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Elemental Qigong Summer Retreat

July 17 -25

COME and be real-treated

Leave the weary world worries behind and REFRESH your BEING in the South of France.
Learn how to replenish your energy with key qigong and meditations.
Walk and Be in nature, restoring your chi, gathering inner fortitude and rekindle a whole fresh perspective on life.
As soon as you land in Bordeaux, we will take care of you with a pre-arranged taxi or minibus to ensure you arrive at the gorgeous Cariton Retreat Centre feeling ready to chill right out. See more details below.
If arriving by car, please be with us by Wednesday 17 at 18.00 local time so we can share a sumptuous supper and  introduce ourselves, along with what is planned for you to gain the optimum from your retreat time.
Here is a view from one of thebedroom windows…
With inspiration from surrounding nature, we’ll be exploring how the elements can support your clearing, nurturing and inspiring processes. Beginning with our deep connection to the luscious holding of Mother Earth and working through the cleansing support of Water, creative expansion of Wood, exquisite alchemy of Metal, breathwork and inspiration of Air and the expression integration with Fire; although separating them out never completely works, as they are a harmonising team that dance continually within you.
With an early morning, 7am wake up/shake off sleepiness session, breakfast is followed by a mid morning focused qigong session and after a leisurely lunch you will be free in the afternoon to wander, linger, read and/or just Be. A late afternoon meditative consolidation hour is also planned.
You’re invited to a silent fast on the Sunday, comprising group meditations and access to herbal and flower tissanes, clear juices and water. This is not compulsory, apart from the silent bit. Offering space to open up the senses to the subtler gifts of nature and being alongside others in quiet. Bliss..
The aim of the retreat is to gift you s p a c e and time to tune in with yourself, your needs, wishes and vision. To give your physical body ample rest and energy body inspiration to uplift.  Qigong is the best form of mind-body-spirit harmonisation, in my humble opinion, the only ‘exercise’  form that is designed specifically to gather your energy. We may include some chi-yoga too. The focus is on letting go and surrendering to the natural energy all around. Letting go of what no longer serves and filling your cup to growing in better alignment with your true Being, destiny and purpose.
If required, we suggest you can fly in and out of Bordeaux Merignac Airport, then we can offer an airport transfer service at €80 for both ways – to be paid in euro’s on arrival.
The optimal flight times are;
Weds 17 July dpt Gatwick 8.15 – arr. Bordeaux 10.55
Thurs 25 July dpt Bordeaux 19.30 – arr. Gatwick 20.10
Other flights into Bordeaux can be catered for within reasonable time considerations.
The retreat offically ends after breakfast on Thursday 25th.
We can then take people back to Bordeaux  for any flights departing from 2pm onwards.
Fully residential and catered for, Cariton Retreat will provide a varied selaction of vegetarian cuisine and can accommodate most dietary preferences.
Cariton Retreat provides very comforatble and stylish rural accommodation. Within 4 bedrooms there are x2 twin beds and as there is just room for 8 participants, there are no single rooms on offer. Mags Bradley, our host, will endeavour to place you in a congenial room share and is there to assist your stay being as comfortable as possible.

“I was lucky enough to attend four days of Clara’s Qigong course in Manzanares, Spain, after spending the summer in full blown menopause, with constant hot flashes and uncomfortable night sweats. We learned the basics of body energy work and the flowing, easy movements and how to calm our minds – no easy feat in my case. I have since practiced Qigong between 10 and 45 minutes, 3 to 5 days a week and my hot flashes have subsided completely.”


“I didn’t know what to expect when I signed up for the Qigong course in Sept. 2012, but arrived with a painful shoulder contraction that had been bothering me for over 6 months. Many nights, I couldn’t even sleep. I’d been trying to control it with muscle relaxants and had been to 5 different massage and physical therapists. Only one of them was successful in eradicating the pain, by chiropractic manipulation of the spine, but it returned within a day, and sometimes within hours. Qigong’s curative exercises have totally relieved me of this pain and it has not returned since..  Thanks for sharing this with us, Clara!”


“After a weekend of Qigong I feel light, agile and full of serenity. Clara encourages the personal experience of peace and stillness to evolve. Everyone in the class of 10 praised her clarity at guiding the exercises and knowledge about their purpose and related information. I can´t wait to repeat this profound and transforming experience! ”

C. Jackson

About Clara

Loving movement exercise from a young age, I did ballet from 5-21, I instantly recognised the feeling of graceful movements when introduced to qigong, this age-old system of energy cultivation. I’d already had two episodes of burnout, running a busy costume design business and bringing up my son in NW London. I was looking for ways I could heal myself and was drawn towards natural energy medicine, unlike my previous training as a Registered Nurse. Here the focus on disease management was only one side of the patient health coin, I was curious about ways of preventative healthcare, still am. Personal research took me through Homeopathy to EFT, Reiki, Aromatherapy Massage, Nutrition, Acupuncture, Shiatsu and CranialSacral therapy. I was searching for a way to take care of myself as well as appreciating treatements and teachings. When a parent of one on my lads friends, offered to introduce me to Chi Kung/Qigong I was intrigued and went along. Ged Sumner is a co-founder of the London College of Elemental Chi Kung, with Thalbert Allen, where I subsequently trained for 4 years. I am now a student of Grand Master Ken Cohen.

I was hooked by the end of the first session, from this innate recognition of flow and expression, although the tension patterns in my arms and shoulders took years to fully unwind, I instantly felt so much better on the inside. My sleep became deeper and more nourishing. Stress levels became manageable and prioritising the time for my space had a strong sustaining effect on both my physicality and psyche.

Fast forward to now, where I live in and around the New Forest, managing the succesful Conscious Living Events company, sharing qigong teachings and creating ‘Chi Time’ interview shows. I now have a place to call home after 4 years of living ‘Home-Free’. This time was not without its challenges – understatement – but my qigong and meditation practice gave me ninja-style aptitude and organising abilites, the big one is assigning time. This is where I can help.

This retreat is the jewel in the chi crown of my year. Following on from the incredible teachings with Master Ken, we can retreat to idyllic S.W French countryside, where you can dive into your personal energy relationship, alongside other similar folk. I’d love to share more chi secrets with you.

Clara Apollo is an elemental qigong teacher,  founder member of the Alliance of Tai Chi & Qigong and Conscious Living Events organiser. She presents Chi Time, the Conscious Living show for UK Health Radio.

Here’s the snug area, if the nights get cold..

Other information

Info here…