Finding Space

the magic of creative rest

Near Vic, Catalonia, Spain
3 – 10 July 2019

a one-week workshop with time for a holiday

Mas Fontarnau, near Vic, Catalonia, Spain – one hour from Barcelona

Finding Space

the magic of creative rest

near Vic, Catalonia, Spain
3 – 10 July 2019

a one-week workshop with time for a holiday

For a wonderfully restorative Feldenkrais holiday

come to Mas Fontarnau in Spain – a week of rest and recuperation, with a serious amount of Awareness Through Movement teaching.

There is good food, time to swim in the pool and walk along the mountain tracks and to explore the local town of Vic.

A week to recharge, focusing on those moments when “nothing is happening”.

This is when we are not working at things or holding intention, and is when real change takes root.

We’re looking to understand how to bring that experience into everyday action.

‘Finding Space’ is about exploring that sense of spaciousness within ourselves – easy breathing, open joints, wider possibilities – and in our relationship to the world. This is the feeling that many people get from feldenkrais – easy movement that feels oiled and light.

It’s also about finding that spacious quality of engagement where intention and action are the same thing – not ‘thinking then doing’, but simply acting with clarity.

This quality is at the heart of Feldenkrais, even when the focus seems to be on particular movements or functions.

In this course we will be paying more attention to the how rather than the what. We will find ways to enhance the quality of what we do, even when the task is difficult or involves large movements. It’s often easier to access when the task is simple or involves small movements, so we will start there, with the intention of bringing extra quality to all kinds of action.

These are not just theoretical changes. Aches and pains, breathing problems, tiredness and any number of health disorders can be the result of lack of spaciousness in movement – and the mental and emotional implications of clarity of thinking and action are immense.

I would like to thank you for the wonderful week we spent together in the magic of feldenkrais.

I have noticed a great difference since I have returned home.

This holiday workshop is designed to provide a good depth of immersion in Feldenkrais, and also high-quality integration, so that what you learn stays with you.

There is time to understand and discuss the questions that develop as the week goes on, and as the feldenkrais work gains depth.

panorama of mas fontarnau
The place itself helps

Mas Fontarnau is an old Catalan farmhouse surrounded by woodland, meadows and mountain paths.

There is a lovely studio for classes, and a swimming pool to cool off in.

A typical day at Mas Fontarnau goes something like this…

For those living in, we get up in our own time – help yourself to breakfast from 8 am. The courtyard is a great place to eat.

People living out will join us for the morning class – 10 am to 1 pm.

The studio has a good wooden floor, and the undersides of the terracotta tiles for a ceiling. Occasionally the sense of being in our own world is interrupted by a group of mountain cyclists swishing by on the road, or horses or hikers. But mostly, this is your time, to attend to you.

There’s a break for tea or coffee (plus biscuits or cake or whatever) mid-morning. There’s time to chat about the feldenkrais, to focus on why we’re here, to listen to what’s going on for other people.

At one o’clock, feldenkrais is done if you’re living out, although you’re welcome to stay and enjoy the swimming pool and gardens at Mas Fontarnau in the afternoon.

For those who are living in lunch is served, to eat where you like – in the courtyard, on the grass under a shady tree, or even by the pool.

The pool beckons on a hot day (and most days are hot). Or a walk up the mountain into the forest. Sometimes people make the trip down to Vic. You can occasionally cadge a lift, or order a taxi. It’s about 3 miles to Vic, walkable if you like the sun.

For people living in, there’s another hour or so of feldenkrais later, starting at 5 in the evening, bringing together the themes of the day.

After class and before dinner is a great time to sit and look out over the valley at the view, and think all those free-floating thoughts that come up with holiday time and feldenkrais.

Dinner, around 7 or 7.30, is mainly vegetarian food, sometimes three courses, sometimes four. If you fancy a drink, there’s wine or beer with the meal. It can get very chatty, with jokes flying around, or there may be more serious conversation, and sometimes quiet, depending on the people and the mood of the course.

We clear up the table and load the dishwasher at the end of the meal, and then settle in to enjoy the night. Around this time the frogs in the quarry lake begin their nightly impression of monkeys calling. Cacophonous. As it gets dark, a few glow-worms on the verges of the track begin to show up, looking for all the world like LED lights abandoned in the grass. A walk down the track in the evening can be magical – the sounds of creatures, occasional glow-worms to seek out, and those stars!

dark green frog
listen to the frogs!
sunny courtyard in Catalonia
Mountains in mist from Mas Fontarnau
Chris - cooking at Mas Fontarnau Feldenkrais 2018

This is Chris - our cook this year

He has an impressive CV – apprenticed with the Roux brothers, worked at Jamie Oliver’s Barbecoa (before it went bust…), and has even cooked for the Queen.

