Open to Light: Womens Retreat

at Florence House, East Sussex

Join us for an uplifting retreat with plenty of opportunity to be active as well as rest; to connect and to be spacious.

Florence House

from Friday 15th to Sunday 17th October 2021

with Laura Hinde and Lou Stanion

During this weekend retreat, we’ll be enjoying:

  • Circle time: There will be an opening and a closing circle (the only two things that we ask everyone to be at) and plenty of time to check in throughout the retreat.
  • Morning Sadhana: Rise up and connect.
  • Meditations: Connecting with the heart, the womb, the divine.
  • Kundalini Yoga: Raise your consciousness and find sacred purpose in your life.
  • Walks in the countryside, a dip in the sea. The beach is a 2 minute walk from the property.
  • Womb Yoga: A gentle, feminine yoga practice. Indoors and (hopefully) outdoors.
  • Hatha Yoga: To centre ourselves and fully inhabit our bodies.
  • Moon cycle teachings: Reflecting on and dancing the 5 chambers of menstruation/menopause (this includes a menstrual/menopause medicine circle).
  • Kirtan Chanting: Sacred heart songs
  • Yoga Nidra: Yogic sleep. A deep, heart-based, meditative practice.
  • Gong Bath: Melt into the vibration of sound.
  • Restorative Yoga: Deep release through minimal effort as we prop the body into comfortable, supported yoga postures.
  • Self Massage: Using gentle techniques to relax, release and nurture.

This weekend is for you if:

  • You are a woman.
  • You would love a relaxing and nurturing weekend away!
  • You want to connect with like-minded sisters.
  • You want to experience deeper relaxation and well-being.
  • You want to learn to surrender more to your body and your inner wisdom.
  • You want to learn life enhancing / rejuvenating practises that will nourish you going forwards.


Why a women only retreat?

  • When women come together there are things that happen for them that are not possible in a mixed environment. There is a deepening of self that unfolds within a supportive network of women of all ages.
  • Women hold within them the wisdom of inner sustainability in the form of the menstrual cycle. Post-menopause we can track the same seasonality by the moon. The Cosmology of Menstruation, from menarche to menopause, can be addressed properly on a women only retreat.

The Venue

Florence House is set on 6 acres within an area of outstanding natural beauty on the edge of the South Downs National Park. The beach is a two minute walk from the property which sits on the brow of Seaford Head.

The drive from St Albans to Florence House is 102 miles and takes about 1 hour and 50 minutes depending on the traffic. We have chosen the start and finish time of the retreat to (fingers crossed) hit the ebbs from a traffic perspective.

Florence House has a beautiful interior and because it stands in its own grounds, there is no one to disturb us. We will have exclusive use of the house and its grounds which includes a yoga room with doors opening directly out onto the gardens, a lounge, a dining room and an atmospheric yurt.

The Food

The food at Florence House will be vegetarian as well as wheat/gluten for lunch and supper. At breakfast, both wheat/gluten free and wheat alternatives will be available. Florence House is renowned for delicious and creative home cooking produced by the chefs. Food is locally sourced where possible or from the kitchen garden. There may be additional charges for special dietary requests.

Your Investment

Due to current Covid safety restrictions, we can only offer single rooms. If this changes before October, we will contact everyone who has booked to ask if you are willing to share your room. Price adjustments will be offered.

Your investment for the weekend includes tuition, accommodation and all meals.

Single room: £485 (bathroom shared with one other)

Single room with en-suite: £535

Reserve your place with a deposit of £150. Balance due by 1st September.

We will only refund your deposit, less PayPal fees, if we need to cancel due to Covid restrictions.

Bookings and payments can be made through The Yoga Hall website:

The maximum number of participants for the retreat is 16. Places will be offered on a first-come, first-served basis.

If you would like to bring your beloved female relative with you, you are most welcome: bring your mother, your best friend, your (adult) daughter, your favourite auntie, your mother-in-law, your niece, your god-daughter, your favourite female neighbour.

For questions please contact Lou on 07730 430 330 or Laura on 07974 653 661.

Deposit non-refundable on booking. 50% non-refundable from 3rd September. 100% non-refundable from 17th September.

You will be refunded in full, less PayPal fees, if we need to cancel due to Covid restrictions.


“It is a little difficult to put into words the gratitude I feel for the space you just held for me and others this weekend. I find it hard to describe it any better than sacred. The company, the food, the accommodation, the beauty of the area, the timetable. So perfect. I loved the dancing, chanting, walking, connecting, the variety of the Yoga, the sharing time, the meditation. The list goes on. I have felt rather like a vulnerable open wound these last few years and I cannot express how much both of you, The Yoga Hall, the Red Tent and this retreat have helped me to heal.”

“Thank you two for the wonderful Shelter and Haven you created at Braziers Park. It was something different to everyone who attended but harmonious and overlapping in our every need. You catered for us in tiny details and made it seem effortless and seamless. From my personal viewpoint, it was an affirmation and a chance to “check in” with the heart through the breath and YOGA in its entirety. I felt a new path of exploration in the MOON CYCLE awaits and revisiting the old remains a touchpoint and a comfort.”

