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Through this holiday in Slovenia, you will explore Slovenian nature and culture for the development of your own presence, physicality, expression, and creation through various body, mind, and spirit practices led by worldwide recognized mentors. This journey is for people who appreciate active holidays, traveling, and living in nature with a group of people. If this call resonates with you, organize your time and join Holistic Retreats and Journeys in this wild camp tour!
You will be provided an accommodation space for your own tent. You have to assure your basic camping equipment on your own (tent, sleeping bag, etc.).
This location is in wild nature without electricity.
This location has electricity, toilets, and showers.
This location has electricity, toilets, and showers.
This program is a new and old way of traveling and personal growth. You will learn from mentors, share, and learn from each other. You can enjoy the simple life in nature. A sustainable way of living, creative sharing, cooperation, learning, and solidarity are essential for this temporarily established community. In this frame, you can reach your full potential and purely enjoy nature. It is about dropping ambitions and replacing them with curiosity.
You can enjoy a full set of different workshops and at the same time, you can also enjoy alone. As you feel, as you need. The only rule in the journey is that you all meet in the evening for dinner and meeting, reflecting the day, and making a plan for tomorrow.
Holistic Retreats and Journeys invites singles, couples, families, dancers and non-dancers, martial artists, travelers, adventurers, therapists, teachers, artists from all fields, spiritual practitioners, and all who wants to meet self and spend some time with like-minded people.
You can apply for all three weeks or for each location separately. Also, you can visit just for few days or just for a workshop.
You will spend two days walking in Triglav National Park experiencing nature and inner silence, learning about wild eatable plants, and sleeping under the stars.
Animal instinct is an ongoing movement research. The hardcore of this practice is to gain freedom in motion. By moving away from any ideology, style, or form, you can reexamine your physical abilities with fresh eyes. The work refers to information from various movement disciplines (contact improvisation, martial arts, somatic practices, and contemporary dance) and offers a wide spectrum of tools to study your body, to understand the movement, and communicate physically.
You will work in various constellations (solo, duet, or group work), studying the neverending possibilities that occur in dynamic improvisations. You will re-inhabit your dancing body and emerge yourself into the flow of movement.
Through learning basic skills of traditional Japanese archery Kyudo, you will confront with inner dimensions of insights and beauty that this practice is offering. Practice is quite challenging, so you will work in small groups (few persons at the same time).
Anyone can join as there is no need for physical condition, but patience and persistence. You will not learn how to hit the target, but you will learn how to shoot the arrows, so people who aim to practice self-observance can tune closely with this workshop.
The teaching methods Goran uses are the synthesis of dance techniques and tools that he has intensively experimented with and developed throughout the last 20 years. Ranging from classical ballet to martial arts, from modern to contemporary dance, from Tai Chi and Qigong to Kundalini and dynamic meditation, from contact to theater improvisation and from artistic experience, he has been working in his own creations and collaborations with 70 different choreographers and teachers.
In the training, you are working on awareness of the body, mind, and emotions, on power and softness of movements, flow and the usage of the energy, and on focusing the attention and awareness. Goran is providing participants with a set of tools for improvisation that they can implement in their own creations and in daily life.
Capoeira is an art form which combines elements of martial arts, dance, acrobatics, ritual, and music. It developed through a combination of African ritual tradition and Brazil or Portugal circumstances. The practice of Capoeira helps you develop flexibility, coordination, endurance, lightness of movements, and self-discovery.
Through the game of Capoeira, you learn to fuse movements with rhythm, pay attention to reactions of your partner, and create a totally new world of mutual interactions. The training is inseparable from the singing of traditional songs and playing of instruments. It is recommended for children, adults without experience, and dancers.
Contact improvisation (CI) is a dance based on using touch and focused on the form coming from the inside out. The sensation is translated as information and converted to waves of movement. Underlying the fluid action of CI are principles that govern the relationship of moving bodies, and the physical and mental states of the dancers.
It is using improvisation instead of determining specific actions, pathways, or defined "steps". It is a practice of finding liquid freedom in the flow of the body. Contact improvisation is the most democratic way of dancing because each individual can join at any time, with whatever movement background, and bring his own perspective to understanding what human contact means.
