Provence Yoga + Art Retreat
May 24 to 30, 2020 with Mindy Johnstone
A boutique retreat in the South of France
A perfect retreat for those looking for a peaceful getaway. The stylish and elegant Bastide Avellanne is your home for the week that overlooks the majestic Provençal landscape. Daily Yoga, Travel Journaling, day trips, markets, visit to the sea and perfume making are only some of the splendors to look forward to!
7 days/ 6 nights Includes
Organic breakfast buffet + selected lunches*
3 course delicious dinners with table service + locally organic wines
Transportation to/from on day trips
Yoga classes (mats & props provided)
Travel Journal + Art materials included
Day trip to Aix en Provence: markets, museum + art workshop tour
The Art of Perfume Making in Grasse
Day trip to îles des Porqueolles + Gorges du Verdon
Onsite bio dynamic wine + cheese tasting
The South of France is a stunning landscape that has been inspiring artists and visitors for centuries. The warm colors and lighting magnify the effects of the distant hills and endless vineyards. Prepare to be swept away in this week long retreat and fall in love with the French way of slow living. Morning Yoga sessions overlooking the beautiful Provençal landscape, followed by endless opportunities to play with watercolor in Plein d'Air or record your travels creatively. Expect fresh, mouth watering produce, moist baguettes with soft cheeses complimented with the region's reknowned Rosé wines. The day trips weave you through narrow streets and roadsides of fresh flowers and farmlands . Discover your zen along Europe's largest canyon, wander through local markets, and bathe in the Mediterranean Sea. This retreat brings out your creative side and prepares you to explore new worlds on and off the mat.
Situated in the heart of Provence countryside, this stylish and luxury accommodations allows each guests to unwind and enjoy the quietude of the South of France. It's private property finds this beautifully restored farmhouse surrounded by vineyards and rolling hills making it the perfect place to retreat. With 9 spacious rooms named after 18th century master painters, boosts Provençal furnishing and accents that immerse guests into its warm, rustic charm.
While on retreat enjoy the full use of the property in your spare time to lounge by the pool side, hop on a mountain bike, play tennis, outdoor chess or learn the French way to play Pétanque! This is your time to become inspired by new surroundings and there are many places at the Bastide to paint, journal and practice yoga. The stone walls date back to 1616 and bistro tables are set up around the property to bathe in the history of the landscape.
The food in Provence is exactly how you would imagine it to be: fresh, tasty and full of flavor! At the Bastide each morning welcomes you with a organic buffet of freshly baked breads, warm croissants, soft cheeses, homemade yogurt, the best squeezed orange juice, teas + hot coffee.
The morning dining area takes place in the naturally lit sun room over looking the back garden. In the evening on cooler nights, guests can dine in the high ceiling lounge with the warmth of the grand fireplace. Alternatively, you'll find the beauty of sitting outdoors with the backdrop of the stonework and a vista of green countryside surrounding you.
The dinner menu has all the elements of Provençal, Mediterranean + International influences with ingredients sourced locally and organically. Enjoy the elegant character of the region's wines that have been recognized for over 2600 years
Our menu at the Bastide is vegetarian however on our selected day trips, guests will have the opportunity to enjoy lunches on their own at markets, patisseries + boulangeries.
Each day on retreat, begins with an active yoga practice to prepare the body and mind for a day of exploring and enhancing your artistic endeavors. Sessions take place in the warm and spacious yoga shala adjacent to the pool area. All mats, bolsters, blocks, blankets and straps are provided so it is not necessary to bring your own. For a deeper connection to the land, there is opportunity to practice outdoors at the Bastide on the second shala overlooking the vineyard.
The advantage of participating in a small group gives Mindy an opportunity to cater to individual needs. The classes will be designed to compliment the practitioners level of ability and experience. Selected evening sessions will be more therapeutic working with Yin, restorative postures and lying down guided meditations.
Travel Journaling + Creative Exercises
When we mention the word 'Creativity' we are referring to many variants when it comes to this wonderful retreat. Learn to record your memories in a travel journal that becomes
your companion on day trips. Stopping along the way at inspiring locations to capture the beauty of the area in narrow streets or fields of flowers. Art material is provided for you with the main medium being watercolor. They say that Art is the one thing that propels people to travel and truly the South of France is the place. Discover the famous mountain near Aix en Provence where artist like Cézanne, Van Gogh and Monet were inspired to paint because of its light. Experience a connection to the past as you sketch in the same garden as Cézanne overlooking the Provençal countryside. Musée Granet has a collection Picasso's work and a original of Monet to admire and contemplate its beauty.
Guests are also exposed to other art forms in Grasse. Learn to make your own perfume and bring home a 100ml of your creation as a keep sake. All these creative outlets bring a unique experience to cherish for a lifetime.
It is not necessary to be experienced in Art or Yoga to join. Just a love of both with the curiosity to learn.
Surrounding areas & activities
The Bastide is located in the Var region about 1 hour west of Nice. It is a perfect position to visit local villages and the stunning Cote D' âzur. Throughout the retreat you will visit places like Le Gorges du Verdon. Considered to be Europe's Grand Canyon makes for an eye catching visit. Experiencing this landmark by water or foot, guests will have the opportunity to explore the area and meditate on its majestic steep cliffs and aqua blue waters. The drive is North from the Bastide and weaves through the Provençal country side where we will stop for a café and play with watercolor sketching.
Another day is set aside for Porquerolle island with white beaches and crystal clear water. Take the ferry on the sea in the morning to relax at the beach or hire a bike to ride the coast line.
Guests also have a free day midweek to explore the Bastide, hiking the many trails in the area that bring you to a nearby lake. Massages will also be available to book in advance before your stay for those of you wanting to indulge in pure relaxation. That evening we will meet together again for dinner and a wine + cheese tasting from the biodynamic vineyard, Château Gasqui.
Based on double occupancy: $2,750 CDN (includes GST)
Limited single occupancy available upon request for an additional $800 cdn
Deposit to secure spot: $500 CDN (non-refundable)
Final balance due >>March 24, 2020
Transport to Retreat >> we can easily arrange this for you!
Var Region: South of France
Closest town: Besse-sur-Issole
Closest major airports: Nice Côte D'Azur Airport + Marseille (75 minutes by car to Bastide)
Nearest Train station: Carnoules
Transfers between the Bastide and arrival/departure can be arranged. Cost varies depending on location
Detailed directions of Bastide sent upon registration.
If you are travelling on your own you will be placed in a shared room
The room configurations are 2ppl/room. There are 2 apartments that sleep 4 upon requests.
Registration and rooms are first come first serve basis
Read about our cancellation policy in our Terms & Agreements
RMY Retreat Teacher
Mindy has been teaching yoga for 18 years.She is the owner and operator
of Rocky Mountain Yoga studio in Banff, Canada (est.2009). With roots in
the Ashtanga tradition, her teachings have evolved immensely over the
years to include Vinyasa Flow, Yin & iRest Yoga Nidra.
Mindy is also an avid artist who teaches monthly 'Create to Meditate' paint nights. Her interest lies in helping students reconnect to their artistic side through use of different mediums. Her retreats welcome guests of all levels of experience as her strength is in the ability to cater to groups and individuals needs.
Stemming from a deep love for travel, arts and leisure, Mindy is delighted
to return to Bastide Avellanne. The South of France has a quality that emulates rest, pleasure and beauty. To be immersed in new cultures is to experience the world with a new set of eyes. We appreciate all the little things in life and for those moments indulge in all its pleasure.