Opening to Life

Are you searching for a break in the busyness of your life?
Would you love to rest your body and mind with gentle practices of yoga and guided reflection in the stillness of the rice field?

Imagine being part of a small, boutique retreat in a quiet oasis near Ubud, where we will come together for seven days of serenity and peace with two experienced facilitators. 

This retreat offers a unique opportunity for you to become more present in the here and now, building satisfaction, contentment and vitality in life. 


✓ Learn yoga postures and breathing exercises to ground, settle and Support yourself.
✓ Become more connected with your deeper self.
✓ Express yourself and discover more of your hearts desire.
✓ Be part of a warm, friendly small group which will support you in the work.
 ✓ Have access to excellent spa treatments for bodywork and Healing.
✓ Learn about the chakra system and how to activate the energy centres in the body.
✓ Enjoy the beauty of Bali.

Sonja Varendorff, Yoga Teacher and Physiotherapist

Sonja is an experienced physiotherapist and yoga teacher. Together we have devised a retreat where the postures of Yoga come together with self reflection and group activities to support an opening to present experience. This exciting exploration can lead to growth, increased self acceptance and compassion as well as increased vitality and joy in life.

Sonja specialises in understanding the individual needs of your body, and will gently help you build strength and flexibility, no matter where you are starting from!

Check out her studio here yogaplusphysio



The Retreat includes pick up from Denpasar airport, accommodation at Melati Cottages, Penestanan and buffet breakfast every day. You will be accommodated in individual double sized rooms with private bathroom. You will ​need to ​organise your own travel to and from Australia to Denpasar and have your own travel insurance.​ We recommend that you book flights soon. Here is a link to skyscanner where you can enter travel dates and destination and they will contact you when the cheaper flights come up. ​​

Leila and Sonja will be at Melati Cottages for a few days before the retreat getting prepared and will spend a few days afterwards at a yet unknown place. If you would like a travel partner, perhaps we can link you up with each other. 
We also recommend travel advice from your doctor and appropriate immunisations prior to travel. ​ 
We will commence at 4​ ​pm on Sunday December 3 and be finished by 10.30 ​am ​on Sunday 10th. Pick up from Denpasar airport will be arranged for you and we will liaise closer to the time in order to organise the taxis.​ ​​For this we will need flight details.​ 

To keep the retreat affordable, lunch and dinner are not included, however, there are many cafes and restaurants within a five minute walk supplying healthy and delicious food, and the area is rich in excellent day spas and massage practitioners. Ubud is a centre of artistic life in Bali and Penestanan has become an international focal point for yoga, health and wellbeing. 

Car and drivers are available for rent to access the rest of the island should you wish to remain on after your stay​. ​The staff at Melati are very helpful in arranging these matters.​​

You can view Terms and Conditions ​for the Retreat here. Please let us know if you have any concerns. 


​The approximate daily schedule will be​:​

•  ​7-8.30​am: yoga
•  8.30-10​am:  breakfast
•  10-12.00pm: Gestalt circle (see below)
•  12.30-4​​pm: lunch and ​free​ ​time
•  4-5.30​​pm: yoga
•  8-9​pm: Gestalt circle

 On most days there will be the opportunity for two yoga classes per day and 2 group meetings where we will come together to explore our theme of opening to life. We will have two afternoons free and two evenings free in the middle of the program to allow you some time to explore, and offer a spa and/or dinner programme for the whole group should you wish to attend.

​I​n the morning we will be doing a practice which will be quite energizing (energizing practices lift your energy, they are not necessarily difficult!) In the afternoon, the practice will be more relaxing and gentle. The sessions will consist of asana (movements, postures performed in lying, sitting on the floor and standing), with mindful attention and an inward focus, pranayama (breathing practices), meditation and relaxation. As we are all at a different level of fitness and some may have limitations in their bodies there will be gentler and more challenging options on offer within the same class. Sonja has had many years of experience as a physio and yoga therapist working in this way. You will need to bring your own yoga mat.

​The Gestalt circle is aninvitation to become more alive to your experience in the present moment. We will be a small group to ensure a safe, held space. There will be opportunity in this facilitated group to come closer to yourself and to explore your relationship with the world and others. The purpose of group work is to build awareness around your style of being in the world, and to develop more choice in this. You may become aware of repetitive patterns which no longer serve you, and have opportunity to experiment with new ways of being. You may wish to bring writing materials and any special art materials for your own personal use as this will be an opportunity for deep reflection. It will always be your choice to involve yourself as much or as little as you wish to in the daily circle.
​We have also attached some further practical information:
· 'What to bring and other information' ​
·  'Terms and Conditions' 

Earlybird offered two months prior to start of retreat. 

1 person Double room $1620 (full $1720) 
1 Person S​ingle room $1500 (full $1600)
1 Person Twin share $1430 (full $1530)

See What Previous Participants have to say here

Learn more about Gestalt Group Work here