Stress, anxiety, and depression are evidence of our lives feeling out of balance. Yoga, mindfulness, and compassion practices were designed to counter the imbalance and help us cultivate calm in the midst of stress, be present with our experience, and take kind care of ourselves. Taking time out of our busy lives to immerse ourselves in nature and practice with kindred spirits can also be a much-needed balm to every day life. This weeklong personal retreat and training intensive in France is designed to find the balance between caring for our selves and learning new skills to share with others. Lisa and Karen will weave together yoga, mindfulness, and compassion practices for personal transformation, and provide tuition about how to facilitate these experiences with your students and clients.

This retreat and training intensive is open to yoga teacher trainees and teachers, yoga therapy trainees and therapists, and therapists of all types who are yoga practitioners with sufficient experience to benefit.

The daily schedule will include practice interwoven with tuition. Lisa will provide information and guide yoga and meditation practices designed to relieve symptoms of stress, anxiety, and depression. The curriculum for Lisa’s sessions is excerpted from her 5-day intensive training on Yoga for Anxiety and Depression. Karen’s teaching will include guiding mindfulness meditation and compassion practices and instruction relevant to leading others in these practices. The curriculum for Karen’s sessions is drawn from her 5-day Mindfulness and Compassion teaching qualification.

Karen and Lisa will alternate leading meditation sessions before breakfast, practice and didactic sessions in the morning, practice and didactic sessions in the afternoon, and some evenings. Evening sessions will focus on methods of guided relaxation to facilitate integration and restoration from the days’ activities. There will be free time for rest and exploration after lunch and alternate evenings.

On site there are beautifully landscaped grounds, a pool, and a comfortable reading room. The centre is in the midst of French farmland offering plentiful walks through open fields, woods, a vineyard, and to nearby small, rural villages. We will offer group mindfulness meditation walks as well as the opportunity to roam on your own.

Teaching Retreat Overview

Personal practice and experience are always the foundation for yoga and mindfulness teaching. Grounded in our own experience of practice and being a student, we become ready and able to share what we have learned with our students and clients.

In this retreat we will discuss and experience the following:

  • Yoga Therapy conceptual models for understanding human experience, including the conditions of chronic stress, anxiety, and depression, and practical application of the models to facilitate growth, healing, and transformation
  • Exploring yoga source texts to reveal how they define mental health and disorder, and the tools they recommend to promote acceptance and change
  • Symptoms of anxiety and depression as they manifest at the level of all 5 kosha-s/sheaths (body, physiology, mind and emotions, intuition/inner wisdom, and connection to something greater than self), and yoga strategies for addressing those symptoms at each level to facilitate integration and wellness
  • Rationale for practice elements and adaptations, safety considerations, and common emotional challenges that show up in class and relationships when teaching and providing yoga therapy to people experiencing anxiety, depression, and anxious depression
  • A deepening of awareness through the practices of mindfulness and compassion
  • Exploration of the therapeutic aspects of these approaches for the self and others and how they contribute to the identification and amelioration of suffering
  • Exploration of the model of inquiry to enhance teaching and promote transformation through mindful self-compassion
  • An understanding of the underpinning neuroscience that drives us to think and behave as we do. Once we understand why we do what we do, we can make more positive choices within our lives through the creation of space, promoting a refreshing sense of freedom

Daily Structure

7:30-8:00: Morning meditation practice
8:30-9:30: Breakfast
10:00-13:00: Morning yoga and/or mindfulness practice + Lecture
13:00-14:00: Lunch
14:00-15:00: Free time (may include walking meditation, rest, pool time, reading, etc)
15:00-17:00: Afternoon yoga and/or mindfulness practice + Lecture
17:00-18:00: Free time
18:00-19:00: Dinner
19:00 onwards: Alternating evenings will include free time, group activities, and relaxing

Students have the option to schedule one to one time with Karen and Lisa.


Train tickets have now been released. If you choose to fly, the nearest airport is Bordeaux, served by British Airways and EasyJet from Gatwick and by Ryanair from Stansted, and also from some regional UK cities.

Please note that this training counts towards elective hours on the Yoga Therapy Diploma


On completion, you will receive a Yogacampus certificate of attendance.

About Lisa Kaley-Isley

A licensed clinical psychologist in the USA, as well as an experienced yoga teacher and yoga therapist, Lisa has conducted research trials into yoga therapy for anxiety, depression and various medical disorders. Since 2004, she has been bridging her knowledge of psychology and yoga to provide yoga therapy to individuals struggling with the everyday stresses of life, mild to severe anxiety and depression, and the concomitant physical and psycho-emotional challenges of coping with acute and chronic medical illness. She is currently training in yoga therapy with Gary Kraftsow, founder of the American Viniyoga Institute, whose principles strongly influence both her teaching style and therapy work.

read Lisa Kaley-Isley's biography

About Karen Atkinson

The founder of MindfulnessUK, Karen is a qualified nurse, yoga teacher and Mindfulness practitioner, who specialises in working with clients with chronic, long-term conditions such as chronic pain, stress, chronic fatigue and illness, helping them to cultivate a more balanced awareness of their body and mind and enabling them to become more empowered to make positive changes in their lives.

read Karen Atkinson's biography


Saturday 20 to Saturday 27 May 2017

Early Bird Cost

£925 (sharing); £1175 (single) until 15th January 2017


£975 (sharing); £1225 (single room - subject to availability).

Cost Includes

Includes all accommodation, all meals (apart from Wednesday dinner), Wednesday afternoon excursion, transfers by minibus or car from and to Angoulème station; and intensive manual. Does not include travel to France or any other transfers.

Other Information

Maximum participants: 15

Number of hours: 30

How to book?



Les Passeroses, Nonac
(near Angouleme)


Full details

This 5-day training is intended for yoga and mindfulness teachers and therapists. The training is designed to facilitate personal growth and professional competence. This enhanced training will deepen and expand upon topics and practices covered in mental health workshops for yoga teachers offered by Lisa Kaley-Isley, and Mindfulness and Compassion training offered by Karen Atkinson. Health care professionals with experience practicing yoga and meditation, who want to incorporate these techniques into their existing services, will be offered the necessary experience, tools, and philosophical underpinning to expand their scope of competence and begin integrating select practices as appropriate.



What our students say

Thank you Lisa for reminding me about the importance of finding a yoga community to be a part of. A student on Lisa Kaley-Isley's workshop on Mental Health Basics, August 2015

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