You can expect a bespoke experience in a private home; time in stillness and space to reflect; engaging conversations that inspire you to see things differently; 44 idyllic hectares of nature for hiking; exclusive use of a secluded estate, including a 19th century orangery and an old chapel; meditation, forest bathing (shinrin-yoku), qi gong and yoga; healthy food, uniquely styled private suites; and a peaceful night’s sleep under a sky with nothing but stars.
All retreat guests stay in the French home of teacher-host couple Thomas van Praag and Véronique Van Hoye who have made it their life to lovingly restore the old estate. The place boasts a large house ( the château), a chapel, and several other outbuildings. The retreat activities take place indoors and out; there are spacious working and relaxation areas, comfortable private suites, a large fireplace, and a hot tub.
Throughout the restoration we apply the principles of the Japanese Wabi Sabi philosophy, a view of the world where beauty is imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete. Patina and wear, visible repairs, anomalies of previous restorations, these all add character. The house is decorated with things we have made ourselves or that were designed for us by artisan friends, with found objects and weathered furniture. Everything in the house has a story to tell.
Your day normally starts with mindful movement or a guided meditation. Mornings and afternoons might include a mix of group learning, teamwork, individual coaching, time out in nature, reflection, and journaling. There’s always plenty of me-time and sometimes we organise workshops on the spot, chop firewood or work in the vegetable garden. Whatever is right for you, right then. Watch our short film for an impression.
For you to get the most out of your retreat, we encourage you to unplug. We also recognise that you may want to stay in touch with work and/or family and we schedule time for this each day. We have free wi-fi available based on our 4G connection, there is no land line.
A key element of your stay is the delicious, vegetarian food that we prepare. Ingredients are fresh and wherever possible organic and locally sourced. If you have specific dietary restrictions or preferences, we try to build these into the menu. A wide range of hot and cold drinks is available at any time.
How to sustain learning is a strong theme of all our retreats. It starts with the in-take conversation you have with us before you arrive and leads into the range of practical tools and techniques you can use at home. To make sure that the transformation you’ve made during your time with us continues when you return home, one of the coaches will follow up with you for a coaching session a few weeks after your departure.
You do not need any previous any previous experience of yoga, mindfulness, or meditation, and all fitness levels are welcome. We will send you a packing list for every season– which always includes soft slip-on shoes or slippers to wear inside the house, a swimsuit for the hot tub experience (it’s clothing optional), indoor shoes, suitable footwear and layered outdoor clothing. We provide yoga mats, bathrobes and flip-flops.
The health and safety of our guests and coaches are of paramount importance to us and we follow the Covid-19 guidelines provided by the French government. Please familiarise yourself with these before booking your retreat. Click here for full details in English: https://www.gouvernement.fr/en/coronavirus-covid-19.
Domaine Lescure’s hosts and coaches are fully vaccinated.
Physical distancing is easy at Lescure. The estate comprises more than 44 hectares of woodland and we spend much time outside during the workshops. The house we share is large, all suites are spacious with windows to bring fresh air in and have private bathrooms. We provide individual soap, hand sanitisers and towels in all the rooms. In the kitchen (dining area) we provide liquid soap and paper towels.
Despite our size, we cater to small groups only.
We are in the Larzac village of Lapanouse de Cernon in the Aveyron region in Southern-France. We provide details for Google maps. We have off-road parking on our property.
Montpellier, Béziers (both 1,5 hours drive) and Toulouse (2,5 hours drive) are the closest airports and are well served by flights from all over Europe.
Our nearest train station is Montpellier, which is connected to Paris by high-speed TGV.