Somatics Training Retreat for Yoga Teachers with Charlotte Watts in East Sussex

Can be attended as part of Charlotte’s Teaching Therapeutic Somatics course, or simply to experience Somatic practice and restore resources – includes a Soundbath event on Saturday night!

Upcoming dates at Gayles, near Eastbourne, East Sussex:

August 4th-6th 2023 - dorm and camping spaces only

Upcoming dates at Emerson College, Forest Row, East Sussex*

March 24th-26th 2023

November 10th-12th 2023

*options for non-residential at this venue

(for more info on Emerson College, click here)

This teacher training retreat is open to yoga teachers, yoga therapists and anyone else interested with at least a year’s yoga experience (although you will need to be a qualified teacher to continue the full module, see below). Whether you simply need the therapeutic effects of a weekend of deeply nourishing Somatic practice or want to take this into your teaching, this will be a retreat of deep connection, self-compassionate practices and embodied awareness.

The Somatic teachings for the weekend will be by their nature fluid, explorative, restorative, meditative and influenced by Feldenkrais, Qi Gong and other practices that step away from an emphasis on reaching particular forms or goals within asana. Through embodied awareness, there will be an emphasis on recognising and offering kind attention to the habits and expectations we may spend our time retreading in our work and personal lives. For each session, there will be a short introduction and time for discussion and Q&A at the end.
Part of the full course is an online course that includes videos of the practices on the retreat (taught and with a teacher’s commentary) that can be purchased before or after, either to complete the full course or simply for your own practice and learning. See the online course here.
This retreat sits as the main experiential practice portion of the full Therapeutic Somatics for Yoga Teachers certification (170 hours CPD), with this breakdown:
  • Yoga & Somatics for Healing & Recovery: moving beyond stress, trauma, burnout, anxiety, fatigue and post-illness through embodied awareness – the more theoretical, philosophical and enquiring part – 100 hours
  • Teaching Somatics: the art of leading others inwards towards whole – the more experiential and practical component including this retreat – 70 hours 

The course/retreat can be taken simply for 15 hrs CPD experience and understanding of Somatic practice or as part of the total 70 CPD hours of the Teaching Somatics course for Yoga Teachers.

The retreat content:


Arrival 4pm
5.15-7pm – Central axis and skull-sacrum polarity: spine undulations, forward and side
7.15pm – dinner
8.45-9.30pm – Simple movement into meditation – continuing earlier content into stillness



7.30-8am – Qigong-inspired practice
8–9am – breakfast
10am-12.30pm – Shoulders, neck and jaw: reptilian to all-fours/ dorsal sheath
1-2pm – lunch
4.30-6.30pm – Hips, sacrum and belly: prone and baddha konasana/ ventral sheath
7pm – dinner
8.30-9.30pm – Soundbath with Ruth Summers



7.30-8am – Qigong-inspired practice
8–9am – breakfast
10am-12pm – Diaphragm, ribs, lungs and heart: twists/ spiral sheath
1-2pm – lunch
2.30-3pm – Arms, legs and eyes: moving and reaching/ core sheath (standing parts of this practice included in two pre-breakfast sessions)
Departure 3.30pm

Prices, payment terms and booking


  • Standard rate £420 for 2 nights and training – lovely dormitory accommodation (see below), silence requested from 10pm until breakfast
  • One single room available for £480 for 2 nights – see availability by retreat dates
  • One double room available for £520 for 2 nights for one person / £480 per person sharing double for 2 nights – see availability by retreat dates
  • Camping available for £380 for 2 nights - single person tent provided, plus pillow, towel and torch

Concession rates available for those on low income – please email [email protected] to enquire.

Included: all food, yoga, training as advertised & accommodation (unless non-residential option)

Not included: travel

**Please email me prior to registering if you have any questions: [email protected]. Places will be offered on a first come, first served basis**

A non-refundable deposit of £80 is required to confirm your place*. The balance is due no less than 6 weeks prior to the event and can be paid with credit or debit card or by any of the methods below. You may also pay in full at the time of booking if you prefer or in installments if arranged in three parts. Bookings made less than 6 weeks prior to the event must be paid in full.

To send me £80 to reserve your place, you can pay in one of the following ways and email me at [email protected] to let me know how money is on its way:

  • Click here to be redirected to Paypal to pay from your account or with debit or credit card (even if you don’t have a Paypal account).
  • Transfer directly into my bank account: Ms C Watts T/A Quality of Life, Cooperative Bank (business account),  Sort code 089299, Account number 69243840

Please include your full name and the dates of the week/s you would like to book. I will send you back a full booking form to complete your booking.

