The Radiance Within


Retreat to the Algarve – 2nd to 7th September

Andy Butterfield & Mary-Louise Aitken collaborate to bring you the retreat you have been waiting for.

The first week of September in the Algarve, Portugal and the perfect opportunity to support energies as summer ripens. The invitation is to rest & find nourishment for soul & body. Experience practices rooted in Devi/ Goddess/ Tantric Powers & Traditions.
We know that the narrative text, Devi Mahatmya, witnesses the debut of the Hindu Goddess & the capital ‘G’ points towards the original, supreme power of creation; the ultimate divinity, presented in ‘the feminine.’  Regardless of pronouns, Andy & Mary-Lou call you to explore the qualities congruent with shakti (śakti / goddess) power – traditions intrinsically linked with Tantra:
‘To live, to be present in the world as a Tāntrika, is to live in a universe pervaded by powers, by the power (śakti) of the deity — a universe experienced as a field of energy in which the body is immersed. The body is part of the universe, reflecting its structure. Supernatural forces and deities are present, animating the body and connecting it with the cosmos. A body whose structure and life are simultaneously human, cosmic, and divine is also a yogic body.’ [André Padoux, The Hindu Tantric World: An Overview]
The carefully structured programme will include Yin & Restorative Yoga, Yoga Nidra, TRE (Tension/Trauma Release Exercises, Shiatsu Massage, Soulful Hatha-Flow & Meditation. 

Mary-Lou & Andy would absolutely love you to be a part of this experience.  The residential Retreat Centre ~ 30 mins car ride from Faro, 15 min from Tavira & 15 min from Ria Formosa with its endless, quiet beaches ~ in the heart of the Algarve is gorgeous & perfect for our needs: there’s a pool; a lush garden & grounds; the option to share a room if you are working to a budget or opt for single accommodation; delicious veggie breakfast, lunch & dinner each day; an Early Bird price offered for each before 22 January.

Located in unspoilt countryside, Monte Mariposa (Butterfly Mountain) is nestled in a beautiful, tranquil environment where a nurturing, harmonious, supportive atmosphere can be created. The perfect spot to rest & revive! Check for more info and pictures.

There are a limited number of Early Bird Priced places available and can be secured with a deposit of £300*. All prices include all sessions and full board accommodation.

£725 based on three people sharing

£775 based on two people sharing a twin room

£925 single person supplement

Regular Price

£775 based on three people sharing

£850 based on two people sharing a twin room

£1050 single person supplement

*Cancellation policy – contact Andy or Mary-Lou directly.

Deeper. Closer. Higher.

Retreats, Tantra, Yoga

Tantric Yoga, Reiki and Massage Retreat for Gay and Bi Men

18th-24th June 2022, Portugal

Tantra is a rich map of teachings and practices that guide us home to the truth of who we are; beings of love and light. Tantra allows us to recognise, remember and rise to meet our full potential. It teaches us how to open our hearts, to welcome and honour all that we are and how to move into freedom from self-judgement, self-criticism and a lack of self-love. As the light of self-love and self-acceptance shines within us, so can we see it shine in another. And on and on this light grows, illuminating all that come into contact with it. 

Join experienced teacher Andy Butterfield as he guides you gently and skilfully into the remarkable world of Tantra against the stunning backdrop of the lush, green countryside of Portugal. Beneath the warm sun of early summer, feel your body and soul open joyfully to mindful movement, yoga*, breathwork, chanting, meditation, partner and group work and massage. Be nourished and rejuvenated on all levels and find deep connection with yourself and within a welcoming community of fellow bliss and truth seekers.

This retreat is for you if:

  • You are looking to integrate your sexuality and spirituality and open up to a deepening awareness of who you are
  • You love the idea of getting back to nature, feeling the sun on your naked skin, wild swimming, roaming through woodland, stargazing and sharing around the fire pit  
  • You want to hang out with like-minded, warm-hearted gay and bi men and experience the joy, connection and healing that arises in community 
  • You want to enjoy and celebrate your body through movement, touch and massage 
  • You are looking to expand your awareness of what your body, mind and spirit are capable of
  • You are ready for an adventure, to take risks, grow beyond your comfort zone and discover new ways of delighting in who you are

The program will be relaxed and spacious and also rich and healing: 
– Tension/Trauma Release Exercises which help us to release long held tension patterns, stress and
trauma from the body 
– a variety of energising yoga practices such as dynamic hatha vinyasa, yin and partner yoga
– various meditation tools and practices
– shiatsu massage techniques
– reiki level 1 attunement for self-regulation, self-care and self-healing

A typical day:

8am yoga* and meditation
9.30am breakfast
11.00am tantric touch/reiki workshops on a couple of days
1.30pm lunch
6.00pm tantric touch workshop
8pm dinner
This schedule may change

*The yoga will be for active beginners and improvers so you will need to be relatively fit, healthy and active. Andy draws on his experience with hatha vinyasa yoga to instruct in a mindful, flowing practice that is both subtle and physical. 


Boutique furnished bedrooms (2 triple rooms and the others are twins). Rooms allocated on a first come, first served basis. All bedrooms have en-suite bathrooms, with shower, washbasin and toilet. One single supplement option is available.

Each room is individually styled with different colour schemes and have features such as wood panelled ceilings, wooden shutters, chandeliers and wood floors on the 1st floor.

