The Courtyard, Shillelagh, Coolattin, Co.Wicklow

Creating stillness in Body & Mind

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17 Sep.

Creating stillness in Body & Mind

17/09/2021 @ 3:00 pm - 19/09/2021 @ 2:00 pm

Event Details

Retreat: Creating Stillness in Body and Mind - Hatha Yoga Retreat
Date: 17/09/2021 @ 3:00 pm - 19/09/2021 @ 2:00 pm
Time: Friday 3pm- Sunday 14:00
Level: Everyone is Welcome! All levels
Teacher: Liz Richards
Organiser: Olivia Kelly
Tel: 053-9429851
Email: olivia@thecourtyardyogaretreat.ie
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Hatha Vinyasa Yoga


Tension Release Techniques

Connection to Self


Flowing Yoga

Restorative Yoga

Meditation Through Movement

Pranayama Breathing

*Bookings for the August, September and October 2021 retreats are reserved for those groups cancelled off 2020 retreats.

Important notice. Please read notes on restrictions and please note changes to the usual retreat timetable to facilitate adapted classes.

The realisation of this event will be subject to the public health situation and Government restrictions at the time of the event.  As of now we are working on restrictions set from the 5th July which can be found on www.gov.ie

From 5 July (subject to the public health situation at the time)  Indoor training, exercise and dance activities can recommence in pods of up to 6. 

Our groups have an average of 20-22 on each retreat. To meet Government restrictions we will divide the yoga class in two classes,  Group A and Group B.

Each class will have 11 or 12 guests. Furthermore,  the group of 11-12 will be broken down into 2 pods of 5-6 students. There will be the appropriate spacing between mats and we will mark the space for your mat with chalk. We usually provide yoga mats but given it is a sensitive time in terms of hygiene we would prefer if you bring your own mat to the retreat as we will not have time to clean mats between classes.

The teacher will facilitate a yoga class to Group A and repeat the same class to  Group B. In order to facilitate the duplication of classes we have shortened the classes marginally and we will offer 3 classes instead of 4 over the duration of the weekend. We will replace class 3 on the Saturday afternoon with an optional guided walk through pretty country tracks which meander through rolling hills and forestry. Many may find this change in timetable advantageous as it means that after lunch on Saturday you are free to do as you please until dinner that evening, so if one of your main objectives of the retreat is to rest and have some down time then you can do just that.

We will prepare lovely fresh vegan food as usual but rather than eat in the large dining room in a large group as we usually do, you will eat in smaller groups in your individual guest housesIt will be a different but a more intimate experience. We have 4 guest houses, 1 sleeping 4, 1 sleeping 6, 2 sleeping 6/7 guests. In the larger house where there may be 7 guests, there are 2 dining tables in different rooms therefore if you would prefer to eat in a group smaller than 7 this will be possible.  Groups above the amount staying in your individual house will not be able to congregate in sitting rooms or other communal areas.

Retreat Theme and Classes

Liz will lead you through 3 wonderful yoga sessions where you will experience a level of focus and a meditative state through movement (asana/yoga postures). She will show you how you can achieve this level of focus more consistently and maintain it in your classes in order to deepen the experience and the benefits.

Hatha is a general term which includes most styles of yoga. It is an old system that includes the practice of asanas (yoga postures) and pranayama (breathing exercises), which help bring stillness to the body and the mind, helping to prepare the body for deeper spiritual practices such as meditation.

The practice of yoga itself is meditative, it is a meditation though movement. You have probably experienced how great it feels when you complete a yoga class in which you have been fully focused and present. This state is a form of meditation, meditation through movement.

There is a quite lot to keep in mind during performing a yoga pose, trying to get the posture right. This level of attention provides so many benefits as well as the way into a deeper practice. If your mind wanders during the practice or you practice the asana carelessly, not only do you lose some of the benefits and but you risk strain or injury, so we need to keep focused and mindful. Liz will help you learn to maintain this attention and focus in order to deepen your practice.

