- 2020 PROGRAMME -
27-1th July / Medicina Cinese with Scuola Tao
2-9th August / Yoga Therapy Revival with Virginia Wood
Yoga Therapy Revival
2-9th August 2020
La Croce yoga School is offering a 7 day residential course in Tuscany based on many of the important aspects of yoga therapy with deepened Pranayama practice, specific alignments for health and healing, an understanding of our many layers of being, daily meditations, Mudras and Mantras, enabling an overall deepening of ones practice and understanding of the many aspects of Yoga.
Arrive after 4pm Sunday 2nd August.
2000 Supper followed by an Open Circle where we introduce ourselves and go over the weeks programme.
Monday 3rd-9th August.
07:00-09:30 yoga practice on the outdoor platform. Followed by meditation.
11:00-13:00 Discussion of the morning practice, breaking down the reasons for the alignments and the Instructions given.
16:00-18:00 Yin/Restorative yoga, Meditations, Mudras, Mantras and Pranayama followed by Questions and Answers.
There will be activities in the evening if people would like to join in. Otherwise the nature and the clear night skies may suffice.
We are looking into all the legal health restrictions etc connected to Covid 19 so that we are completely legal and covered.
Please do not hesitate to contact us if you are interested.
The full 7 days and nights is:
- €550 with single accommodation in Glamping
- €650 for a single room
All occupancy this year is Single due to Covid restrictions.
These costs include 7 nights of full board and lodge and the course. The food is vegetarian and, where possible, locally sourced and organic. A lot of our suppliers are local organic growers.There are three main meals a day and two snack breaks.Herbal and many other teas, coffee and fresh fruit and nuts are readily available throughout the day.
By Leire from Spain
It has been one of the best experience in my life for several reasons. First of all, the professionalism and expertise of the three teachers to be highlighted. They are experts in diverse fields, they have built a program that really helped me to learn useful things about yoga philosophy, practice, and anatomy. They also transmit all this knowledge with passion and a clear methodology. The place is also amazing. Practicing and learning in the nature, in this magical place helped me to connect with myself and disconnect from the noise of the city. This environment was ideal for me to focus on the life and learning experience. And the last but not the least, the amazing people I met there. When I was looking for a YTT I had many doubts about how the teachers would be (I really wanted to learn yoga from real experts!) and the people I could met there (they are three intense weeks and it is very important!). Both aspects were amazing, we all became a family, still in touch! I am ready to continue my yoga trip and to become a solid yoga teacher. Thanks to all La Croce family!
By Anne Marie from United Kingdom
Rustic. Charming. Nestled in the luscious Tuscan mountains, La Croce offers stunning views of nature in her majesty. Morning yoga on the platform in the mountain air is so therapeutic. Although it can be a bit nippy, the morning sun when it lands on your mat is so gloriously warming. Listening to and being one with nature was music to my soul and just what my body needed. Fresh air. Glorious sunshine. Stunning views. Sounds heavenly, right? But it doesn't end there. The food was yummy and delicious. The staff were helpful, funny, and friendly. And oh so good. The staff were also quite patient and dedicated to ensuring that I wasn't left without several options even for dessert (especially since I have so many intolerances and dietary restrictions). Not an easy task but they did it graciously. The Training Alignment and Integrity. I can still hear the cues and the invitations to consider your intentions and the possibilities of modifications and deeper explorations. All three teachers have different styles which complemented each other and supported our varied needs and our numerous questions. And boy, oh boy, we had questions! Joy and freedom The training was rigorous. Mentally. Physically. Emotionally. There's no denying that. There was so much information (theoretical and practical) to cover; however, it was given in a spirit of joy and we had freedom to explore and reflect and to take what we needed whilst invited to consider why or why not. I enjoyed so many of the practices even when I was tired and sore. A few do stand out: outdoor yoga with drumming and an indoor yin yoga session. I would happily repeat this experience. The only thing I would do differently is pack my fleece onesie to wear at the start of morning yoga on the platform. La Croce with Three Treasures Yoga was an amazing experience.
