Combined Yoga & Canoeing Vacation
New for the 2017 season we are introducing this tour which brings Yoga sessions to one of our favourite canoeing tours on the Célé river in the Lot region of the south of France.
It is a 5 Night, 6 Day tour which combines morning and early evening yoga sessions with gentle and relaxing paddling down the beautiful Célé river.
Our instructor, Elizabeth Reed is an Inner Axis yoga teacher, focusing on breath work and non-competitive movement to increase well being, strength, flexibility and relaxation. On this tour she concentrates on general well being; specific postures relating to issues identified by individual participants and postures for warming up and preparing for paddling. It is suitable for beginners or those with some experience of yoga.
Elizabeth is a fun and knowledgeable teacher who focuses on learning and enjoyment, with tips and techniques you can take away and use to benefit your health in a number of ways.
We will explore the little known Célé valley by both canoe and foot and visit its beautiful villages and see its wonderful wildflowers & butterflies & dragonflies. We will also visit the famous cave paintings at Pech Merle.
A brief description of the tour is given below but more details, including dates, prices, maps and photographs can be found on our Yoga & Canoe Retreat web page.
Benefits of Inner Axis
In physical terms Inner Axis Yoga has positive effects on back ache, stiffness, blood pressure, diabetes, and balance. It can further aid the digestive system, and your strength, flexibility, posture and gait. The concentration on controlled breathing aids asthma and other breathing related difficulties. In general it helps towards a leaner and more toned body.
From a mental and emotional point of view Inner Axis Yoga provides a calmer mind, with less anxiety, which is more resilient to stress and life issues. It overcomes a depressive and negative mind set which contributes towards better sleep and gives an improved ability to relax and focus. This in turn instills greater personal confidence.
In social and spiritual terms Inner Axis Yoga builds community spirit, dispels resentments and old patterns which prevent happiness, promotes being your best self in relationship to yourself and others, and fosters gratitude & enjoyment of life.
Features of Inner Axis
Inner Axis is jargon free, taught in simple, clear and concise language and does not use Sanskrit terms.
Inner Axis teaches a variety of breathing exercises and correct breathing techniques, which are scientifically recognised to have a hugely beneficial impact on health and well being.
Inner Axis uses slow and safe yoga movements that are adaptable to your physical needs and condition whatever your age or your level of fitness. It uses props such as blocks, straps, bolsters etc to facilitate faster development.
The focus of Inner Axis is on healthy alignment and the explanation & reasoning behind the methods used.
Inner Axis uses mindfulness and inspiring visualisations.
Inner Axis is non-competitive and fosters an attitude of kindness to yourself and others.
Inner Axis is for everyone who desires inner health as well as physical health, no matter what religion or ideological beliefs they may hold.
- A Trail & River Guide whilst on the river & trail
- A Fully Trained Yoga instructor
- Full minibus support throughout, to transport us to & from the river and transfers to and from our departure point (local Railway Station or Local airport).
- Includes all accommodation in a local farmhouse
- Includes all breakfasts, lunches and evening meals
- All necessary equipment for Canoeing the remote valley and stream of the Cele
- An opportunity to hike along the route of the Way of St. James
- Join your guides for a pre-breakfast walk
- Visit the ancient cave paintings at Pech Merle
- See the beautiful villages of Marcilhac, Espignac, Cabrerets and St. Cirq Lapopie
Everyday of the tour will be book-ended by a yoga session. The friends of the Célé organisation have arranged that the river is set aside for fishing before 11am and for canoeing thereafter. We will use these morning hours for our Yoga sessions, often by the riverside, and for short walks.
Yoga and canoeing through the gentle waters of the Célé are the perfect companions to bring the mind into the body, to refine our awareness and deepen mindfulness. This tour teaches you techniques that can be practiced and used in the hurly-burly of our everyday lives.
After our day on the river we will have time for another yoga session, or you may relax if you prefer. Our accommodation has a small swimming-pool but we can also wild-swim if we wish too. Evening strolls are also possible.
When we are on the river or trail you will be accompanied on the river by an experienced river guide who will make sure you see all the interesting places along the way. If necessary we can provide top-up/reminder paddling lessons if it’s a while since you paddled, or indeed if you have never paddled before.
The rivers are easy paddling and suitable for inexperienced paddlers. The emphasis on this trip is to enjoy the rich history and natural history of the region from the unique viewpoint of the river.
We shall enjoy lazy days meandering down the river and take our time to enjoy all that we see along the way and taking the time to visit many of them as we go. We will certainly visit the world famous caves at Pech Merle and see the ancient cave paintings.
Everyday we will stop for a fabulous picnic lunch and in the evenings we will enjoy a home-made dinner in the farmhouse where we are staying. We will take dinner out one evening too.
The Célé is a small winding stream that flows down a steep sided valley into the Lot. On the way it passes through several small and picturesque villages such as Espignac, Marciilhac, Sauliac and Cabrerets.
Along the same valley a long-distance trail winds its way. Sometimes besides the river but mostly up high along the valley’s edge. This is the GR651 which is a small deviation off the famous GR65 more commonly known as the ‘Way of St. James’ or the ‘Chemins de Saint-Jacques-de-Compostelle’.
In an adjacent valley flows the Lot river with the famous cliff-hanging village of St. Cirq Lapopie.
We will explore the dramatic scenery as the river winds its way through a deep limestone valley stopping at pretty villages along the way. We will watch the birds along the riverbank: herons, kingfishers, wagtails, dippers and various hawks and admire the glittering colourful damselflies and dragonflies.
For those so inclined we will have a pre-breakfast walk and before we start canoeing each day we will have our yoga session. If we have the time and inclination we will also explore the trails along the causse above the valley and find dolmens left by ancient man. We will see plenty of colourful butterflies in the meadows and in the season plenty of wildflowers too, including some exotic orchids, like the Lizard and Bee Orchids.
The Célé valley is a quiet and largely undiscovered small valley and we shall probably have the river all to ourselves. If it is warm enough we can find some beautiful spots for wild swimming.
Our evenings will be spent discussing our day over a family style evening meal with plenty of opportunity to make the conversation flow.