by Jen Armstrong (photos and article)

We spent the last week of August 2018 at Rebecca Millers Family Yoga Retreat in the beautiful Devonshire countryside, England. What an incredible week it was, with five of the loveliest families, amazing helpers, and Rebecca herself running it so smoothly alongside her son Jay and partner Wilf. 

Waking up every morning on site overlooking the rolling hills of Devon was always a welcomed sight. The days felt so calm, relaxed and long and begun with everyone gathering for kids breakfast, then the adults would head into their morning class while myself and a few helpers took the kids. While the adults gently eased into their morning with a yoga class taught by Rebecca or Wilf, I taught them kids yoga then we made some crafts in the beautiful communal yurt, and had natural organic face paints by Jeanna from The adults then re-emerged and then we had a beautifully prepared brunch by Joe from followed by an activity such as bushcraft, berry picking or a trip to the seaside. A bit of afternoon child time would then be followed by spending the evening together eating amazing food, making pizzas and sitting round the campfire. The whole week left me feeling calm, refreshed and thankful to have been a part of such a beautiful retreat, and I know the families and children felt the same way. 

photos by jen armstrong

It was great to hear from Rebecca and Wilf themselves about the retreat and their inspiration behind it:

“This is the first summer we have been running these family retreats, and I’ve been running adult retreats for the past 4 years. For a few years I was a single mum to this little munchkin, Putu Jay, and I didn’t really know how I could go on a holiday where I could have lovely healthy food, have a little bit of free time, do some yoga, but overall get to spend lots of quality time with my son so that is actually where the inspiration came for our family retreat. I just want to create a safe space where families of all different kinds, single mums, single dads, mums and dads, can come with their kids of all ages. We’ve got a 6 month to a 10 year old here on this retreat and the whole range in between so we just wanted to offer this as a family for families to come and do yoga, have massages, do bushcraft, kids yoga, face painting, pizza making, bouncing meditation, performing, making positivity jars, trips to the beach and nature walks. We simply wanted to create a place for families to reconnect in nature without their phones and the business that life often brings. I think that so often we have to choose between doing our yoga or our activity, or spending time with family, so to combine the two is really important to us, so if yoga is your thing or whatever, then why not get the whole family involved. 

So this is the last family retreat for this summer and we are heading off to India in a couple of weeks and then we have plans for next summer we are going to run the same kind of retreats in France and maybe a few other sports so watch this space! We want to continue to grow and evolve and just keep going and create this lovely, happy, peaceful, mad space! We just let children and adults express themselves really however they want. Thats what we want to do over the next few years, just keep adding to our family retreats and just make something really special.”

The yoga has been a wonderful experience and my daughter has been joining the adult sessions! The food has been amazing by Joe, the whole retreat has been an amazing experience and the yoga has been excellent too so cant fault it! Kind of sad it’s coming to an end. Oh and today we are doing bushcraft, I’m making a dreamcatcher! So yes come along, they are brilliant! Rebecca and Wilf are amazing teachers!
— Rebecca and Millie

The family yoga was also very much a highlight for all attendees. Something that I found so beautiful about it is was that, even the babies and infants who weren’t old enough to fully understand, were observing their parent laying in savasana, not getting at all distracted by their child sitting on them or trying to talk to them. The parents had been given this rare opportunity to be in a room full of others modelling the mindful, calm, quiet way of being, which did rub off on the children too. All in all, it was a very collective week where the children were playing with each other, having fun trying yoga, parents all supporting each other and everyone with a collective mindset to just take it easy. 

You can follow Rebecca, Wilf and Jay on their travels in India through their new website named after lovely little Putu Jay-