Retreat v. 'to withdraw to a quiet or secluded place' 

In its simplest form ‘retreat’, means ‘to withdraw, to drawback.’ Throughout the ages certain traditions have understood retreat to be an important part of spiritual formation.  That is, time consciously set aside for themselves, a change of focus, a deliberate act of stepping outside of normal routine by withdrawing (not running away) from the noise and pressures in order to be in a quiet place where all our senses are open and ready to listen and receive.

In partnership with Learning to Listen and supported by Myogi Yoga our second retreat was a 'roaring' success combining holistic therapy with equine therapy, yoga, meditation and fireside rituals.  It lived up to all expectations providing our guests the opportunity to withdraw from the daily grind of life.

I attended the recent retreat at East Hall Farmhouse on Wednesday this week which was a most enjoyable day. The time passed so quickly and it was a relaxed, well organised occasion with treatments that made one feel so much better within myself. It has helped me to feel more relaxed and in control. The sitting around the fire experience was unique and I think we all gained so much from it. The lunch was delicious and being in the fresh air and sunshine for most of the day was so invigorating. I would like to commend the team on their friendly and helpful approach to myself and fellow participants. Well done to you all. Best wishes.
— Rosanne, Kent

Connection & Intention Setting

The day began with an intention setting session where the guests were given space to connect with their true self and begin to understand what they wanted to achieve from the day and to set their intentions accordingly.  "We put our guests totally at the heart of what we are doing and make it all about them" said Sarah Tomlin, a Haelan therapist who hosted lunch and a nutritional talk.  She continued "our retreats create a safe space for our guests to bring their hearts and voice their feelings".

Each guest received a personalised plan which included a one-to-one yoga session, an equine facilitated coaching session and a holistic treatment.   Teresa, a guest on the day said of her experience "For me it's the "little things" that are important that make experiences like this what they are.  From the added reiki healing on my dodgy knee during my massage, the unlimited supply of herbal teas / coconut water and lovingly homemade energy balls and treats...the aromatic oil smells and blankets during yoga and the added bonus of the fire pit made this day which went above and beyond my expectations and provided a very special unique retreat experience full of genuine support and love and one that I would highly recommend to anyone who wants to take a day out to invest in themselves."

Fireside Ritual

The highlight of the day however was the fireside ritual.  Led by therapist Karenanne, the guests were given the opportunity to take their space to release old patterns of behaviours and beliefs into the fire and heal at a soul level.  They each used the Reiki drum to represent their rhythm of life and presented offerings to the fire of kindling, chocolate and tobacco.  Kindling keeps the fire burning, chocolate represents harmony and the sweetness of life and tobacco enables peace and the end of hostilities.

The fireside ritual created a sense of kinship, blurring the lines between guests and facilitators and enabled us in that moment to be at one. 
— Sarah Tomlin, Haelan Therapist

Unique offerings

Our retreats are truly unique and none more so because we combine holistic therapies and yoga with Equine Facilitated Coaching sessions.  Through our partnership with Learning to Listen we are able to offer guests the opportunity to gain insights and wisdom from the horses about where they are now in their lives and where they want to be.  After their one-to-one session the guests were given the opportunity to consider what had come up for them and journal any ideas, thoughts or understanding that might help them move through a particular block in their life.

I had a profound experience and learnt so much from Jo using equine facilitated therapy. It became a catalyst for me to be able to find the words to verbalise what has been going on internally. At first I was shocked as when Jo asked me questions about my feelings and current emotional space I couldn’t find any words and was really struggling and stumbling my speech. In such a short space of time with Jo’s compassionate and supportive help and questionning and the healing of Boo a beautiful pony with the softest coat in the world....I was able to tease out the emotions that needed healing and find the words to verbalise them, which amazed me.
— Teresa, Wigan
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Our Mind, Body and Soul retreats will return in 2018 and will be themed by the changing seasons.  The investment is £250 per person and we offer payment plans to spread the cost. 

18th May (Spring)

9th July (Summer)

24th Sept (Autumn)

30th November (Winter)

For more detailed information regarding each specific retreat please click HERE.  To book your place or for information please contact us indicating which retreat you would like to attend. 

Transformational Therapy: Sit up and take Note!

When Rebecca asked me to write a guest blog about my experience of her transformational treatments, sitting down at my laptop was a chance to reflect on my journey, of which writing has been key, and one which Rebecca guided me through to help me achieve my dream of becoming a novelist.


I’m a writer by trade, working for magazines, newspapers and websites. Along the way I started writing a book, a boy-meets-girl tale about following your heart and taking a chance on a dream, based on my own experience of falling in love at first sight with a stranger on a train. In 2014 I got an agent, so I gave up my job to finish writing the novel. My eldest son was starting school, and although it seemed like a gamble to be dropping a salary, it felt like a risk worth taking. After all, the book itself is about taking a chance to follow your heart.

A year later, as I was about to submit my novel to my agent, I had a bombshell – she was too busy to keep me on – another of her authors was going stellar (hello other Girl On The Train). So I was in literary limbo: submitting my novel to new agents, but getting the door slammed in my face. I wondered if I should give it all up and find another desk job.

I had been seeing Rebecca for Transformational Massages since she helped me get through some tricky London Marathon training (I might even owe my PB to her!), so from our pre-massage chats I already knew how her empathetic, understanding eyes and unbelievable wisdom could help clients who are at a crossroads. So I embarked on a combination of Transformational Coaching, Equine Facilitated Coaching and Massage facilitated by her.