Single beds can be joined to create a king size bed for couples.


Full Price £1200
Single Supplement £1450

Prices are per person (based on two people sharing a twin room)
Two twin beds can be pushed together to make a King for couples.
Two rooms will be a triple room and rooms will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.

Deposit of £300 to reserve your place

*Limited number of early bird prices are available.

The cancellation policy is considered and flexible in light of Covid.

To register, use the Contact form or email


Reiki is a simple, natural and safe method of spiritual healing, self-regulation and self-care. 

Through reiki, we receive the lifeforce energy around us, the energy that flows through all living things, the energy from the sun and the cosmos, the oceans and the earth. This balances and strengthens our own lifeforce. 

Our lifeforce is responsive to thoughts and feelings. It becomes disrupted by negative thoughts or feelings we hold about ourselves. These negative thoughts and feelings attach themselves to the energy field and cause a disruption in the flow of life force. This diminishes the vital function of the organs and cells of the physical body. 

Reiki heals by flowing through the affected parts of the energy field and charging them with positive energy. It raises the vibratory level of the energy field in and around the physical body where the negative thoughts and feelings are attached. This causes the negative energy to break apart and fall away. In so doing, Reiki clears, straightens and heals the energy pathways, thus allowing the life force to flow in a healthy and natural way. Reiki is extremely helpful in working with Tantric Energy and supports the expansion and growth that comes with it.


The ability to channel Reiki energy is transferred to the student by a Reiki Master during an attunement process. 

By receiving an attunement you will gain a valuable tool for self-healing and self-regulation and also become part of a group of people who are using Reiki to share peace, love and expand universal consciousness with others and the Planet. It is a beautiful, relaxing and deeply nurturing experience and I am delighted to be able to share it with you.  

(With thanks to Miguel Chavez at and his manual for Reiki 1 and 2, the Usui System of Healing). 

Healthy Vegetarian and Vegan Food

The ‘made from scratch’ vegetarian and vegan food is tasty and nutritious and based on fresh, seasonal fruit and vegetables. The vegetables, fruits and herbs are either grown in their own organic garden or supplied by local greengrocers.

The afternoon cake is of course freshly made each day, served with tea infusions, many of which they grew themselves.

We will be nurturing our bodies in a way to complement and assist the healing yoga practices during the group activities. Food for thought and growth.


The venue is 1 hr 45 minutes away from Lisbon airport and 3 hrs from Porto airport so we recommend flying to Lisbon.

We can arrange a minibus to take the group to and from Lisbon airport (about 30 euros each way).

About your host

Andy has practiced tantra yoga for 16 years and taught for nearly 9. He’s also an experienced bodyworker and folds shiatsu, reiki and meditation into his teaching to help his students tap into the great intelligence, power and creativity of the body. Together, we cultivate an attitude of loving kindness, gratitude and wonder as we flow through a soulful and meaningful movement practice.

Partner work is central in his teaching of tantra yoga for gay and bi men. It allows us to experience that with assistance, support and encouragement we can all move more easily towards the goal of self knowledge and self love. Tantra teaches us how to witness the light and beauty in another and so reveal it in ourselves.

Andy is passionate about creating community and holding a safe, relaxed and meaningful space for gay and bi men to meet and explore intimacy, connection and joy.

He has taught many retreats and workshops around the world and is based in London and Brighton, UK.

To register, use the Contact form above or email 

The power of retreating

Gay Men’s Retreats, Retreat, Retreats, Shiatsu, Tantra, Urban Retreats, Workshops, Yoga, Yoga For Men

I feel honoured that so many people trust me to guide them in practices that help them to feel. Yoga, shiatsu, tantra, movement, touch enables people to enter into a deeper, more meaningful relationship with their bodies, their lifeforce, their poise, their power, their compassion, their resilience, their creativity, their wisdom. 

I’ve just finished leading my eleventh retreat and am always struck by how much I love doing them. When I bring together a group of people and co-create a space with them, something happens to my own lifeforce. It gets bigger and stronger and brighter. I’m usually many miles away from my normal life but I feel more at home in myself and more connected to my capabilities. I watch in delight at the wonders that flow through me and the group and I realise that I am in my element.

I’ve gone on retreat many times, journeying deeply into mindfulness, yoga and bodywork, receiving more of the light that these practices shine. To be able to open and hold the space for others to receive that light too is an opportunity to pay the privilege forward. 

Beautiful things happen for people on retreat: connection, inspiration, letting go, empowerment, healing. It’s such a gift to watch the magic unfold, time and time again. Each group constellation being what it needs to be but always shimmering with a kindness and a joy.

Even something as short as a weekend can be a powerful reset. And 5-7 days or longer can be truly life-changing.  Coming away from everyday life and connecting in warm-hearted community, having some space to unplug, to process, to breathe, getting out of your head and into your body, finding who you are again. We return stronger and more resilient than we were before. Sometimes with a fresh new perspective or free from some of our pain.

So what did we get up to on this last retreat adventure? We sang, danced and played games until we doubled over in laughter. We stretched and sweated and eased away tension. We hugged and we sat around the fire and had long, lazy, delicious meals. We remembered the joy of having a body. 

My next retreats are Portugal in June, Greece in July and East Sussex in October. Details here.