Meet the Practitioners
We are fortunate to have some of the best practitioners currently working in the UK at The Retreat New Forest. With many years of experience in their field, they are united by a shared belief in the power of the individual to claim their birthright of optimal health in mind and body. Cheerful, approachable and brimming with good spirits, they are in many ways the ambassadors of everything we aim to be at The Retreat. A healthy and happy mind-body is their life’s purpose. We think it shows!
- Reiki -
It has been twenty five, years since my journey began to become a Reiki Master. I learned through the simple application of this healing art how to navigate in this world with gentleness and how to offer a space for others to heal and grow.
I choose Reiki because I know that its essence is pure and comes from truth. My experience is that by simply placing my hands on someone and “Relaxing and letting it flow” something beautiful happens and my life would be much the poorer without it.
- Sound Therapist - Psychotherapist - Life Coach -
A sound therapist, psychotherapist and life coach, I run Gong Bath Meditations at The Retreat and other locations, either as group or private sessions.
The gong is arguably the ultimate Sound Healing tool, as it has the broadest range of tones of any instrument. When played sensitively and well, this vast range of sound literally bathes the human form and re-tunes us on every level –physical, mental, emotional and spiritual – bringing us back into harmony.
- Yoga -
Danni is Yoga teacher and Reiki practitioner based in Christchurch, Dorset. Having discovered Yoga as a teenager, she now teaches a variety of styles including Yin Yoga, Sivananda, Hatha Flow and Yoga Nidra. Danni is passionate about mental health and building community, having supported Teen Yoga sessions for vulnerable young people, and creating a network of support for Adults through The Soul Space Community. Danni's sessions focus on awareness of self and nurturing of body and soul.
Having recently become a mother herself, Danni recently qualified as a Baby Massage and Baby Yoga instructor, specialising in nurturing, baby led sessions. With the support of a local Midwife, Danni runs an online community for local mamas to gain support and advice throughout parenthood. Danni is also facilitator for The Birth Network, and aims to connect parents with relevant local support when they need it most.
Donna Van Vuuren
- Energy Psychologist - Clinical Hypnotherapist -
I have practiced as an Energy Psychologist, Clinical Hypnotherapist, EFT, Matrix Re-imprinting and Matrix Birth Re-imprinting Practitioner, Art Therapist, Reiki Master Teacher, Meditation and Journeying teacher, Trauma Therapist, Spirit release Therapist for 5 years and I take an interest in negative programming and the role of our subconscious programming to heal past trauma or negative beliefs.
Helping people become their best selves, to heal and transform into who they deserve and want to be has become my passion and purpose. I believe we must look at the source of our issues to promote complete health and well-being, and shift and transform the internal stories we are running about ourselves to increase our levels of self-worth.
- Yoga Therapist -
I am a qualified Yoga Therapist & registered on the C.N.H.C the Complimentary & Natural Health Care Council, I combine the traditional practices of yoga and mindfulness with modern evidence based scientific research, passionately working with changing the perception of mental and physical health.
In my classes, I act as a compassionate guide demonstrating ways to increase vitality, flexibility, strength and peace of mind through the various tools of yoga, empowering people to make positive choices to improve their overall mind body, emotions and energy.
Dr Maret Dymond-Basset
- Mindfulness -
We live and work within challenging, fast paced and uncertain times and mindfulness helps us to develop a new set of skills to stay steady in the midst of all this. Practicing mindfulness is an investment in our physical and mental wellbeing, enabling a way of life that can enhance wellness, joy, creativity and flourishing.
In many of my sessions, we spend time outdoors in nature together exploring what it is to be human and how to cultivate qualities such as patience, compassion, non-judging and letting be / letting go. Classes include a mix of lying down and sitting meditations combined with gentle movement-based meditations and can be tailored to all physical needs.
- Tai Chi -
Stuart first stated practicing Chinese martials arts as a young boy with Praying Mantis and Wing Chun Kung-Fu. He has spent the last 10 years focusing solely on Chen style Tai Chi and trains regularly as a disciple to 11th generation lineage holder Grandmaster Kongjie Gou.
Stuart’s aim in teaching Tai Chi is to help keep the traditional training methods clear and simple. As well as, helping others discover how Tai Chi can be used to enhance everyday life as a form of health cultivation, internal inquiry and martial art.
- Facilitator – Rhythm and Harmony Circles -
Heike has been facilitating rhythm circles in Dorset since 2011. Her sessions at the Retreat are musical journeys , interactive improvisations – meditations– Giving and Receiving through our voices and a wide variety of instruments. Music is Medicine – every session is different depending on the participants. It is innately therapeutic and fun. No experience is necessary but a rhythmic inclination is helpful to make the experience enjoyable.
