The Spanish Yoga Retreat was founded in 2004 by José Manuel Ponce & Brandon Everett, driven by their love of travel, adventure, sun, food, Spain and yoga
“The soul is here for its own joy (Rumi)
Yoga teacher & trainer, osteopath, medical acupuncturist, Manuel has been teaching yoga for nearly four decades
He trained in 1980 at the London Sivananda Ashram where he was resident until embarking on a career in osteopathy in 1985
He took further yoga-teacher-training with Sunra and has post-graduate qualifications in medical acupuncture and osteopathy in the cranial field
Manuel's life-long project has been an on-going study of the therapeutic power of yoga in fomenting physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing
“But there is greater comfort in the substance of silence than in the answer to a question (Thomas Merton)
Artist, designer, vegetarian cook: Brandon's artistic career has spanned four decades
He graduated in fashion and textile design from the Bradford College of Arts, taught art in Mexico City, then settled on a career in costume for stage, film and TV
Brandon is a dedicated life-long vegetarian and pours his boundless inventiveness and imagination into creating dishes that never fail to delight
Born to a Quaker family, Brandon brings his own brand of stillness, the Quaker way of sitting quietly and opening to the "inner light"
It's the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression (A Einstein)
artist, teacher, yogini and mum - that's Martine with Zuri Michel in downward dog
Martine graduated in fine art and photography from Camberwell College Of Arts. She brings passion and a wealth of experience to teaching creative expression alongside yoga
"the moment is an inch long and a mile deep" (J Earp)
Yoga teacher and masseur, Dom began teaching in 1997 after training with Sunra. She later completed her 500-hour professional diploma at Natural Bodies in the Scaravelli style
Dom has a light-hearted approach to teaching and is a great believer in the here and now. She runs regular classes, retreats and yoga "parties"
"home is where one starts from" (T S Eliot)
2003: we embark on a series of adventures from the UK to find a second home in Spain. We explored coast-lines, great plains and mountains, cities and villages from Andalusia to the Cantabrian coast. Shangri-La nonetheless was proving elusive
Crossing the mountains from Castille into the wild country that is Extremadura something stirred. Were we getting close?
We approached ancient Trujillo across the Great Cáceres Plain. The city appeared in the distance alone in a vast wilderness, a great stone fortress of towers and graceful buildings, cypresses softening the stone. We drove to the town square...all thoughts and feelings converged into one simple certainty: home
ॐ लक्ष्म्यै नमः: - we salute the fountain of wealth
A year on, watching the sun set from the edge of the old city, I glanced up above the castle's Moorish arch to the stone Virgin and, once a catholic ... "Show me a way of doing something creative in this place so I can stay. I'll recognize the sign"
On the way home we stopped at a shop for refreshments. Mari-Jose, the shopkeeper, owned the place next to ours which was for sale. "Take the keys. Have a look around. Maybe a friend of yours will be interested". Opening the door to number 22 we entered a deep vaulted room
Brandon: "yoga?" - me: "It's the sign!"