Feature Walks & Retreats
I organise occasional Feature Walks and Retreats often in partnership with another facilitator. Here is the latest list as well as some details of past events to give you a flavour of the various events. If you would more information or to book call me on 01273 814683/07717 240307 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Feature walks offer a combination of walking mindfully and stopping along the way to listen to the guest leader talking about their subject. The groups will be limited in numbers to make it easier to gather around the leader at each stop. The prices are a little higher than for the regular walks, but the cost is significantly lower than you'd normally pay for a workshop. It's a good idea to bring a notebook/sketchbook for recording details of what you'll hear and see.
Wednesday 15th May, 2pm: Foraging Foray
Another inspiring foray with Anna Richardson who will join us to discover the abundance of wild food in the local countryside and talk about the myriad culinary and medicinal uses. Bring a containor or bags to collect samples and a small note book or sketch book. Also bring a sandwich to top up with wild finds! £15 payable in advance. (These are very popular so book soon to ensure your place). Stanmer Park.
Saturday 18th May, 2pm: Walking and Alexander Technique
The Alexander Technique helps with freeing up our movement and breathing, and creates a state of lightness and springiness. This walk will combine mindful walking and the Alexander Technique. Korina Biggs, an experienced Alexander teacher, will be co-leading this walk, giving the group guidance and working with individuals. It maybe that you have a particular niggle, or that you struggle with going up hills, or that you simply want to make the experience of walking more pleasurable. Whatever the reason this walk will encourage us to connect to ourselves as well as to our environment. 3-4 miles. £15 payable in advance. Seaford.http://www.korinabiggs.co.uk/
Mindfulness in Nature Day Retreat: Sunday 14th July, 10.30 - 5pm, Westmeston
Mindfulness is now recognised by doctors and psychologists as a powerful tool for enhancing ‘wellbeing’ and reducing anxiety, depression and everyday life stress. Co-led with Nick Diggins, an experienced Mindfulness Practitioner and Teacher, this day will be an opportunity for us to deepen or rediscover our natural fascination with the world around us. It will include short mindfulness meditations led by Nick and a mindful walk on the beautiful South Downs led by Louise. We will also offer some evocative poems and stories and simple gentle mindful movement practices. There will be an opportunity to share together the discoveries that the day brings, as well as periods of silence and reflection. No prior experience of mindfulness or meditation is necessary. Westmeston Hall is located along the B2116 inbetween Plumpton agricultural college and Ditchling. Cost £50/£40 conc. (price includes a delicious vegetarian lunch).http://mindfulnessforwellbeing.co.uk/
The South Downs with it's grassland, hedgerows and coastal areas offers an abundance of edible wild food all year around. Spring greens, summer flowers and autumn roots and berries provide highly nutritious and medicinal wild produce. On these walks we will gather and taste samples and sometimes cook up our finds in the way of our ancestor hunter-gatherers. I normally run 2 or 3 foraging walks every Spring and Autumn.
Wild food expert, Anna Richardson, joins us to explore the Sussex countyside, foraging for plants which can be used for food and medicine.
Foraging expert and bushcraft trainer, Mark Lloyd, introduces us to the many wild plants growing on the Downs that can be eaten raw and cooked.
Yoga and Walking Retreats
Led by Louise Gorst and Dot Bowen these retreats combine yoga in the studio with walking outdoors. The yoga encourages us to release tension and bring awareness to our bodies and our state of mind. This awareness is then taken with us as we walk more mindfully in nature and notice what is going on both inside ourselves and outside in the countryside. You will leave feeling deeply relaxed and lightly invigorated. Suitable for newcomers and those with experience of practising yoga.
