Into The Heart


A residential summer retreat for gay, bi & queer men

12th – 14th June 2020

This is the fourth 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.

This event is for you if you want to explore:

  • daily yoga and meditation
  • authentic connection within ourselves and with each other
  • morning nature walks
  • therapeutic touch workshop with Shiatsu massage
  • free time to relax and unwind
  • being in the company of friendly gay, bi & queer men

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.

Prices and accommodation

Large Dorm (11 beds, most bunks, 2 showers, two toilets) – £285

Camping in the Orchard (with showers and WC in the horsebox) – £285

Small Dorm (6 beds, no bunks, one toilet and one shower) – £299

Attic Double Bedroom Hideaway with En-Suite (only one available – for two people who will share a double bed) – £599

Quiet Single Room (only one available) – £365

Book your place at

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

Arrivals from 1630 on Friday 12th for dinner at 1830.
Departures after lunch at 1500 on Sunday 14th.

All mats, blocks, blankets provided.

Deeper. Closer. Higher.

Retreats, Tantra, Yoga

Tantric Yoga and Massage Retreat for Gay and Bi Men

20th-26th 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
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. 

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.


Early Bird Price £850*
Full Price £995

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 and payment of outstanding balance by 1st April

Early Bird price is payable if the deposit is paid by the end of January.

To register, use the Contact form or email

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 15 years and taught for nearly 7. 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.

To register, use the Contact form above or email 

Whirl and Shine – shiatsu, movement and dance workshop for men


In this extra special workshop experience, shiatsu therapist Andy Butterfield and international dance teacher Einat Ran join forces to take you on a joyful and healing journey that will enable you to feel your lifeforce energy flowing through your body, raising your vibration, dispelling stress and bringing you back home to your vital and alive self.

Einat has danced her way around the world and will share with us some of her favourite, most spirited and uplifting dances. These dances have been a means for people to express themselves and honour and celebrate life for many years. They allow us to connect with our passion, our freedom and our joy.

After immersing ourselves in fun and freeing movement to soulful music, we will flow into the relaxing, grounding and connecting experience of shiatsu. Stretches and massage will help release tension, stiffness and blockages so that your life-force energy can expand. You will work with different partners and share easy but effective techniques to help the neck, shoulders, back, hips, chest and breath.

No experience of dance or massage is necessary – just the willingness to try something new, let go a little bit and play!

£38 early bird (just 6 tickets at this price)
£47 thereafter
£55 on the door

Saturday, November 30th
2.00pm to 6.00pm
Edmund Kean Studio
RADA Studios
Chenies Street

Near Goodge Street station on the Northern Line

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. (

Einat is a dance and yoga teacher from Israel and has guided hundreds of people to get in touch with the meaning of their lives and their hearts desires through listening to the wisdom within that arises through movement.“I’m thrilled to return to London and meet more people who are ready to open up for these inspiring teachings and reclaim their power and passion in life. I’m honoured to share what I’ve learned from rare and amazing teachers around the world.”

Transformational Tantra: the pathway of potential

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

In this one day workshop, tantra teachers Andy and Joao reveal a map to better health and wellbeing and give you tools to navigate it. 

Learn how to locate, access and utilise the seven power centres in the body so that you optimise your lifeforce energy and expand into your potential. 

Otherwise known as Chakras, these power centres are places in the body where lifeforce energy gathers and concentrates to power each part of the whole system.  Injury, trauma and stress can create blockages which prevent the chakras from functioning properly. This impacts all elements of our health, physically, emotionally, psychologically and means we don’t thrive as we are meant to. 

Tantra Yoga practices open, clear and balance the seven power centres so that lifeforce energy flows optimally and we become our most fearless, creative, confident, compassionate, truthful, insightful and integrated selves.

In the first part of the day we will work with grounding the energy to feel more present and connected to our bodies and the raw and vibrant lifeforce within. We will learn how to cultivate a sense of safety and security, exploring needs, desires, boundaries and consent. 

Once that container has been built we will work individually and in pairs and groups to expand lifeforce energy with tantric practices using movement, sound, breath and mindfulnes. The whole body becomes available as a source of pleasure and power and sensation becomes richer, deeper and stronger. You will also learn simple but effective touch and massage techniques to build this experience within yourself and your lovers and partners. 

Open up to more power, intimacy and pleasure. Become more connected to your ecstatic self.  

Sunday 17th November
Central London location. Details on booking. 

* Limited number of early bird tickets

Exploring erotic energy is done within a safe, held, playful and respectful space. You are encouraged to take responsibility for your boundaries and to play within these. You are never required to share touch with someone you do not want to share touch with. 

No-one is refused entry due to financial reasons so please contact Andy or Joao if the early bird price is way beyond your financial means. 

Please arrive 15-20 minutes before the start and bring a flat sheet, towel, water bottle and something to share for lunch. 

The Power of Tantra: what you need to know

Gay Men’s Retreats, Tantra, Urban Retreats, Yoga, Yoga For Men

Tantra is Empowerment. Tantra is Healing. Tantra is Freedom. Tantra is Transformation. Tantra is Realising Potential. 

Let’s set about the business of becoming more available to the Life and Love within

Tantra invites us to grow, to unfold into the truth of what we are capable of as abundant and creative beings of love, light and life.  The practice of its teachings expands us into our potential. We can become our most fearless, creative, courageous, confident, loving, honest, wise selves and we realise we are in reach of everything we could ever need. It’s all inside.