Retreat Facilitators

Laura and Lou have been working together since 2006 and in 2011 started to team teach a monthly Restorative Yoga workshop. In January 2014 they jumped in a car and sped to their first ever Red Tent, held by the women of Brighton! Inspired and enthused, they co-founded Red Tent St Albans a month later. Soon after that they formed a small ‘Guardians’ circle to support the Red Tent space and have been sitting in Women’s circles ever since.

Lou Stanion

Motivated by a desire to calm her mind, Lou’s interest in yoga started in 2004. In 2006 she qualified as a Yoga teacher in India, trained by the Sivananda Organisation. Much of her teaching is inspired by time spent with Faustomaria Dorelli at the Innergy Yoga Centre in London. Part of a dynamic yogic Sangha (community), and alongside this working in a busy commercial role promoting African Safaris, Lou gained a lived understanding of how to integrate yoga into daily life. It was at Innergy that her love of singing was re-kindled and monthly chanting (either in London or St Albans) became a regular part of her life.

Since then she has trained with Uma Dinsmore-Tuli (Womb Yoga & Total Yoga Nidra) and Judith Lasater (Restorative Yoga). She has studied with and been inspired by Angela Farmer, Donna Farhi, John Stirk, Sarah Powers and Chinnamasta Stiles.

Her love of the cyclical rhythms of nature has inspired a quarterly Seasonal Yoga workshop and Seasonal Celebrations of ritual and sharing that honour the festivals of the Celtic calendar. These gatherings weave together the Red Tent community and St Albans Men’s Group and are honoured in her weekly Yoga Nidra classes.

Later in 2013 Lou undertook Shadow Work training with John & Nicola Kurk. This led her to the ‘Women in Power’ programme, an initiation that unearths and honours buried aspects of the feminine soul and psyche. She continues to staff on this programme, supporting women both during and after their initiation.

In 2015 Lou met Alexandra Pope, co-founder of Red School, whilst attending one of her menopause weekends. Just on the cusp of menopause herself, this inspired her to join the 2016 Woman’s Quest Apprenticeship, a radically new approach to leadership training for women. In 2017 she trained as a Menstrual Medicine Circle Facilitator and Red School Menstruality Mentor, working one to one with women to access the gold hidden within their menstrual cycle.

And in early 2019 she completed a 500 hour Yoga Therapy & Mindfulness Training with Heather Mason at The Minded Institute and now offers 1-to1 Yoga and Yoga Therapy.

Lou has recently completed her Kundalini Level 1 teacher training course at Amrit Nam Sarovar

Last year she completed The Path of Light, the first level in the self-mastery course The Masters’ Way, which has been created by In’Easa mabu Ishtar working with the Ascended Masters of Light. This year she is taking The Path of Love, the second level.

Laura Hinde

Laura was fortunate to find her teacher, Faustomaria Dorelli, in 1992. After 3 years of increasingly immersive classes with him at his Innergy Yoga Centre in West London (Hatha Yoga, Raja Yoga and Bhakti Yoga in the form on Kirtan Chanting), he encouraged her to take the Yoga Teacher Training Course at the Sivananda Yoga Headquarters in Canada, which she completed in 1995. She remained living on the Sivananda ashrams for a year, teaching in New York State, New York City and on Paradise Island in the Bahamas, followed by a year at the Ann Wigmore Institute in Puerto Rico where she continued to teach Hatha Yoga and learn about Living Foods.

Returning to the UK in 1998 she continued to teach full time at Fausto’s Innergy Yoga centre, training and immersion in Hatha, Raja and Bhakti Yoga. Encouraged by Fausto, she began teaching women Pregnancy Yoga, first learning “on the job” with the women she taught and later training with Janet Balaskas at the The Active Birth Centre.

In 2002 she married and moved to St Albans, founding The Yoga Hall with her husband and fellow Yoga teacher, Finlay Hinde. The birth of her children in 2004 and 2008 motivated a whole new exploration of specialist women’s teachings, training with Birthlight (Uma Dinsmore-Tuli and Francoise Feldman) and Peter Walker (Developmental Baby Massage), as well as a post-natal apprenticeship with The Active Birth Centre.

Inspired by the spiritual depth of Gurmukh Kaur Khalsa‘s teaching, she travelled back to New York City in 2013 to undertake the Khalsa Way Pre-Natal Yoga training. This was where she experienced Kundalini Yoga for the first time and was deeply moved by the experience. It was particularly the quality of the women’s teachings that motivated her to a daily practice of Kundalini Yoga, and to begin exploring Kundalini Yoga more intensely.

In 2015 she took the Women in Power initiation.

In 2016 she completed her Kundalini Level 1 teacher training course at Amrit Nam Sarovar in the French Alps, and she finished level 2 in 2019.

Last year Laura completed The Path of Light, the first level in the self-mastery course The Masters’ Way, which has been created by In’Easa mabu Ishtar working with the Ascended Masters of Light. This year she is taking The Path of Love, the second level.