Creative by Nature
These days include an enticing mix of short walks in nature, meditation, drawing, painting and collage, movement, play and writing to connect with nature, open up the senses and develop your awareness and intuition. This encourages you to let go of limitations and gradually trust your inner source of creativity. No previous art training or ability required. Please bring walking shoes/trainers and a sketch book/notebook. Paddock Studios, Lewes,
Louise Gorst is fascinated in the creative process and the way that creativity happens by a process of allowing and letting go rather than consciously making something happen. She has also always had a love of walking and spending time in nature and sees a link between the two. Six years ago she set up ‘Soles & Souls’, leading walks with a focus on being quiet and mindful in nature to fully appreciate all it has to offer. At one point she lived in Australia for 7 years where she attained her Visual Arts degree from Sydney University. She has taught classes and run workshops for many years in Life Drawing, Creative Drawing and Painting and more recently Drawing & Dancing. She is also an NLP Practitioner and qualified Life Coach.
Natural Navigation with Tristan Gooley
Tristan Gooley, author of 'The Natural Navigator' book and the only living person to have both flown solo and sailed singlehanded across the Atlantic, joined us to describe how we can find our way using signs from nature.
Family Days on the Downs with Soles & Souls and Intrepid Theatre
A fun day on the Downs, perfect for families with children and their friends aged 4 - 7 years. Children walk with Allie West from Intrepid, stopping at intervals for storytelling and songs - all inspired by true stories and legends of the South Downs, whilst the grown-ups walk with Louise Gorst, from Soles & Souls, taking in the breathtaking scenery and walking with awareness and appreciation of being at one with our local landscape.
Drawing & Dancing with Louise Gorst and Ann Flower
I find all my best creative ideas come to me while walking – which is good since my walking business Soles & Souls is about leading walks in the Sussex countryside. I’d recently met Ann Flower when I joined her dance class in Lewes and was bowled over by this form of dance that suited all ages and abilities and made me feel graceful and competent right from the beginning when I had no other dance experience than prancing on my own lounge floor. I’d been teaching life drawing and creative drawing and painting for many years and had stopped teaching to set up Soles & Souls. So one day on a walk I had a flash of inspiration: Drawing & Dancing – do a workshop with Ann Flower! Ann was very receptive to the idea – she’d been at art college many years before and always felt the two creative mediums were one and the same. We ran the first workshop which was a great success and now do them regularly. The participants range in age from 25 to 80+ with a mixture of dancing and drawing abilities. Ann and I found we worked seamlessly together with Ann guiding the dance and me the drawing. After lots of warm ups we lead everyone through a sequence of postures – twisting, stretching, contracting which they then draw by making marks which correspond to their experience of that posture. Participants also take it in turn to ‘model’, which is a bit like doing a frame by frame sequence of a dance while the others draw. At the last workshop we had a theme of the Can-Can and we looked at paintings by Toulouse Lautrec. Ann choreographed a simple Can-Can and bought in lots of frou-frou skirts for us to dress up in. We had huge fun, laughed a lot and gained more understanding of the connection between feeling the movement in our bodies and the shapes created by dance and making drawings and paintings of that movement and those forms.
Artist Alison Cotton joined us for a day in learning how to make outdoor painting happen, which is a great tool for when you're walking or traveling. We walked for a while, looking and listening and absorbing our surroundings before settling in to some painting at inspiring points along the way. It is suitable for complete beginners as well as people who've painted before who would like some guidance in watercolour technique. Small group. http://learn-watercolours-outdoors.com
Mindfulness in Nature Days
Mindfulness is now recognised by doctors and psychologists as a powerful tool for enhancing ‘wellbeing’ and reducing anxiety, depression and everyday life stress. Co-led with Nick Diggins, an experienced Mindfulness Practitioner and Teacher, this day will be an opportunity for us to deepen or rediscover our natural fascination with the world around us. It will include short mindfulness meditations led by Nick and a mindful walk on the beautiful South Downs led by Louise. We will also offer some evocative poems and stories and simple gentle mindful movement practices. There will be an opportunity to share together the discoveries that the day brings, as well as periods of silence and reflection. No prior experience of mindfulness or meditation is necessary. Westmeston Hall is located along the B2116 inbetween Plumpton agricultural college and Ditchling. Cost £50/£40 conc. (price includes a delicious vegetarian lunch).