Sunday nights in?

Yoga NidraCan Yoga Nidra relieve the toll of lockdown for you?

It’s been a long winter. We count our blessings here at Valley View every day, we have a so much to do on site…..and we are surrounded by nature. Many are not so lucky; and perhaps you are running out of ideas to relieve the toll of lockdown. With very few ways to make week-ends special, how to set up for the week ahead?

Feedback from students

The connection and the discipline of teaching on line has  been very important to me, and something to look forward to and plan for. And our group has developed a great rapport and I have welcomed the feedback from students.

So when a couple of people asked for session dedicated to the practice of Yoga Nidra I was really happy to introduce this. We chose the time of Sunday evening 8 p.m so as to end the week-end with something special. It runs on alternate Sundays. The next one is 21 February.

Rejuvenate mind and body

Yoga Nidra is a relaxation/meditation process where you find a comfortable and supported position, and are then guided in a state of relaxed consciousness between wakefulness and sleep. It is rejuvenating for mind and body.

Many students say they have the best sleep ever after Yoga Nidra.  You can also use the practice to set intentions or change mindset.  There is no right or wrong way to do Yoga Nidra and the benefits are individual. For some it is just a chance to have some ‘time out’; for others it is transformative.

These sessions start with a some gentle yoga or movement to prepare body and mind for time out. This varies with the theme of the session but is always accessible to all.

There is a small  additional cost for this class of £5.


Lockdown 3 and beyond

Yoga studio
Our studio waits patiently

Yoga makes us sharp thinkers and gives us the power of flexibility, tolerance and endurance'( Debasiah Midha)

Well, we’ve certainly needed these this year. Though, for us at Valley View there has not been as much to tolerate and endure as for others, but our keyword in 2020 was flexibility. And it was actually really great to have time to reflect on our direction and to enjoy our own site.

My daily walk with Rosie around the new paths that Mark has made are a constant source of delight and have provided plenty of time for reflection. Something we realised early in the first lockdown, is that open or closed, we always have something to do. We moved here for a lifestyle and all that that involves, including a significant menagerie and the fun and challenges of being practically self-sufficient.

Personal retreats

Our small group and personal retreats last summer and autumn, were very special, and many of our guests have booked to come back this summer, all being well. To remain within Government guidelines during the non lockdown periods of 2020, we ‘upgraded’ everyone who was not same household to single occupancy. The feedback was totally positive, even from friends who had planned to share, as being able to come back to personal space really enhanced the retreat feel of their stay.

So now Valley View cabin is getting a new luxury bathroom instead of the second bedroom.  We have decided to continue to work with smaller numbers for our events.

Groups of four to six

So, with the exception of our Garden Room, which can have twin beds for same household visitors, all our cabins are now furnished with a double bed for couples, or single occupancy. Our expectation is that once we open again in 2021 our group size will be four to six. 

We are not advertising  many ‘open’ events, partially because of the uncertainty at the moment, but also because we have enjoyed hosting groups of friends travelling together. And we have found that couples particularly love our site, because of the many things to do in the local area, the amazing walking and, most of all, the healing power of our site itself.  And then there is the fun of the aerial yoga challenge which has become an integral part of every retreat.

From virtual to studio

Who knows what the future will bring? It is a rather scary place out there. And I, like so many, have adapted to the virtual yoga which I believe is here to stay. But how better to top up a virtual yoga practice than with an annual retreat? And with all that time spent in front of a screen, a regular break in nature, has to be the best antidote. Hope to welcome you here soon.


Back to space

So my first blog after quite a silence goes back to the subject of space – which was covered in my first Yogandspice blog ever. And on the subject of space, our Yoga and Climbing breaks have just been featured in The Guardian As social distancing activities go you won’t find any with more space than that.

Why we need Space

Space is important in a yoga practice, space in our body, space in our minds, finding space for our practice. Ether, the space element is called Akasha in Sanskrit. It is a mystical word also meaning ‘all pervading’ and it is the source of Spiritual energy. In Ayurveda Ether provides freedom in which to move.

Ether or Space is also the medium through which sound is transmitted so related to the sense of hearing, the king of the senses. In the original yogic teachings, the Vedas, it is the sound of OM and mantras or chanting that put us in touch with the primordial rhythms of the universe.

So space is pretty important for yogis. But are your currently craving it? Or do you have too much?

Our space at Valley View

Since lockdown ended, so we could continue as a yoga retreat we have adapted and offered personalised or private retreats to individuals and couples. We have plenty of Space here and it’s balanced out by the other elements too. The Air is fresh and plentiful. We have log fires and Fire pits. There is a Water in our stream and a waterfall and you can walk barefoot on the Earth.

