5-Day Stress Release Yoga Retreat 

Colares, Portugal - 4 to 9 September 2018

** Book by 15th May 2018 to receive 10% off your retreat price **

Join us on the beautiful western coast of Portugal, on an eco-farm in Colares, one of Portugal’s most ancient areas. The nearby beaches are lined with rugged cliffs dotted with dinosaur footprints, and here the golden sands of the beaches meet the rich forests of the Sintra hills. Old established vineyards snake through the sand, woods of pine trees stretch across the valley, and little villages tucked into hillside corners peak out from behind the green canopy. Nourished by the winter rain and summer sunshine, this little Atlantic pearl is the ideal place to unwind, de-stress, come back to simplicity and be immersed in nature with all its restoring and healing qualities.

Your Retreat

A nurturing, educational and relaxing retreat, helping you to unwind, and return to simplicity and nature. Get back in balance with yoga and deep tissue massage, learn simple and effective stress release methods to take home with you, and nourish yourselves with delicious wholesome food prepared with ingredients sourced locally or from the farm itself.

You will start with an optional early-morning pranayama (breath work) and meditation session, followed by a fluid asana practice to wake up the body and balance the mind. You are encouraged to work at your own pace and take time to listen to your body. After your practice, you will enjoy a delicious organic vegetarian or vegan breakfast, and have time to relax before attending your daily talk on stress release.

Then a light lunch of soup and/or salad will be served. Depending on your afternoon plans you can opt for a packed lunch instead. Unwind in the afternoon with a massage, walk 15-20 minutes to the beach, take a dip in the natural swimming pool, or explore the nearby sights of Sintra, which can be reached by taxi, local buses or the historic 120-year old electric tram from Colares. Colares is the nearest town for shops, cafes, post office, pharmacy and banks. It is a 15-20 minute walk from the farm. The afternoon is yours. We come together for dinner, followed by a yoga nidra or restorative yoga session, or gentle and nurturing moon salutation, preparing you for a restful night’s sleep.

    Your Experience

    This retreat is open to all. You do not need to be experienced in yoga. However, it is not suitable for those who have never done yoga before. As a guideline, it would be preferable for you to have attended at least 6 yoga classes prior to joining. You are encouraged to respect your body’s boundaries and practise wisely and safely.

    As part of your experience, you are entitled to a 30-minute deep-tissue massage to help shift toxins and deep-seated stress from your body.

    The retreat is located in the middle of woods and on sand. You will be walking on uneven terrain and up and down a few stone steps.

    Please note that our retreat is an opportunity to live comfortably and minimally, in an environment that has been developed to be sustainable and eco-friendly, with as little impact as possible on the natural environment. Accommodation is simple, comfortable, clean, and with shared rooms and bathrooms (we have 1 single occupancy space in the Earthship, available upon request for an extra fee).

    Meals are prepared with love, and are full of local flavour and fresh ingredients. You will wake to the sounds of birds and horses in the morning, and fall asleep to the symphony of cicadas, crickets and frogs. You will walk across dewy grass and damp sand in the mornings, among the scent of the summer flowers and plants, and make your way “home” each evening under a blanket of stars.

    There are 2 horses, 3 dogs, 1 cat and 6 hens on the farm. All animals are very friendly and well-behaved. Extra love bestowed on the hens may result in extra-delicious organic eggs. All 3 dogs are very loving. They may bark when they see you but they soon settle down.















    Daily Programme

    Note: times and activities may vary slightly.

    Arrival is on Tuesday 4th September 2018, after 2pm. There will be a welcome chat in the evening, followed by a gentle yoga session to help you to unwind and loosen up after your travels, and then dinner.

    Departure is on Sunday 9th, after breakfast, by 11am. 

    • 7.00-7.30         optional meditation / pranayama
    • 7.45-9.00         morning yoga
    • 9.00-10.15       breakfast
    • 10.15-11.30     morning break / option for your deep-tissue massage
    • 11.30-12.45     stress release talk
    • 12.45-13.45     light lunch (soup & salad)
    • 13.45-18.30     afternoon break / option for your deep-tissue massage / activities
    • 18.30-19.45     dinner
    • 19.45-21.00     yoga nidra / restorative yoga / gentle moon salutation


    This retreat provides you with 2 daily yoga practices and 1 pranayama and meditation practice with yoga instructor, Claire.

    The early morning pranayama and meditation practice is optional. This session will help to restore and revitalise you deeply by accessing stillness and calming the mind, which in turn contributes to softening and calming the body.

