Partner Feature: Om Retreats

Om Retreats is Brighton’s unique, non-profit yoga retreat company. It was set up in 2016 by two friends and yoga teachers, Hannah Lee Weller and Charlie Griffin. They had the vision of offering inspiring and nourishing yoga retreats for paying customers, and using the profits to bring free-of-charge yoga to charity partners and vulnerable groups. Now, two years on and lots of retreats later, things have flourished beyond their expectations!

Om Retreats founder Hannah Lee Weller has recently joined the board of trustees at Brighton Yoga Foundation. It seemed the perfect fit to partner together, based on the shared purpose of both organisations to bring yoga to the wider community, and particularly to those least able to access it. Hannah will be helping and guiding on many aspects of the BYF’s work, with particular focus on the community and outreach work.

More about Om Retreats

Om Retreats hold their weekend and day retreats in a variety of beautiful locations around the South East, from converted barns, to Georgian houses and incredible yurts. They choose their locations to give clients a breath of fresh air from the city, and time and space to really connect with nature. The yoga programmes on offer are always varied and full, with the opportunity to explore Vinyasa, Hatha, Restorative and Yin yoga, along with meditation and breath work. Their ethos is warm and encouraging, so yogis of all abilities are made to feel welcome. There is plenty of advice available for beginners, and additional challenge available for the more experienced students.

Om Retreats work with a variety of groups including people affected by cancer, domestic violence and sexual abuse, to offer them yoga classes, workshops and retreats free of charge. Charities they work alongside include Macmillan, Rise and Survivors Network, as well as schools and refugee organisations. To date Om Retreats have taken groups from these charities to various locations in the countryside for day and weekend retreats, as well as going into their venues to deliver classes and workshops.

At BYF 2015: Jungle Healing

Jungle Healing
Jungle Man joined us at least year’s festival, providing his magical and healing Thai Yoga massage. He is an authorised Sunshine Network teacher and qualified Sivananda Yoga teacher.

The Sunshine Network is one of the very few organisations based in Thailand with an emphasis on maintaining authentic principles and values of Traditional Thai massage. In this culture there isn’t exactly a set time period before a student ‘qualifies’ in traditional Thai Yoga massage; Marek had been studying, training and assisting teachers for 7 years before he was told he would be authorised as a teacher.

“Thai massage is my passion, and becoming a teacher with a certificate was not a goal at all. I didn’t even know I would get a certificate!”

Jungle Man has been treating clients since 2003, and says he gradually and ‘naturally’ began to teach. He is based at his therapy clinic at the Arora Hotel in Crawley, and – other than lucky hotel guests – most clients come to him via recommendation.

As well as regular treatments from his clinic, when he’s not spending his annual 3 months away in Asia, Jungle Man also runs nature and Thai Yoga massage retreats in Greece. Click HERE for more information on these special trips….

jungle man 2If you’d like to learn the art of Thai Yoga massage, Jungle Man offers a Thai Yoga Massage course, accredited by the CMA, allowing qualified students to legally work in the UK as practitioners. The next course starts at Unity Studio in September. See to find out more….

Jungle man will be offering a workshop on Thai Yoga Massage at this year’s festival, as well as treatments in the Tranquility Tent. He says of his approach:

“I would rather bring out the healing potential in the student than teach him or her an advanced technique. Being ‘advanced’ allows you to reach the soul with only a basic technique”.

For those who learn with Jungle Man, he places importance upon strong foundations and a healthy connection to ourselves. “Once there is a healthy root, and strong and vibrant tree will grow.” Meditation, yogic aspects, mindful touch, having the ‘right mindset’, and respect to your own being play a big role in his teachings.

jungle man 3“I improvise a lot, I don’t prepare my talks and the sequence I teach can change according to the group or individual. Most of my trainings have been in Thailand and India, and I blend together an Eastern and Western approach”.

At this year’s festival, catch Jungle Man’s Thai Yoga Massage workshop from 11:20-12:40 at Vishnu’s Couch (the marquee outside). Groups are small so as much attention as possible can be given to the individual. He will also be offering therapies from 1:30-5:30 in the Tranquility Tent (our out-door therapy area). Click HERE for the full festival programme.

Visit Jungle Healing at their stall to speak further with Jungle Man himself or a student of his, and find out more about this magical, meaningful, healing therapy.

At BYF 2015: My Escape


Holly Cooper is the founder of Studio iO – a dedicated Yoga space in the heart of Brighton. You’ll be able to read more about the beautiful studio, teachers and what they’ll be bringing to the BYF, but for now read more about sister company My Escape, who will also be joining us at the Brighton Yoga Festival this year!

myescape1My Escape specialises in Worldwide Pilates and Yoga holidays. Offering affordable holidays combined with new experiences such as AcroYoga in Morocco, walking in Sussex, Spa in Ibiza, Safari in South Africa and soon to be added Surfing in Bali.

On each holiday, Pilates and Yoga classes are taught by Ellie and Holly who are both experts in their field and have a vast amount of experience teaching people of all levels of experience. Together they offer a week Escape that will leave you feeling totally refreshed, fit and fabulous.

Read more At BYF 2015: My Escape