Run with Heart and Mind: Spain – Spring 2024 retreat

Run with Heart and Mind

Stuart McLeod running a mountain trail in Teruel.

A retreat for growing with awareness

Re-energise and unwind on our five-day spring retreat in
La Artiga in the stunning countryside of the Teruel region in North East Spain.

 

Daily guided trail runs in the hills and valleys of Spain’s least populated region will be balanced with a programme of yoga, tai chi and meditation, and with plenty of free time to relax and enjoy the peaceful surroundings.

 

As a collaboration between RUN:ZEN and Bodhiyoga, you will be guided in this retreat by two teachers with combined experience of practising and teaching running, yoga and mindfulness of more than fifty years.

Who is this retreat for?

We all need to step away from the stresses and strains of everyday life from time to time. If you’re looking to immerse yourself in beautiful natural surroundings in good company, while finding the right balance of activity and relaxation, then this retreat will be perfect for you.

 

  • Our daily runs will be at a relaxed pace and will include time for breaks and enjoying the scenery.
  • The runs will vary in length from around 7 to 11 kilometres. The longest run might take up to two hours with breaks and rest.
  • Participants will need to have a suitable level of fitness for running these distances.
  • No previous experience of yoga or tai chi is necessary.

The retreat programme

Our retreat schedule will include:

  • Trail running
  • Mindfulness for Runners – learning how to establish a foundation and focus to run mindfully.
  • Mindfulness Yoga – dynamic and restorative yoga sessions
  • Tai chi and qigong – easy-to-learn mindful movement.
  • Meditation – guided silent practices to help calm and focus the mind.
  • Free time to explore your surroundings or simply relax and reset!

Through this combination of practices we will investigate together the value of developing skills in cultivating awareness, embodiment and relaxation. We will explore how to apply these principles both to help us run with more focus and enjoyment, but also how they can support our wellbeing in everyday life.

The trail running explained

  • The path and trails around the venue are perfect for anyone wanting to run surrounded by nature.
  • The running will be varied, sometimes following the riverside path in the Vallee de Olba and passing through villages, but also includes hilly terrain, running at height and occasionally close to cliff edges.
  • The path surfaces vary from level, compacted earth through to rough, stony winding tracks – we strongly recommend that you bring trail shoes.

Example daily schedule

7.00 Wake up
7.30 Meditation + intro to the day’s theme
8.10 Breakfast / Pause and reflect
9.30 Tai Chi Movements
10.15 Mindful running
13.00 Lunch / Pause and reflect
14.30 Yoga
15.45 Pause and reflect
17.45 Recuperative gentle yoga session (optional)
18.30 Evening meal
19.30 Meditation and reflection
20.30 Free time

Our base

The retreat will be based at La Artiga, a beautifully restored rustic house that sits in a peaceful setting at the top of the valley of Olba, in Teruel.

Teruel, about an hour and twenty minutes from the city of Valencia is the least populated region in Spain. It is rugged, mountainous and wild.

The venue for the retreat has in its view Penyagolosa which is the highest mountain in the Valencia community region.

A stone bridge crossing the Mijares river

Taking time out

As well as resting in the characterful rustic house, there will be plenty of opportunity in your free time to immerse yourself in the beautiful natural surroundings.

Down below from La Artiga, there is the River
 Mijares which comes from the word ‘thousand’. It is said to be a river that will never run dry as a thousand different waters flow into it.

Visits to the river will definitely be on the itinerary, and on warm days a dip in the cool clean waters of the river quickly relieves a tired achy body.

Retreat costs and accommodation

The full retreat fee includes accommodation; three meals a day with drinks and snacks available all day; and all tuition.

There is a choice of three types of accommodation.

Shared twin room (£659)

The twin rooms are amply sized for the comfort of two people, and each room has wardrobe space.

Twin bedroom at La Artiga

 

Single room (£859)

The single private rooms (with either a double bed or two singles) offer the comfort of your own space.

Single private room at La Artiga

The private ‘casita’ shared by two people (£1,718)

(NBThe casita has already booked for this retreat).
The casita is a private independent dwelling with two double beds. It can accommodate a couple or two friends that want to share. It has its own beautifully modified rustic building feel to it with its own kitchen, toilet, shower, and all utensils. The building has a small seated area outside for sitting and enjoying nature.

The casita at La Artiga

All rooms have a window view of the surrounding nature or the courtyard of the property.

You have the option of paying the full fee or a 30% deposit and then the remaining balance which is due 60 days before the start of the retreat.

Before booking, please familiarise yourself with our Retreat booking terms and conditions.

Catering

Food will be full board vegetarian. We will cater for special dietary requirements if requested prior to the start of the event. Please let us know beforehand.

Getting to La Artiga

The retreat fee does not include transfer to the retreat venue. The nearest airport is Valencia which is 70km from La Artiga. There are direct flights to Valencia from London, Manchester and Dublin.

