Writing and Yoga

Methoni Castle

Wouldn’t you love to extend summer just a little longer? Together with beach time, easy yoga, writing friends, and ancient marvels, spending 10 days under the Grecian sun is the best way we can think of to make the sweetness last.
For the October 6 to 15, 2018 writing and yoga retreat near Koroni, Greece, we’ve planned one afternoon excursion and a day trip which are now included in the cost of the program.
On or about the third day of our retreat we’ll visit Methoni Castle. Continue reading

Radical Restoration Bursary

Our 10-day, 9-night voyage into words and movement is less than four months away.
If you long to join us on this unique yoga & writing retreat by the Ionian Sea but need some financial relief in order to commit, we have a limited number of bursaries to offer.
If Greece is calling along with the urge to deepen your craft by writing in community, please send me an email in which you share your hopes for the retreat.
We are all beginners every time we come to the page or stretch out on the mat. So, whether you are harbouring a secret desire to begin writing, rekindling an old love for writing, or have been at it for decades; published or unpublished, this offer is open to you.

Accommodations are varied in style and price, so they’ve been listed separately. The little villas are quirky and charming and the apartments are fully equipped and have balconies.
Once we are there, we will organize outings and dinners according to participants’ wishes.
Dinners can be prepared independently or together, or taken in local restaurants. The town of Koroni is only a 15-20 minute walk along the beach
Reserve Your Spot


We’ll help with travel arrangements.

We have a terrific travel agent who’s gotten us great flights at very reasonable prices, so let us know if you’d like her contact information. We’re also happy to pair people up if you’d like a travelling companion.

We’ve been deep in plans for this unique retreat and want to share some details and possibilities.
Currently, we’re exploring various travel arrangements with an agent to find the most convenient and least expensive options to arrive at Kalamata. So… if you’ve been dreaming of joining us but aren’t sure about travel, we’d be more than happy to help make that aspect as seamless as possible.
We’ll be arriving a day before the retreat begins to get settled and set up for your arrival, but if you’d feel more comfortable traveling with someone, we are happy to try to pair you with other participants.
There are still some lovely quirky villas available, but if you’d prefer a more private space, there are apartments available just steps away along the beach. Each one has two bedrooms and is 50 Euros/day for the entire apartment, plus a one-time 30 Euro cleaning fee. You can find details here: http://www.koroni.biz/appartements.htm  Otherwise, you can choose from the funky little villas here: http://www.koroni.biz/paradies.htm. For the various prices of the available villas, click here: http://radicalrestoration.ca/yoga_writing_retreat/accommodations-in-koroni/

We want everyone to have a richly inspiring experience, so we’ll be arranging afternoon/evening excursions to various sites of interest.
We’ve planned one afternoon excursion and a day trip which are now included in the cost of the program.
On or about the third day of our retreat we’ll visit Methoni Castle.
Built by the Venetians in the early 13th century on a rocky promontory, the castle is among the largest in the Mediterranean. Fourteen stone arches connect the castle to the shore. The symbol of Venice, The Lion of St Marc, dominates the castle gate.
At the south edge of the castle, floats a fortified isle, Bourtzi, built in 1500, which was a prison during the Turkish Occupation.
If weather permits, the beach near the castle is lovely for swimming.
We can stroll through the scenic town of Methoni to enjoy the well-preserved architecture. If there is time and interest we can also visit the catacombs of St Onoufrios (2km N of Methoni) and/or the Catholic monastery of St Leon.
This trip includes transportation and dinner.
On or about the 6th day of our retreat, we’ll take a day-trip to Pylos, Nestor’s Cave and Voidokilia Bay.
After stopping to browse shops and visit the harbour town of Pylos, we’ll drive about 12 kilometers for a hike to Nestor’s Cave which sits just below the ruins of the Paleo Kastro, the old Pylos castle.
As legend has it, this cave is where Hermes hid the 50 cattle he stole from Apollo.
In Greek mythology, Heracles slew all the sons of the King of Pylos except Nestor, who became king of Pylos himself. Nestor appears as a sage elder in both the Iliad and the Odyssey.
The hike is fairly rugged but worth it for the views alone – the higher you go, the more you’ll see, as the panorama takes in Voidokilia Bay, the Divari Lagoon of Gialova, and the olive tree-lined Peloponnesian Hills, the Bay of Navarino, and the city of Pylos.
After that, we can enjoy some beach time in Voidokilia Bay.
This trip includes transportation, lunch & dinner.