In the workshops, you will focus on improvisational tools that can be efficiently used in your other dance practices such as opening the senses and trusting yourself and contact; basic tools for contact improvisation - the language of touch, moving from your center, working with weight, principle of invitation, and acceptance; instant composition and inner chemistry; how to use space in improvisation; and improvisation as dance of presence.
Contact improvisation for kids is a communication through non-verbal and body contact. The conditions are created to be relaxed, free, and moving environment with tools such as spontaneous research of singing, touch, and simple dance improvisation games. Practice is open to everyone, regardless the movement abilities.
Children will get the opportunity to discover and empower their motor skills, improve self-esteem, and a sense of trust in themselves and their peers. The aim is to spread interactive and creative listening, connecting, awareness of expectations, and limits in relationships and co-living in the presence of the other. At the end of a workshop, the kids will make a short presentation.
Workshops provide the participants with an opportunity to get to know their bodies, their boundaries, their fears, in short, themselves. Whirling is not the main objective of these studies but a mere means to reach it. Whirls help unfold the true energy of the participants by shaking their physical and mental states that they have so far been accustomed to.
Studies start with stretching and breathing exercises. At this stage, the mind is readied for the next stage by concentration.
This stage helps participants be aware of the venue and their bodies moving in this venue by ground works and basic acrobatics.
At this stage, a higher level is targeted both physically and mentally. The participants, whose awareness of the venue and their bodies has changed through repetitive whirls, now need to face with this extraordinary state. This facing requires the participants to become acquainted with their environment, their bodies, and their minds once again.
Gurdjieff was teaching that you are a product of your habits, reactions, and functions, which became automated and this is the reason you are not aware of them anymore. This is why Gurdjieff was creating special conditions - as education tools - in which a man was able to recognize to what degree he is a prisoner of these forces.
One of these tools were sacred dances of Gurdjieff dances, based on traditional dances that he studied while he was travelling in Asia, India, Tibet, in East, and in Africa. There, he visited many Sufi and Indo-European orders, as well as Buddhist centers and other sources of traditional culture and teachings. With the help of these dances, you can achieve being centered, greater awareness, and holistic sensation of yourself.
Calm mind, body awareness, and deeper experiencing of emotions are doors to sensation of presence of life force and in this way, you also become more sensitive to higher dimensions and their influence. The aim of the dances is to awaken more beautiful intelligence, clear thoughts, and to get closer to state in which body, emotions, and mind are connected with the presence.
Sound and movement are means by which you explore and expand your consciousness, awareness, and initiate treatment. Gong is a portal that allows contact between the physical and the spiritual part of one's inner self. Your inner self is reflected in symbols, feelings, visions, and imagination.
With Gong, you will unlock this inner landscape to help you being more open and sensible for sound and movement exploration. In sacred embrace of Babna cave, an old pagan sanctuary, you will search for different ways of communication between instruments (sounds) and bodies (movement).
From solos to duets to collective group work, you will practice alertness and respect of silence. You will create sound and movement playground as a symbol of respect to your ancestors.
After the passing of four seasons, the moon has been full for about twelve times, working her magic on the water while revolving around the earth. Moon moves the oceans, the earth makes her way about the sun, a star among other stars amongst an infinite number of galaxies. Sweat lodge or Temazcal is a celebration of the earth mother and the universe.
The heat, the contact with earth underneath, and the music of the stones relax the cell tissues, providing them with the opportunity to release toxins. The gathering of a group establishes a code, a community, while the sacred darkness of the lodge invites to look inside; it is a work of a group and of self.
The ceremony lasts between two or three hours, depending on the conditions. You need to bring a water bottle, towel, swimming pants, or light cloth. Take care of jewelry that may be too tight or that may burn the skin by the heat.
In case you have a medical history that you think may be conflicting with this ceremony, such as heart problems, you should inform the organizer beforehand.
Workshop will start with warm up based on the integration of exercises from Kundalini meditation, yoga, contemporary dance, and experiential anatomy. Gradually, the focus will move from personal body alignment to observation, sensation and understanding of others bodies. Shifting awareness on how to relate with others.
