Tuscany Retreats



Join Brenda Dempsey for a week of yoga & relaxation in a beautiful 17th century villa set amongst 28 hectares of natural woodlands in the Tuscan country side. Enjoy daily yoga (suitable for all levels), meditation and Qi kung, 3 delicious vegetarian meals per day, unlimited herbal teas, coffee and wine at dinner, Italian culture, nature walks in the picturesque surroundings, optional excursions, in-house massages and holistic treatments.


Please check here again or contact Brenda for 2015-16 dates

The day begins at 7am about sunrise with a half hour of breathing practice, pranayama, Qi Kung and morning meditation. There will be a fruit and tea break and then a 2-hour yoga class. Morning class has more energy so we’ll be doing sun salutations, standing asanas and remedial work for injuries, ending with savasana or corpse pose. We will break the more difficult poses into manageable pieces. Emphasis will be on creating a strong but fluid structure and working with strengthening limitations. Beginners will be able to follow the routine. We will create a daily practice for everyone to take home.

After our morning class we will break for a nutritious brunch which starts with a fresh detox juice made form seasonal fruit and vegetables, natural museli, yoghurt, fruit, toast, salads and eggs. We take a long midday break to allow time for enjoy and optional excursions, hiking to explore local villages, or simply relaxing at the villa with a holistic massage. In the afternoons, we meet again for a more restorative yoga session using bolsters and blankets. Inversions will be taught together with many sitting poses. Photos of Brenda’s 2011 Tuscany Yoga Adventure Open to all levels of yoga experience, this retreat is suitable to everyone interested in yoga and restoring balance in the body and mind.

Location— The week long retreat will be held at Villa Benvenuti in Lucca, Tuscany. Located just thirty minutes from Pisa, one hour from Florence and 15 minutes from the beautiful medieval city of Lucca, the villa sits high on a hillside overlooking a panorama of mountains, olive groves, fruit trees and vineyards. With 28 hectares of unspoilt nature to explore, the natural surroundings and secluded setting create an atmosphere of calm and stillness, making it ideal for yoga and meditative practices. There are several grassed terraces for enjoying the beautiful vistas, a secret garden waiting to be discovered and a swimming pool set away from the house amongst olive groves and oak trees. Wine, olive oil, herbs, vegetables & fruit are all produced in abundance on the estate and provide the essential ingredients for our deliciously fresh, vegetarian meals, cleansing juices and herbal teas. Our retreat menu is vegetarian with delicious healthy meals based on what is in season and the region’s specialities. As we are in Tuscany, we do indulge in organic cheeses, pasta, breads, wines and other delights, and so this retreat is not a strict cleanse but offers plenty of healthy choices. Food is organic where possible and sourced from the Villa’s vegetable garden or from local producers.

Teacher— Brenda Dempsey

Brenda Dempsey has been studying yoga and alternative medicine practices since 1989. She has a full time practice on Quadra Island and has been offering yoga and meditation retreats since 1990. She is a certified Hatha yoga instructor in the Sivananda tradition, and she has been influenced by many other gifted teachers. Recently Brenda has studied Medical Qi Kung to complement her work in Jin Shin Do(R), acupressure and Cranio Sacral therapy. Contact Brenda for information about yoga teacher training on Quadra Island. Brenda uses her skills as body worker to assist her yoga teaching to support alignment and understanding of energy flow and body healing. Her teaching is gentle but challenging and she uses humour and sound to help access the bodies deeper energies. She seeks to give her students a sense of lightness of being they can take with them when they go home. For more information about Brenda, go to www.brendadempsey.com

Optional Excursions & Activities

Visit the beautiful medieval city of Lucca, a lively historic town still encircled by an imposing 16th century wall and full of cafes, shops and bicycles! Explore the narrow streets lined with palazzos and churches and learn about the city and its many hidden treasures.

Hike along ancient pilgrimage routes and trails exploring local villages with wonderful vistas an enjoy lunch out at a hilltop village.

Follow the “Strada del Vino” (the Wine Road) into the hills of Lucca and Montecarlo. Enjoy the beauty of century old villas perched on hills rimmed by olives and hundred year-old vineyards and taste some of the best wines in Tuscany.

Enjoy a relaxing massage or other holistic treatment to revive your muscles after intensive yoga practice.

Hire a bike for the week and be free to discover Lucca and surrounding areas as you like. Follow the “parco fluviale” alongside the river, visit some of Lucca’s most famous villas or simply stop for a gelato or café in local villages. See more on their FaceBook page

Retreat Fees & Terms:

TBA, contact Brenda for 2014 details (CAD) per person per week in shared room & bathroom based on double occupancy

Most people are happy to share a room and if booking a shared twin room, we will put you in a room with a same sex person. A non-refundable, non-transferable deposit of $500 Cdn is due for each person upon registration. Full payment is required 6 weeks prior to the beginning of the retreat. Numbers are limited to 14 people.

The price includes :

  • twice daily yoga
  • Daily Meditation and Qi kung
  • 7 nights accommodation at Villa Benvenuti on a twin share basis
  • 3 vegetarian meals per day (except for dinner out on the last night and lunches during optional excursions)
  • unlimited herbal teas, water, coffee and wine at dinner
  • use of all facilities within the grounds of the villa
  • use of yoga mats, blankets, blocks and bolsters

The price does not include:

  • airfares
  • travel insurance
  • airport transfers (other than pick up from
  • Lucca train or bus station)
  • bike hire or optional excursions and activities
  • dinner out on the last night
  • massage and other therapies
  • other travel related expenses

Contact Brenda for more information – bdempseyyoga@gmail.com

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