Trainings: Arthur Hull’s “Village Music Circles” - Community Building Through Rhythm - in Dorset in 2011, lead to many more trainings in Scotland and the “Hawaii Playshop” in 2015.
Dr. Rod Paton for ‘Lifemusic’, Simon Faulkner’s for Rhythm2Recovery Professional Development program – utilising Rhythmic Music and Cognitive Reflection in support of personal development. All brilliant learnings which has been very useful with all of my groups.
“Music Medicine” Christine Stevens – The Science and Spirit of Healing Yourself With Sound, has been the way into a progression into interactive sound healing. Each session is created in the moment – leaving you feeling uplifted and connected.
Christina Marie Kane
- Shamanican Women’s Circle - Dru Yoga -
With over 35 years’ experience facilitating Yoga, Dance, Mindfulness and Personal Development groups in schools, psychiatric hospitals and prisons, my speciality is in Creativity and mental health. My passion is sharing what I love, to uplift, empower and connect people. Shamanican women’s circle is a safe, nurturing space of connection and sisterhood. Our group includes movement to free the body. Song to free the voice.
Meditation to rest in being. A sharing circle to speak your truth. "Journey" with drum, to open you to deeper dimensions of your being. The opportunity to see and be seen, hear and be heard, grow and transform in a circle of women to Trust. Dru Yoga is a graceful and potent form of yoga, based on flowing movements, similar to Tai Chi. Dru works on Body, Mind and Spirit – improving flexibility and strength, creating core stability, building a heightened feeling of positivity, and deeply relaxing and rejuvenating your whole being.
- Shamanican Women’s Circle -
Miriam has worked for 30 years as a therapist offering Massage, Reiki (sessions/Teacher) Crystal work and Spiritual guidance. I have worked in H.I.V centre 10 years and Drug & Alcohol Re-hab 5 years. Currently my passion lies in my work with “Shamanican Women's Circle" working alongside Christina Kane. Witnessing the growth of these wonderful women is a joy to behold. Also my work with Shamanican Drum Circle where I teach African and shamanic drumming. The drum has given me deep rootedness, connection and empowerment. My work is my life's service.
- Conscious Clubbing -
After many years of partying hard, boredom started setting in, and after repeatedly complaining that there should be events which aren’t centred around drinking, I decided to take the plunge and just start my own.
My related interests are Non Dual Awareness practices and Tantra, Biodanza and Life Drawing. I also run a foraging group and am a previous vice chair of the Dorset Fungus Group. On a sunny day you can often find me Open Water Swimming, Kayaking, Spear Fishing or SCUBA Diving.
- Dog Behaviourist and Canine Therapist -
A qualified Dog Behaviourist and Canine Therapist with 9 years’ experience working with humans and dogs, I am the founder of the Connection Technique – helping humans to help their dogs.
After qualifying from the University of Oxford, I felt the need to share my commitment and passion for understanding animals and how to help the human-dog relationship. My sessions are characterised by a uniquely calm and welcoming atmosphere, where a deeper, sometimes transformative connection between dog and human can joyfully be forged. I work in collaboration with Scania: gong baths are a blissful way to harmonise with your canine friends.
- Yoga -
Rowan is a yoga teacher, trainer, meditator and festival organiser and has been exploring this path as a full time tutor for over 21 years. He holds trainings and courses for those looking into the areas of finding inner peace in life in particular in relationship to the mind and the inner experiences of life. Having studied Jnana Yoga extensively he’s in love with the direct approach of yoga and the movement towards Self recognition.
Through exploration and the guidance of inspirational teachers I am sharing a variety of angles from which to approach Yoga. Integrating yoga philosophy as a way of moving; the pace, tempo and quality of attention creates the environment for the student’s own depth and inner well-being to be experienced. Using anatomical orientation as a base, a door is opened to the subtle, where our relationship to practice takes a whole new direction and experience. Through guidance students develop a quality of movement that contains reverence, a willingness to look, and a freshness to explore from the familiar to the unknown.
- Spiritual Leader -
Ananta Kranti is an International Spiritual Leader with over 20 years experience guiding others Home. She finds it easy to facilitate the Direct Experience of a clear Recognition of our True Self. In her meetings you are invited to dive into Deeper Reality and investigate Who and What you Really Are. My Conscious Spiritual Journey started in my twenties and led me through a whole variety of experience that brought about an irreversible Awakening in which various modalities and healing methods were learned along the way, no more used, yet integrated.
I feel we are all Here to Awaken within and beyond this Body incarnation. Today my life work is dedicated to the Awakening of Consciousness through all Beings who have the calling. My focus is to welcome those who are ready, to bring alive the clear Recognition of our Essence. From this clarity we can meet all of life freshly through the eyes of Awareness and integrate the highest realisation into the ground floor of daily living, this brings about great transformation within ourselves and everyone we meet and spreads throughout our Humanity. Many Beings also come to these retreats who already have this Recognition, yet look for a deeper integration into daily life. All levels of maturity are welcome, we are all evolving together as One.