Sandra will introduce basic principles of contact improvisation with special focus on light partnering without implying weight. The range of possible connections between participants will go from mere sensation based contact (eye contact, closed eyes contact, reading, following, adjusting, and off balance contact) to the more explicit use of touch and sharing one body experience.
Participants will also learn from active imagination. Shifting their awareness from a relationship (and possible reactions) on how to relate to your inner world. Participants will now focus on expressing personal states.
"Where am I today? Who am I and can I show myself without fear in my totality? How do I dance my weaknesses? How can my fragility become strength?" The range of exercises will go from working in pairs, detecting each others movement habits, improvising solos to empathetic shadowing or repeating of movement sequences.
Every day, you will enjoy a pleasant hour for manual dexterity, which will unfold your creativity and desire for wearing and using your own creations. You will make leather jewelry, dream catchers from branches, wool, and mysterious objects from nature and pockets. You will feel natural yarn and make necklaces. From branches, you will knit a basket and make beautiful mobiles of other natural materials.
From the pieces of tissues, you will hand-saw usable bags for herbs and wild food. You will try to print flowers on it. After a few days, you will be enriched with your own energy, which will be captured in beautiful creations. You could keep it, donate, or exchange among yourself.
From Tolmin, you are heading towards the southern ridges of Julian Alps and then continue through wild hilly landscape to Hum village above Baška grapa. You sleep under the stars (or in the nearby barn, if it rains) and eat wild. That means, you collect a variety of edible wild plants and prepare simple dishes on the spot. Yes, some civilised constituents that you have with you are included.
The hike on Saturday and Sunday is roughly four to six hours long. On Friday, it is much shorter as you start at 16:00. The hike is for everybody who enjoys the elements and sleeping in the hotel with innumerable stars.
The main thread of the hike is wild food, that means edible wild plants. Roughly, two out of three incidentally selected plants species may be used as food. But first, you have to know the plants. Although more than two-thirds of European flora is represented by edible wild plants, some plants are poisonous, some of them deadly. So the rule is, collect what you know.
In the hike, the most important edible wild plants of the region are not only introduced but also collected and prepared in different ways. In general, wild plants contain three to four times more vitamins and minerals as cultivated vegetables and fruits and have numerous health benefits. Power food, indeed. Not to mention the incredible variety of unusual, but very acceptable tastes, which cannot be found in the domesticated kitchen.
The lift Qi up, pour Qi down method (Peng Qi Guan Ding) is the first and basic level of Zhi Neng Qi Gong. This is an external Qi practice and its purpose is to harness the universal Qi from all around you and bring it into your body. This has the effect of improving the quality and quantity of your bodily Qi, thus, improving your health and physical and mental functioning.
It aims to improve the functions of exchanging Qi with nature, and for this, you’ll utilize wide-body movements and mental visualizations to guide the primeval universal Qi into your body and your bodily Qi out to the universe, making a conscientious use of your initiative and capability to induce and exchange Qi.
Among the innovative features that this particular system of Qi Gong presents, there is the organization of a Qi field that potentiates and enhances both the individual and the group skills.
Dr. Pang He Ming, an expert in traditional Chinese medicine and Qi Gong, studied during decades the different methodologies, effects, and conditions of the traditional Qi Gong styles, and after making a physiological analysis according to the latest scientific advances, elaborated during the 80’s a synthesis of these millenary practices that would fit people in the current times. He called it Zhi Neng.
This routine was tested in the medicine-less Hospital and Training Center of Hua Xia during ten continuous years on a population of over 300,000 practitioners with varied health conditions, ranging from terminally ill cases that managed to overcome their diseases to healthy individuals who simply wanted to strengthen their mental, emotional, and physical health.
The astonishing results of the Hua Xia Center showed a recovery rate of 95%. These results and the magnificent theoretical and practical synthesis done by Dr. Pang gave Zhi Neng the reputation of being totally safe, truly effective, and really simple.
Zhi means wisdom, intelligence, and conscientious will. Neng is ability, capacity, power, and all the unexplored aspects of the mind; the sunken part of the iceberg. Zhi Neng expresses the fluent interconnection of the two brain hemispheres, the full manifestation of the natural mind, unleashed and unconditioned.
