The Sound of Deep Relaxation – Shiatsu Massage and Mantra Workshop

Kirtan, Shiatsu, Workshops, Yoga, Yoga For Men

In this extra special workshop experience, Andy Butterfield and Mark Bouzida take you on a blissful journey back home to the heart – firstly with shiatsu massage and then joyful kirtan, (the practice of singing together). 

You’ll realise the therapeutic power that’s available in your hands and how you can share that power with others. Andy will guide you to learn easy but effective shiatsu techniques to ease tension in the neck, shoulders, back, hips, legs and feet. 

In this opened, receptive and expanded state, the body is primed to receive healing vibrations of sound and song at a deeper, more profound level. Relax back and let the Kirtan lift you into the ecstatic space of the heart. Feel your stress melt away and your nervous system grow calm.    

You are warmly invited to participate in both portions of the workshop but you are also welcome to just take part in the shiatsu or the kirtan. 

Full event
£35* to £40 booked in advance
£45 on the door

Shiatsu
£25* to £30 booked in advance
£35 on the door

Kirtan
£12* to £15 booked in advance
£20 on the door 

*early bird price if you book by the 4th October

https://www.outsavvy.com/event/3501/the-sound-of-deep-relaxation-a-shiatsu-massage-and-mantra-workshop-tickets

Shiatsu is a powerful form of therapeutic bodywork, originating in Japan. It uses a variety of techniques such as stretches, joint mobilisation, acupressure and holding to bring the body into a state of deep relaxation and support and balance vital life-force energy. In this space the body is able to better balance and heal itself. No previous experience is necessary but you will need to be able to sit and kneel in comfort. You do not need to bring a partner as you will work with different people in the class. You will remain fully clothed so please wear warm, loose, comfortable clothing.

Andy is a tantra yoga teacher and shiatsu therapist in London and Brighton. His approach is about finding more joy and wisdom in the body. He loves to hold safe, fun and meaningful spaces for gay, bi and queer men to come together in community and connect in friendship, intimacy, joy and healing. (www.andybutterfield.com)

Kirtan is the yoga of sound, a beautiful and high energy experience of chanting mantra as a group to connect our voices to our inner states of bliss, joy and oneness. It’s also a great party – a celebration of ourselves, our voices and our hearts. 

Mark first discovered Kirtan whilst travelling in India. It had an immediate and powerful effect and after returning to London, he was inspired to train with Nikki Slade in Kirtan Leadership. Mark has led Kirtan at The Southbank and leads Kirtan regularly at yoga studios across London and day urban retreats. ‘I know that sound can bring us into a place of deep inner peace. Through Kirtan, we come together, connect to our hearts and bring together mind, body and soul, leaving us uplifted and in joy.’

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.

Into The Heart

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

Yoga Retreat for Gay, Bi and Trans Men. 
4th to 6th October, Sussex

This is the third retreat we have run from this venue, Gayles Retreat as we all love it so much and keep coming back!

It’s nestled deep in the Sussex countryside, a haven of peace, calm and a much needed breathing space.

Conveniently close to London/Brighton with excellent rail/bus links and plenty of parking should you wish to drive the 90 minutes from London to the Sea.

The weekend will be hosted by two experienced teachers, Andy Butterfield and Tom Cowan, who have been leading workshops and retreats offering Vajrasati & Hatha Flow Yoga, Shiatsu, Tantra, Meditation and Nature Connection Practices. They regularly support events for Yoganu, Loving Men, Tantra for Gay Men and the Radical Faeries.

We come together to explore embodied presence, movement, connection with ourselves and each other, Nature & community.
We recognise and appreciate yoga as a practice that cultivates integration through movement, breathwork, meditation and with the relaxation that comes from experiencing yoga Nidra.

These are an invaluable resource for creating balance, calmness and steadiness in the mind and body.

There will be relaxing, meditative, restorative and enlivening practices of yoga during this weekend.

Supporting us through periods of anxiety, depression, addiction and helping to mediate compulsive behaviours, a regular yoga practice (abyahasa) opens up a crack of light in the endless stream of thoughts and stories (vikalpa) that can be our preoccupation giving us breathing space so we can gain a fresh perspective (vairagyam).

It’s in the pauses between thinking, as we move, breathe, stretch and connect that we awaken from the trance of being lost to ourselves and begin to once again experience the sensations both in and outside of the body that constitute reality in this moment.

In this way we learn to take our practice off the mat and walk it into life, step by step, day by day.

We’re building resilience in the face of stress and tension by noticing when we get caught up, so we can find our centre and enjoy the beauty of being present to ourselves and the world around us.

There will be lots of space to simply ‘be’. Time to unwind, relax and connect with yourself. Switch off the phone. Leave the emails behind for a weekend. Listen to the sounds of nature, feel the air on your skin and enjoy good food, good company and a real retreat!

Please come and join us for this immersive weekend of relaxing and restorative Shiatsu massage, playful deep and accessible yoga, fun games and nature based practices, meditation walks through the beautiful gardens and delicious home cooked vegetarian food, all against the backdrop of the stunning Seven Sisters coastline and the gentle ambience of Gayles Retreat atop the cliffs.

Prices include all costs, including your room, three delicious vegetarian meals a day and all refreshments, fruit, hot drinks etc.

Our venue for the event is Gayles, a beautiful retreat centre situated in the outstanding countryside of the South Downs in East Sussex. Gayles is 15 miles from Brighton, a 90 minute drive from London and easily accessible by public transport. See http://www.retreattogayles.co.uk/ for more information.