    You are encouraged to attend both yoga practices to benefit from their strong stress-releasing effects. The morning practice is designed to promote body awareness so that you start to cultivate space within the muscles and between the bones for shifting stuck energy. In addition to freeing and opening up your body, you will be doing a little strength work to push out any stale energy. Stress has a tendency to sink deep into the tissues and into any space it can find, turning into tightness, pain and overall discomfort.

    The evening yoga practice consists of Yoga Nidra (where your consciousness sits between waking and sleeping) or Restorative Yoga, and will involve little or no movement, giving you the opportunity to unwind and relax completely in total comfort, and release any residual physical, mental or emotional stress.

    All practices will take place in the spacious eco Yoga Pavilion. Hand-built by the resident owner Jonathan, the space was constructed with recycled wooden telephone poles and recycled windows, as a low-impact ecological construction design. It has an elevated sprung wooden floor, leaving no lasting concrete imprint on the land. The 'green' roof is cantilevered and insulated with a blanket of local grasses and vines. In the winter, it is heated with a pellet burner. Sunshine streams through the southeast-facing windows, where we will be greeting the sun each morning.









    Stress Release Talks

    This retreat includes a series of four talks on Stress Release with Stress Management Therapist, Brenda. She will help you understand where your stress comes from, how it affects your mind, body and emotions, how it directly impacts your quality of life on a day-to-day basis, and what you can do to relieve many stress symptoms.

    A little short-term stress is good for us, promoting stimulation and alertness, toning up the body and energising cognitive performance. However, our modern-day lifestyle, which is often in overdrive, can create a permanent state of stress which negatively impacts our body, thoughts, feelings and behaviour:

    Physically: Headaches, dizziness, tiredness, exhaustion, frequent colds and flu, digestive and bowel upsets, heart palpitations, sleep problems. If we don't deal with our stress, more severe problems may begin, such as neck and back problems, ulcers, heart conditions, severe bowel disorders, cancers.

    Emotionally: Irritability, mood swings. If we don't deal with our stress, more severe problems may begin, such as anxiety or depression.

    Behaviourally: Increased smoking, alcohol, aggression, obsessive behaviour.

    We often don't acknowledge that we are feeling stressed, because this may have become our normal way of life. We may be experiencing a physical, mental or emotional health issue which we would not recognise as being caused by stress. Often we are in denial and don't have the courage to admit we're stressed, because we are expected to cope.

    You will come away with simple and manageable techniques that are easily incorporated into every-day life, for sustainable change to create peace of mind, a stable mood, digestive calm and whole body health.

    Stress release








    Deep-Tissue Remedial Massage

    As part of your retreat experience, enjoy a complimentary 30-minute massage with Massage Therapist, Emma, with many opportunities to book more paid sessions as the retreat progresses. Remedial massage is an effective way of treating and reducing:

    • Mental and emotional stress
    • Anxiety
    • Stress resulting from --
      • chronic headaches and migraines
      • digestive disorders 
      • sleeping disorders
      • muscle tension
      • pain

    The massage will complement the effects of your yoga practices by stimulating the lymphatic system to shift toxins, and release deep-seated stress from your body. Prior to arriving at the retreat, you will have the opportunity to provide Emma with your specific needs.

    NB. Although there are many benefits to massage therapy, please understand that it may not be appropriate if you have any of the following:

    • Bleeding disorders or take blood-thinning medication
    • Burns or healing wounds
    • Deep vein thrombosis
    • Fractures
    • Severe osteoporosis

    Please discuss the pros and cons of massage with your doctor, especially if you are pregnant, have cancer or any unexplained pain.










    Accommodation Options & Retreat Prices


    Resident price includes:
    5 nights' accommodation
    3 nourishing and delicious meals a day
    Tea and coffee-making facilities
    Our complete yoga, deep tissue massage and stress release programme

    Resident price does not include:
    Transfer from the airport (this can be arranged through us – you pay the driver upon arrival)
    Travel insurance (a mandatory requirement)
    Extra massages (beyond the 1 massage that is included as part of your retreat)
    Extra activities

    Note: Airport transfers, extra massages and extra activities can be booked through us.