- Yoga, Yin and Mindful Meditation -
Teaches - Free Movement Yoga, Yin and Mindful Meditation. Pregnancy and Post Natal, Mum and Baby Yoga. Children and Teen Yoga, SUP Yoga and Fitness, Mat Pilates, Ballet Barre and Contemporary Dance. Connecting body, mind and movement together in a dance of exploration to breathe, to feel and to have a greater understanding of what we need to give back to ourselves.
I have been teaching in the health and fitness industry for over 20 years, my journey has changed several times due to injuries and this led me to a more holistic approach and helped me have a deeper understanding of my body and what it needs.I am always learning and being inspired by the many wonderful practitioners and fellow teachers around me. I have a very relaxed approach to my teaching as I would like to encourage and welcome everyone to my classes.
- Qigong -
I found Qigong over 25 years ago to assist my self healing. I learned to surrender and let healing happen for me, finding sweet spot of balance and listening to subtle information from my body. Four years of teacher training resulted in me leaving London for the New Forest and other big life changes. A course in EFT/Emotrance followed, then Reiki and Colour Psychology with added Nutrition, Fitness Instructor and Laughter Yoga facilitator.
Qigong is a potent energy cultivation practice. The missing link in the energy workers tool kit, weaving beautifully with Mindfulness, Yoga, Tai Chi, Reiki, Sound healing and Meditation, harmonising your mind, body and soul to become the unified unique, true-to-you being you really are, opening the spiritual connection and the mysterious psychic realm. I love responding to the energy in the moment, the stillness and flow, storing then releasing, like a magical dance within, expressed through us to land in the Now. A movement meditation. It is always a joy when someone tunes into their chi for the first time, so empowering, the ripples go a long, long way.
- Yoga -
Varvara has practised Yoga for 20 years and now teaches group classes, private classes and workshops in a beautiful selection of Dynamic Vinyasa, Hatha / Vinyasa, Restorative, Yin and Yoga Nidra. A mother of 2 children and a deep interest in spirituality and Buddhist teachings has just recently returned back from a solo adventure to Bhutan where she discovered new practices in Meditation / Puja (repetition of mantras with mala), hiking to Sacred Monasteries at 4000m and teachings by Lamas. Please ask her about it anytime as she would love to share this with you.
Yoga for me is about a continual journey on and off the mat to understand the mind, quieten the Chitta Vritti(our monkey minds) and gain better quality of life through Breath, Movement and Meditation. Deep down Yoga gives you a sense of self -belief, added positivity and gratitude, reducing fear and suffering, and making us feel alive. The wonderful thing is that it’s available for everyone and can be incorporated into all lifestyles, It also usefully rubs off on others in the process”
- Clinical Hypnotherapist – Life Coach – Qoya Teacher -
Emma Seymour is a highly qualified clinical hypnotherapist, transformational life coach and Qoya teacher, based in Bournemouth and working with women all over the world. Emma’s mission is to help women recognise and celebrate their unique creativity, sensuality and power. Passionate about the importance of good communication, she’s helped hundreds of people to joyfully improve their health, wellbeing, careers and relationships.
Emma offers workshops, retreats and private sessions using Qoya, guided meditation, sound healing, music and various therapeutic techniques to help you feel amazing and live your best life. Qoya is a movement practice for women that combines yoga, meditation and dance. Each class guides you to remember the truth of who you are, and to connect with your own body and inner wisdom. No experience is needed and there’s no way to do it wrong. It’s all about feeling great in your own body, not what it looks like to anyone else, and trusting yourself as the expert on your own life. It’s gentle, healing and uplifting. All women are welcome.
Qoya with Emma is an empowering and inspiring experience, and you’ll leave feeling lighter, freer and stronger.
- Spiritual Teacher - Facilitator - Medicine Woman -
Sonraya Grace is a Spiritual Teacher and Channel for the higher realms and is a wise and loving guide who is passionate about supporting you to awaken and embody your divine essence. Her 20 years plus experience in the field of spiritual healing and growth leaves her uniquely placed to support you in finding your true authentic self. Her key passion is empowering women to come home to their true wild nature and to facilitate the embodiment of our own inner sacred union of the divine feminine and divine masculine, bringing much needed balance and unity in the world.
Sonraya has a deep reverence for Mother Earth and weaves the magic and wisdom of the earthly cycles, with simple ritual, leading magical shamanic drum journeys, healing our ancestral patterning and connecting us back to our spiritual roots.She has a grounded, calm, loving and wise presence and will offer you a safe passage for you to find yourself again. She lives with her husband and two teenage children in Poole, Dorset where she loves to be inspired by nature and the sea