Review by Becky Altman from United States
When I embarked on my journey at Three Treasures Yoga, I didn't know what to expect. I signed up thinking I really like yoga and yoga teacher training sounded fun, so I might as well give it a shot. The first day, a bunch of us arrived together. We were welcomed with open arms to a place that instantly felt like home and I had the thought, "this is exactly where I am meant to be at this moment." Words cannot express how truly grateful I am to have found this YTT program at this time in my life. I had been struggling a lot with injuries and a very stressful job over the last year which had left me feeling unhappy with my life. This experience transformed my outlook and my entire way of thinking. It gave me a new perspective on how to think outside myself at the bigger picture of life and gave me lifelong friendships that I will always cherish. I highly recommend this course to anyone wanting to give themselves a gift that will change their life.
Review by Alyson Maunder from Italy
Yoga teacher training at La Croce, Tuscany was an amazing experience on so many levels. La Croce is such a special place; the house, the yoga deck, the friendly and welcoming staff, the panoramic views of the mountains, the deliciously healthy food (which was plentiful). I can honestly say that my time at La Croce nourished me physically, emotionally and spiritually and that’s not yet taking into account the yoga. The course was rigorous and at times undeniably demanding. but Virginia and Eliana were fabulous teachers: knowledgeable, approachable and 100% dedicated to their students. Nothing was too much trouble for them and they supported us not only with learning and practice but also with the odd emotional wobble. I can’t believe how patient they were when we bombarded them with philosophy, alignment and anatomy questions, especially as the dreaded exam drew near. However, we had nothing to fear as we had been so well prepared. Whilst the days at La Croce were long we still had time for fun: swimming in the river, walking to the Monastery, dancing crazily at the Festa, watching films under the stars on the yoga deck. When I signed up I hadn’t really known what to expect from a Teacher training course, but I can honestly say the experience exceeded all my expectations. I left La Croce with so much more than the desired Yoga teaching certificate. Thankyou Virginia, Eliana and the staff for the lasting memories and sense of deep relational connection which I shared with you and the other students. For anyone who it is dithering about enrolling on the course, don’t, I assure it will be ones of life’s great adventures.
An article written for an english journal from one of our YTT students
Getting away from it all provides a welcome reboot for body and soul. It’s even better when you combine your escape with learning something that will continue to make you feel better when you home, says Jane Hughes, who trained as a yoga teacher for three weeks in the wilds of Tuscany. I’d never thought of Tuscany as remote but then I’d never heard of the Casentino National Park, which stretches across the forested Apennine mountain range east of Florence. Yet by the time I’d skirted round one lot of mountains by train, taken a bus up the next valley and then a battered jeep up zigzagging wooded roads …..I began to appreciate that I really was in the middle of nowhere. At one point on our ascent, we pulled over to taste the water that spouted from a roadside spring – it was cool, and as pure and untainted as the mountain air. This was nature at its most pristine. No wonder we’d been asked to bring only eco-friendly products to our destination – the
La Croce yoga school, situated at the heart of this beautiful, fragile environment.
The last stretch of the journey was semi off-road, over a small river bridge and along a rickety track that meandered upwards through pasture and woodland to the La Croce farmhouse. Any thoughts I had harboured of a quick stroll down to the nearest village café were dispelled at this point; this was a retreat in the truest sense of the word. And what better location for an intensive yoga teacher training course than a rambling stone farmhouse, with an outside yoga platform where you could literally salute the sun as it rose above the mountain tops. It promised total immersion in yoga and the rhythms of the natural world that yoga – in its combining of physical practise and meditation -seeks to bring us back to. Inspirational, definitely. But also the tiniest bit scary…
I’d been going to yoga classes for years, but living it – that’s different. Would I match up to all that discipline and idealism? My body (and mind) had taken a battering since I’d switched from journalism to secondary school English teaching a few years earlier. Late nights of seemingly endless marking and planning had seen me pile on the pounds, and it was only my diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer that made me take stock. Three years on, a shift to part-time teaching and editing had put me in a better place. But my yoga practise had plateaued: I knew that each posture brought specific health benefits to the body if performed correctly. I just didn’t know if I was doing everything right! I wanted to make yoga more integral to my life and build my strength and focus to progress to more advanced postures. A three-week course seemed like a good solution, especially as it meant spending my summer holiday in Italy. Could I be a yoga teacher? Well that wasn’t strictly my aim, although I had a sense there was probably a niche for teaching people like me who didn’t want to go to a class of 20-somethings with perfect bodies. Meeting the other La Croce trainees, over a relaxing dinner under the stars relieved my ‘performance anxiety’.