Both of these trips will provide us with unique opportunities for our writing practice.

AND… Right at Zaga Beach, there is a surf school where you can rent windsurfing equipment, catamarans, dinghies, sup, kayaks, and mountain bikes.


7:00 – 8:30 am: Gently ease into the day with Esana’s restorative yoga practice
8:45: Breakfast
10:00- 12:30  Guided writing practice with Deepam
Afternoons are free time
Every other evening we’ll gather for an artists’ salon around 8:00 pm





Sue Reynolds has been hosting and facilitating single day writing sanctuaries in her own home for several years.  In the mornings, participants write from prompts Sue provides, and have the opportunity to read their freshly created poetry and prose in a supportive environment.  After lunch, writers enjoy a few hours of silent writing time. Writers at all stages and levels are enriched and delighted by these  day-long immersions and often are surprised to find they’ve surpassed their own expectations.


These three-day residential retreats came into being after it became clear that when the day with Sue was over, no one wanted to go home.

They take place on a quiet piece of land beside a slow-moving river, two hours north-east of Toronto. Guests have the choice of modest private or semi-private accommodations, and enjoy the culinary mastery of Loving Spirit Conscious Catering.

The retreat begins on Thursday evening for a light meal and introductory writing “heat”. After a full-fare breakfast, prompts are given to launch writers into their craft. Afternoons are spent in silence – writing, walking, swimming, canoeing, resting.

There is optional restorative yoga Friday and Saturday evenings.


August 7 to 10, 2014 


890 Monck Road,

Sebright, ON

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Accomodation Cost
Private Room $495 (minus 5% off for WC members)
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Our retreat in Valfabbricia, Italy was such a wild success we have already booked our time there for next year.
Radical Restoration will be returning to Le Torrace in Umbria April 11 to 21, 2015.
  Continue reading


It’s not the rise

nor the fall of

slope, or the sweet

trill of new birds,

not the melt of

truffle on the tongue,

nor the kindness of

our host, his wife

or his helpers, but Continue reading


We rave every day about the tastes on our tongues. Giorgio, Leela and their helpers succeed in evoking moans of pleasure as table music at each breakfast, lunch and dinner. From the surprise of a crunchy cheese muffin-like thing at lunch, to a vellutata di Zucchine (soup) to a brioche with red cabbage, aubergine and cheese, roasted lamb with garden rosemary, Farro Perlato with porcini mushroom, to home-cured prosciutto and Caciotta cheese slices with truffles, all the way to Crema Catalana and Colomba Pasquale, every mouthful a surprise and a bit of a swoon. Our plates are always spanking clean after each meal.

The meals have served as inspiration for our writing as well as being the marker for the passage between activities. Many have remarked that although each repast is a veritable feast of taste and choice, none of the foods are too rich or too sweet, and we often leave almost directly from the groaning board of lunch for a long walk up and down or down and up these beautiful country roads, or book a taxi to take us to nearby Gubbio, Assisi or Perugia. Continue reading

Roman Amphitheatre 2
Italian Excavation

In Grade Nine she read I Claudius
In Grade Six, The Eagle of the Ninth,
But in Grade Three, she read about Pompeii
buried beneath molten lava and
volcanic ash

the book said archeologists
unearthed people
frozen in their daily lives
fossilized forever
by disaster’s sudden flow

