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Ayurvastra - The Fabric of Yoga: A creative retreat exploring sustainable c...

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Plas Baladeulyn



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United Kingdom

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Ayurvastra - The Fabric of Yoga: A creative retreat exploring sustainable clothing as spiritual practise

Join yoga teacher and textile artist, Justine Aldersey-Williams for a blissful weekend of creative spiritual practice combining yoga, meditation, chanting and textiles in beautiful Snowdonia next summer.

Ayurvastra is a term used to describe clothing infused with plant colour for its healing and therapeutic properties. ‘Ayur’ means ‘life’ and ‘vastra’ translates as ‘dress’ or ‘garment’.

Justine will guide you through the ancient process of patterning and naturally dyeing your yoga clothing using locally foraged plant dyes. The countryside surrounding our retreat centre is a wonderful store cupboard of hidden colour just waiting to be released and worn.

The act of wandering, identifying, gathering and harvesting these natural dyes which are often renowned for their healing properties, re-connects you with the therapeutic power of nature. Infusing your ‘second skin’ with unique plant colour medicine creates a powerfully talismanic memento of this magical time and place.

You will discover the fascinating history of natural dyeing, experience the alchemy of an organic indigo dye vat, try ancient ‘Shibori’ patterning techniques, create ‘eco-prints’ of flowers and leaves and engage with mindful mantra embroidery.

Once created, you will energetically charge your garments during yoga, chanting and meditation practise, making the act of wearing them a part of your sadhana.

You are welcome to upcycle and revive old garments or purchase ethically made, organic yoga clothes available from us nearer the time.

The event offers the perfect blend of creative play and yogic practise. There will be yoga asana sessions, yoga nidras, a kirtan evening and opportunities to meditate. You will have free time to fully immerse yourself in the inspiring surroundings and will leave with your own spiritually charged yoga clothing.

Prices including accommodation, food, dye equipment and materials*


Please book online via eventbrite if you wish to secure your place immediately and don't mind paying their additional fees. If you'd like to avoid this, please pay via cheque BEFORE 31st December 2017 to take advantage of the EARLY BIRD DISCOUNT as follows:-

***N.B. EARLY BIRD TICKETS (when booked before 1st March 2018)

Twin Ensuite = £375 / Single Ensuite = £395 (not including eventbrite booking fee - please enquire about paying by cheque to avoid this extra charge)

Standard Prices (when booked after 31/12/17) Twin Ensuite = £415 / Single Ensuite = £435 (not including eventbrite booking fee - please enquire about paying by cheque to avoid this extra charge)

A £100 deposit via cheque will secure your booking but the balance MUST be paid before 31/12/17 to take advantage of the early booking discount. For those paying the standard price, full payment MUST be received by 31/03/17 or your place will be offered to another participant. Deposits cannot be refunded. Please see booking conditions below.

*ethically sourced yoga clothing blanks are an optional extra to purchase at a discounted rate nearer the time

*** room types are subject to availablilty and the first to book will get the best choice


Yoga is about reverence

Any experienced yoga practitioner will agree that yoga isn’t just a healthy form of mind/body exercise. With time, yoga encourages a deep reverence for ALL life which impacts the choices we make.

Having developed more compassion for all living creatures, questions about the food we eat, the clothes we wear and the effects our consumption has on the planet begin to emerge.

Yoga isn’t about expensive, designer leggings

We sometimes look to gurus for inspiration on how to live and although the West has some famous yogis with slick branding and clothing sponsorship deals, in the East gurus prefer to tread lightly following age-old traditions when it comes to what they wear.

Far from slinging on a pair of designer lycra leggings, yogis in India are often seen wearing ‘Saffron robes’ and whilst the image has become iconic, few of us have probably considered why.

Is your clothing lowering your vibration?

Ayurvastra is a little known branch of the Indian ‘science of living’ Ayurveda concerned with the use of clothing as a healing tool. If you consider that our clothing carries the stories of those who created it, the provenance of cloth can impart either helpful or detrimental effects.

From the chemicals used to control pests during cotton growing to the working conditions of the people who stitched your garments together, cloth carries physical and energetic pollution when produced in an unconscious way.

The fashion industry is currently the second biggest polluter on the planet with a terrible human rights record so when we buy clothing produced that way we not only endorse cruelty to both humans and the planet but also wear the vibration of suffering.

But what other choices do we have?

We may not be able to solve this worldwide problem but we can make gradual improvements in the choices we make.

Your clothing can be a sacred element in your yoga practice

Ayurvastra involves challenging the mass consumption required by the fashion industry by empowering individuals with the knowledge to create, colour and maintain their own lifelong garments infused with sacred prana (life force energy.) Cloth is sourced from sustainable, ethical producers before being infused with colour derived from plants.

The ancient craft of natural fabric dyeing

Natural fabric dyeing is a heritage craft almost extinguished by the Industrial Revolution when synthesised colour was discovered. Prior to this humans better understood the vibrant consciousness of plants, knowing that their living colour, taste and medicinal properties could be beneficial.

In this era of increased ecological awareness, natural fabric dyeing is experiencing a renaissance that could reduce both our rate of clothing consumption and the toxicity of its production methods and for yoga practitioners, Ayurvastra is a way to peacefully protest whilst advocating for sustainable clothing.


What's included in the price?

All meals, refreshments and accomodation. Sampling fabrics, dyes, equipment and a silk scarf. Transportation to and from the venue is not included, although we may be able to help you organise car sharing.

Is there a concessionary rate?

If you'd like to pay via cheque (as using eventbrite incurs additional fees included in the prices listed) you can pay a reduced rate of £355 for a shared twin ensuite or £375 for a single ensuite. Please email to book and pay via cheque.

Can I upcycle my old yoga clothing or do I have to buy new items?

Either is fine. We totally encourage re-using, upcycling, mending and reviving old clothing (natural fibres only) BUT we also support British manufacturers working with sustainable, fairly traded, natural materials to create new yoga clothing and have a manufacturing partner offering discounted garments to our students which will be available a little nearer to the time. You will all be provided with a silk meditation scarf and should either buy or bring a T shirt and leggings in a pale colour (preferably white) to dye during the retreat. Students will be contacted with a catalogue of natural clothing blanks to choose from early in 2017.

What if I just want to do the textiles and don't practise yoga?

All yoga sessions are option but will cater to mixed abilities so that even complete beginners can try for the first time.


The full balance of Early Bird Tickets MUST be paid by 01/03/18. The full balance of Standard Tickets MUST be paid by 31/03/16. In the event of someone paying £100 deposit but not paying the remainder of the balance by the dates specified, deposits will be kept and your place offered to another participant.

If you have paid in full then change your mind prior to 01/03/18 and ONLY if you can find someone else to fill your place, the full balance will be refunded. If you don't have anyone to take your place we may be able to partially refund you (minus £100 deposit) IF we can find someone to take your place.

In the event of ill health or inability to attend prior to the event and after 01/03/18 please notify us as soon as possible. We will try to fill your place and refund you the balance minus £100 deposit but if this is not possible we will offer you a place on the next retreat with £100 discount. Unfortunately, no refunds can be offered after 01/05/18 but we will offer you a place on our next retreat at a 50% discount.

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