There were 12 of us – a mix of British, Italian, German, Dutch, American, Chinese and Romanian, ranging in age from early 20s through to mid 50s (me). Some were relatively new to yoga, a couple had teaching experience, but most had come to develop their yoga practise, and enjoy the experience. There was plenty to talk – and laugh – about. I felt even better during the first of our daily two-and-a-half-hour morning practise sessions, when it turned out I was more flexible and stronger than many of the younger trainees (though yoga is not of course a competitive exercise!)
The retreat is run by Virginia Wood, who trained in Iyengar and yoga therapy – and restored the farmhouse whilst living there with her young family in the 1990s. (The family named La Croce after the stone cross they found embedded in the walls, signifying its place on the pilgrim trail up to the Verna monastery on Mount Penna above). Virginia now works as a yoga teacher and acupuncturist in Brighton, driving over the Alps with her beautiful dog, Anam, to open up La Croce for summer courses. Having been a local herself, she can call up a network of Italian friends to cook and help at the retreat. (Much of the bounty of fresh fruit, homemade jams and honey that graced our table came from their family farms.) The laughter and music in the kitchen, and the bubble smell of freshly brewing espresso, became as much a part of our breakfast routine as the fruit salad and toasted homemade breads the team prepared for us. As an acupuncturist, Virginia has treated patients for the effects of ‘adrenalised yoga’, where classes are speeded up and postures rushed through. This is definitely not her style. Throughout the course, she brought us back to the ground rules of using the breath to move the body, and tuning into the intelligence of our own bodies. For me, learning about the core muscle chains and how to align and activitate them correctly to create balance and stability, was a revelation and really helped me progress. Virginia’s approach of noticing and working with our limits and needs (or those of our students) was a personalised blending of different yoga styles. This dovetailed well with our rotating team of excellent teachers: osteopath Chris Swain, who trained in Ashtanga and taught us anatomy and physiology, Eliana Amadio, a hatha and restorative yoga teacher, and Charlie, a wonderful flow yoga practitioner. What was consistent was the focus on safe practise, and how to teach in a way that would help our own students develop core postural strength, balance and calmness, whilst avoiding injury.
With 200 hours of training squeezed into three weeks and ending with exams, our daily routine was detailed, rigorous and all-encompassing. Morning yoga sessions of breathing, asansa and meditation began at 7am with the first tweets of birdsong, and progressed through a gradual stripping off of layers as the sun rose over the mountains. By the time we got to savasana, we were in T-shirts, relaxing in the warm sun. Classes in anatomy, yoga theory and philosophy took place in the converted barn between breakfast and lunch. Then we had two hours of self-study, followed by afternoon classes or teaching practise, and then dinner. I was very glad of La Croce’s serenity and lack of distractions! I was equally glad, though, of our weekly ‘day off’ when we got the chance to explore further afield. A couple of times, a few of us followed a rough downhill path to a river, where we swam in pools of bracing water before baking in the sun on a small stone beach. Another day saw a group of us make the two- hour treck up to the Verna monastery, where St Francis is said to have
received his Stigmata in 1224. It was a steep and rocky scramble up from the farmhouse at first, but the land eventually flattened into a magical emerald woodland of ancient oaks and beech. At the monastery, we admired the murals telling the story of St Francis and watched red-robed monks file into mass.
Summer in this region is all about celebrating the wonderful produce on offer at villages festivals across the mountains. So one warm evening we piled into a couple of old cars, turned up the music, wound down the windows and drove to a festival where Virginia’s friends were selling honey and Tallegio cheese. Stalls selling porcini, cheeses and meats were crammed into the stone piazza, whilst on the hillside families strolled and played board games set up on trestle tables. This was the essence of Italy – as retro as if we had
been in a Bertolucci movie. And when the band started playing Van Morrison, we put down our shopping and danced in the moonlight. By the end of the course, I was stronger, lighter and a lot better at yoga. I’d
also had a wonderful, life-affirming time. It turned out that my teaching background (with its emphasis on preparing for everything and clear step-by-step instructions) came in handy for teaching yoga too. Unlike school, though, yoga teaching leaves me energised at the end of a lesson. I’ve begun to teach friends at home and I’m reshaping my time to do much more in future.