    Mongolian Yurt - Shared

    • Accommodates 4 - first come, first served
      • 3 double beds
      • 1 single bed
    • Electrical lighting and sockets
    • Use of shared outdoor warm solar-heated shower and compost toilet
    • Located just next to the natural swimming pool and little sandy area
    • Beautiful view up the pine forested valley

    EUR 585.50: Early Bird price until 15th May (full price EUR 645)
    Prices are per person in Euros


    Straw Bale Cabin - Shared

    • Accommodates 3 - first come, first served
      • 1 double bed (open mezzanine floor)
      • 1 single bed (ground floor living area)
      • 1 sofa bed (ground floor living area)
    • Indoor bathroom consisting of hot shower, sink and toilet
    • Solar-heated water, with an electrical back-up system
    • Fully appointed kitchen, breakfast bar, with a dining table in the main room
    • The insulation of thick straw bale walls keeps the cabin cool in the summer months 

    EUR 625.50: Early Bird price until 15th May (full price EUR 695)
    Prices are per person in Euros

    Straw Bale Cabin

    Earthship - Shared

    • Accommodates 1 single or a couple: double pull-out bed
    • Design pioneered in New Mexico as a passive solar, low energy example of a sustainable construction
    • Kitchenette and dining table
    • Ensuite bathroom consisting of hot shower, basin and toilet
    • Wooden deck overlooking the natural pool and sandy area
    • Green roof and thick rammed-earth walls provide insulation to keep it cool in the summer months

    EUR 603: Early Bird price until 15th May (full price EUR 670)
    Prices are per person in Euros

    Earthship 2

    Grandex - Shared

    • Accommodates 2 singles or 1 single and a couple
      • Separate double bedroom
      • Sofa bed in living room
    • Newly built addition to the main house
    • Full bathroom with hot shower
    • Kitchenette
    • Living room with dining table and sofa bed
    • Views of the Sintra Palace and Moorish Castle
    • Outdoor courtyard seating


    EUR 625.50: Early Bird price until 15th May (full price EUR 695)
    Prices are per person in Euros

    Grandex collage 2
























    Prices are per person in Euros

    Full-day participant: EUR 445.50 - Early Bird price until 15th May (full price EUR 495)
    You attend all yoga sessions and stress relief talks. All meals and 1 deep-tissue massage are included. You are asked to join us from 5pm on 4th September to participate in the introductory talk.

    Note: Airport transfers, extra massages and extra activities can be booked through us.

    Full-day includes:
    3 wholesome and delicious meals a day
    Our complete yoga, deep tissue massage and stress release programme

    Full-day does not include:
    Travel to the farm
    Extra massages (beyond the 1 massage that is included as part of your retreat)
    Extra activities

    Half-day participant: EUR 297 - Early Bird price until 15th May (full price EUR 330)
    As a half-day participant, you attend the morning yoga sessions and stress release talks. Breakfast, lunch and 1 deep-tissue massage are included. You are asked to join us from 5pm on 4th September to participate in the introductory talk. Dinner and the yoga session that follow the talk are included in your price.

    Note: Extra massages and extra activities can be booked through us.

    Half-day includes:
    2 wholesome and delicious meals a day
    1 pranayama and meditation session a day

    1 yoga session a day
    1 deep-tissue massage

    Daily stress release talks

    Half-day does not include:
    Travel to the farm
    Extra massages (beyond the 1 massage that is included as part of your retreat)
    Extra activities
    Dinner (except for night of 4th September)
    Evening yoga sessions (except for night of 4th September)

    Views 2

    Please visit Quinta EcoSophia’s website for additional photos and to find out more about the eco-farm.

    How to Book

    If you have any questions, do get in touch.

    Please note that spaces are limited! This is a small retreat with a maximum of 15 participants on site. We recommend that you book early.

    A non-refundable deposit of EUR 200 (Resident Participant), EUR 100 (Full-Day Participant) and EUR 50 (Half-Day Participant) secures your space.

    Please email retreats@come-alive.co.uk to register your interest, and we will send you full payment details and information on how to join.

    Travel to the Retreat

    Arrival is on Tuesday 4th September 2018 any time after 2pm. There will be an introduction in the evening, followed by dinner and a gentle yoga nidra or restorative yoga session to ease you into a restful night’s sleep.

    Departure is on Sunday 9th September 2018, after breakfast, by 11am. 

    It is about a 1.15 hour drive to and from the eco-farm. A minivan will depart from Lisbon airport at 1.00pm on 4th September, and will leave the farm at 11am to return to Lisbon airport on 9th September. 

    If you would like to take advantage of the minivan, please book your flights accordingly. The driver will not be able to wait for you should you be delayed. Should you miss your transfer, please see the list of alternative transport options that will be included in your welcome pack.

