£30 – £35

Winter Solstice: Journeying inward with yoga, dance, sound and cacao

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Paper Dress Yoga

352a Mare Street

London

E8 1HR

United Kingdom

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Winter Solstice Celebration: Journeying inward with yoga, dance, sound and cacao

As the nights become longer and the temperature begins to drop, join us for an evening retreat in the heart of East London to mark the Winter Solstice. The Solstice falls on the shortest day of the year (21st December) and represents the end of a solar cycle. The light slowly recedes, trees stand tall and proud with branches bare and, in the Northern Hemisphere, Nature prepares to rest having let go of all that no longer serves it. Historically, our ancestors marked this time of the year as a time to honour the darkness, turn inward, to reflect, review and reset before the Sun is reborn and once again begins to climb through in the sky.

The theme of the evening will be ‘turning inward’ and we will be finding our way deeper into ourselves and into the present moment through a journey of gentle yoga, intuitive dance and sound - all guided and supported by the magic of cacao.

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The Experience

The ceremony will begin with a sharing circle and the drinking of cacao, offering everyone an opportunity to briefly reflect on their experiences of 2017 and set intentions for what they are ready to release and what they would like to call in for the next solar cycle.

We will then be guided through a gentle Vinyasa class led by Sophie. The focus here is on surrender, the cleansing of your physical body, opening up your heart and releasing thoughts. The practice will support an opportunity to experience the reality behind the illusions that cloud our minds. The Mantras you set and the Pranayama techniques offered will guide you through this gentle flow practice and will create a loving, nourishing and unified environment to really ground into the body.

The supportive structure of a led asana sequence will then dissolve into intuitive dance led by Omotayo of Sacred Shapes. There are no steps to follow, no choreography to learn and no way to do it wrong. It's a chance to connect with the moment and with yourself, weaving stronger connections between body, breath, heart and mind and finding a way into whatever movement feels right for you.

Katy of Cosimia Sounds will be closing the journey with a deep sound immersion of gongs, crystal bowls and other percussion to sink a little deeper into the Now and allowing our bodies to rest and to process.

Carving time out of the busy holiday season to dedicate to yourself in celebration of the Solstice can be a beautiful way to round off the year. It invites you to drop into alignment with Nature and the rhythm of the season which is much slower, more introspective and gentler than the pre-Christmas buzz that we most often associate with this period. The aim of the ceremony is to create an integrating experience that leaves you feeling grounded, nourished and centred within yourself

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The Facilitators

Omotayo Evans Akingbola (Sacred Shapes)

Omotayo is a healer, space holder and movement meditation practitioner. She is a firm believer in the power of dance as a tool for healing, integration and transformation. She is endlessly fascinated by the wisdom of the body and her workshops and ceremonies are aimed at guiding people out of their head, into their feet and into their own unique way of flowing with life. The goal of her ceremonies is to create a sacred space that allows everyone to feel safe, seen and heard in the fullness of their being without judgement. Through gently guided intuitive dance and movement, she aims to facilitate the process of coming into deeper into relationship with our own being, with each other and with the present moment.

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Sophie Ewings

A devoted yoga practitioner and eternal student of movement and meditation, she completed her multi style TTC 200 hrs in India, specialising in Vinyasa & Hatha flow. She offers a holistic approach to teaching, an intrinsic breath awareness meditation in motion, blending asana practice with ethical considerations, self observation and healing. Sophie teaches one on one sessions for students with ailments to build confidence, strengthening physical practice and bringing awareness to breath & meditative techniques. She aims to equip students with a new perspective and ability to recognise their true, authentic selves.

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Katy Dron (Cosimia Sounds)

For more information on Katy and her work, check her website

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The Practicals

When should I arrive?
The space will be open from 5.15pm and we will begin the ceremony promptly at 5.30pm.

What should I wear?
Whatever you are comfortable practicing yoga and dancing in - feel free to dress up or dress down. Everything is welcome!

What should I bring?
A bottle of water to stay hydrated.
A warm layer for the sound bath.
You are welcome to bring an offering for the altar - a crystal, flowers, a piece of jewelery, anything that may have some sentimental value to you that you would like to charge with the energy of the ceremony.

Do I need to do anything to prepare?
Try if you can to avoid caffeine, drugs and alcohol for at least 24 hours beforehand. Avoid food intake for between 2-6 hours prior to the ceremony. A short fast will allow the cacao to work deeper but listen to what feels right for your own body, if you need to eat beforehand - please do so!

► Please note: Cacao in ceremonial doses is not recommended if you are on anti-depressants, suffer from Crohn's Disease or have a serious heart condition. You're welcome to still come and experience the ceremony without ingesting any cacao at a discounted price - feel free to get in touch to discuss further.

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Paper Dress Yoga

352a Mare Street

London

E8 1HR

United Kingdom

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