Yoga & Writing Retreat

4 November 2017 - 10 November 2017
Geertje Couwenbergh
Jasmijn Koelink


Embody your Writing

Interested in how deepening your body practice could boost your creative writing - and life? Then come treat yourself to this beautiful Autumn retreat.

Allow yourself to be nourished by this deeply invigorating week in the heart of rural France. During this well-tested and well-loved retreat, you are invited to explore the basic connection of your mind and body. Supported by the group and the beautiful land of Dechen Chöling in Autumn, the fruit of this week is a renewed wakefulness to yourself, your body and your writing.

Each day consists of a dynamic early morning and restorative afternoon yoga session and two writing workshops. There will also be plenty of time for exchange and exploring the beautiful land of Dechen Chöling. Parts of this retreat will be held in silence..


Jasmijn's yoga sessions will be offered every morning and afternoons. The classes will be breath-oriented. It is a principle that when applied with intent and intelligence, can create a powerful experience of opening your mind and heart.

All sessions are open for both beginning and advanced students. Our focus will be on yoga basics. In the course of the week Jasmijn will guide you through the key principles for safe, strengthening and restorative movement.

Her morning (vinyasa) session consist of energizing guided movement and breath. She will be working at a slow but deep pace, asking you to feel each step of the way, working your way towards new edges of both body and mind. Afternoon sessions will be more restful, restorative, yin and with focus on the breath and meditation.


Geertje offers writing sessions in the morning and late afternoon. They are based on ‘writing practice’, short timed writings, developed by zen practitioner and writer Natalie Goldberg. Writing practice offers the possibility to connect to writing as a practice with a strong structure and lots of free-flowing creativity and meditative elements. During the writing workshops, we connect with mind, body - and each other. This connects you to your own voice and to a very personal, joyful, disciplined form of creativity.

You don’t have to consider yourself a writer to participate in the writings parts of the retreat. Geertje's workshops have been found beneficial for both seasoned writers and absolute beginners. You won’t have to create an end product. Feel free to bring a writing project - there is free time in the afternoon to work on it.

Previous participants about this retreat

"This week was perspective changing – of myself, others, writing, and body knowledge. It was a blessed time."

"This experience was wonderful - it went beyond all hopes and expectations."

"Danke für alles! Es war eine der wundervollsten Wochen in meiner Leben."

"This week both relaxed and energized me so much at the same time."

"Als dit niet bestond moest het uitgevonden worden."

"I didn’t expect to go this deep. I feel revived and really satisfied. It was everything I was looking for –and more.

About the programme

All parts of the program are suitable for everybody - all levels of experience. If you are new to yoga, this retreat is a great opportunity to be introduced to a vinyasa practice and to gain a direct experience of its great benefits on your body and mind! No writing experience required, as we look for a ‘Beginner’s Mind’. Feel free to bring one!

This program will be held in English only (no translation). However, you are free to write and read in your native tongue. The yoga & writing retreats attract people people from all around the world, with many different languages, and this usually deepens the unique and diverse experience of the retreat.

You practice yoga, twice a day, in the morning and afternoon. During the day we offer guided writing practice and exercises, group exchange and optional meditation. In the afternoons and evenings there is plenty time for play, relaxing, walking, reading and writing. Together we create an environment where we can drop down our bodies, our minds, our lives, each in our own way and pace. And delicious veggie cuisine and free time to relax, write and wander around the beautiful landscape.

Dechen Chöling works with a 'rota' principle of asking every visitor to contribute one hour of their day to help out wherever is needed: whether it's cleaning showers, helping out in the vegetable garden or setting tables. It's considered a meditation in action.

Please bring: Yoga mat, any props you might want to bring such as blocks, belt, etc, and for the writing:  notebooks and fast-writing pens.


Arrival day (Nov 4): Orientation talk at 8 pm. You're invited to come as of 5 pm in order to register and settle in your room. Dinner is served at 6.45 pm.

End of program (Nov 9): Closing circle and Banquet in the evening.

Departure day (Nov 10): You may leave anytime (no program). You're welcome to stay and have lunch (included).

Daily program schedule:

7:15 – 7:45 Little snack (if you need it)

8:00 – 9:15 Yoga with Jasmijn

9:15 – 9:45 Breakfast

9:45 – 11:00 Free time

11:00 – 12:30 Writing with Geertje

12:30 – 13:30 Lunch

13:30 – 16:15 Free time

16:15 – 17:15 Reading groups with Geertje

17:15 – 18:45 Restorative /Yin Yoga with Jasmijn

18:45 – 19:45 Dinner and free evening


Jasmijn_KoelinkJasmijn Koelink is a certified yoga teacher and psychologist. Her range of teaching extends from vinyasa variations to yin yoga, and is characterized by a focus on breath work.  Jasmijn strives to flavor her classes with kindness by emphasizing individual adjustments and offering different levels for different bodies. She writes a weekly yoga blog on (in Dutch). .

Geertje_CouwenberghGeertje Couwenbergh is a writer, columnist and expressionist, the author of four non- fiction books. She writes for Happinez, Elephant Journal, Rebelle Society, The Optimist and other magazines. Geertje has been teaching embodied writing programs internationally for almost a decade.

Price of your stay

Standard595 euro
Discounted446 euro
Early Bird536 euro

Standard price: global tarif including the program fee, full board comprising standard accommodation (dormitory) and organic meals. Room tax non included: (0,20 € per night and per person).

Discounted price: 25% reduction on the standard price for people with monthly net income below 1200 €. Room tax non included: (0,20 € per night and per person).

Early Bird: 10% reduction on the standard price for registration paid in full two months prior to the start of the program, i.e. before 4 September 2017. You cannot combine this with the discounted option. Room tax non included: (0,20 € per night and per person).

Other services

  • You may select a single or double room during online registration (if available, we’ll confirm by mail after registration).
  • Shuttle transport or taxi (all year round) and child care options (July/August) are available.
  • The insurance covering you during your stay (third party liability) is included in the yearly required membership fee for the Association Shambhala Europe (15 €).

We would like finances not to be a barrier to your participation. If needed, Dechen Chöling can propose several financial assistance options (monthly payment, scholarship…).
Do not hesitate to contact us: