Mindfulness and Walking Holiday

Mindfulness in the Mountains

Rest and explore, discover the transformative power of mindfulness in the mountains. Mountain mindfulness gives us time and space. It offers a chance to attend to the wild interconnection that defines us, the opportunity to really live in the moment without distraction.

On this retreat-style holiday the main activity will be walking in the beautiful mountains surrounding our base at Venabu Fjellhotell. Venabu sits on the edge of Norway’s first and largest national park: the Rondane. This Nordic mountain landscape of alpine tundra, boreal birch forests and lakes offers us the beauty and silence of wild nature. We combine walking with mindfulness practices indoors and outside. 

The course will be run in retreat style with periods of silence and guided practices. We will be well looked after, immersed in the warm hospitality of this family run hotel and there will be plenty of free time in the evenings.

Highlights

• Hike in unspoilt this wild reindeer country of lakes and mountains

• Discover the Nordic flora and fauna, migratory birds and birds of prey, arctic alpine plants

• Explore mindfulness and learn practices that can support you in daily life

• Explore our interconnection with the rest of nature and the mountains

• Suitable for those new to mindfulness and for established mindfulness practitioners

• Relax into the warm hospitality of a family run Norwegian mountain hotel

• Enjoy quality home made food and a good variety of vegetarian dishes.

Price: from 11500 NOK

per person  based on a twin/double room share

Dates and tour codes:

WM1  9 – 15 June 2019

WM2  22 – 28 September 2019

Walking Grade: 

Intermediate mountain walking for regular hillwalkers

Typically about 12km per day with 200 – 500m of ascent.

Mountain paths which may be muddy or rocky. 

We use short transfers by minibus to help us explore the area. 

Small group size: minimum 5 maximum 10

Course itinerary

Day 1. Arrival day

18.30 Dinner. We meet and get to know each other over dinner. After dinner we will have our introductory meeting.

Days 2 to 5 

The structure of each day will be different, adapting to the weather and the needs of the group. After breakfast we’ll start with moving or sitting practices inside before heading out. During the walks we will take time for guided practices or some time in silence. We find that opening these spaces invites a deepening contemplative relationship with ourselves and with the rest of nature: connecting through our senses and natural awareness.

Some examples of our walks:

Local peak Dynjefjellet, 1151m

12km 390m ascent – steady ascent, mountain paths. 

A steady path leads to the summit of Dynjefjellet. The high peaks of the Rondane are visible to the north. The wild land of Venabygdsfjellet opens before us. Distant to the west are also the glaciated peaks of the Jotunheimen. On this tour we will also see evidence of man’s earliest relationship with the wild reindeer of the area.

Canyons and waterfalls: Dørfallet and Myfallet

12.5km 300 ascent. 

The highlight of this hike is sure to be the Dørfallet and Myfallet waterfalls.  Experience for yourself the powerful force that carved this landscape. 

Ramshøgda 1463m

12-18km, ascent 460m, descent 620m. 

Today we hike to the peak of Store Ramshøgda. We discover the Rondane, Norway’s first National Park, created to protect the genetically unique, wild reindeer living here. Descending from our high point we discover an unfrequented valley where we are may see birds not often encountered elsewhere in Europe.

 Finnsjøvola 

 12km, 380m ascent. 

Both tranquil and sublime Finnsjøvola offers us a relaxed yet spectacular day. We ascend steadily through delightful, pine forest to open land and sparkling lakes with views of the Rondane massif and east towards Sweden. We may be lucky enough to hear the cries of the golden plover.

 Day 6. Departure after breakfast

Your course leaders:

Rob McKenna

Rob managed a diverse sector of the catering industry before becoming disillusioned by its unsustainable practices. This led him to full-time residency on Holy Isle, Scotland - a centre dedicated to peace, ecology and wellbeing. He enjoyed 8 years on the management team whilst studying Tibetan Buddhism and secular Mindfulness. He is a member of the Scottish Mindfulness Association.

He currently sits on the board of Moray Food Network and is a Project Co-ordinator for sustainable food initiatives in Moray. He has 25 years meditation experience and has taught mindfulness to a cross-section of the community. 

He is also qualified Shiatsu Practitioner and lives at the edge of Culbin Forest, North Scotland.

Joy O’Flanagan

Joy works leading groups in wild places, summer and winter. She is a UIMLA International Mountain Leader and BASI Nordic Ski Instructor. In her free time Joy loves to spend time ourdoors as a keen skier, runner and climber. A mindfulness practitioner for many years, Joy now teaches mindfulness. Her work is united by her passion for helping people to express their potential and explore their relationship with nature.

Originally a qualified physiotherapist the pull of the mountains became too strong so she relocated to the Alps and now spends large parts of the year in Norway. Joy is a Pilates teacher and a member of the Mindfulness Association, UK.

What’s included:

• Six nights accommodation with breakfast and dinner 

• Packed lunches and filled flask

• Mindfulness teaching and hiking guiding on five days

• The services of our experienced mindfulness teachers and knowledgeable hiking guide

• Our renowned Norwegian Buffet served on Wednesday evening

• All transfers for our time outdoors 

To book please contact the hotel reception:

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t: +47 61 29 32 00

For more information please contact Joy O'Flanagan:

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