Liz will focus on the following areas

  1. Getting the Posture right – Alignment

To get the posture as correct as you are able to, given your personal limitations and experience. This involves real awareness of the inner body. Do you feel the stretches in the places you should? Is your body aligned correctly? Heed to pain, are you pushing your limits but not exceeding them

2. Don’t forget to Breathe – Correct breath-work

Attend to your breath both as you move from one position to another as well as when you are holding a posture. Make it easy and flowing. With it, release the tension.

3. The Release of Tension

We will  practice special sequences that will target blocked, tight and restricted areas often present in our bodies due to the stresses, strains and demands of modern living

4. Focus and Awareness.

Closing the eyes encourages visualization, body-awareness, and breath-awareness. It helps you to tune in to your inner body and tune out external distractions.

Drawing from over 15 years of combined study, teaching experience and personal practice – Liz uses refined specific approaches & modifications and variations where necessary to ensure that all students – regardless of age, ability or fitness levels receive the maximum benefits from their practices. She will guide each student safely – addressing problematic areas of the body such as hips, hamstrings, lower back, shoulders and neck – easing out stiff joints and tight muscles along the way. Liz has a unique way of using her skills to challenge those who are more experienced while nurturing those who are just beginning – all in the same environment.  As the body becomes more open and free through the tools of the practice – so too does the mind as it enters a more peaceful and meditative state.


Meals provided at the Retreat

Friday Afternoon: When you arrive it is nice to be able to have a hot drink such as tea, herbal tea, coffee and a tasty treat. We will leave out some freshly baked sweet treats.

Friday Evening – Main course & dessert

Saturday Morning – Light breakfast before class (in form of an all-in-one breakfast bowl)

Saturday Lunch – Delicious healthy lunch

Saturday Mid Afternoon – Feeling peckish? We will leave out some tasty treats!

Saturday Evening – Main course & dessert

Sunday Morning –  Light breakfast before class (in form of an all-in-one breakfast bowl)

Retreat Schedule

There will be 3 yoga classes and 1 organised light trek of 1.30 mins approx.

Friday Afternoon:

16:00 – 17.15 Yoga class group A
17:45 – 19:00  Yoga class group B
19:00: Dinner

Saturday Morning:

8.00-10.00 a.m Breakfast.  Group A will need to come earlier to collect their breakfast, try to allow 1 hour digestion time before the yoga class.
9.30-11:00 Group A
11:30 – 13:00  Group B
From 12:30
Lunch from 12:30  group A can come earlier. Group B should come at 13:00 when as soon as they have finished their class.

Saturday afternoon
*More notes about Saturday afternoon below
Free time
14:30 Guided light trek
16:00  We will leave some homemade biscuits or protein balls or similar in the dining room self Service area.

Saturday Dinner

Sunday Morning
*Same Schedule as Saturday morning  – only difference is Group B will have their class first to give group A a chance to lie in if they wish.
9.30-11:00 Group B  (Group B free to leave after class)
11:30 – 13:00 Group A (Group A free to leave after class)

The retreat finishes at 13:00 on Sunday. There is no lunch served on the Sunday.

*Weather permitting we will join groups A and B together and take 1 of the 3 classes outside.

Saturday Afternoon Notes

Free afternoon and evening to have some time out. Mostly our guests main objective for getting away for a weekend is to breathe, rest and just have downtime. This is your chance to do just that. Chill out in the sitting room area, have a siesta, read a book. Weather permitting lie out in the courtyard garden in the sun!

For those who  feel like a more lively form of relaxation you can choose to come on our guided light trek.

14:30: optional guided walk

To keep things simple and to respect social distancing we have chosen a trek which is close to the property to avoid car sharing. It starts with a charming farm lane track meandering though fields with farm animals and views over rolling hills and shillelagh village for 20 minutes and then we enter a hilly woodland where we will do a circuit for about 45 mins then return home on the farm lane track of 20 mins. We often see birds of prey and deer and sometimes foxes in these woods.  It is a pleasant walk and will take approx. 1;30 mins maybe a bit longer if the group is stopping and starting .

*For anyone with reduced mobility or an injury please speak to Olivia prior to the walk.



