4-Day Mindfulness, Hiking and Yoga Retreat in Saint-Jeannet, France
Introduction to the practice of meditation
Communication workshops based on the philosophy of Non-Violent Communication
Hiking trips in the surrounding hills with breath-taking views
Daily yoga sessions and conversations on yogic philosophy
Homemade organic breakfasts, 1 picnic lunch; 1 tea break/snack, and dinners
A participatory plant-based mindful-eating session
This retreat is a rare opportunity to live with local people and meet their friends in rural France. You will taste local produce, admire the beautiful landscape, get off the beaten track, and experience French culture from the inside while adding more mindfulness to your daily life. Set in the beautiful medieval village of Saint-Jeannet in the South of France, we are a stone's throw away from the French Riviera, with breath-taking views of it from the house. All of the activities during the retreat are performed with the awareness of the present moment, in complete connectedness with the body and the breath. Prices are per person and include all yoga and meditation sessions, ensuite accommodation (single or double occupancy), breakfasts and/or brunches, one picnic lunch/2 tea breaks, most of the dinners (homemade, organic and local food), all daily activities, and guided tours with a certified guide. Instructions are offered in English and/or French.
This retreat takes place in the very centre of the charming and peaceful medieval village of Saint-Jeannet in the South of France.
Perched at the foot of the Mediterranean cliffs, locally called “Baou”, Saint-Jeannet is only 15 kilometres away from Nice Côte d’Azur airport and the French Riviera. Yet it is so much quieter and more relaxing than the hustle on the beach! At 450 meters of altitude, you will have breath-taking views of the Mediterranean sea and the Côte d’Azur all the way from the Italian border to Saint-Tropez. To the North and East lie the majestic French Alps - you can ski an hour and a half’s drive away from here! - and to the west, their rolling foothills and low-lying mountain ranges trickling into the Mediterranean sea, setting the scene for spectacular and all so varied sunsets year round.
Its height above the sea makes for a pleasant moderate temperature here even in the middle of the summer, and we have plenty of sunshine all through the year.
During this retreat, you will be staying at The FrogS' House Bed and Breakfast. The house is a former family-run hotel that has been redesigned into a cosy and comfortable bed and breakfast. Six rooms with single and double occupancy options are available, 3 with a balcony and sea view, and 3 with views towards the local majestic cliffs.
If accommodation at the FrogS' House is full, or if you so desire for whatever reason, we would be happy to book an alternative option so you could still take part in the retreat. You will of course still be welcome to use the common facilities at the FrogS’ House as much as any other guests (the sunny terrace, the big open kitchen and cosy lounge room).
The options are:
- A room in our friend Marie Christine’s B&B (10/15 minutes walking distance from the FrogS' House, +70 m altitude), with a bathroom to be shared between 2 bedrooms.
- A room in a local 2* hotel, (15 minutes walking distance from FrogS' House, +100 m altitude).
- A room in a gite/a studio/a private apartment, in the village itself, 3mns’ walk from the FrogS’House.
- We may, on occasion, be able to find others. Please ask.
On this retreat, you will be served daily organic breakfasts or brunches, a homemade picnic lunch for the day of the excursion and a tea break/snack (see the programme).
A shared plant-based mindful-eating session is programmed on Tuesday night, as well as a welcome buffet on Sunday evening.
A self-service buffet dinner on Monday evening is also provided by the FrogS' House.
The food at the FrogS'House is as local and organic as possible and is mainly plant-based and gluten-free. On occasion, other options are offered: for example regular croissants or pain au chocolat from the local bakery at breakfast, or cheese from the local farm.
If you have any other dietary requirements, please let the FrogS' House know in advance.
In case you need a snack at any other point, Saint-Jeannet has a choice of 4 restaurants and local shops: 1 butcher/ caterer that also sells vegetarian dishes, 1 bakery, 1 grocery store, and 2 bars / cafés, all at 3 minutes walking distance from the FrogS House.
If you have special dietary requirements it's a good idea to communicate them to the organiser when making a reservation
This 4-day and 3-night yoga retreat runs on the last week of the month in April, May, June, and October
This year we have chosen to have a primary language of either English or French on different retreats. We find this makes socialising easier for the guests. But all members of the FrogS’House team are bilingual and very happy to translate for you if you are not able to join us on a retreat where the language of your choice is the primary language.
Our regular retreat programme (see our other listings) lasts for a whole week.
For guests who are unable to come to a week-long retreat, we offer this 4-days retreat on the fourth week of the month in April, May, June and October, from Sunday to Wednesday, with English as the primary language.
