6 Day Yoga & River Retreat
This is a 5 Night, 6 Day tour which combines morning and early evening yoga sessions with gentle and relaxing paddling down the Célé river.
Elizabeth Reed is an Inner Axis yoga teacher, focusing on breath work and non-competitive movement to increase well being, strength, flexibility and relaxation. On this tour she concentrates on general well being; specific postures relating to issues identified by individual participants and postures for warming up and preparing for paddling. It is suitable for beginners or those with some experience of yoga.
Elizabeth is a fun and knowledgeable teacher who focuses on learning and enjoyment, with tips and techniques you can take away and use to benefit your health in a number of ways.
We will explore the little known Célé valley by both canoe and foot and visit its beautiful villages and see its wonderful wildflowers & butterflies & dragonflies. We will also visit the famous cave paintings at Pech Merle.
This tour is run on demand. If you are a group of between 4 and 14 then choose your own dates and we will do our very best to arrange it.
Fully Guided whilst on the river & trail
Fully Trained Yoga instructor
Full minibus support throughout
Transfer to & from Arrival/Departure point
All accommodation in restored family farmhouse
All breakfasts, lunches and evening meals
Canoe the deep valley of the Célé river past the pretty villages of Marcilhac, Espignac, Sauliac and Cabrerets
Canoe the Lot river past the cliff village of St. Cirq Lapopie
Visit the cave paintings at Pech Merle
Hike along the route of the Way of St. James
All canoes, paddles & life-vests
The price is €1645 per person.
Groups of more than 14 can be accommodated on special request. A private tour for 1 or 2 persons can be arranged with a surchage.
The tour meets & departs from Cahors Railway station at about midday or at close regional airports by arrangement. Cahors is 5 1/2 hours from Paris by train. Local airports are at Brive and Bergerac.
Inner Axis Yoga
BENEFITS OF INNER AXIS
PHYSICAL: it has positive effects on back ache, stiffness, blood pressure, diabetes, balance, digestive system, strength and flexibility, asthma (and other breathing related difficulties), posture and gait, and helps towards a leaner and more toned body.
MENTAL and EMOTIONAL: it provides a calmer mind, with less anxiety, more resilience to stress and life issues, it overcomes a depressive and negative mind set, helps towards better sleep, with an improved ability to relax and focus, and instills more confidence.
SOCIAL and SPIRITUAL: it builds community spirit, dispels resentments and old patterns which prevent happiness, promotes being your best self in relationship to yourself and others, and fosters gratitude & enjoyment of life.
FEATURES OF INNER AXIS
Inner Axis is jargon free, taught in simple, clear and concise language and does not use Sanskrit terms.
Inner Axis teaches a variety of breathing exercises and correct breathing techniques, which are scientifically recognised to have a hugely beneficial impact on health and wellbeing.
Inner Axis uses slow and safe yoga movements that are adaptable to your physical needs and condition whatever your age or your level of fitness. It uses props such as blocks, straps, bolsters etc to facilitate faster development.
The focus of Inner Axis is on healthy alignment and the explanation & reasoning behind the methods used.
Inner Axis uses mindfulness and inspiring visualisations.
Inner Axis is non-competitive and fosters an attitude of kindness to yourself and others.
Inner Axis is for everyone who desires inner health as well as physical health, no matter what religion or ideological beliefs they may hold.
Our guests will be asked to complete a questionnaire and health and safety document prior to the tour.
Everyday of the tour will be book-ended by a yoga session. The friends of the Célé organisation have arranged that the river is set aside for fishing before 11am and for canoeing thereafter. We will use these morning hours for our Yoga sessions, often by the riverside, and for short walks.
Yoga and canoeing through the gentle waters of the Célé are the perfect companions to bring the mind into the body, to refine our awareness and deepen mindfulness. This tour teaches you techniques that can be practised and used in the hurly burly of our everyday lives.
After our day on the river we will have time for another yoga session, or you may relax if you prefer. Our accommodation has a small swimming-pool but we can also wild-swim if we wish too. Evening strolls are also possible.
When we are on the river or trail you will be accompanied on the river by an experienced river guide who will make sure you see all the interesting places along the way. If necessary we can provide top-up/reminder paddling lessons if it's a while since you paddled, or indeed if you have never paddled before.
The rivers are easy paddling and suitable for inexperienced paddlers. The emphasis on this trip is to enjoy the rich history and natural history of the region from the unique viewpoint of the river.
We shall enjoy lazy days meandering down the river and take our time to enjoy all that we see along the way and taking the time to visit many of them as we go. We will certainly visit the world famous caves at Pech Merle and see the ancient cave paintings.
Everyday we will stop for a fabulous picnic lunch and in the evenings we will enjoy a home-made dinner in the farmhouse where we are staying. We will take dinner out one evening too.
The Célé is a small winding stream that flows down a steep sided valley into the Lot. On the way it passes through several small and picturesque villages such as Espingnac, Marciilhac, Sauliac and Cabrerets.
Along the same valley a long-distance trail winds its way. Sometimes besides the river but mostly up high along the valley’s edge. This is the GR651 which is a small deviation off the famous GR65 more commonly known as the ‘Way of St. James’ or the ‘Chemins de Saint-Jacques-de-Compostelle’.