The expansion of the lucid consciousness towards what it usually remains plunged in the shadows, to modify the trails in your brains done by your thinking patterns during decades and replace them with new more edifying ways.
Because just like it was a monotonous routine, systematically practiced and many times noxious the one that settled the pathways through which your actual thinking runs, and with your endocrine biochemistry and the destiny that imposes, then, another systematical practice is required to install new pathways too.
The basic idea is to develop the latent wisdom and abilities within. Part of the Hun Yuan theory (the theoretical framework that could be translated as “merged into oneness theory”) resides in considering the human individual as a system made of subsystems, composing at the same time super-systems. In a descending order, you could imagine: man made of organs, tissues, cells, and in the opposite direction a man, part of a family, a society, and mankind.
When in any given system the component parts functions with a positive feedback upon each other, harmony is ensured. So, by learning how to affect positively your human life functions, you can make a positive impact that starts modifying everything around and within you. Health and harmony in such case would be the normal state.
Goran Bogdanovski is an award-winning performer, choreographer, teacher, curator, and artistic director. Since 1989, he has worked with over 70 choreographers and directors in many fields of the performing arts. At the same time, he was also a soloist at the Slovenian National Opera and Ballet Theatre. He founded Fičo Balet in 2000. Since then, he has developed his own style of expression, combining music, light, dramaturgy, technology, text, and body. Until now, he realized numerous dance productions, international research projects, festivals, and educational programs.
Sandra studied contemporary dance, contact improvisation, dance improvisation, Horton technique,and jazz ballet for more than 15 years with renowned pedagogues in Slovenia, Great Britain at LABAN, China, Austria, and Georgia. In the field of dance and improvisation, she was teaching in Slovenia, India, Indonesia - Bali, Vietnam, and Croatia. She is also integrating knowledge of Kundalini and dynamic Meditation, dance movement therapy, authentic movement, Dervish, and other practices into dance education. Sandra is also a licensed Pilates instructor.
Cristian was born in Chile and grew up in Greece where he went to an acting school. He then moved to London, Sydney, Barcelona, Belgrade, and then back to Greece and London and is currently living in Ljubljana for the last three years. He has been working as a cook for the last 10 years from fancy restaurants to heavy metal festivals. He loves cooking as much as he loves music because of the limitless improvisations. No rules apply(almost).
After performing at national and international concerts and festivals, Merit started to work as a member of Ankara State Opera and Ballet Orchestra in 2003 and worked there until 2009. In 2009, passing the auditions of Academic Chamber Orchestra of Baskent University, she worked as a permanent staff of this orchestra till 2013. Afterwards, she moved to Istanbul State Opera and Ballet Orchestra where she is still working. In the meanwhile, she’s continuing sound therapy diploma program at British Academy of Sound Therapy.
Mauro Lugano was born in Argentina in 1986. Among the activities that he fully enjoys, he is a professional masseur, a specialist in Oriental therapies such as Reiki and Shiatsu, as well as a Qi Gong and Tai Ji Quan teacher. He came to Slovenia following his heart and intuition and since then, he is constructing with his lovely partner, a life together, a bit here and a bit there, full of learning and gratitude. He believes that only those who can learn can teach.
Yahu Maankind was born in Belgium and lived in Cuba, Seychelles, Scandinavia, and all over the Europe. He is a student of Patanjali yoga, Yoruba, and plant medicine. Yahu has been building sweat lodges for over six years, incorporating different cultures and traditions into the ceremony.
Primoz Bizjan's spirit travels through the life. He is a warrior, forest man, peasant, artist, archer, husband, lover, singer, protector of fire, and the being of the world. He does everything that is beneficial for the survival of humankind. He thinks about what comes in his head. He feels what can be felt for himself.
Dario Cortese is an edible wild plant specialist and author of several wild food books.
Ziya Azazi is a dancer, choreographer, and a 'Dervish in progress'. He shared his experience and knowledge with the public in academic and non-academic environments through performances and workshops in all five continents. Through his performances, he seeks to represent the moment of realisation when the Dervish begins to enjoy his or her achievement through the joyful and ecstatic repetition of whirling: the looping and spinning which leads to trance.
