Joie de vivre \ˌzhwä-də-ˈvēvrə\ simply means, “joy of living,” and on our first Aluna European Adventure, we are diving into this theme. That is what the spirit of the Land that has become our home in Southern France buzzes with. Simple, abundant joy as experiencing through……
Rolling hills. Dancing fields of wheat. Rushing rivers. Sweet wildflowers. Old family vineyards. And a secret labyrinth forest, what one might imagine is the lush dwelling place of fairies. All set in the foothills of the rugged Pyrenees Mountains, the meeting grounds of France and Spain. The natural landscape is wild and sparsely populated, but carries a rich and mysterious history. Caves with prehistoric paintings, crumbling castles, grand chateaus, and gothic cathedrals dot the land. It has been nicknamed Cathar Country, for the mystical Cathars, a sect of Christianity who was persecuted by Pope for being “heretics” and tales of Mary Magdalene can be heard in whispers.
You’ll find refuge in the smallest town in which you may have ever stayed (Conilhac-de-la-Montagne has a population of 60 people!) At this time of year the nights are short and the days are long with the sun setting between 9 and 10pm. Watch the hues of the landscape change as the light begins to fade. Join us as spring begins to turn into summer. A time when nature is pulsing with life. Let the wild, open space allow you to find freedom in your heart. Room for it to expand. Lightness. Tenderness. This land is rich with simplicity and will help you to remember your own capacity for spontaneous, relaxed enjoyment of all things. In a place where the people work the land; till your own soil, so you can grow and expand. Rejoice in simple pleasures. Let the warm breezes blow through you.
Join us on this beautiful journey. Give your heart this gift of living and breathing in joy every day.
In the tiny village of Conhilac-de-la-Montagne lies the gem of Santosha, the oldest home and barn in the village, turned into a yoga retreat eco-centre. Santosha means contentment, and this is the beautiful energy that imbues every corner of the property. It has been lovingly created and cared for by Gillian Rice-Duncan and Neil Duncan, our hosts and honorary family in Southern France.
Gillian’s attention to detail and simple beauty is reflected throughout the home. You’ll rest your head each night in your own nook of a comfortable and spacious community-style room. Each room highlights the stunning details of the house in its original form, beautiful wood beams, exposed brick, and charming windows that look over farmland or the majestic Pyrenees.
Our yoga studio is in a converted barn, with wood floors, high ceilings, and lots of light. There are many places around the property to find solace and relax. Hammocks, a rooftop patio, a stunning garden, a Moroccan-style lounge, and the surrounding roads and fields of the town that you’re welcome to wander and explore.
Santosha is a vegetarian household and vegetarians and meat-eaters alike will discover a whole new way of enjoying food here. You’ll feel lighter, deeply nourished, and inspired to try new ways of cooking when you return home. Simply put: it’s vegetarian deliciousness. There will also be fromage, locally baked bread (with wheat grown in a nearby field….and they also have gluten-free local bread!) And then there occasional best-croissant-you’ll-ever-have, baked fresh the morning they arrive. Your palate, heart, and mind will be satiated with every meal, whether we enjoy it on the outdoor patio, formal dining table, or picnic-style!
You’ll have the option to purchase local wine and enjoy a glass with your dinner on select evenings. The local specialty is called Blanquette which is considered to be the very first Champagne. We have discovered that the best-kept wine is in France, so if you’d like a glass, please enjoy!
***Flight Info for all travelers***
You will depart Friday PM on June 1.
Please choose a flight that arrives in Toulouse no later than 1p on Saturday, June 2.
Choose a flight that departs Toulouse anytime Sunday, June 10.
**If you need to arrange flights outside of these parameters, please note, we can help arrange your airport transport via trains, but there will be an extra charge and time for that.**
For Philadelphia/New York travelers, the cheapest flights are from Newark on TAP airlines, with a layover in Lisbon. Book early for the best prices, we like Hopper, Momondo, and Skyscanner app for flight pricing predictions.
**shared rooms are spacious living areas with 2-3 beds per room**
Deposit of $597 reserves your space
Retreat limited to 9 spaces
JOIN THE JOURNEY
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