Do you know where to find Govinda Valley? Many 2508 residents are surprised to learn that just five minutes drive from Helensburgh or Stanwell Park (and only one minute from Otford village) lies this beautiful yoga retreat centre, tucked away at the end of Lady Carrington Road.
The centre has an interesting history – in the 1940’s the building was a church mission hostel which housed so-called ‘half-caste’ Aboriginal children, evacuated from Northern Territory children’s homes after the bombing of Darwin. Nestled in 30 acres of beautiful woodland beside the railway track, the sun-filled halls now house yoga students from around the world who come to enjoy the tranquillity and beauty of the centre.
Govinda Valley has been hosting yoga retreats for over seven years, including providing delicious vegetarian meals to its guests. Now the centre is opening its doors to the general public for lunches, dinners, yoga and meditation classes, massage, detox weekends and more.
‘For just $15 you can enjoy a nutritious and wholesome buffet meal, including dishes like Thai green curry, spiced yellow rice, carrot and almond salad and delicious lemon and coconut cake,’ says head chef Esperanza Gonzalez, who runs the ‘spiritual kitchen’ at Govinda Valley. ‘Then you can round off your meal with a cup of spiced chai tea and a yummy bliss ball, sitting on the balcony overlooking the trees.’ The food is lovingly prepared by Esperanza and her team according to the principles of Ayurvedic nutrition – designed to nourish both body and soul.
From March 2013 Govinda Valley will also be host to a variety of weekly and monthly classes, run by local teachers and open to everyone. Andrea O’Brien and Ellie Youdale are offering Iyengar yoga classes on Tuesday mornings and Thursday evenings, with a beginner’s yoga course to be held over four Sunday afternoons in March/April. Govinda Valley provides yoga mats and other equipment for classes so you need only bring yourself and a willingness to learn!
Louise Charman-James, who has been running a Women’s Full Moon Meditation group at Helensburgh for the past year, will be moving her monthly full moon meditation to Monday night at Govinda Valley from March 25th. She will also be starting up a general meditation class once a month which will be open to both men and women. Louise leads a 45 minute guided meditation then finishes with the healing sound vibrations of her Chinese Wind Gong. A gentle and relaxing way to take time out for yourself once or twice a month and calm both mind and body.
If you want to kickstart your health after the excesses of Christmas and the New Year, why not try a detox program at Govinda Valley? Felicity King and the Govinda Valley wellness team are offering juice cleansing programs suitable for beginners and detox veterans. Incorporating fresh juices, plus yoga and meditation, the programs run over three days, one week, two weeks or one month. Felicity also offers a combination of remedial, relaxation and Thai style massage at the centre’s massage clinic, or you can try a healing Reiki session with Esperanza.
For more information about all the exciting new developments at Govinda Valley see below for contact details or visit www.govindavalley.com.au. Health and wellbeing have never been so close!
Govinda Valley Cafe ($15 per head, $10 student/senior concession, $7 for children aged 3 to 12)
Lunch (12.30pm – 1.30pm) and early dinner (6.00pm -7.15pm) are offered every day but bookings are required. Call Esperanza on 0416054726 to book (by 9pm on previous day) or email firstname.lastname@example.org
General Yoga Classes ($15/$10 concession)
Tuesdays 9.30am-11am Contact Andrea on 0411346386 or email@example.com
Thursdays 7.00pm – 8.15pm Contact Ellie on 0409447143 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Beginners 4 Week Yoga Course ($60)
Sundays 4.00pm – 5.30pm (starts Sunday 10th March)
Contact Andrea on 0411346386 or email@example.com
Guided Meditation and Gong ($15/10 concession, includes chai/tea afterwards)
Women’s Full Moon Meditation – Monday March 25th 7.30pm – 8.30pm
General Guided Meditation – Monday April 8th 7.30pm – 8.30pm
Contact Louise on 0417244978 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Next 3 day detox program (Thursday to Sunday) starts Thursday 21st March
Contact Felicity on 0411894900 or visit www.gvwellnesscentre.com.au
By appointment. Contact Felicity on 0411894900