The Art of Adaption, Essex, 22nd - 24th September 2017

£ 225.00

The Art of Adaption, Essex, 22nd - 24th September 2017





Yoga for Health and Education Trust



The Art of Adaption

Working with mixed ability and mobility groups

Domus Mariae, (school entrance), Turpins Lane,

Woodford Bridge, Essex. IG8 8AX

Friday 22nd - Sunday 24th September 2017

Cost: £205 members, £225 non-members
Early bird: £20 off if booked before August 1st

Suitable for

Yoga Teachers' Continuing Professional Development (CPD) and serious yoga students with more than 2 years' experience

Tutor - Suzan Joy Wells

Suzan holds the Yoga for Health Foundation's general and remedial training certificates. She is also a practitioner in the viniyoga therapeutic use of yoga, which includes introductory, foundation and a 3-year practitioner training.  Suzan is passionate about yoga for health, yoga as a therapy and inclusivity.  She has been leading group classes for 15 years and 1-2-1 therapy sessions for 8 years.

This experiential workshop will help you deepen your understanding and confidence in adapting yoga for those with mobility and health challenges. It covers assessment of function for postures and principles of adaptation, including opportunities to put adaptation into practice; both as student and teacher.  You will develop your skills in applying these principles to provide beneficial and effective yoga in mixed ability and mobility groups and should feel confident in welcoming a variety of students into your groups by creating inclusive yoga practices.

Topics covered include:-

  • The function of postures (forward and back bends, side stretch, twists and inversions)

  • Adaptation principles and practice

  • Props and movement aids

  • How to work with the restrictions including wheelchairs

  • Breath

  • Sankalpa and visualisation

Your experience and knowledge is very valued, sharing ideas in the group is an important part of this course and there is room for open discussion, intuition, ideas and creative ways of working.

This weekend comprises 10 hours CPD and participants will receive a certificate. This does not include any additional informal learning in the company of other teachers during breaks, at mealtimes and socially throughout the weekend.

By default food is vegetarian for this event. Special dietary requirements can be specified when booking.

Show me the Domus Mariae venue, accommodation and travel information


Click to show/hide reviews of the previous YHET CPD events....


Domus Mariae CPD Weekend on the Subtle Energies of Inner Yoga, February 2017

This was my first visit to Domus Mariae having heard much about the venue. It was a dark weekend in February, the in between Christmas and Spring time when inspiration is required.

We were greeted and shown our accommodation, which was very comfortable and we enjoyed the communal kitchen for cups of tea and chats during the weekend. The food was really good, in abundance and delicious. The venue was very comfortable, clean and the room we practiced yoga in was very peaceful.

“The subtle energies of Inner Yoga” – I am not a yoga teacher and enjoy yoga and the varieties of yoga and teachers – I had no idea of what this workshop would be about but having been to several of the other weekends really looked forward to it. Really it was beyond expectations and took yoga to a completely different dimension for me. If ever there was any magic in yoga then I really experienced it during this weekend. Awareness was the key word, awareness of the body, breathing and sound, complete body awareness. The first evening on arrival during the introduction workshop delivered us to the venue and the work. Over the course of the weekend I can only describe as magical, the experience of my whole body breathing and being completely aware of being in my body, I really don’t think that I have ever experienced this before.

I have to really give a big thank you and acknowledgement to Tracy Gent, such a gentle but inspirational teacher. Tracy guided us gently through the workshop and helped us experience the awareness of the subtle energies of inner yoga. This is a practice that I now incorporate in my everyday life and has made such a difference to my feelings of wellbeing and awareness of myself and others.

Caroline Webster

Domus Mariae CPD Weekend on the Subtle Energies of Inner Yoga, February 2016

I have been asked to review the CPD event held at Domus Mariae in February.  It was my first time at the venue and my first time being taught by Tracy.  I have been to other YHET events so recognised many faces and got to know some more.  Its surprising and pleasing how relaxed we all are with each other.  Coming together to learn more must do us some good.