    Cost for this charter is approximately EUR 10-15 per person, each way. If other arrangements need to be made, please let us know.

    There is a lot to see and do around Colares and Sintra. If you wish to extend your stay at Quinta EcoSophia before or after the retreat, please contact them directly to book.

    About Quinta EcoSophia

    Starting its life in 2007 as an abandoned farm with small ruins, the property was slowly transformed by local couple Denise and Jonathan Luxton, initially into a testing ground for alternative sustainable technologies and structures. The farm is located in a beautiful valley between the town of Colares and the coastal beaches, and offers opportunities to experience and learn how to live in ecological harmony with the environment. Providing spaces for eco-stays, daily activities, classes and workshops, the farm allocates all its proceeds to further projects and courses that promote sustainability and ecological living.

    During your stay, you will be able to take advantage of many activities, such as horse riding for experienced riders, guided walks, permaculture tours, surfing, mountain biking, or rock climbing. 


    The Team

    ClaireClaire Ng-Martin: Yoga Instructor

    Claire started her yoga journey over 10 years ago in an attempt to deal with her own stress resulting from a demanding fast-paced corporate job, and more recently IVF challenges. Her personal healing experience with yoga and meditation inspired her to share it and help others.

    She qualified in Hatha Flow, Restorative, Fertility and Pregnancy yoga, and now specialises in Holistic Stress Relief for mind and body through the practice of yoga. She encourages body awareness to help all who practise with her to embrace their unique body structure and safely access the healing benefits of yoga.

    Claire is a certified instructor, registered with Yoga Alliance Professionals.


    BrendaBrenda Martin: Holistic Stress Management Therapist, Nutritionist and Educator

    Brenda's interest in health and wellbeing started in her early twenties and became a life-long passion. She founded the Come Alive School of Natural Health & Wellbeing in 2005, to provide people with skills and knowledge to adopt a preventive rather than reactive approach to their wellbeing.

    Since then, Brenda has helped hundreds of people globally to understand their stress, where it comes from, and what it does to the mind, body and emotions. She helps people to rationalise and relieve stress by changing their perspective, and adopting effective self-help techniques for peace of mind, a stable mood, digestive calm and whole body health.

    Brenda is the author of 7 Steps to Whole Health: Your Guide to Ultimate Wellbeing (2016), and 40 distance-learning courses in Nutrition, Holistic Stress Management, and Holistic Health.

    She is registered with the Society for Holistic Therapists & Coaches, and the Federation of Nutritional Therapy Practitioners.


    EmmaEmma Martin: Remedial & Soft Tissue Massage Therapist

    After working in the Financial Services industry for 12 years, Emma changed career in her early thirties to do something she considered to be more meaningful: working on whole-body health. To cope with work-related stress, she used exercise and coaching as a way to improve her physical, emotional and mental wellbeing to overcome her stress. She moved into the Health & Wellbeing industry to continue her health and fitness journey, and also help others to understand and overcome the stresses and impact that every-day life has on their physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. 

    In addition to working in Massage Therapy, Emma is a Personal Trainer and Life Coach.

    She is registered with the Register for Exercise Professionals (REPs).



    JonathanJonathan Luxton: Owner & Manager of Quinta EcoSophia

    Jonathan grew up in rural Dorset working on a dairy farm and playing the horn in local orchestras. At 18 he entered the Royal Academy of Music, played with the European Youth Orchestra, then in 1984 became Principal Horn in the Gulbenkian Orchestra. Ten years ago Jonathan and Denise bought a plot of land which was full of rubble from abandoned greenhouses; they worked intensively together to restore the land to health, and started to build Quinta Ecosophia. 

    Jonathan has had a love of cooking throughout his life, working in restaurants and catering for large parties or just having friends over for dinner meals. Using organic and locally sourced food is at the heart of Jonathan's cuisine. 




    Denise_4Denise Luxton: Owner & Manager of Quinta EcoSophia

    Born in Berkeley, California, Denise came to Portugal in 1983 as a flutist in the Gulbenkian Orchestra. Married to Jonathan in 1986, they raised two great kids together in this beautiful country. Always a keen gardener, at Quinta Ecosophia she has enjoyed transforming what was a sandy wasteland of rubble into a flourishing and productive garden, as well as helping with the many projects: first a natural swimming pool, then several innovative accommodations in a variety of styles.  She has also enjoyed welcoming the menagerie of animals who have found a home here.



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