‘You are the one you have sought for so long’ Jeff Foster

Tantra enables us to uncover this truth through the body and through the heart.

Using breath, movement, sound, touch and mindful awareness, we awaken our raw, potent lifeforce energy and expand it through the body. It vibrates and trembles with more and more pleasure and vitality and our perception of what the body is capable of widens. We begin to access more of what’s available to us and as our inner resources emerge, we can stand in deeper, richer, higher consciousness. We receive much more of our selves.

Tantra also brings us into relationship with others and we all become each other’s mirrors, teachers, guides and gifts. Energised by lifeforce, the heart opens and can truly know itself as boundless in its capacity for compassion, generosity and love. We light the way and lead each other home.

‘You are not a drop in the ocean. You are the entire ocean in a drop.’ Rumi

In this workshop, Andy will guide you through movement, meditation, touch and massage practices to enable you to feel more with your body, open up your perspective, open your heart, raise your energy, lifeforce and power. We will work safely and mindfully with sexual and sensual energy, orientating it around the compassion and respect of the Heart.

This workshop is for you if:

  • You are curious about understanding more about the true essence of Tantra
  • You want to feel more connected to your body 
  • You are working on healing from past negative experiences regarding your sexuality
  • You want to become more mindful and more present
  • You are looking to break out of patterns that no longer serve you
  • You want more intimacy
  • You are interested in working with energy
  • You are interested in better sex with yourself and with others
  • You want to integrate sexuality with spirituality

Please note that as a group, we commit to holding a safe, boundaried and respectful space. We are working with sexual energy but we do not engage in sexual acts in the session. You need to be able to sit and kneel in comfort.

First 5 tickets £40
and then £45 thereafter

6.30am to 9.30pm in Covent Garden, Central London. Details after booking.

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

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

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

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

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. (

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.’

Into the heart in the city: LONDON


Yoga, massage, connection and community for gay, bi and queer men with Andy Butterfield and Tom Cowan

Saturday 2.15-5.15pm
10th January 2020
14th March 2020

The Bridge
73-81 Southwark Bridge Road

Together we’ll explore the therapeutic nature of Vajrasati yoga, healing Shiatsu touch, sharing and being listened to from the heart and how we can show up and be seen by our community.

In this afternoon workshop we’ll begin by checking in with each other, welcoming ourselves and the other men into the space.  Creating our circle of belonging and safety so that we can immerse ourselves into the practices that follow.

Tom will offer a Yoga Nidra, a relaxing meditation, exploring the space between waking and dreaming.  This is done lying down, in a comfortable position and it is more than enough to receive the practice and let your awareness integrate the experience.  

So often we think there is something we have to do to ‘relax’.  In this Nidra state we undo that tendency and trust ourselves to let go into the present moment.  Each person’s Yoga Nidra is unique to them and it is an opportunity to become more aware of deeper states of consciousness.

When we surface from this deep rest there is time to ground with sweet dates, dark chocolate and water before we move into a practice of Vajrasati Yoga.  Vajrasati is a yoga community based in Brighton that teaches authentic, traditional yoga practices as well as modern postural yoga (the kind of postures you might experience in a regular yoga class).

We start slowly, with long deep stretches, balances and restorative asanas so that our bodies begin to speak the language of spontaneity and intuitive movement; breathing, softening, listening.

We play with partner postures that help us move deeply into the heart,  deeply into the body & more deeply into the present moment.  These are also an opportunity for us to explore other bodies, taking care of each other as we move, breathe and open together.

There will be a short relaxation to ground after the yoga, preparing us for the Shiatsu massage guided by Andy.

Simple, effective and easy to follow techniques will be demonstrated that enable you to give and receive much needed healing touch in pairs. Working the energy lines/meridians of the body, restoring the nervous system to a restful, calm and connected state.

Often in the the city we can be easily distracted, our attention scattered and we may find ourselves in a vigilant, alert state of stress and anxiety.

This workshop will support your body and mind to find balance again, bringing you into the centre of your experience where you are more focused, aware and connected,  to yourself and the other men around you.

If you have any queries please contact us on

Bookings are open now priced at £25/£35.

Tickets available here:

Andy and Tom regularly work with organisations including Loving Men, Tantra for Gay Men, Radical Faeries and Queer Spirit Festival to name but a few.

Feel Good Fridays


Friday evening yoga classes for Gay, Bi and Queer men in London on second and last Friday of each month, beginning 11th October 2019.

6.30pm to 8pm
The Bridge

​Get your yoga on as we stretch out, breathe deep and come home to the heart with yoga teachers Andy Butterfield and Tom Cowan. 

In this twice-monthly drop-in class we can inhale, stretch, explore and nourish our bodies, minds and spirits together.  Postures will be accessible, playful and adaptable for different bodies and abilities. Whether you’re new to yoga or have regularly attended other classes, this is the space for you!

This is a Yoga practice that is responsive to the needs of the men present. Movements may be restorative, meditative and dynamic.  Sound, breathing practices and partner postures may be used to take you more deeply into an integrated state of Yoga.

All equipment provided. Wear loose comfy clothes.
Andy teaches the first class of the month and Tom, the second.

£15 / £10 Low Wage & NUS

5th Floor, The Bridge, 73-81 Southwark Bridge Rd, London, SE1 0NQ.

For more details on Tom Cowan, check out

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.