In an adjacent valley flows the Lot river with the famous cliff-hanging village of St. Cirq Lapopie.
We will explore the dramatic scenery as the river winds its way through a deep limestone valley stopping at pretty villages along the way. We will watch the birds along the riverbank: herons, kingfishers, wagtails, dippers and various hawks and admire the glittering colourful damselflies and dragonflies.
For those so inclined we will have a pre-breakfast walk and before we start canoeing each day we will have our yoga session. If we have the time and inclination we will also explore the trails along the causse above the valley and find dolmens left by ancient man. We will see plenty of colourful butterflies in the meadows and in the season plenty of wildflowers too, including some exotic orchids, like the Lizard and Bee Orchids.
The Célé valley is a quiet and largely undiscovered small valley and we shall probably have the river all to ourselves. If it is warm enough we can find some beautiful spots for wild swimming.
Our evenings will be spent discussing our day over a family style evening meal with plenty of opportunity to make the conversation flow.
Day 1. Arrival and first meeting.
You will be met at our arranged meeting point by our guides for your transfer to the Célé valley. This is usually Cahors Station for those guests arriving by train from Paris.
Alternatively arrangements can be made for arrivals at regional airports: Brive and Bergerac are possibilities.
We will meet you off the train that arrives at Cahors at midday. The drive to Sauliac takes about 45 minutes. We will stop along the way for a picnic lunch, get to know each other and go over the trip together. It is a short drive from here to our accommodation. If we have time we may take a short afternoon hike.
On our arrival at the Métairie Basse we will be met by our hosts Helen & Richard and If time and the weather allows we will be able to use the swimming-pool and relax before dinner.
We will also find the time to discuss each individuals requirements for the Yoga sessions.
Day 2. First paddle on the Célé river.
Today we will paddle the Célé river from St. Eulalie to Marcilhac. When we pass the village of Espingnac we will stop to visit and look at the ruins and design of the old tower. Later we will have our lunch on the river-bank around about Brengue.
Before the days paddle we will do our Yoga session. We can either do this in the garden of our accomodation or on the river-bank. We will discuss this as a group so we can figure out clothes/mats/changing arrangements to suit everyone.
Before the canoe we can also do a short walkon the limestone causse and visit a Dolmen or instead just wander around the pretty village of Marcilhac with it's fine church, its ruined Abbey and Flour Mill.
After the paddle we will return to our farmhouse and prepare ourselves for a shorter Yoga session before dinner. or instead just relax and maybe use the swimming pool.
Day 3 Continuing down the Célé river
Each day will pan out in a similar way. A morning Yoga session, a paddle or walk, an (optional) afternoon yoga session and a relaxing evening.
Today we will continue our paddle from Marcilhac down to Cabrerets. Before the paddle we can walk a short stretch of the GR651 and make sure we see the ruins of the old abbey in the village itself.
We will stop for our picnic lunch at Sauliac.
Day 4. A Cave, a Paddle, a Walk
We will walk from our lodgings across the causse and down to the Célé valley at Cabrerets: this takes about an hour, downhill all the way.
We then visit the caves at Pech Merle to see the stunning 25,000 year old paintings.
After this we finish our canoe on the Célé with a short paddle down to Conduche and end the day with an hours river-bank walk to the beautiful cliff-hugging village of St. Cirq Lapopie.
Depending on timings we will have our picnic today at the caves or beside the river.
Day 5. A Hike or a Canoe on the Lot.
Today we have a choice between several long hikes. Either the GR651 pilgrims trail along the Célé valley, or a walk along the cliffs above the Lot river or perhaps some walks around the forests and cliffs above St. Cirq Lapopie.
We will carry our lunch with us today and find a suitable spot ourselves: usually high on the cliffs overlooking the valley.
Alternatively we can canoe along a section of the Lot river – completely different from the Célé. This wide river has several locks along the way but canoes can take a short chute or a portage. We usually stop for lunch at Cregols and stop somewhere else for a wild-swim.
Day 6. Time to leave
After a leisurely breakfast we will return to Cahors in time to catch the midday train to Paris.
If time allows we may have time to wander around the town before departure and our farewells.
We stay at the Métairie Basse for the whole Retreat allowing us to settle in & relax in our surroundings. It is situated high above the Célé valley on the Causse above the village of Sauliac. Our hosts Richard and Helen have converted a farmhouse from almost a complete ruin to provide fabulous accommodation in this quiet area.
In the grounds we can look at the market garden and chickens and also use the outdoor swimming-pool which nestles surprisingly in a converted barn
Early morning walkers can enjoy some trails out onto the Causse and visit an ancient Dolmen: a Iron-Age burial site perhaps 8,000 years old. We can also walk the long, but downhill trail, to the village of Cabrerets on the Cele river to begin our third day with a visit to the cave at Pech Merle.
Richard and Helen will provide us with some delicious home-cooked meals featuring regional specialities and using ingredients from their own garden. They will also introduce us to some local Apéritifs such as Vin Noix, a Ratafia or perhaps a Fénelon.