I also quite liked the venue though not as much as St Mary’s in Wantage, which unfortunately is no longer available to us.  It took me quite a while before I realised that some windows do give views of the garden although most seem to give views of walls!  The food was good and the service relaxed and friendly with help available freely without any sense of needing to create a fuss.  I particularly liked the Labyrinth by the chapel.  I’m not that into walking meditation but that made sense to me and I would love to walk it again.

Tracy’s focus is the inner practices of yoga designed to open us up to our connection with all that is.  I found it very beneficial to be given physical awareness practices to tap into this connection and reference to therapeutic benefits which gave me new insight into a long standing problem that I have.   I also liked the references to the underpinnings of Tracy’s teaching both in the Hatha Yoga Pradipika and the teachings she has received over many years from Dr Bhole.
Tracy had already begun to adjust her planning for CPD weekends from feedback she received after the previous ones.  It was good that she was open with us and to us to consider how to adjust once more for any further weekends.  I am hoping she will plan to do one on the esoteric teachings of yoga again in a way that makes it accessible to new people and to show how this work might fit into our everyday practice and our yoga classes.

One of the things we did realise was  we do enough work in the day time sessions and that it would be better to have something more relaxed and social for Saturday evening’s work.  I seem to remember that happening at Ickwell Bury.  So get your talents out to bring along next time and Saturday evening can be fun and lighthearted and Tracy can have a well earned rest.

Many thanks to all involved.

Lesley Butterwick

Domus Mariae CPD Weekend on the Subtle Energies of Inner Yoga, February 2016

I arrived at Domus Mariae once again on Friday 12th February 2016 for another weekend of the subtle practice of  Inner Yoga with Tracy Gent.  I had attended the previous 2 two weekends with her in 2014 and 2015 and found them to be very interesting.  Tracy teaches with her gentle energy and calm voice which makes the practices easier to learn.

Tracy was originally taught by Dr Bhole, a medical doctor, physiologist, and joint director of research of Kaivalyadhama Yoga Institute, India for 35 years.  I remember him visiting the Yoga for Health Foundation some years ago.

During the weekend we revisited some of the work we had previously done and Tracy discussed feedback she had received from those who attended Inner Yoga 2.  This time we covered – the spine, working with the doors of perception, nadis, various pranayamas, mudra and bandhas, mantra and transcendental practices.  Each subject was divided into short sessions so we could have a break, a cup of tea or some fresh air.  I found it took deep concentration to keep my mind focused on the inner yoga so the timing worked well for me.

As usual the accommodation was comfortable and the food tasty with no problem for those who are on special diets.  It was also great to meet up with friends again and catch up with their news and views.

Well, it's time for me to to 'go inside' and see if I can breathe through my ears!  I'm not joking!  

Live well, Laugh Often, Love Much

Eileen Nash

Domus Mariae CPD Weekend on the Subtle Energies of Inner Yoga, February 2015

I was lucky enough to have attended last year’s Subtle Energies of Inner Yoga part one, which was also delivered by Tracy, and as soon as the course details were published for this year I booked immediately, and I am very glad I did. I had also told my sister, who is about to start a yoga teacher training, about the weekend and she also managed to attend. I know that she found the weekend beneficial and enjoyable.

The venue is easily accessible and near to where we live in North London, although once you have arrived it feels miles away from anywhere, the ground and buildings are so peaceful. The rooms arranged over three floors are cosy, warm and spotlessly clean and the vegetarian home cooked food is wonderful.

We started our weekend at 5pm with a gentle stretching class which was very welcome after a long week at work and a busy Friday afternoon drive.

