April Events

Nature and Nurture Retreat with Sarah Fox

Nature and Nurture Yoga & Foraging Retreat, Kilkenny

How did you celebrate St Patricks’ Day?

I took myself along to Kilmacow in Co Kilkenny which is located on the the Waterford border for a unique restorative day with Sarah Fox of Shining Light Wellness.  Sarah runs a number of Yoga and Herbal Medicine Retreats throughout the country and teaches Yoga at many venues including Earthwise Yoga in Bree,Co Wexford where I recently did my 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training.
Having trained with Sarah I knew about her indepth knowledge of plants and herbal medicine and this, along with ‘Yoga by the fire’ is what attracted me to this particular event. 
So, having arrived bright and early (thank goodness for Google Maps!) Sarahs’ lovely mum Mary welcomed me into the house where there was some very excellent coffee and homemade oat, orange and chocolate treats awaiting. Once all the guests had arrived we relaxed and had a chat over coffee/ homemade herbal teas, getting to know one another. I was personally delighted to see the lovely Orlaith, one my ex Yoga student colleagues there and without further ado we headed into the beautifully high ceiling Yoga room for a few hours of Chakra chanting and Yin Yoga.
Now, I for one was not a huge fan of chanting as it takes me outside my comfort zone, however, as Sarah explained each ‘seed’ word for each Chakra and what it related to I found myself enthusiastically joining in and literally began to feel my heart lighten and inner strength begin to vibrate and grow. When you attend a retreat like this it is good to remember that everyone is feeling a bit awkward at first so I do find it best to leave the ‘ego’ at the door and just jump in. 😉 
Bija ( Bija means seed) Mantras- The Sounds of the Chakras: LAM VAM RAM YAM HAM OM

  • “LAM”- chakra 1 (root)
  • “VAM”- chakra 2 (sacral/navel)
  • “RAM”- chakra 3 (solar plexus)
  • “YAM”- chakra 4 (heart)
  • “HAM”- chakra 5 (throat)
  • “OM”- chakra 6 (third eye/brow)
  • “OM”- chakra 7 (crown)

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Chanting was followed by some gorgeous Yin Yoga for joint and nervous system health, flexibility, mobility and integrity. We also used relaxation and breathing techniques where we held certain positions for a while enabling a full stretch and strengthening of the body before it was time for lunch.
Lunch was a delicious spread of homemade breads, fruits, banana pancakes (make using one banana, 2 eggs and a handful of oats), locally sourced jam and natural yoghurt. Seriously Yum! 
After lunch we headed out across the road to a nearby river for a spot of herbal medicine foraging. Sarah explained the uses of many plants including daisies – aerial parts all edible but also our national arnica (to relieve bruises)
She also explained how Plantain is good for tissues and anti-inflammatory thus also good for lung health and how Navel Wort (looks like a belly button plant) can be used as a natural Aloe Vera type plant. We gathered (after asking the plant first) some young nettles and headed back to the house for the creative part of the day.
Cosily ensconced in the kitchen dining room by a roaring fire Sarah proceeded to explain and demonstrate how to make a beautifully rich skin cream using dried marigold flowers, beeswax and organic sunflower oil – (she mentioned how grapeseed oil can help acne prone skin as an alternative to sunflower oil) which was blended together (again you will need to join Sarah on one of her workshops to find out the exact method) to form a delicious deep moisturising skincream- one which I lathered all over my body that evening and had the most restful sleep EVER waking up to feel supple and beautiful. Yay! 
We also made some amazing pesto using the nettles gathered earlier and mixed with some basil leaves, salt and pepper, cashew nuts, extra virgin olive oil and parmesan. Mmmm.  Sarah spoke of alternative ingredients as well as tinctures that can benefit a number of ailments including migraines. 
The conversation was of sharing and we swapped many recipes amongst ourselves one of which was a delicious sounding port for those of us who make sloe gin – using the gin soaked sloes after the sloe gin has been decanted and adding them to a mix of good quality red wine and brandy then leaving for 6 months or more for a stunning port. One I shall try this year….
After our homemade remedies we retired again to the Yoga room for a spell of active Yoga followed by a restful Yoga Nidra meditation to end the day. Dinner was to follow but I had to leave early unfortunately however it looked and smelt delicious – all vegetarian food – what a spread. Was gutted I had to leave but duty called. 
All in all I had a fantastic day and came home feeling inspired and happy. I recommend you check out Sarahs’ events on her Facebook page here as she offers a range of unique workshops and events sure to be of interest to many of our readers including one like this on April 14th – Booking essential!
Tell her we sent ya! 
Namaste! 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Activity breaks in Ireland