My first coaching experience came in the form of a horse!  At first I felt a bit strange, standing in a field under an inky November sky, wondering if a horse could really help me unlock my true potential. But I was amazed. Bow, a beautiful Dale’s mare, stood close to my side as I talked. Horses are reactionary, sentient animals with a great ability to mirror what you’re feeling, so Bow’s body language helped guide Rebecca to ask me the right questions. If I said, “I’m fine, everything’s OK,” about a certain issue when it wasn’t, Rebecca could see from a subtle flick of a tail or the way the horse dropped its eyelids that I wasn’t, and was able to suggest otherwise and make me re-evaluate things: the way I work, the things that stop me fulfilling my potential… During our sessions I was able to unlock what was holding me back, which were my self-limiting beliefs: of course I couldn’t get another agent or a book deal, I wasn’t good enough. Or so I had thought.

Equine Facilitated Coaching with the gorgeous Bow

Equine Facilitated Coaching with the gorgeous Bow


After three sessions of equine facilitated coaching, alongside my regular monthly massage, I came out with a new sense of purpose and direction: I’d taken the decision to leave my job and focus on the book, and now I had the confidence to see it through.  

I don’t think it’s a coincidence that two months later I got a new – brilliant – agent. And a year after that I was offered a three-book deal. My debut novel, The Note, is out now, and I’m so proud of everything I’ve achieved – and grateful to Rebecca for helping me jump the hurdles along the way.

Zoë x


What can you expect from one of our Personal Retreat Days?

East Hall Farmhouse is located on the Bowes-Lyon Estate, St Paul's Walden, Hertfordshire.

East Hall Farmhouse is located on the Bowes-Lyon Estate, St Paul's Walden, Hertfordshire.

"Arriving at the Learning to Listen Centre at East Hall Farmhouse, St Paul’s Walden is always a calming experience; one which gives you the opportunity to close your eyes, take a long deep breath and know that you have arrived in a place where you can be your true self", says Rebecca Kelly, owner of Haelan Therapy. 

Working in partnership with Learning to Listen and supported by Myogi,  Haelan Therapy's first one-day retreat, which took place on Monday 10th July, did just this; it enabled six beautiful souls to come together and connect with themselves and experience a slice of tranquillity in the beautiful surroundings of the Bowes-Lyon Estate.  Combining Equine Facilitated Coaching with holistic therapy, yoga and meditation created a powerful combination which empowered clients to take their space, pause, reflect and reconnect and experience a unique and unforgettable day.   


A yoga session first thing in the morning enabled the guests to set their intentions for the day, “It was a wonderful experience to teach yoga outdoors at East Hall Farmhouse on such a glorious sunny day” said Tracey from Myogi Yoga.  “The guests began their yoga practice by setting an intention for themselves and for the day ahead and I then guided them through an hour long physical practice, designed to help them connect with their bodies on an intuitive level, rather than mastering poses on a physical level.  As they began to create space in their bodies, they were able to create space in their minds also, forming a union between body, mind and breath – the definition of yoga.   It was so amazing to feel the sun on our skin and hear the sounds of nature surrounding us.  At one point we even had a hen wander into the yoga area – if Hen Yoga isn’t a thing yet, watch this space!!”


A space was held for the guests later in the day during a dedicated Meditation and Mindfulness session to speak about their experience so far or to check- in with how they were feeling.  This was a chance to speak from the heart, to find some quiet time, journal or meditate, and allowed the guests to ask themselves what they needed at that point and to honour that. 


A nutritious lunch was provided by  Chia Naturally Healthy and hosted by Haelan Therapist, Sarah Tomlin.  Guests were able to use this time to catch up with one another and also engage in a hearty discussion around the links between nutrition and guest's wellbeing.


Equine Facilitated Coaching sessions gave our guests the opportunity to gain insights and wisdom from the horses about where they are now in their lives and where they want to be.  A reflections session then followed giving them the opportunity to consider what had come up for them and journal any ideas, thoughts or understanding.   "Equine Facilitated Coaching is an emerging field in the world of personal development and is unique in the way it uses horse to help people work through their problems, issues and fears.  Horses have a great intuitive ability to mirror our energy and can communicate this through their body language.  Our guests were able to explore different ideas and concepts around the awareness we have of ourselves and how by having this awareness, we can be the best version of ourselves in all our relationships" said Jo Osborn, Equine Facilitated Coach at Learning to Listen.


The guests also took some time out for themselves throughout the day with healing treatments such as massage, reflexology, facial therapy and Dynamic Life Realignment.  Rebecca Kelly remarks, "Haelan's healing treatments enable guests to simply lose themselves.  Our philosophy is simple; we recognise the most important element in any treatment is you.   We place our guest’s wellbeing at the core of our work and through our treatments, empower them to be in control of their health and happiness".    

For many attending the recent retreat, Haelan's treatments offered them the opportunity to relax and switch off and in one or two cases, connect with their inner thoughts creating light bulb moments about what had been limiting them in their lives.  “The room was perfect.  The music was perfect.  The massage treatment was incredible.” said Judith, a guest on our recent retreat.

As the day drew to a close, the guests were invited back to the yoga space to experience Yoga Nidra; a guided meditation and body scan, which allows you to enter the space between sleeping and waking, resulting in deep relaxation and expanded self-awareness.  “It was such a privilege to lead this meditation” said Tracey, “and to draw the retreat to a close by helping the guests to honour their intention and deeply connect to their Self.”

If you like the sound of this experience and would like to join us on our next retreat in September or Summer 2018, please contact us here to register your interest, to book your place or to simply find out more.   Each retreat has a maximum of 6 guests so don't delay and book today if this is of interest to you.

I have had such a lovely day spent creating a little bit of ‘me time’. Thank you.
— Vicky Adams, Hitchin

We look forward to meeting you very soon.

Rebecca, Tracey, Jo, Sam, Karenanne, Indie and Sarah xx