these women started to speak about “parts” of themselves that made them throw up and other “parts” that then shamed them for it, Schwartz began to develop a way of relating to one’s inner world as “parts” of oneself.  

Non-demonizing and non-pathologizing, IFS’s core premise is that we have a multiplicity of personalities, or “parts,” within us and that all parts of us are fundamentally good.  

When we experience hardship and trauma and don’t have the support we need to help us through, parts of us become wounded and begin to hold burdens. As we get older, these burdened parts take on extreme roles (as a strong inner critic, a drinking part, a binging part, etc). 

These extreme parts go through great measures to protect the young, wounded parts of us that they locked away deep inside us long ago. They exile them into dark corners of our bodies and minds, for these young parts hold overwhelming feelings like shame, anger, anxiety, loneliness, and sadness.

The emphasis on this retreat is going within and accessing your own inner wisdom– which, in spiritual traditions, is known as insight.  

However, most meditation retreats approach this in a very masculine (and often patriarchal) way. With austerity, and, at times, pushing, forcing, and overriding one's body and sensual pleasures. 

Here, we still go deep within and cultivate a strong container, yet we do so in a feminine way. By opening, softening, and allowing our experiences to be what they are. By emphasizing time for gentle movement, time in nature, psychological healing and integration, self-care, and community connection. 

And, doing this with women only allows for a deeper felt-sense of safety to access more vulnerability. The result is a feeling of deep replenishment, shedding of armoring, and reconnection with the joy of being

Amidst all of this, we all have a place inside of us that has never been wounded and can handle anything life serves us.

Some traditions call this place inside our Buddha-nature. IFS calls it your Self. From this central place within, we experience more expansive states of being. Things like calmness and compassion, confidence and courage. 

Spiritual practices help to lead us to this space inside. Yet, old wounds and traumas also bury this Self within us, making our own healing clarity hard to access at times, especially when we’re triggered or under stress. 

With IFS, you work with those parts of yourself that can become extreme and overwhelm you (like an anxious part, a depressed part, an overdoing part, a dissociated part, a binging part, etc). In doing so, you learn how to help them dial back, so you can access more of your Self energy.

When we access this state of being, and bring it to the parts of ourselves that have been cut off from it from years (and often decades), old traumas can receive the love they’ve always needed and we begin to heal at the deepest level. 

"My IFS sessions with Sara left a profound impact on my emotional, mental & spiritual health."

 

Brittany Bares; Costa Rica

YOUR INVESTMENT

 

TUITION:

Tuition is offered at a sliding scale, on an honor system.

Please pay the highest amount you're able to. Women who pay more make it possible for women in financial need to come with a scholarship.

Thank you in advance for your honesty, integrity, and generosity. 

Supported: $499 USD (Approximately 450 Euros)

Standard: $599 USD (Approximately 550 Euros) 

Sponsor: $699 USD (Approximately 650 Euros)  

  • Tuition is payable below.
  • We recommend booking early to ensure your desired accommodations.
  • An early registration gift (A 2-part video retreat series with Sara on "The Power of Yin") valued at $100 USD is available until May 13. 

 

ACCOMMODATIONS: 

(For 5 nights/6 days. Payable directly to Le Moulin, and based on the provision of Karma Yoga, described above.) 

Double Tent*: 360 Euros

Single Tent: 435 Euros

Shared Room*: 410 Euros

Single Room: 460 Euros

Single Room Ensuite: 535 Euros

Shared Room Ensuite*: 510 Euros

 

Register

HOW THIS RETREAT IS DIFFERENT

 

The emphasis on this retreat is going within and accessing your own inner wisdom– which, in spiritual traditions, is known as insight.  

However, most meditation retreats approach this in a very masculine (and often patriarchal) way. With austerity, and, at times, pushing, forcing, and overriding one's body and sensual pleasures. 

Here, we still go deep within and cultivate a strong container, yet we do so in a feminine way. By opening, softening, and allowing our experiences to be what they are. By emphasizing time for gentle movement, time in nature, psychological healing and integration, pleasure & self-care, authentic movement, and sisterhood. 

And, doing this with women only allows for a deeper felt-sense of safety to access more vulnerability. The result is a feeling of deep replenishment, shedding of armoring, and reconnection with one's heart, intuitive knowing, and joy of simply being

 

Christine

"This is a true pilgrimage that has the possibility to shift one's life in ways one could only hope for, and in ways one could never have imagined."

Stephanie

"I almost didn't come because I had to find someone to take care of my three children (6, 4, 2). Now, I'm truly grateful for this experience and for the opportunity to put a physical presence to Sara and the other women. Sara, you are the most gifted and inspiring teacher to guide us on this path. Thank you from my belly and heart."