Family Fun, Activities and EcoTourism at Slieve Aughty Centre, Loughrea, Co Galway

Mixed Metals WorkshopSlieve Aughty Centre (which comprises also of the fabulous Three Towers Eco House and Restaurant)  has a great range of events and activities coming up over the next few months including:

Pizza Party Fridays Are Back!

Every Friday evening at 7pm enjoy a delicious organic pizza with your choice of toppings, fired up in our clay oven.  €5 per child and €10 for adults.  Book Now.
our-famous-pizza-parties
  For more information on any of the above contact 
Slieve Aughty Centre, Kylebrack West, Loughrea, Co. Galway
+353 (0) 90 974 5246 www.slieveaughtycentre.com
Facebook: slieveaughtyequestrianandactivitycentre

Eco Breaks Ireland

Eco Holiday Breaks in Ireland

Looking for a unique holiday break in Ireland that’s in harmony with Nature?

 Eco Active Ireland Members all follow the responsible tourism initiative to minimize impact on the natural environment whilst providing fun  unique and often educational experiences that all the family can enjoy.

With this in mind and Easter break coming up we have listed a few below to consider:

Tawny Lust Lodge:

Tawny Lust Lodge Leitrim landscapesSet in the beautiful mountains of Wild Leitrim Nuala is a fountain of warmth and local knowledge and works in tandem with local guides to provide walking & foraging holidays, electric bike tours and canoeing experiences whilst enjoying a great nights’ sleep in her all-mod-cons eco friendly cabin.
Check out her special Easter and Mothers Day Offers here >>

Spend Time on An Eco Farm at Crann Og

eco-farm-breakExperience the alternative lifestyle first hand! Learn to build with recycled materials and see how community life works on the Crann Óg Eco Farm.
Marion, Flor and the gang at Crann Og have created a very special place in a beautiful setting and offer workshops, yoga and more at their working eco farm. Currently they have a number of weekends and events for all ages coming up which you can check out on their website at Crann-og.net

Top Of The Rock

pod-pairc-westcorkTop of the Rock Pod Pairc and Walking Centre offers a safe family environment on their unique pod park with all amenities and also motorhome and camping areas available. David and Elizabeth are wonderful hosts and provide lot’s of information on local walking trails and attractions such as the nearby Alpaca farm and offer affordable options for those on tight budgets also. Check out their website topoftherock.ie

An Tí Glas  at Leen Organics

eco accommodation irelandIf you fancy a weekend of picking your own veg and cooking it up in an fabulous cosy eco friendly house then a weekend at An Tí Glas with Leen Organics, Gort, is for you!
The cottage is well situated for all the attractions Co Clare has to offer including: • The Burren • Cliffs of Moher • Loop Head • Slieve Aughty mountains • Ailwee and Doolin caves • Whale & Dolphin Watching • Surfing in Lahinch • Bunratty Castle and Folk Park …all within an hour’s drive of the house.
Visit them online at www.leenorganics.com

The Three Towers Eco House & Restaurant

Enchanted Forests and Fairy Houses at The Three Towers, Slieve Aughty, GalwayEco does not mean style must go out the window and The Three Towers at Slieve Aughty in Loughrea prove this well. Their unique Moor-inspired decor gives  sense of opulence that is grounded by their responsible tourism ethics, no-waste policy and simply fabulous family friendly activities including a fairy woods and horse riding centre. Highly recommended. They have a number of great events coming up including an Easter festival not to be missed. Visit them at thethreetowers.com

Lot’s More Great Eco Destinations

Eco Active Ireland MembersThe above are just a taste of what’s on offer for the responsible tourist and I can vouch for the inspiration an Eco break can give you, as you see the many (often small) ways that one can help the earth whilst having a really fabulous time. (check out my ecotour blog from last summer here >>)
Visit our Members Pages here for lot’s more information and ideas on eco friendly things to do in Ireland!
Tell them Roz sent You!