So we’re looking forward to some great food, and a man who can wrangle that rustic oven into doing the business.


This year there are two options – one residential, with more Feldenkrais, and one living out, with more holiday time.

Staying in

This option includes 4 – 5 hours of Feldenkrais a day – 3 hours in the mornings and another hour or so in the evening.

Accommodation is at Mas Fontarnau itself – full board with a room and three meals a day. The rooms vary, and early bookers are likely to get the better rooms.

Prices include room, food and tuition.

Full board in a single room £695
Full board in a twin room £595
Triple room: The ensuite room has three beds. Three people could share this for £495 per person.

Non-participants (no tuition), sharing a room, £350

Supplements: To reserve the ensuite room, an extra £100 per person for the week (for single or twin use).

If you’re coming on your own and would like to share a room, let me know, and I’ll put the word out. Obviously I can’t guarantee that you’ll get a room-mate – if not you may have to pay for a single room.

There are no classes on Saturday 6 July- time for a day in Vic, or even a trip to Barcelona – but there will be food and drink available for those who’d like to stay around Mas Fontarnau.

If you’re fit and hardy and happy to rough it a bit, there is also a very cheap camping-with-full-board option.

There are two tents available, but you would need to bring your own bedding etc.

£300 per person
including all food and tuition

Living out

If you’d like to get to know this amazing area better – hiring a car and finding the interesting tourist sites, and the wonderful local restaurants, then go for this option. This also works well if you’d like to share this holiday with someone else who doesn’t want to come to Feldenkrais. (Weird thought though that is.)

Cost of tuition plus two evening meals: £250 per person.

This includes:
three hours of Awareness Through Movement classes each morning, Thursday to Tuesday, except Saturday (no class)
the one-hour class on the evening of your arrival day (5 pm on Wednesday 3)
the evening class on the last day (Tuesday 9)
dinner with the group on arrival at Mas Fontarnau and on the last evening

Tea and biscuits included in the morning break, of course.

Local accommodation

There are some lovely self-catering places and hotels available locally, from the luxurious to the simple, both in Vic (the local university town, four miles from the venue), and in the area.
The venue is 20 – 30 minutes walk from Sentfores (also called ‘la Guixa’)

Have a look at VicTurisme for local accommodation from hotels to self-catering.
Mas La Riera and Mas La Miranda are close.

If you are not staying on-site you will need to hire a car or get a taxi to get to Mas Fontarnau (also known as “The Actors Space”). If there are a few people staying in Vic I can put you in touch with each other to share.

Alternatively, Simon and Marian (whose place we’re working in) can organise a low-cost lift to and from your accommodation. Contact them for details.

We aim to start with a class at 5 pm on Wednesday. We’ll eat after the class.

These are 2018 prices, and will go up from the end of September 2018. Until then a £50 deposit will secure your place at this year’s prices.

Simon and Marian – our hosts

How to book

First contact me to book your place on the course, then when I’ve confirmed, book your flight.

Then send me your £100 deposit. (See how to pay.) The balance is payable one month before the start of the course.

Let me know your times of arrival and departure, and any special dietary requirements.

We will start with a Feldenkrais session at 5 pm on your arrival day, before dinner around 7.30. There is no class on the day you leave.

You will need to book and pay for your own travel to Vic.

Until the end of September,  £50 deposit will secure your place at 2018 prices (shown on this page).

These prices will increase after September.

Travel

Fly into Girona (Gerona) or Barcelona, and take a bus or train from there to Vic.

We can pick you up from Vic whatever time you arrive. We start with a class at 5 o’clock.

Ryanair has cheap flights from the UK to Barcelona and Girona.
Easyjet has cheap flights from the UK to Barcelona.

From Barcelona

There are hourly train services between Barcelona and Vic every day of the week.

From Barcelona Airport (el Prat) get a train to Barcelona Sants station. (Trains run every half hour and the journey lasts about 20 minutes.) Then from Barcelona Sants get a train to Vic. You can get a through ticket to Vic (via Barcelona Sants) at the airport – around 8 euros.

For train timetables (Barcelona Sants – Vic) check this website.

The actual timetable seems to go up only about a month in advance, but you can get an idea of what’s possible.

From Girona (Gerona)

I recommend flying into Girona because it’s an easy small airport, and there’s a direct bus to Vic from outside the airport.

The journey to Vic takes just over an hour.

Some people like to stay a night or two in Girona before coming on to Mas Fontarnau. Buses into Girona city centre from the airport are easy.

 

From Vic to Mas Fontarnau, the course venue

Let me know when you will be arriving in Vic, and we will come and pick you up.

The course starts with a class at 5 pm.

If you want to get a taxi from Vic (about 20 euros), ask for “The Actors Space at Mas Fontarnau”.