Faith

"Sara's teachings went beyond anything I had ever heard and even beyond my expectations."

Sue

"This is the most transformative experience you will ever have.

Having been on two previous retreats with Sara, I almost didn't sign up again. But each experience and group of women is so different. I'm not the same person I was twelve months ago. This type of program is an essential culmination of practice, sharing, and embodiment. I feel grounded, clear, ready to take bold steps in my own journey."

Willow

"I have a deeper understanding and honoring of all parts of myself. My inner trust has deepened.

I truly loved every aspect of this experience. I felt held and supported through the entire process. I feel connected, honored, sacred, and a deeper connection with Self."

Jane

"I decided to sign up for this, despite the cost and my family's needs, because my life is short and I am worth it. I know that I cannot wait any longer. This was life-changing. It pushed me to my edge, and it was so safe and empowering."

 

Kimberly

"If you have even the slightest suspicion or intuition that you need this retreat, you probably do.

I found that I really needed the nurturing medicine of this part of the world, on top of the retreat's gifts. You will be transformed, and you will gain a community of soul sisters to support you on your path. I learned to love, value, and listen to all parts of myself: the light and the dark."

 

Alli

"The experience is indescribable.

 Each woman has her own, very unique journey which is right, true and necessary for her. There is no 'type' of woman best suited for this retreat, rather each who comes takes or gives what she needs and is right for her."

 

Olga

“I feel like a phoenix rising from the ashes. I feel that I’m becoming more feminine again. That I’ve opened to my sensuality and sexuality within myself and I know how to bring all the gifts I’ve gained back into my life.”

 

"Sara’s teachings anchor me. They have me see and touch the world inside and outside in new ways. The meditation or yoga practice helps digest those teachings.

 

The teachings bring me deeper into myself. Anchored. Grounded. Empowered.

 

I feel more enlivened and nourished by being in this space. I’m thankful to be a part of this circle."

 

– Anonymous

COVID-19 POLICY

The Moulin asks that all those arriving at the Moulin take a self-test the day of their arrival.

They also ask that each participant bring a self-test to perform mid-stay.

Please check the Covid page on the Moulin website for all updates and other information on current health guidelines in place at the Moulin. 

We will notify all those registered about the up-to-date regulations closer to the time of our retreat.

 

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Sara Avant Stover is a pioneering teacher of feminine spirituality, bestselling author, Internal Family Systems Practitioner, and yoga and meditation teacher and trainer.

She graduated Phi Beta Kappa and summa cum laude from Columbia University’s all-women’s Barnard College. After a cancer scare in her early twenties, Sara moved to Thailand, where she embarked on a decade-long healing and spiritual odyssey throughout Asia and studied with some of the leading spiritual luminaries of our times. 

Her teachings have uplifted the lives of tens of thousands of women worldwide, and she teaches at centers like Kripalu, 1440 Multiversity, and Shambhala Mountain Center. Her work has been featured in Yoga Journal, the Huffington Post, Newsweek, and Natural Health and on ABC, NBC, and CBS. 

HOW TO REGISTER:

 

  1. Pay the tuition below. 
  2. Book your accommodations with Le Moulin (you'll receive a booking link upon registering). 
  3. Make your travel arrangements. Click here for details on how to get to Le Moulin. 

 

EARLY REGISTRATION GIFTS UNTIL MAY 13

 

When you register by May 13, receive recordings from a two-part retreat video series that Sara led in 2021 on "The Power of Yin." 

 

Each video is approximately 2.5 hours and includes a dharma talk and guided women's yoga and meditation practices (a $100 value) 

TUITION: Supported

$499 USD

For women who are in financial need

  • Tuition for "Change, Resilience & Grace: Annual Women's Insight Retreat"
  • Until May 13: Early registration gift of a 2-part video retreat series on "The Power of Yin" ($100 value) 
Register

TUITION: Standard

$599 USD

For women who can pay the full amount

  • Tuition for "Change, Resilience & Grace: Annual Women's Insight Retreat"
  • Until May 13: Early registration gift of a 2-part video retreat series on "The Power of Yin" ($100 value) 
Register

TUITION: Sponsor

$699 USD

For women who can sponsor another

  • Tuition for "Change, Resilience & Grace: Annual Women's Insight Retreat"
  • Until May 13: Early registration gift of a 2-part video retreat series on "The Power of Yin" ($100 value) 
Register

“I just wanted to extend a quick thank you for creating this space for us women. It has been the medicine I need in my life right now.

 

Your way of bringing us into meditation resonates with me in a way that I haven't experienced in the past decade of exploring and practicing meditation.

Thank you.”

 

- Heather Parsons; U.S.A.