Exploring Elderhood Retreat

Exploring Elderhood

In the post-menopause season of our life there are changes in our body, changes in how we are seen and heard, changes in our spirit and our aims. What does it mean to be an elder? How am I going to inhabit my elderhood?

Almost unique among mammals, human women continue their life long after reproduction stops. In the ‘grandmother hypothesis’ of evolutionary biology it is to support the thriving of children; in hunter-gatherer society to know the history and cycles of the land. An elder is an older, influential member of a family, tribe, or community, but it is clear that this influence is soft power, and earned by grace, not claimed.

The wisdom of older women has not always been valued, nor their love and service. With grace and the support of our sisters we see ourselves in the role. And in our generation, we may not have known elders, so how do we model it for the next generation?

With restorative yoga, yoga nidra, meditation walk on the land, sisterhood and good vegan soulfood, we’ll rest and dream into this stage of our lives. The practices are gentle and floor based, with adaptations offered, suitable for those with general mobility.

You can read a blog on Fiona’s enquiry with elderhood.

Fiona is a trained and experienced facilitator of restorative and nidra. Based at her Viveka Gardens Retreat Place in Mid Devon, she brings nature and season-based visualisations to nidra, and years of practice reflecting on the nature and seasons of the body-mind-heart.

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Arrival from 2pm on the first day and departure 1.00-ish on the last. The retreat finishes in time for a visit to the beach, walk on Dartmoor or in good time to return home. It is possible to stay an extra night: B&B, 11am departure. The accommodation is shared in two lofty converted barn spaces.

You can secure your place with £150 non-returnable deposit and pay the balance four weeks before the retreat

Go to the accommodation pages and instagram page to see what it’s like here at Viveka Gardens, or friend Fiona on fb, or go to the Viveka Gardens fb page

More info on the about page too, and you can see a ton of 5* feedback by looking for Viveka Gardens on googlemaps. Be in touch with any questions.

Getting here

This weekend retreat builds on Day Retreats on the theme offered here

Feedback from Exploring Elderhood Day Retreats

I was so grateful to have this unique space with other women to think widely and dream into the possibilities for elderhood in general, and my elderhood in particular. The space was beautifully held and gave me real rest with intuitively guided yoga and safe circle. And the food! Inspiring day. F, Bude

My thanks for a beautiful experience and a day to reflect on with deep realisations that will continue to unfold. I benefited from time out to think, journal, be really listened to, coddled and cosseted, wholly fed and nurtured in the peace of Viveka Gardens. I loved the warmth and peace, the unhurried rhythm of time, the enveloping restorative yoga, the wonderful wholesomeness of hospitality and Fiona’s loving and liberating guidance. As a result of the day I want to live each day more appreciatively, with my body, in creation, with wisdom and in faith. My main takeaway is about growing in grace and the freedom to be me. M, North Tawton

I thoroughly enjoyed Saturday and found it a very enlightening experience. I’m definitely continuing to contemplate things that came up. I do feel that in the light of all the changes that are happening around me at this stage in my life I need to take the time to think about the future and I feel positive about doing so. A, Poughill

July 26th – 28th

3-day-2-night stay £295

comfortable, calm and cosy accommodation, vegan meals, fruit bowl, teas

 with option for extra night (29 July): supper, B&B, @£80

you could book a 1-1 yoga class or coaching session


£150 deposit on booking and balance four weeks before the retreat

Viveka Gardens is keen to make yoga available to all – bursaries for those on benefit/low income Please contact to discuss

Please take a look at Ts & Cs

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day 1
Arrival from 2pm
4.00 yoga class
6.00 Supper
7.00 intro/tour Viveka Gardens
8.00 intention-setting nidra (Fiona)
10pm lights out

day 2

7.00 group meditation

7.30 light breakfast

10.00 Workshop (day retreat guests may join)

with restorative yoga, meditaton walk in nature, sowing-tending-harvesting and yoga nidra

4pm garden tasks or rest/reading

6pm dinner

8pm group meditation walk or firepit (group decides)

day 3
7.15 group meditation
8.00 yoga class or self-practice
10.00 brunch
11.30 personal study/walk/work in the garden
12.30 closing circle and departure

consider staying for an extra night B&B