Lucy Bremner Casperia, Italy

It was the late 1980’s when Lucy decided to travel through southeast Asia on her own (including India and Nepal), having completed her training as a Holistic Practitioner in England. Though not far reaching for a woman to travel solo to that part of the world at that time in history, I feel it took courage to face that part of the world alone as a woman at that time. This to me, describes Lucy so clearly, healing and courageous. But that’s who Lucy is…courageous. I have such admiration for Lucy and her way. It was India which touched her the most…”learning about the simple things in life, and not taking things for granted…learning the value of life and death”. This is how the path of yoga unfolded for Lucy. Most people begin yoga with a focus on asana, but Lucy’s draw was the pranayama of classical Hatha yoga to begin her yogic studies.

It was after meeting her Italian husband Alan, that this dynamo couple eventually made the first yoga retreat of its kind in Italy, Sunflower Retreats. It’s such a unique opportunity to take part in a retreat that supports sustainable tourism. Lucy and Alan feel it’s so important to give people the experience of the location, like living in an Italian village versus being contained in a secluded setting. A chance for people to be a part of the community and of the goings-on of daily village life while on retreat. This is yoga…dealing with the world is yoga. Sunflower Retreats has since grown to offer three locations, including one in Costa Rica…deliberately choosing each location in lovely and unspoiled surroundings where nature isn’t over-processed, so that people can step back from their lives for a time.

This slower pace of village life is optimal for the deep, slow, healing practice of yoga at Sunflower, where classes are Hatha based. Students are given more time with the teachers, like the retreat provides a journey, offering a place where people can recharge. And the amazing holistic treatments that are on offer in the beautiful healing center (with two treatment rooms) are the absolute perfect way to round out the experience of the yoga classes should you choose to include these in your retreat. A person is free to do as much or as little as they like during their retreat with Sunflower. It’s really a retreat of your own creation.

Over recent years Lucy has been increasingly including Yoga Nidra and Karma yoga as a greater part of her practice and teachings…much more toward the subtle teachings. Her practice has become very Bhakti with an emphasis on teachings from the perspective of the Divine Feminine (she has a beautiful website dedicated to her focus on this www.healingthedivinefeminine.com ).

Lucy has such a wise heart and she truly understands the significance of being able to reflect on what is important in life and what isn’t, then having the courage to make lifestyle choices around that. She says that “by tapping in to our inner nature we open a doorway for listening to what’s inside because we’re each our own teacher”. She hopes this is what people who visit Sunflower have the opportunity to find, or to reconnect with…the empowerment of listening to their inner teacher.

Lucy is such a true soul. I asked her about her favourite aspect of yoga, to which she replied “letting go…the ability to let go of stuff that’s not important. Yoga refines your senses by giving you techniques to be in the moment. Yoga gives you gratitude.”

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Letters in Yoga