Miloš Kecman is an educated forester. Afer finishing his studies, he dedicated his life to personal development. He practiced yoga and followed his heart to find dance as a way of expression. He studied Osho meditations, chakra breathing, and mandala. He researched through many renowned technics of personal development based in dance. He fell in love with sacred Gurdieff dances more than 15 years ago. Great love is hard to forget that is why he decided to study them profoundly six years ago. From 2012, he is a facilitator and teacher of several workshops in Ljubljana, Zagreb, and Beograd.
Eva Peterson Lenassi
Eva Peterson Lenassi studied sculpture in the era of movement. The figurative art was old fashioned and clay was old fashioned too. It was considered mud. But to her, it was the connection to the earth itself. So she persisted and created clay sculptures and clay bowls and in the meantime, she was teaching how to do just that. Her artwork, in general, is process oriented. The clay sculptures she creates are parts of bigger compositions. The dimension of time is important while creating them. She pays close attention to the repeating movement of her hands and her whole body.
Guillermo Escalante is an artist born in Argentina. His ancestors were partly south American aborigines and another part is a mystery. Guillermo was greatly inspired by respecting his Indian roots. He plays guitar, different flutes, harp, djembe, different jingles, and percussion. When playing, he likes to use his astonishing voice and unique body movement as well. Besides his musical talents, he is also an incredible painter and hand - crafter.
Boris Magdalenc is a percussionist and hang player from Slovenia. Over years, he had collaborated with various Slovenian and foreign artists and played concerts in Slovenia and abroad. At the moment, he is focusing mostly on his project: SKARABEJ, Music for Hang, and Violin. He produced music for theatre, documentaries, and dance pieces. His work is focusing on exploring and harnessing power of sound and music on evolution of human consciousness.
Matan Levkowich is a dancer, choreographer, and graphic designer. Movement Lab represents all his artistic engagements in the field of dance and performance. Matan's approach to movement is based on the study of the body's intuition. The study of intuition enables to navigate through instability and develops trust in the body's capacities. His choreographic works inspired by social phenomena and human behavior. From his base in Vienna, Austria, he tours around Europe, presenting his choreographic work, performing, and leading workshops.
Jose Ubaldo Dos Santos
Jose Ubaldo Dos Santos is an internationally renowned teacher of Capoeira from Brazil. He began training Capoeira in 1987 with Mestre Nô (Norival Moreira de Oliveira) and became a teacher in 1992. In Brazil, he has held Capoeira classes, has encouraged many humanitarian projects, and has also introduced Capoeira in a psychiatric institution. Since 2000, he has lived in Trieste and has been successfully spreading Capoeira in Italy and Slovenia, where he has been teaching adults and children. He established his own group named Capoeira Tradição Baiana.
Luka Ropret has begun playing in various musical ensembles before the formal schooling at the Music and Ballet Ljubljana. In almost twenty years of performing as a soloist and with groups, he played on stages across Slovenia and abroad like European countries and in North and Central America. In addition to playing guitar and other string instruments, he focuses on musical improvisation, exploration of sound, and its manipulation by using modern tools. He composes and records music for theatrical productions, film, and television, and occasionally teaches guitar.
This wild camp tour is held in Slovenia in four different locations. It will start with Dragonja Valley in southwest Slovenia to Triglav National Park in the northwest part of the country. It will then continue to Hum near Tolmin and Soča river valley and ending in Hudo, a small valley near Novo Mesto.
The price of this retreat includes three daily meals. If you have any special requirements regarding the food, please let Holistic Retreats and Journeys know as soon as possible and they will try to find the most suitable solution together with their kitchen team. Food will be mostly vegetarian.
Please book your flights to arrive at Portorož Airport (POW).
"Dear Goran and Sandra! Just the desire to thank you again. I know very well how challenging it was to move what you moved. I know that you know that you did it beautifully. I wish you go on living-moving like that: trusting and putting your heart in beautiful creations like this Journey, your kids, the simple days, your dances and classes and arts etc etc. And might sacred abundance bless you! My great motivation was to match all the heart you brought in action doing my best. It was a nurturing and transformative time to me."
Holistic Retreats and Journeys website, edited