And best of all we have Space to meet with guests and students both outside and in our roomy yoga studio

Making connections

Social distancing can be a lonely business. Space is good but we need connection too. And it is hard, as we hide our expressions behind masks and avoid touching friends as we greet them or say goodbye.

I am one of many who is not able to see closest family this year as they are living abroad. As a little gesture of connection we decided last week to open for a small group, socially distanced, Veggie/vegan Christmas. . We’ve just a couple of spaces to fill and a beautiful space for guests to occupy.


Covid-19 Update

Regretfully, we have decided not to continue to host retreats for the remainder of 2020 due to Covid-19.

However, please feel free to get in touch with us to arrange a personalised retreat.


Filling our yoga studio – virtually

Filling our yoga studio - virtually

My immediate reaction to the idea of teaching on line was  ‘No way!’ I am a natural technophobe. The idea of filling our yoga studio virtually filled me with horror. While I accept the need for on line PR, and booking information, working with the computer has  never been my favourite job. In fact I’d put it below cleaning out the chicken coop and sorting the laundry cupboard.

Keeping busy

The Yogandspice menagerie

There is always something to do at Valley View. I was having a good time looking after our menagerie. And I was doubly blessed to have my daughter, Honor,  home from Europe and watching her rise to the challenge of becoming a care worker.

Homemade treats for Yogandspice retreats

Moreover we were stocking the the freezer with homemade treats for future retreats. I had even started sewing at night and have ten curtain tie backs and two bolsters under my belt! Filling time is never a problem at Valley View.  Finding time….. that’s another matter.

Filling our yoga studio

On rainy days Mark has been busy varnishing our yoga studio. It was was only formally opened in March and the final touches were scheduled for next winter. It’s been Honor’s gym and my private practice space. But it was designed and built to be shared.

Then, a few weeks into ‘lock down’, and feeling very blessed by our surroundings I began some on line training myself.  This enabled me to re-connect with the some of the Seasonal Yoga Team in Glasgow, and across the UK. And I discovered yet another silver lining of this unprecedented situation, for those of us lucky enough to be fit and well. A chance to participate in events which would normally involve an impractical journey. And I realised how important my yoga community is to me.

So that was the lightbulb moment. Now I am thrilled to have connected with former and current students and a couple of new ones too – creating our own yoga community.

On line classes

I am teaching seasonally. The level is accessible but I try to add interest and challenges for those who need them. There is a choice of times.

Monday 7.30 – 8.15 am

Wednesday 7.30 – 8.30 p.m

And Friday 7.30 – 8.15 a.m

If you can pay at this time, it  is £5 or £20 for the month and do as many classes as you can.  You can reach me via the Contact form. Email me on Or What’s App on 07962505906.


The Guardian 10 of the best UK wellbeing retreats 2020

The Guardian 10 of the best UK wellbeing holidays
Yogandspice seasonal yoga and food week-end

Yogandspice was noted for food, foraging and five hours of yoga in the Guardian 10 of the best UK and wellbeing retreats. And of course our spectacular location. We are in the North York Moors National Park, but within walking distance of the beach. We know this is a special place.  But it is great when someone spreads the word as in The Guardians Jane Dunfords piece Recipe for a detox.

Food foraging and five hours of yoga

Food, foraging and five hours of yoga are part of our flagship Seasonal yoga retreats. The next one, featured in the Guardian 10 of the best UK wellbeing retreats, is  Seasonal yoga and food 19-21 June. These are full on week-ends for students who enjoy an energising style of yoga. And for people who want to participate in workshops and activities during their retreat. But there is free time to relax by the Valley View stream too. And a chance to chat with friends around the log fire in our new mezzanine relaxation area with and forest views.

Ayurvedic detox

Coming even sooner is our Spring Ayurvedic detox 20-23 March. While supporting yoga is part of the schedule, the focus of this four day/three night break is the healing power of nature. And eating home grown Seasonal home grown foodseasonal organic food to restore gut health. According to Ayurveda ‘dis-ease’ results from undigested food particles, or emotions/experiences  which form a substance called AMA. This AMA makes its way into the bloodstream and then wreaks havoc in the body. By following a simple diet of vegetables, and easily digested grains and pulses (no wheat or gluten) we can encourage the AMA to make its way back to the digestive tract where it is eliminated.


By joining a group for detox where all meals are prepared you remove a De stresslot of the stress that would accompany following a special diet in your home of work environment. And as stress contributes to toxic build up, de-stressing is part of the detox process.

The schedule includes time for walking, guided relaxation and cooking sessions so you can re-produce the Ayurvedic dishes at home. This enables you to continue the detox at home.

Because, according to Ayurveda we all have a different balance of the elements or ‘Dosha’s in our make up, some foods are more helpful to some than others. Every participant will be do an Ayurvedic assessment at the start of the week-end to make sure the diet and herbs are supportive.