After dinner in the first session Tracy revisited the work done in part one of the course, refreshing those who had attended, and informing those who had not. From session one Tracy led the course in her calm, quiet wonderful voice, starting with the perception of light before our closed eyes, moving into a whole body scan, then becoming aware of each part of our bodies and linking with that part of the body. If we could not link with a part of the body then we asked ourselves why? Was there a block in that part of the body, if so then was the reason for the block obvious such a trauma or not? Tracy finished our session on Friday evening with a Yoga Nidra which was a perfect end to my day.

With the work on the Saturday in a “subtle” exercise, I found that I was holding tension in a specific part of my neck area. I had not consciously realised this and found it with the subtle energy work. My breathing and the movement in this area was, in Tracy’s words, “paradoxical” or contradictory to the way it should be, although I could feel and sense that all the other nearby points in the neck area were working correctly. So by working on this one point for a time I eventually got the breathing and movement correct and today everything in this area is still tension free. This was a practice that I had never used before and it was a great benefit to me as I am sure it was to everyone in the group. Let me mention the group at this point, a kind caring inclusive group of yogis whose company I immensely enjoyed.

Saturday evening ended with working with sound energies through bija mantras and AUM, which I found was powerful work. On Sunday, we experienced nadis and nadi shuddhi pranayama, again Tracy’s knowledgeable ways of working is unique to anything else I have ever experienced on acourse, and we all found different pathways through her skilled direction.

This review is just my own personal impressions of a small part of the work we practised over the weekend, and for me it was wonderful to, through Tracy’s guidance, physically experience practices that I had only read about, this giving me new understanding.

I hopefully look forward to there being a part three Subtle Energies of Yoga next February, and recommend that you book it too!

Jackie Arnold

Domus Mariae CPD Weekend on the Subtle Energies of Inner Yoga, February 2014

For a long time I've been receiving tempting emails from YHET about the residential weekends at Domus Mariae in Woodford and finally I managed to book for the Subtle Energies from 7th - 9th February. I could not have picked a better weekend, spent with old friends and new, including many staff who had taught me at Ickwell Bury.

I found the venue, Domus Mariae, accessible by public transport from S E London though many participants had driven there. The site is sprawling but the parts assigned to us were clustered close together. I was taken aback to find my bedroom window looking out on to a brick wall but this was a minor detail. The food was plentiful and delicious, the staff helpful and efficient and the accommodation warm and spotlessly clean.

This all provided the perfect setting for the wonderful teaching by Tracy Gent who has worked with Dr Bhole for 15 years. She is a teacher gifted in her ability to explain complex and subtle yoga concepts in clear, relevant ways and to guide her students through practical experience of these concepts. We spent a lot of time lying on the floor learning to pay real attention to our body structure and breathing. This apparently simple, repetitive and graduated approach touched on great depths and potential for us to pursue through future practice. Tracy's excellent visual presentations on a large screen were reproduced in a handbook for us to take away and use for future reference. Personally I found that Tracy was able to pull together in an integrated way many yoga concepts I'd heard of (and many which I hadn't) which at last made sense: rather like joining up the dots in the old "painting by numbers". So thank you Tracy for an illuminating and enriching weekend which I hope will be followed by others.

As ever it was heartening to be able to share our learning and experiences with others safe in the knowledge that we share a common and growing understanding in yoga. Thank you to all at YHET for enabling this to happen.

Om shanti

Janet Harris

Domus Mariae CPD Weekend on the Subtle Energies of Inner Yoga, February 2014

How do they do it? Another brilliant weekend of yoga. The normal start of a yoga stretch at 5.00pm did not take place due to another group at Domus Mariae for the weekend, so reception was very busy. We yoga arrivals collected in the sitting room to wait for the room keys to be sorted out. I think this turned out to be of benefit as the opportunity to get to know those with us for the first time and to chat to the regular attenders.

The weekend was quite intensive, a lot to take in. As I made it to the 7.00am session on Saturday and took the early morning session on Sunday I may well have nodded off occasionally during the day. The aspect of inner yoga was new to me - and fascinating.