Yoga Teacher




Liz specialises in Hatha yoga, vinyasa flow. Her classes can be described as a meditation through movement.  Liz is a Yoga Alliance Certified instructor with over 700 hours training and 7000 hours teaching experience.  Liz has steadily earned a reputation of excellence throughout her yoga teaching career.   Liz’s enquiring mind and a desire to immerse herself more deeply in the philosophy behind the system of yoga and the hugely transformative nature of the practice led her to continually progress and further her own development and understanding of yoga and it’s benefits which she generously shares wih her students.

  • YOGA
  • 15 YEARS
  • 500 HRS TT
  • Hatha, Vinyasa, Ayurveda

Our Guest Reviews

Dear Olivia, Just a brief note to thank you for a wonderfully organized and thoroughly enjoyable weekend. Everything superb. Ambience, hosting, food, rooming, all excellent. Most importantly, the yoga I really enjoyed and teacher Liz was the best I have encountered. Muchas gracias. Adrian

Adrian Boyle

6th December 2019

I am hooked! This was my first yoga retreat and I was nervous as I wasn't sure what to expect, plus I was going solo! Well it turned out to be a wonderful weekend from beginning to end. It was so relaxed, welcoming and fun. The accomodation and surroundings are breathtaking and the food is delicious. I believe the weekend I spent there has been life changing for me, its the start of a new me that takes a moment to appreciate the wonderfulness of everyday and to enjoy every moment of life. Thank you Olivia, Liz (the yoga instructor) and Don (the aruveyda specialist). I cant wait to return. Maureen

Maureen O Hara

26 th October 2019

Definitely worth it such a beautiful place ,really lovely relaxing weekend great yoga teacher .food all home cooked delicious .Olivia and her mam are very welcoming to the amazing retreat weekend. Highly recommend it .

Louise O Reilly

10 November 2019

Beautiful home cooked vegan food and the location was so peaceful..accomadation was 5 star

Anna Jordan

13 November 2019

The whole experience was amazing. The yoga,the instructor, the food, the venue and the company. Perfect get away weekend in a beautiful location in Wicklow.

Becks O Reilly

10 November 2019

My recent stay was an amazing experience. As a first-timer at Yoga I was nervous of not keeping up in the classes. However our instructor Ann structured the class so everyone from total novice (me!!) upto instructor level (who was also attending the classes) were all fully included. The location and the buildings are amazing. The rooms are really comfortable and were renovated with a passion to detail. The courtyard buildings provide a really tranquil setting for the Yoga weekend. The food is amazing. I was amazed at the quality, taste and standard of presentation. Award winning in its own right. I highly recommend a visit and think I will be back very soon!!

Dave Kelly

25 August 2019

My stay here recently was calming and uplifting; it is a beautiful place and the yoga classes with Liz were very enjoyable and very beneficial in strengthening my own practice. She is a great teacher. The food was delicious and the accommodation was most comfortable. I highly recommend.

Brid Heffernen

8 July 2019

From the moment we arrived, we knew our weekend would be one to remember. The setting is beautiful, great food and accommodation, but most of all a warm welcome from Olivia and her family. The group was varied with yoga ability at all levels, so everyone felt included and looked after by Liz, our terrific teacher. I would highly recommend Courtyard retreats to all, and will be booking a return trip soon!

Emma Gallen

8 July 2019

I thoroughly enjoyed the venue, yoga, food, ambience and fun during the weekend at The Courtyard. Well done Olivia, Liz, Noel and Dee!

Angela Maguire

15 April 2019

The Courtyard is a very special place. Stunning location in the wicklow mountains and then you have the buildings that have been renovated beautifully to create a calm restful open space. The yoga classes with Liz Richards were incredibly well planned so as to be suitable for a large group with mixed ability from total beginner to a teacher trainer. Don Brennan gave a 2 1/2 hour talk on ayerveda that was simply fascinating. I floated home after a weekend retreat and will absolutely be back. Thank you Olivia, that was exactly what I needed.

Isobel Mc Carthy

16 April 2019

The Courtyard Yoga Retreat is a very special place. It provides nourishment for the body and soul. A truly authentic experience in a wonderfully authentic space and place. Superb yoga with Liz a true yogi, who generously shares her knowledge and guides each individual through the practice carefully and attentively. The food is a delight home cooked and delicious. Olivia has mastered the art of creating vegetarian food that tastes absolutely divine. The surroundings of the beautiful original house and courtyard buildings, which have been loving restored by her parents Dee and Noel top off the entire experience offering serenity in the heart of Wicklow. It’s a truly special place.

