Spring Yoga Retreat

Bookings are now open for the following Seasonal Yoga Retreats:

Winter: September Sunday 16 & Monday 17 , check-out Tuesday 18 July
Spring: October 8 Sunday & 9 Monday, check-out Tuesday 10 October

Summer: November Sunday 19 & Monday 20, check-out Tuesday 21 November
Late-Summer: February 2024


The Spring Seasonal Yoga Retreat combines the ancient wisdom of seasonal living, yoga practice, delicious and healthy Japanese food, and shiatsu massage.

Spring is a time for emerging from our winter cocoons. One of the most potent ways to activate spring energy is to wake before sunrise. Aim to be outdoors at this time in the morning…walking, jogging, practising yoga or perhaps an invigorating swim. The morning light sets off a cascade of hormones and neurotransmitters that help you feel good.

Join us at Shizuka Ryokan for two days of yoga, seasonal Japanese meals, accommodation and fun. With Renee Willner as your guide, immerse yourself in the ancient practice of yoga. Explore physical postures, breath work, meditation and deep relaxation.

We have chosen practices which suit beginners and experienced alike. Furthermore, shiatsu, a type of traditional Japanese bodywork, is on offer. Along with the carefully curated menu, our intention is that you experience a restorative retreat to help you embody the spring season.

Shizuka Ryokan is Australia’s only traditional Japanese Ryokan Wellness Retreat. We are located in Hepburn, a place renowned for its healing waters. Simply being surrounded by the Japanese gardens and the quiet of a traditional ryokan is a grounding experience.

According to the five elements theory the seasons are governed by the five elements: fire, water, earth, wood and metal. Spring is ruled by the wood element and rising energy. Spring is about rejuvenation, growth and expansion.

During spring we turn to foods such as freshly-picked, organic vegetables, and bean sprouts, celery, sorrel, rocket, young beets, Dutch carrots, and asparagus. It is time to decongest the Liver from the heavier slow cooked comforting foods of winter. Cooking times are shorter, little salt and oil are used. Less of everything is the general principle as we need to shed from our Winter body.  Do this as a gradual strategy that mirrors the weather shifts. On warmer days choose lighter veggie based stir fries and when the chill sets in, return to the slow cooking styles. Give the Liver a break by progressively phasing out rich and processed foods in preparation for the approaching hot summer weather. Using the seasonal citrus fruits in your water and cooking will support the Liver to decongest and enliven your skin.

Wood governs the joints, so yoga postures at this time focus on twisting, on promoting loosening and flexibility.

Sample retreat programme

Day 1

2-3pm   Arrive

3pm       Tea tasting

3:30pm  Welcome circle

3:45pm  Session 1: Arriving in the body

5pm       Free time

6pm       Dinner – Ramen

7:30pm Session 2: Yin yoga & meditation

9pm       Sacred silence until breakfast

Day 2

7:30am Session 3: Rise and Shine Yoga

9:15        Traditional Japanese Breakfast

10am      Free / Treatment time

11:30am Session 4: Breath exploration and philosophy

1:15pm    Lunch – Teishoku style

2pm        Free / Treatment time

6pm        Dinner – Omakase banquet

8pm        Session 5:Restorative yoga nidra

9pm        Sacred silence until breakfast

Day 3

7:30am   Session 6: Rise and shine yoga

9:15am   Traditional Japanese Breakfast

10am      Check-out / free / treatment time

11:30am Session 7: Kinhin Zen walking meditation

1pm         Lunch – Bento picnic in the Mineral Springs Reserve

2pm        Closing Circle Satsang




“I loved participating in the retreat! I loved the yoga sessions and walking session and the tea ceremony at the start. Renee was very patient and kind and taught us a lot. And I loved the beautiful food and drinks! Thank you so much for this beautiful retreat. I hope to see you again soon.

              – Aurelie – winter retreat



Choice of:

  • Twin share $997 (bring a friend); or
  • Private room $1,398


  • all meals (2 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 2 dinners & refreshments)
  • Seven yoga sessions (example schedule above)
  • One massage; your choice of Shiatsu or Relaxation (subsequent treatments available at extra cost; see spa menu)
  • All yoga props provided

About the instructor

Renee’s long interest in how the mind, body and spirit interact found its perfect expression in yoga, which she has practised for over 20 years. As a teacher she takes a holistic and fun approach that allows individuals to find what they need in the practice, in a safe, supportive and fun environment. Following the birth of her daughter, Renee sought a holistic approach to exercise that could integrate all her passions- healing, nature, embodiment, spirituality, music, empowerment & authentic expression- so she fell in love with yoga!

A Yoga Australia member, her extensive training includes: 500hr Purna at Byron Yoga Centre, Scaravelli, Feldenkrais, Donna Farhi, Yoga as Therapy- Doug Keller, Yoga of Birth- Anahata Giri and Rainbow Kids Yoga.

Renee is an experienced massage therapist with specialised training in pregnancy massage and deep tissue therapy. Her holistic massage treatments incorporate a range of clinical and energy healing techniques including shiatsu. Her background in luxury spa management and training ensure an exceptional client experience every time.

To book your place for a Seasonal Yoga retreat please call (03) 5348 2030 or email us at [email protected]