Some of the practices we explored were:

The perception of light before closed eyes: Close the eyes and learn to perceive oneself from the inside.

The body scan: Be aware of each part of the body just as a structure, without moving it.

The effect of asana on the perception of light and body awareness: This involved circular movements of the body, clockwise and anti-clockwise from the sitting area, pelvis, stomach, mid chest/base of the neck, top of the spine/base of the skull. I found that the practice literally stirred me up, raising emotions that made me tearful without knowing exactly why.

Experiencing pranayama Kosha: Involved breathing and observing its effect on different levels of the trunk, making me very aware of the relationship between the movement of the breath and the movement of the body that the breath causes. This experience is of movement in the horizontal plane, prana and apana vayus. New to me was the udana vayu, experienced as vertical expansion and retraction, arising from the direction in which the fibres of the stretching muscles run.

Experiencing the vertebral column: Dynamic crocodile poses from the semi-supine position and from supine position, comparing the effect of changing the focus from the periphery of the trunk to the area of the vertebral column.

There was much, much more contained in the weekend programme, one of the must do events of the Yoga for Health and Education Trust. (But hey, aren’t they all must do events?)

Many thanks to Tracy Gent who had worked very hard to present a fascinating programme.

Greg Shore


Domus Mariae CPD Weekend, February 3rd-5th 2012

February 2012 Domus Mariae CPD event

On Friday, 3rd February a group of sixteen yoga teachers, some having travelled by car for several hours, attended Domus Mariae Convent in Essex for a CPD weekend.

Those who did not attend missed an excellent CPD event, conducted by Sannyasi Mahamani (Carol Smith). Those who have worked with Carol before will already be aware of her commitment to sharing her knowledge in such an enthusiastic and inspiring way.

ANATOMY TUTORIAL: Anatomy cannot be altered – you cannot change the number of vertebrae comprising the spine (surgery excepted)…… but to revise is beneficial and Carol made emphasis that those suffering Herniated Disc SHOULD practice Locust and Cobra (but no body weight being taken by the hands). However, forward bends are contra-indicated. Carol advised that these were the recommendations of Dr. D. Dongaonkar with whom she studied in India and proceeded to lead the group through his recommended basic sequence, which included; spinal rocking, single leg lift (45°), Navasana (although more a canoe than a dinghy), Ardha Matsyendrasana and Vrajrasana (to stretch the Femoral nerve) as stretching the muscle through, or alongside which a nerve flows will stretch the nerve. Kapalabhati Pranayama was also part of this sequence.

The pose I found interesting was simple yet quite subtle; it was called Side Roll (no Sanskrit) – bring both knees to chest, clasp hands around shins then roll slowly, with control, towards the side but STOP before actually touching the ground…… hover at this point for a moment and then slowly return, with a gentle roll, back to centre. What muscles do you use? My students had great fun with this – some being too cavalier and so rolling straight over and then understanding abdominal control is necessary for that brief halt and slow roll back to centre. And now we understand why Dr. Dongaonkar included abdominal strengthening Kapalabhati in his sequence.

STRESS MANAGEMENT TUTORIAL: commenced with the question “What is Stress?”My notes indicate the group quickly gave twelve answers. Carol listed the “Phases of Intensity of Stress”:-

Psyche symptoms; Irritable, Hyper-active, Excess Anxiety, Fear, Insomnia

Psychosomatic; Hypertension, Palpitations, Fidgeting movements, Tics

Somatic; Now manifest as an ailment: Hyperacidity Organic Stomach ulcers, Heart problems, Lung problems, Diabetes

At times of stress our bodies will “collapse” at our weakest point (rather like a dam when it bursts at its weakest point when under severe pressure). So we too all have our genetic weakest point. It all makes such sense. I am sure we all know of families where IBS is a problem, or skin problems, or breathing problems. Much also depends on whether you are a Type A personality.