There is no "level" required here: the invitation during our yoga sessions is to listen and observe the feeling of the moment, both physically and mentally. So whether or not you have been practising for a long time, it doesn't matter. Beginners or regular practitioners, everyone is welcome. Bring with you an openness to experiencing a new approach, a new practice, and a willingness to explore your own being deep. A better understanding of yourself, and of the world, will, we hope, follow.
Benoit has been and still is, inspired by the French spiritual teacher Jean Klein, who has passed on his own experience of yoga to many disciples, with whom Benoit continues to deepen his learning each time he manages to attend their workshops. This type of yoga is also known as Kashmir Yoga. It is a very meditative yoga that allows you to delve deeper and deeper into some subtle feelings, both physically and energetically.
To do so, you have to first turn the internal voice that constantly makes comments, criticises, and judges into an observer, and let yourself become totally open to the here and now, to the proposition of the moment, to what is happening in your own body and your own mind; and let it be, through simple, but profound, observation.
In brief, the yoga he likes to share is of Being, not of Doing. Sarah, Carline, and Jean, qualified teachers, will assist Benoit in leading the daily sessions. Sarah and Carline, both with their own style, will share Hatha yoga sessions, based on “internal listening”. Jean is a certified Ashtanga teacher, a more dynamic and physical yoga style. They all do their best to guide and listen to everyone’s needs and at the same time maintain harmony in the whole group.
Frogs House Yoga Retreat 2022
Sunday (Arrival day)
NOTE: You are warmly encouraged to arrive on Sunday and start the retreat from the beginning to get the full benefit of it. However, if your itinerary does not fit with this schedule (arriving earlier or later), please let The FrogS'House know, and they will see what they can do.
- 15:00-: Arrival at the time of your convenience.
- Rooms will be available from 15:00. The FrogS'House will be happy to store your luggage until then if you wanted to arrive earlier that day; If the team are not home at the time of your arrival, a note will be waiting for you on the front door with the code to enter the house and instructions to find your room easily. So you can arrive anytime you want.
- 18:00-21:00: Welcome evening to introduce the FrogS' House and the yoga retreat, followed by a welcome buffet-dinner served by the FrogS' House
- 08:00-09:30 Yoga
- 09:30-11:30 Homemade breakfast on the sunny terrace and time for sharing and socialising
- 12:00-17:00 Walking day. Following the philosophy of the Buddhist Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh, let each one of your steps deepen yourself into the present moment. "Every breath we take, every step we make can be filled with peace, joy and serenity. We just have to awaken, living in the present moment"
Spring and autumn:
- This walking day will take place in the surrounding hills called “Baou”, to reach the top of the hill for a shared homemade picnic lunch (made with local and organic produce) and a fantastic view over the whole French Riviera and the Southern Alps.
- Equipment required: The FrogS House will provide backpacks with camelback and walking sticks on demand. Each guest will need to bring comfortable shoes (running shoes are a minimum, but quite adequate as well), sunscreen and sunglasses, a hat, and in case of cold weather, a windproof jacket and/or rain mac.
- Description of the walk: 8 kilometres, +350 meters uphill on a rocky path, -350 meters downhill on a rocky path, 4 hours + picnic lunch at the top.
- An “aquatic” walk, taking you into a gorge/canyon, to walk along, and sometimes into a river. Waterfalls and freshwater ponds will be the highlights of the day to jump and swim in, a perfect activity during the warmer summer months.
- Equipment required: same as spring and autumn walk + swimming suits and towel
- Description of the walk: 5 kilometres -100 meters downhill on a rocky path, +100 meters uphill on a rocky path 2 hours + picnic lunch and swim in the river.
- 18:00-19:00 Meditation session
- 19:00 Dinner provided by the Frogs’ House, self-service buffet
- 08:00-09:30 Yoga
- 09:00-11:30 Homemade breakfast on the sunny terrace and time for sharing and socialising
- 12:30-14:00 Free time to relax, meditate at your own rhythm, reserve a massage or
- wander around the picturesque streets of the village or in the surrounding hills
- 14:00-16:00 Communication workshop based on the “Non-Violent Communication” approach, with a certified professional. Introduction
- 16:00-18:00 Tea break / self-service snacks
- 18:00-21:00 Shared session on the theme of plant-based cooking and eating with consciousness and compassion using fresh local and organic produce. A moment to discover, or rediscover the pleasure and joy of cooking together, and to bring more mindfulness to nourishing both our physical body and our mind
- 09:30-11:00 Yoga
- 11:00-13:00 Homemade brunch on the sunny terrace and check-out
Please note that rooms should be freed by 12:00 to allow cleaning for the next retreat. The FrogS'House will be happy to store your luggage if you would like to leave later that day. It may also be possible to extend your stay if required; please ask a member of the team.