Taxi – for anyone wishing to share the cost of a taxi from Valencia to the venue, we can connect you together and help you get that arranged. The cost of a taxi one-way is up to 130 EUR. If four people share a taxi both ways that would cost 65 EUR (£56) per person in total.


Bus – this costs about 10 EUR one way from the bus station in the centre of Valencia and takes 1 hour 20 minutes. The bus stops about 15 minutes from La Artiga from where we can collect you.

If you need any support and advice with arranging your travel please let us know and we’d be happy to help.

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YOUR TEACHERS

Stuart McLeod

Stuart took up triathlon in 2005, before specializing in duathlon (run/bike/run). He went on to represent Great Britain as an age-group athlete at several international Championships.

He has been practicing meditation in the Chinese Zen Buddhist tradition for over two decades, teaching meditation and leading day retreats with the Western Chan Fellowship.

Stuart has participated in a variety of mindfulness programmes and is a Trained Teacher in Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) with Bangor University’s Centre for Mindfulness Research and Practice.

He is also a teacher of Tai Chi Movements for Wellbeing (TMW) and a qualified Qigong Instructor with Long White Cloud Qigong.

A key focus of Stuart’s personal practice centres upon the application of mindfulness techniques and skills as a means to help us re-inhabit our bodies, and he thinks there is no better way to this than through mindful running.

Sadhita

Sadhita is a yoga teacher and trainer of teachers and one of the key founders of the Bodhiyoga School of teacher training.

A Buddhist by training, the school was set up in 2012 to provide training and retreats to the public. To date, they have provided more than ten trainings and have many students all around the globe. Sadhita has trained  in Ashtanga, Hatha and Iyengar systems of yoga.

Since 2012 Sadhita has been involved in training people to become mindfulness based yoga teachers and has to date more than one hundred student teachers world wide.

From the years of practice, Sadhita recommends that yoga is a perfect adjunct to mindful running and will help any practitioner go deeper into their experience.

“As an informed meditator, runner and yoga practitioner, I have seen all of these practices deepen and take on new meaning through the systematic practice of mindfulness.”

Testimonials

What people say

Ruslan, London

This workshop revolutionized my running. I stopped listening to music whilst running and instead started paying attention to my feet, body and the surroundings. I started forefoot running and adjusted...

This workshop revolutionized my running. I stopped listening to music whilst running and instead started paying attention to my feet, body and the surroundings. I started forefoot running and adjusted my posture, which means I have been injury free since then. No more shin splints and itb pain.

Sara, Chatham

I am very interested in connecting mind with body and this course provided an ideal opportunity to explore that interest. The experience of running with a different mindset and attitude...
I am very interested in connecting mind with body and this course provided an ideal opportunity to explore that interest. The experience of running with a different mindset and attitude was revealing.

Rachel Chatham

Brilliant! This brings a whole new dynamic to my running which will overflow into daily life.
Brilliant! This brings a whole new dynamic to my running which will overflow into daily life.

Janet, London

Great experience and well designed content, delivered in a thoughtful and sensitive way.
Great experience and well designed content, delivered in a thoughtful and sensitive way.

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Retreat costs and accommodation

The full retreat fee includes accommodation; three meals a day with drinks and snacks available all day; and all tuition.

There is a choice of three types of accommodation.

Shared twin room (£659)

The twin rooms are amply sized for the comfort of two people, and each room has wardrobe space.

Single room (£859)

The single private rooms (with either a double bed or two singles) offer the comfort of your own space.

The private ‘casita’ shared by two people (£1,718)

The casita is a private independent dwelling with two double beds. It can accommodate a couple or two friends that want to share. It has its own beautifully modified rustic building feel to it with its own kitchen, toilet, shower, and all utensils. The building has a small seated area outside for sitting and enjoying nature.

All rooms have a window view of the surrounding nature or the courtyard of the property.

You have the option of paying the full fee or a 30% deposit and then the remaining balance which is due 60 days before the start of the retreat.

Before booking, please familiarise yourself with our Retreat booking terms and conditions.

Getting to La Artiga

The retreat fee does not include transfer to the retreat venue. The nearest airport is Valencia which is 70km from La Artiga.

Taxi – for anyone wishing to share the cost of a taxi from Valencia to the venue, we can connect you together and help you get that arranged. The
cost of a taxi one-way is up to 130 EUR. If four people share a taxi both ways that would cost 65 EUR (£56) per person in total.


Bus
– this costs about 27 EUR one way from Valencia and takes 1 hour 25 minutes. The bus stops about 15 minutes from La Artiga from where we can collect you.

If you need any support and advice with arranging your travel please let us know and we’d be happy to help.

Catering

Food will be full board vegetarian with snacks and drinks available during the day.

 

We will cater for special dietary requirements if requested prior to the start of the event. Please let us know beforehand.

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