Opening the Heart

Exploring the brahmaviharas through a balanced practice of Sati Yoga

A week long silent retreat exploring the four qualities of the heart, the bramaviharas, (metta / friendliness, karuna / compassion, mudita / appreciative joy, uppeka / equanimity), allowing us to become more open and grounded, meeting what the new year brings with clarity, compassion and creativity.


Spending time in silence is a very powerful way to support the deepening of meditative calm and insight (vipassana). Being together in this way allows us to explore a degree of solitude, while having the support of the group. Silence also involves the turning off of mobile phones and any electronic devices. We ask that participants please observe this. Please give our phone numbers as an emergency contact. Please note that there will be regular individual and group meetings to add further support for your practice. Silence begins on the second day and finishes on the morning of the sixth.

 Meditation integrated with asana and breathwork

The four elements of Satiyoga: ethics, asana, breathwork and meditation provide both the foundation and structure for this journey together. Sessions will involve creative explorations of postural practice, integrative breath work and guided meditations, allowing for the theme of the week to be explored from all angles. There will also be practice in nature (fingers crossed for the weather to cooperate)



The retreat is offered in the spirit of dana, a Sanskrit/Pali word that connotes the virtue of generosity. The practice of dana means offering a donation from the heart, a yogic and Buddhist practice where the basic principle is “give what you can, take what you need”.  Click here to read more about the Dana (donation) economy.

At the end of the retreat you will be given the opportunity to offer dana for what you have received. People often ask for guidance here:  we charge €780 for an equivalent week long course, and €400 represents an estimate of the fixed costs (not including the teaching): food, accommodation, transport, admin and insurance costs

How to book

While this course is open to everyone with any previous experience of yoga / meditation, we want to make sure that this is the right course for you. If you are interested in taking part, please click here to fill out an application form giving details of your yoga and meditation experience and letting us know why you would like to take part.
A 100 euros deposit, payable online by Paypal or by bank transfer,  is required to secure your place once your application is accepted.

Note that this course is now full, although we are still accepting applications for the waiting list.

When planning your travel, please note that this is winter! It is often the case that there is only one boat per day and that sailing times may change as the ferry service is weather and tide dependent. This is the 15th year we have run this course and we have never had to cancel, though sailing times have sometimes changed at the last moment. Thus, it is important to be as flexible as possible for your travel to Westport on the first day of the course. All going as planned, the ferry will be leaving Roonagh pier at the scheduled time of 4.00pm on the 28th, but we will in touch by email during the week leading up to the first day of the retreat to clarify travel times and arrangements for transport from Westport to the ferry.
Even if you are coming from Ireland, we recommend that you travel by public transport, rather than drive, as the ferry uses different harbours depending on weather and tide conditions, and therefore may not take you back to your car! We will organise a  shared minibus from Westport to the boat for course participants.
If you are travelling from abroad, you will need to arrive in Ireland the day before the course and preferably spend a night in Westport. It is also wise to allow for a spare day at the end of the retreat, to afford enough time (and greater peace of mind) for your return travel.
See the getting there section of the site for more important travel information.
Please keep in contact with us regarding your travel plans.

Saturday 28th December*
4.00 pm Depart Roonagh Pier for Clare Island
(time and place of departure to be confirmed as they are weather dependent)
5.00 pm Arrival at Macalla Farm, settle into accommodation
6.00 pm Dinner, followed by introductory talk
8.00 pm Evening meditation (silence begins)

Sunday 29th December to Friday 3rd January

7.30 – 8.00 sitting meditation
8.00 Breakfast then karma yoga or free time
10 – 12 morning yoga session
12 – 12.30 sitting meditation or group discussion
12.30 – 1.00pm walking meditation
1.00 pm Lunch, followed by karma yoga or free time
3.00 – 3.30 pm walking meditation
3.30 – 4.00 pm guided anapanasati meditation
4.00 – 5.30 pm afternoon yoga session
5.30 – 6.00 pm walking meditation or group discussion
6.00 pm Dinner, followed by karma yoga or free time
7.30 pm Evening talk
8.00 pm Sitting meditation or yoga nidra

Saturday 4th January*
8.00 am Meditation / breath awareness
9.00 am Breakfast
10.00 am Depart centre for morning ferry
(time to be confirmed as it is weather dependent)

*Please note that first and last day timetables may
change due to altered ferry schedules