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.
Yoga, Massage and Movement Retreat for Gay, Bi and Queer Men.
22nd-27th July, Kythnos, Greece
Find more joy and freedom in your body through yoga, breathwork, massage and movement.
Cradled by sapphire waters, the magical Greek island of Kithnos is a perfect place to rest back into yourself. As the summer sun ripens, filling the sky, you’ll bathe in its golden glow. Thoughtful yoga practices combined with massage will allow you to release stress and tension and also equip you with powerful tools for regulating, relaxing and nourishing yourself.
Unwind and open to the beautiful, warm sun; to wonderful food, hospitality and friendship; and to your deeper, more present and connected self.
Experienced teacher Andy Butterfield pulls together a rich program of yoga, shiatsu, movement, meditation, dance and massage to ground and uplift you. He has led 12 retreats, 11 for gay, bi and trans men and is passionate about creating safe, cohesive and meaningful spaces for men to come together to laugh, share, connect and heal.
GET INVOLVED IF:
You want to hang out with like-minded, warm-hearted gay, bi and trans men and experience the joy, connection and healing that arises in community
You want to explore, enjoy and celebrate your body through movement
You are interested in energy work as a way to help and heal yourself and others
You haven’t been on a retreat before but love the idea of a nurturing, restorative, relaxing and fun break
You have been on retreat and know just how much good can come from taking some time out for yourself.
A typical day:
8am yoga 10am brunch 5pm yoga or massage class 7pm dinner
The schedule may be subject to change.
THE RETREAT CENTRE
You will stay in beautiful 3 bedroom villas, each with 2 bathrooms, a living room and a terrace overlooking the ocean. Yoga, movement and massage sessions will take place beneath the shade of a bamboo pergola in the gorgeous yoga shala.
There will be so much time to chill out by the infinity pool, get a massage, watch the sun sink into the sea, or venture out and explore the beautiful villages, beaches and landscapes and the natural spas of the island. There’s a good chance we will even have a beach all to ourselves, just minutes away from the retreat centre!
8-10 hours of yoga classes
Two delicious and nutritious vegetarian meals a day, brunch and dinner, snack and unlimited herbal teas and water
A transfer from the airport to the hotel, including the ferry is also included in our stay
Twin/Double £779 or €878 Single occupancy £920 or €1040
Secure your place with a non-refundable £225 or €255 deposit. Contact Andy via the form above or on 07968 846610.
* there are a limited number of bursary placements for lower incomes
Tantric Yoga and Massage Retreat for Gay and Bi Men
9th-14th June, 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 teachers Andy and Joao as they guide 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
A typical day:
8am yoga* and meditation 9.30am breakfast 11.00am tantric touch workshop 1.30pm lunch FREE TIME 6.30pm dinner 8pm tantric touch workshop 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 (1 triple and the others are twins). All bedrooms have en-suite bathrooms, with shower, washbasin and toilet.
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.
£620 per person (based on three sharing) £650 per person (based on two people sharing a twin room)
Two twin beds can be pushed together to make a King for couples.
Deposit of £300 to reserve your place and payment of outstanding balance by 1st April
Discount of 5% if booked and deposit payed by the 20th February.
To register, use the Contact form or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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 hosts
Andy has practiced tantra yoga for 14 years and taught for nearly 6. 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.
João’s journey in complementary therapy started 15 years ago and evolved along the years expanding to the realm of Tantra.
His background in teaching along with his training in different styles of massages, tantra, energy work, meditation and movement practice allows him to blend different techniques tailoring them to his clients’ needs.
Tantra has been a big passion in his life since Tantra practices are very diverse and allow the connection between sacred sexuality and spirituality in a path of expansion towards freedom, truth and unconditional love towards oneself and others around.
João is based in London where he offers workshops and private appointments. Moreover, he has taught workshops in festivals.
Into the Heart is a residential yoga retreat for gay and bi men who want to experience being in a tender, nourishing and supportive environment with other likeminded men.
The weekend will be hosted by gay yoga teachers Andy Butterfield and Tom Cowan who between them have shared many beautiful and intimate experiences of teaching yoga, shiatsu and mindfulness in retreats, workshops and classes for gay & bi men, working alongside YogaNu, Loving Men, Tantra for Gay Men and the Radical Faeries.
This workshop is open to men from all walks of life who want to connect with other men. Our aim is for this space to be inclusive for trans and cisgendered men.
We will guide you on a journey through the teachings of Hatha yoga, Shiatsu massage, mindfulness and meditative nature connection practices. We’ll spend time sharing and listening from the heart together, replenishing ourselves with these kind and loving connections.
Come and join this fun and loving community for a weekend of relaxing and restorative embodied yoga practices, delicious home cooked vegetarian food and plenty of free time to explore the stunning Seven Sisters coastline and the peaceful ambience of Gayles Retreat atop the cliffs.
Price includes all costs; accommodation, three delicious meals a day and teaching with Andy and Tom.
Bunk Dorm (11 beds, most bunks, 2 showers, two toilets) – from £265*
Small Dorm (6 beds, no bunks, one toilet and one shower) – from £285*
Double Room (only one available – for two people who will share a double bed) – £639