Food at the event is vegetarian and with sufficient notice it’s possible to provide vegan, dairy-free and wheat-free diets.

More info on the teachers
Tom www.tomcowan.info
Andy www.andybutterfield.com

Andy and Tom

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 and en-suite (only one available – for two people who will share a double bed) – £599

Booking can be made directly here: https://events.eventzilla.net/e/into-the-heart—a-yoga-retreat-for-gay-bi–queer-men-2138750726

Contact Andy (07968 846610) or Tom (07858 224601) for more info or email yogawithandyandtom@gmail.com 

Strong roots. Bright heart.

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

Yoga Retreat for Gay, Bi and Queer Men. 

2nd-7th March, Lanzarote, Canary Islands

In way more than a yoga holiday, find more joy and freedom in your body through yoga, massage and movement

Free yourself early from Winter’s clutches and move, open, stretch and come back to life in the beautiful warm sunlight of the Canary Islands.

As the light emerges and expands, there’s no better time to take some rest after the long winter, recharge and then look ahead to what you want to create next. Energy follows intention so let a few days of mindfulness, movement, rest, friendship and play lift your spirits, open your heart, and connect you to your power and creativity.

Experienced teacher Andy Butterfield pulls together a rich program of yoga, movement, meditation, dance and massage to ground and uplift you. He has led 8 retreats, 7 for gay, bi and queer 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’re dreading a cold, lingering winter and delight at the thought of being able to wear shorts and flip flops again by the beginning of March
  • 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 like the sound of adventuring in your body through yoga, massage and dance
  • 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
  • 11.30am workshop on Monday and/or Wednesday
  • 5pm yoga/dance*
  • 7pm dinner
  • A couple of dance/movement sessions will provide the space to enjoy connecting to the body and each other in a different way, helping us to embody freedom in an exciting and different way.
  • The schedule is subject to change.

LANZAROTE
Lanzarote, is an island of contrasting landscapes, from striking volcanic plains to lush green oases. Just 70 nautical miles from the Sahara, proximity to the Med and the hot tropics keeps summers bearable and winters warm. Clouds tend to go around the island rather than over it and in March, temperatures are really starting to warm up, and can reach the 20s.

VENUE & ACCOMMODATION
Villa Amatista is located at the tranquil heart of the island and is charged with the energy of awakening. Yoga, 5 rhythms, tai chi, breathwork, tantra, shamanic work all happen here and so there has been much healing and transformation within the space.

The accommodation is full of character and furnished with love and a simple elegance.

Triple £720
Twin/Double £750
Single occupancy (just two spaces available) £850

Secure your place with a £250 deposit. Contact Andy above or on 07968 846610.
The remaining balance must be paid by the 15th February.

SWIMMING POOL
There is an outdoor chlorine-free, salt water swimming pool and it is solar-heated so is available for relaxation year round.

FOOD
An extensive organic vegetable garden provides a variety of juicy nutrient rich vegetables and herbs. All food will be vegetarian and vegan and gluten/dairy free choices will be available. Two vegetarian meals a day will be served; a hearty brunch and healthy, substantial dinner. Each room has a kitchen or access to a kitchen should you want to prepare something for lunch. We will have dinner out one evening, the cost of which will be paid individually at the time.

THE GARDENS
A tranquil green, oasis, Amatista is surrounded by the vineyards and volcanoes of La Vegueta.

With swaying palms trees, endless varieties of cacti, aloe and other desert plants planted beside twisting pathways, hidden nooks and hilltop lookouts, the rambling gardens allow you to find your spot for meditation, reflection and creativity.

CAR HIRE
Should you want to make the most of your visit to Lanzarote in your free time, hiring a car is best option. It is likely that between us, we will have a couple of rental cars at our disposal. Taxis are of course, another option.

MARCH WEATHER
Daytimes are fine for beach wear, shorts, t shirts and flip flops. You shouldn’t need anything more for the daytime, but in the evenings you might want a light fleece or cardigan.
The temperature in Lanzarote definitely starts to increase during March, and we typically see daytime temperatures of 21 to 26 degrees, falling to 16 to 18 at night.

BIOs

ANDY Butterfield has journeyed through various styles of yoga and folds elements of these, along with his shiatsu bodywork experience into a mindful, breath-led flow practice. His objective is to help you inhabit your body more fully, relaxing into it with deeper compassion, appreciation and contentment.
Sometimes his classes focus on the creation of space, softening what is stuck and restoring and resourcing us from the inside. Other times, we work hard with strengthening and empowering practices to burn off what isn’t serving us and feel the joy in offering more than we thought we could.
Partner work is also woven in, allowing us to experience that with assistance, support and encouragement, we can move more easily towards the goal of yoga – self knowledge and self love.

GAETANO Sibilia has loved to dance for many years and completed his 3 year professional training in contemporary and urban dance in Zürich in 2018. He is a performer, researcher, competitor, choreographer and teacher and is passionate about how movement can set us free.

‘The reason that I dance and love to move is that I can express myself and show my emotions. Movement is about experiencing one’s own body to a new extent every day. Moving it can give you so much; showing how you can break out of your comfort zone; revealing how you are feeling; it can bring up emotion and feelings which you have never experienced before. This is why I teach; I want to share these experiences and take students on a journey. I want to give them the possibility to express themselves in their way of moving, to provide the opportunity to feel themselves more physically and emotionally through movement. Movement helps us let go and find freedom.’