Clare Island Retreat Centre
In early 2001 Christophe was contacted through his fledgling Yoga-Ireland website by a few people wanting to practice yoga over Easter on the west coast of Ireland. We looked at one another and said why not? and ran our first yoga retreat on Clare Island.
It was all a bit makeshift at the start — the yoga classes were held in the local school, and accommodation was in basic island cottages we rented for the occasion. But the feedback was extremely positive and we decided to do more.
By 2004 we had built the timber house which included a a 55sq m yoga room with wonderful views of Croagh Patrick as well as a large, bright open plan kitchen—perfect for our cooking courses. The old cottage was renovated with hemp and lime and the outbuildings converted to bright and welcoming accommodation.
Since then, our better infrastructure has allowed us to host top-quality teachers from around the world, including Acharya Venkatesh, Rossella Baroncini, Emil Wendel, Paddy McGrath, Victor Van Kooten, Nancy Gilgoff, Paul Dallaghan and his teacher OP Tiwari, Stephen Smith, Sama Fabian to name a few.
We also started producing more and more of our own food, and now grow nearly all of what we serve on the retreats. Food has become the main topic of a number of our residential courses. Our evolving work with the horses inspired us to try different courses combining yoga with natural horsemanship. Finally, our meditation practice and teaching of mindfulness has emerged as a unifying principle for all our endeavours on the farm.
In 2015, the time was right to merge these strands into one. The old Clare Island Retreat Centre (yogaretreats.ie) and Macalla Farm (ecofarm.ie) websites merged into this new site MacallaFarm.ie.