Continue reading

2014-04-19 13.53.19The early evening sun bathes the grounds in a golden green light. Birdsong layers the air with happy music. The soft chattering of participants waiting for the dinner gong wafts up to my window. It’s day two of being here; day one of Radical Restoration at Le Torracce in Valfabbrica, Italy.   Continue reading


Although she is modest and shies away from taking credit for her students’ successes, the truth is that writing with Sue Reynolds has resulted in contest wins, publication, and a two-book deal with a major publishing house. I believe this is on account of a particular, (ironically) ineffable magic that happens when she launches a circle of writers down the writing road. Sue Reynolds leads the daily writing practice in Valfabbrica, Italy this April:  http://radicalrestoration.ca/yoga_writing_retreat/italy/
Who knows, a piece begun in the ancient hills of Umbria could put you in the winners’ circle. In fact, if you come, that’s exactly where you’ll be.

Terry: Sue’s writing group took me to places I did not think I was capable of going.  I was worried about being able to write anything at all and was pleased to discover I could.  The whole format is very gentle and supportive – I felt I could really expose my “narrator” and feel very safe.  I used the writing to explore my creativity and to do a little therapy on myself, knowing all of this was okay.

Jude: The prompts offered by Sue engaged my imagination.  The encouragement and support of the other writers led me to dig deeper, to share more.  My writing is richer than when I came.

Theresa: My experience of the writing group?  Pressed together, pressure of pen against that always blank page to create something worthy.  Soft words lead, blank mind struggles to follow.

Nancy: The writing group was an awakening experience.  I was able to put a few thoughts on paper and laugh about it.  I found another new hobby!

Jon: Each day unfolding freer, fresher, deeper.  A venturing into dark indigo corners, a bursting forth into rhythmic flow of unexpected images.  Instructive too!

Sue: I was deeply grateful for the way the entire group showed up day after day and gave their entire hearts and minds to the practice, engaging with the material of their lives on the page (in memoir, fiction and poetry) with the same kind of focus and commitment they brought to any standing position or seated meditation.

Suzanne: Acceptance and understanding – words flowing like a river – raucous laughter and the acceptance and release of tears and fears and joy and sorrow.  My only thought would be a couple of yawn and stretch moments to breathe.

Sharon: Hard, easy; silence helps to stimulate the brain cells.  Learning to keep the pen to the paper and the butt in the chair!  Listening to the readers, including self, with absolute confidence of acceptance, with no criticism; learning what works for me.

Esther: This group is like a warm hug of support.  Their words – music and waterfalls.  Their voices – laughter and sorrow.  I feel altered, grown anew, and blessed by their hearts.

Esana: A quiet space of listening and hearing the heart song.  That song that sometimes sputtered out of my own reluctant pen, that danced on the tongues of my beautiful fellow travellers.  My ears delighted to take in the love.

Colleen: Energized me, inspired me and gave me the seeds of new skills.  I felt myself unplug from mourning and pour forth unexpected things.  I also got unblocked from where I am in my novel.  Everything started to flow again.

April: Catapults all writers, new and seasoned, to look deep within themselves to find, either through story or experience, words that lift you off the page.

Deepam: Diving down into the ocean of words, images, sensation, memory surfacing like old friends from the depths.  In the safety of the circle, we offer our ears, our hearts, our shoulders, each to another.  The magic emerging from those who believed they could not.

Dawn:  I really enjoyed the variety and depth of the writing prompts.  I also enjoyed listening to everyone else’s pieces and giving and receiving supportive feedback.

James: Nobody encourages deep writing and brilliant writing better than Sue Reynolds. I came back with five good poems and four short stories that have great potential. It doesn’t get any better than this in terms of producing new work. The best aspect of the writing component is sitting with the group and sharing our stories and poems. I am always so impressed with how some of the writers go into painful places and produce gifted works of art. They set an example that encourages everyone else. And Sue creates the safety that makes it all work so well. New friendships abound.