- Hiking with a certified guide and teacher
- Compassionate Communication Workshops (based on Non-Violent Communication)
- A participatory plant-based mindful cooking & eating session followed by a shared dinner
- Swimming (in summer)
- Wine tasting
- Optional (extra cost): "Sound bath" with Tibetan bowls or a variety of massages: e.g. Tuina, Shiatsu, Relaxation, etc.
This retreat includes all the excursions described in the itinerary above
If your itinerary does not fit this schedule (arriving earlier or later), please let us know, and we will see what other options we can offer.
If you wish to stay longer, please refer to the 7 days / 6 nights retreat from Sunday to Saturday to see the complete program.
- Use your free time to explore the beautiful village of Saint-Jeannet, wandering around its narrow medieval streets. Make this even more fun by participating in a wonderful treasure hunt organised by a local young entrepreneur that will take you around the secret places of the village and immerses you into the legend of the alchemist.
- Meditate on your balcony watching the sea, or take a walk in the nearby Mediterranean hills… (free of charge!)
- and for the more adventurous: explore the must-see places of the French Riviera, or take a trip to relax on local beaches, using your own car, public transport (buses and trains) or the service of our local taxi driver.
- Go to see other hill-top villages, including the famous St Paul de Vence, offering an array of art galleries and gorgeous sunsets
- The islands of Lérins in the bay of Cannes
- Monaco, Eze village, Saint -Jean Cap Ferrat and Villa Ephrussi, the Chapel and the private villa Jean Cocteau
- Grasse perfume factories
- Hiking in the Mercantour national park
- Rock climbing
Vineyards and wine sampling
- Visits and wine sampling in the vineyards of the Côte d'Azur or the Var Valley
Benoit has been practicing yoga and meditation on a regular basis since 2010, soon after he met his actual spiritual teacher, Somasekha ROS. He has graduated from Yog Nisarga International Training School for his 200H-TTC, and from Sampoorna Yoga School for his 300H-TTC, both based in India, where he traveled to attend the training to become a fully qualified yoga teacher. Both centers are certified by Yoga Alliance, the largest non-profit association representing the yoga community whose mission is to promote and support the integrity and diversity of the teaching of yoga.
Jean specializesd in Ashtanga yoga. He has also followed a long training to give Tibetan bowls massages. He started his yoga practice in India in the city of Calcutta 15 years ago. His philosophy is based on the idea that through the practice of yoga, you can live your lives in a better way, reduce your suffering, those of those around you, and discover Universal Unity. His work focuses on the breath and how to integrate it into a physically active yoga practice in order to create strength, freedom, and lightness of beings. Jean and Benoit have been old school friends for 30 years.
Carline is now 50 years old. She started to practice yoga after an accident at the age of 20. She tried different yoga styles over the years, she has now been teaching since 2016 after 4 years of training with the Institut Français du Yoga. Her teaching is a synthesis of her life as a yogi and a woman. She focuses on the importance of always respecting the body and synchronizing breath with physical capacity. Her yoga practice is a source of inspiration always renewed but still rooted in tradition. Yoga gives freedom to people and can be done everywhere freely.
Our professional French chef, Noël, brings his joy and passion for cooking to the guests in person, every Friday, when he runs a hugely fun and convivial plant-based cooking workshop, during which he and the guests prepare the Farewell dinner that will be enjoyed straight after.
Compassionate Communication is an approach to language that encourages openness to dialogue and cooperation, in oneself and in others. It takes its sources in the systemic psychology of Marshall Rosenberg(NVC), and joins the nonviolent root of yoga, "ahimsa" in Sanskrit. From exercises based on real situations, we connect to feelings to awaken our awareness of the deep human issues of the situation. Then, by practicing non-attachment, we approach the different possibilities of non-violent action. Hélène Pétry has been practicing Benevolent Communication since 2011.
Pily is a psychologist and yoga teacher. Originally from Mexico, she has been living abroad for more than 12 years. In China, she was challenged with some health setbacks that made her set up a process of self -healing, changing habits, following a plant-based diet and living in yoga. She accomplished in total 500H-TTC in Mysore and Goa, India, followed by some different retreats and workshops in Asia. She enjoys to transmit to her students how to integrate the power of the heart and yoga in everyday life. She is a big fan of Eckart Tolle and her teachings are heavily influenced by him.
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