Patricia Duignan

16 April 2019

An absolutely amazing weekend. Olivia and her family are so incredibly welcoming and professional. The location is just stunning and so calming. They've done such brilliant job at restoring it. You can see how much love and hard work went into it. The food was delicious and there was plenty of it (which is important after lots of yoga!) Liz, our yoga instructor was so knowledgeable and intuitive. I've been doing yoga for nearly two years and I learned more in those few sessions with liz than I've done in all my time practicing. She's so passionate.

Beth Maguire

15 April 2019

Best yoga retreat I’ve been on. Olivia and her family are so kind and welcoming. Place is fantastic and relaxing. Liz the yoga instructor was so knowledgeable and managed the class of beginners to advanced at ease. Food was delicious too.

Hilda Maguire

15 April 2019


Anne Reid

17 April 2019

"Great retreat today. Beautiful venue. Will definitely return"

Carol O Sullivan

10 Dec 2017

"My husband and I have nothing but positive to say about The Courtyard. We made to feel very welcome from start to finish, with a ‘home-away-from-home’ sort of feel the food was an absolute treat and the yoga teaching was insightful and inspiring. Would give 6 stars if we could."

Claire O’ Malley

19th March 2018

"Myself and my Mum had the most fantastic weekend at the Courtyard Yoga Retreat. Everything from the Yoga, to the food, to the setting and the welcome was second to none. Liz Richards is a particularly experienced and excellent yoga teacher. Olivia’s cooking is simply delicious. It is so satisfying, light but filling and extremely tasty and easy to eat. Both Mum and I can’t wait to come back. Thanks v much, Ali"

Ali O Connor

23rd March 2018

"Just back from a most amazing yoga retreat at the courtyard. From the warm welcome, yummy treats by the fire, amazing yoga sessions by Liz, and delicious and nutritious food, it was all just perfect for what I was looking for; rest, restoration, learning, good food and lovely company. Liz is a great teacher, bringing it right back to the basics and through her almost meditative stream of instruction bringing you to a new level of yoga awareness. Thank you all at the Courtyard. I will be back!"

Mathilde Murray-Veldt

14 Jan 2018

"Came to the courtyard retreat with my sister last weekend. It did not disappoint…..beautiful surroundings, comfortable accommodation and delicious vegetarian food. Olivia and her family were very welcoming, always on hand and worked so hard to make our weekend effortless. Liz is an amazing yoga teacher. Her classes allowed us to focus on the body, breath and mind. I felt revitalize and relaxed after a weekend of delicious food, excellent yoga and great company. Wonderful way to start the year!"

Geraldine O’ Gara

15 Jan 2018

"Just back from a weekend yoga retreat and feeling renewed and energised. The yoga classes were truly enjoyable and the vegetarian cuisine was excellent! Olivia is the perfect host and created a warm and friendly atmosphere throughout the weekend. I am looking forward to returning and enjoying another gorgeous weekend in this wonderful venue."

Jackie O’Brien

14th Jan 2018

"Just spent the weekend here . What an amazing place to kick start the year with mind blowing yoga , fantastic food and beautiful surroundings! A great experience I can’t wait to repeat !"

Clara De Paolo

15th Jan 2018

"Words cannot adequately describe how truly amazing the courtyard yoga retreat is … I was looking forward to my weekend but the reality was far better than my expectations. The yoga was incredible and meditative – I learnt more in a weekend than ever before… and the food…… amazing!! A nurturing wellness weekend- I will be back as soon as I can – thank you"

Fiona Barry

18th Jan 2018

"Fantastic day..enjoyed the fresh home made lunch, the desserts & the lovely sweet treats left out for us, The yoga was amazing & Liz is a super teacher, Olivia really made us feel @ home looked after us very well.Great company & beautiful scenic views around the area Will definitely be back"

Deirdre O Farrell

10 Dec 2017