To counteract stress we practiced Carol’s 7 Poses and three Relaxations; INSTANT RELAXATION, QUICK RELAXATION & DEEP RELAXATION:

All poses are done very, very slowly, with eyes closed also involving chanting the sound “Ah” in various postures. There was almost excitement in the feedback, several people advising that, with the eyes closed and moving so, so slowly, they found it difficult to assess how near they were to the floor when forward bending. This was a very relaxing session, yet so easily executed.

THE AUTOGENIC TUTORIAL: A self-contained, self-help session of nine short sentences, each sentence repeated three times which can be practiced either sitting in a chair or lying down. The nine sentences comprise one sequence; this sequence is then repeated three times, with a centring stretch in between each repetition. The whole practice takes no more than fifteen minutes. What a gem of a practice, which lowers blood pressure and boosts the immune system. It is advised to practice three times daily for six weeks = forty-five minutes a day, in fifteen minute portions.

So……. I am now switching off my laptop for fifteen minutes of “ME TIME”.

With my grateful thanks to Sannyasi Mahamani’s teachings and for the numerous detailed handouts.

Thanks also to the staff at Domus Mariae and all the YHET organisers.


Chris Bindley


Domus Mariae CPD Weekend, February 3rd-5th 2012

Grounds at Domus Mariae in the snow

I do love to add to my knowledge and looked forward to meeting up with other Ickwell Bury teachers. The articles in the YHET magazine did encourage me to visit Domus Mariae, which is why I am writing about my experience. I had concerns about the journey, but I upped my meditation and with good planning for the journey and a soupçon of courage, off I set. It also helped to have a coffee break visiting a friend on the way.

What a lovely surprise! The convent, buildings and gardens are beautiful. My room was immaculate, as were the bathrooms. The convent staff were helpful and friendly. The food was delicious.

The CPD weekend was well balanced, useful and interesting. Carol Smith is an excellent teacher. Any time away from home, i.e. the phone, paperwork and the endless list of things to do always renews my energies and I do love being with Ickwell Bury people. The musical evening was great and very uplifting.

So the whole weekend was a lovely adventure. The snow was beautiful too and added a bit of sparkle to the time away.

My thanks to June Skeggs, Paul Blissett, Helena Read and Carol Smith. I could see a lot of work had gone into ensuring the weekend ran smoothly.

om shanti

Carol Nettleton


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TRAVEL – more detailed instructions will be sent with the confirmation of booking.

For further information please contact Jill Cook email:

Please bring your own YOGA MAT and any blocks or belts that you use

Arrive after 4pm on Friday 22nd September 2017. Our weekend finishes after lunch on Sunday.

Booking Options

  • Please book online if you can. It is the fastest and most efficient way to book - you receive immediate acknowledgement of your order and the booking process ensures that you supply all necessary information. It also saves YHET staff having to manually enter your booking details onto the website for you - a process that is much more long-winded than you doing so yourself.

    You can still pay by cheque if you prefer, even when booking online.

    As well as the questions below, a Personal Comments section further on allows you to tell us about any particular requirements you may have and if applicable, who you are sharing a room with.

  • Please do not make both an online booking and a postal booking - just one or the other!

  • If you really have to make a postal booking please email Jill Cook and she will email you a form to complete. Members will also receive a paper booking form in the YHET magazine.

Online Booking Payment Options

Please note that Paypal commission charges are quite significant for events so if booking online and you prefer all of your payment to go to YHET, please select "Invoice" as the payment type when ordering and pay using one of the following two payment methods:

  • If you use internet banking, you can make an electronic funds transfer direct to the YHET bank account. Our bank account number is 65247251 and the sort code is 08-92-99. Please ensure that you include your name as the reference so that we can match your payment to your order.

  • Alternatively you can book online and pay by cheque. The electronic invoice we send you will give the postal address to send your cheque. If you do not receive an electronic invoice in your inbox, please check that your email filter has not put it in your spam folder.


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