ROOFTOP RESTIVAL, SHOREDITCH HOUSE
A Mini-Retreat atop Shoreditch House London
On a sunny Saturday morning in August, about 40 guests were excited to find ourselves the rooftop of Shoreditch House, launching our inaugural ‘Rooftop Restival’ to an intimate cohort of 30 guests, all ready to start the weekend with some rest and relaxation overlooking the City. What a wonderful way to start the weekend, after a week jam-packed with work (probably in the city)?
Our two hour ‘retreat’ was for Shoreditch House members to disconnect through a carefully curated series of practices that we call Restival.
Founder Caroline Jones, introduced the day by opening with the ethos of Restival. She discussed our up coming trips to Arizona with the Navajo, and the Moroccan Sahara with the Nomads. Each Restival immerses itself alongside indigenous tribes, grounded in nature, with yoga, meditation, wellness, music, and workshops focusing on story telling, art, and self-reflection
The proceedings were handed over to our resident life coach, Anne Lloyd, who set guests a task of learning the art of the body’s intelligence; becoming aware of the busy mind and learning how to trust the direct experience of the body through sensations.
We then moved from the mental, to the physical, as yoga teacher and Gong Master, Leo Cosendai led a Pranayama Yoga session. An interesting new experience for many, focussing on the importance of breath control. By the end of this session, you could really start to feel the energy in the space changing – it was incredible.
Anne Lloyd then gently took us through a meditation. We focused on the breath and noticed any sensations in the body. A guided meditation is a great entry point as it helps keep your mind on track and relinquishes anything that comes up along the way such as “am I doing it right…stop thinking…. Etc.”
As if the group weren’t blissed out enough, then came the piéce de resistance – another new experience for many. Leo’s gong bath. During the 20 minutes of pure sound nirvana, he masterfully played the gong… creating life enhancing vibrations, as guests laid back and let the sound envelope them. As the group came to, our very own Luke from the Restival team gave a beautiful reading from a book written by Richard Hamilton, Restival’s storyteller-in-residence.
We had achieved our aim; as everyone felt grounded, looked calm and content, rested and ready. All that was left, was to revive them with an array of botanical beverages from the wonderful Wild Fizz Kombucha, exchange final words on the magic of Restival and parting ways with a special Nomadic Travel Pouch designed just for the day with a copy of Suitcase Magazine for a nice read on the journey home.
We look forward to more Rooftop Restivals to come, but even more, we look forward to greeting some of our inaugural attendees to one of Restivals around the world.