You will be the contacted for the remaining balance to be paid 6 weeks before the start date of the retreat. See the cancellation terms below.

Please note that whilst I will do everything possible to adhere to the programme and details laid out above, some things are outside my control, and therefore I reserve the right to make changes if necessary.

Cancellation terms

If you then cannot attend for any reason, please inform us in writing, but the following conditions apply:

Whilst we would wish to treat cancellation sympathetically our spaces are limited and the following charges must be applied. If your space can be filled, there may be the possibility of transferring your place to a future retreat, but this is at our discretion, otherwise:

  • From registration to 6 weeks (44 days) before departure – loss of deposit (*if I can fill all 18 places, deposit can be transferred to a future retreat if you need to change)
  • 43-28 days before departure 50% of total price
  • 27-14 days before departure 65% of total price
  • 13- or less before departure 100% of price

If you are not sure you’ll be able to come, please let us know as soon as possible so we can discuss and find the best outcome.

Gayles Somatics Training Retreat

Pay the deposit here


Gayles is a picturesque retreat centre ideally situated in outstanding countryside on the South Downs, five miles from Eastbourne and fifteen from Brighton. Here rural doesn’t mean hard to reach; there are excellent train services from the nearby towns that provide direct travel to and from London Victoria, Gatwick, Ashford International, Brighton and so on. Gayles is just one-and-a-half hour drive from London and there is a regular bus service that conveniently stops beside the entrance. For European visitors there is a ferry service to and from mainland Europe from Newhaven, which is only a twenty-minute drive away from retreat.

The environment and ambience at Gayles encourages an open, safe, relaxed and intimate atmosphere that promotes learning and self-development. The owners Derry and Roz believe that retreats should be fulfilling and inspiring; unobtrusive but available. They do all they can to support you in making the most of your time here so that everybody leaves feeling stimulated, nourished and refreshed.

Gayles is set in ten acres of land with beautiful sea views from the cliffs; adjacent to the Seven Sisters Country Park (an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty), The National Trust Crowlink Estate and Friston Forest.

With its open fire, high ceiling and refreshing artworks, The Stables, a beautifully converted 1930s stable and adjoining property, provides a warm and practical area for eating, chatting and relaxing. The ground level has an open-plan, well equipped, kitchen and dining room with under-floor heating. There is a separate stereo system with a CD player, DAB radio and amplifier (with an iPod connection cable) which you may wish to use to enhance your own ambience. Immediately outside there is a large, decked, seated eating area which is wonderful for informal meals and gatherings in more clement weather.

There is extraordinarily beautiful countryside, seaside and excellent walking opportunities all around.


All accommodation is in comfortable dormitories, with one single and one double room available. Please note that accommodation with covid precautions in place may mean this differs from the description here - please contact Charlotte for more current details. 

The accommodation, studio and eating areas are situated close together around a thoughtfully maintained garden next to gentle meadows offering stunning, panoramic views, allowing you space between activities and room to wander and reflect. There are two recently renovated dormitories, ‘The Studio’ and ‘The Playroom’, which offer comfortable and spacious accommodation for up to seventeen people.

The dormitories are equipped with toilets, showers and washing areas as well as hot drink making facilities. There are good quality, sturdy single and bunk beds with individual storage drawers. Duvets, pillows, linen and towels are provided.

For the camping option, single person tents are provided and set up for you. You will have the use of the ‘Royal Horsebox’, an ingeniously converted pony trailer which has an excellent shower and a separate washroom. A pillow, towel and torch is provided. You will need to bring a sleeping bag and mat. If you wish to bring your own tent you may but it must be reasonably small, one room and designed to sleep no more than two people.

Apart from the sensitively managed estate in which students are free to wander, there is also an open air pool that you are welcome to use in warmer months.


Good quality locally sourced food is tasty and nourishing and is served in the relaxed atmosphere of the beautifully converted dining room. If the weather is sunny there is the option of eating out in the open on the terrace. Food will be vegetarian and organic and Charlotte works alongside the chef to ensure it follows her exacting nutritional standards! Any food intolerances can be accommodated and you will be asked for details on the booking form.

How to get there:

Gayles is situated off the A259, mid-way between Eastbourne and Seaford and about one mile from the picturesque village of East Dean. It is easy to find and access is excellent. We have provided detailed directions on this page as PDF downloads.

Please feel free to contact them, Roz and Derry Robinson, by phone or e-mail them, if you have any difficulties with the PDF instructions.

Little Gayles
Seaford Road
East Sussex
BN20 0BA

Tel: 07721 023 845 or 07969 749 829


Download the driving directions here:

Retreat to Gayles Directions

Coming to Gayles by public transport

Eastbourne Station transport map