Oct 12 2022
Larchfield Estate Event Team Yoga in The Old Piggery with Denis Jackson-Wade of The Den Yoga
Each year (unless certain global events dictate otherwise….), we try to schedule a number of ‘out of office’ sessions with our team. Designed to bring the team together beyond the confines of the office space, this may be an away day to plan for the year ahead, or an activity to enjoy a little down time. Whilst we have so beautiful space at Larchfield Estate for groups to enjoy, it can be easy to forget when snowed under a mountain of spreadsheets and emails! Day to day, like so many of you, our team are busying away behind their screens – planning and coordinating events, looking after the grounds, sprucing up our cottages, liaising with suppliers, and responding to the many enquiries and questions popping into our inboxes. It can be difficult to truly step back and appreciate all that we have around us, and to give ourselves some breathing time to reflect, evaluate and plan, or simply to relax and reconnect.
2022 has been a particularly busy year for the events industry following so much disruption leading to postponed plans, and in particular for weddings, with many couples who simply abandoned planning altogether. As a result, we saw a much busier spring / summer season that normal, with what we would typically see as a year’s of bookings, predominantly taking place across a few short months!
Being busy is no bad thing – the days fly by, and we feel super buzzed and productive, working with so many clients to create the most memorable events. However, when you are continually ‘doing’, it can be hard to step back and look at the bigger picture and to plan for the months and years ahead. In any business, it is critical to be continually looking forwards, and not just getting lost in the current projects and work at hand. It is also important, to simply schedule some time to dial down the pressure, and to enjoy some time to relax in order to remain enthused and to work effectively.
In late August, as we approached an especially busy 11-day run of events, we invited Belfast based Denis Jackson-Wade, founder of The Den Yoga to host a yoga session for our events team. You might be thinking this was a crazy time to be taking time out, however we would argue that this is precisely the most important time to consider stepping outside of the madness of it all – even if only for a brief period of time.
24th August was a beautifully sunny morning, and as the sun rose over Larchfield Estate, we gathered together in The Old Piggery for some recuperation ahead of the day’s business. Denis travelled from Belfast, just 20 minutes down the road, to join us. We were super excited to welcome him back to Larchfield Estate, following his and his husband’s wedding with us back in 2016!
Denis brought everything that would be needed for the morning including mats and props, so we just needed to bring ourselves (and some comfy stretchy clothing!). As the birds began to sing outside, and the clouds passed slowly overhead through the skylight, he read some short inspiring poems to start the class and to bring our attention into the room. We began with some breathing exercises, setting an intention for our yoga practice, and indeed the busy day ahead. Moving on to some simple yet effective movements to get our bodies warmed up, we then continued to some more challenging poses. Denis was super attentive to everyone in the room, assisting us with movements when needed (or when met with any looks of confusion!). Our group were mixed, some with regular yoga practices, some with a little experience, and some with none, and yet we all felt capable and able to keep up with the session, whilst also feeling a little challenge along the way.
Taking a moment to reflect....
The class rounded off with a period of quiet rest (perhaps the odd unintentional nap), before ending with a final poem read by Denis to inspire us for the action-packed days, and weeks ahead of us. We rolled up our mats, floated back to the office, had some breakfast together and got back to business, all with a sense of calm and energy ready to meet the day ahead with gusto!
Despite all of the will in the world, without taking some time to escape the office from time to time, whether it be to enjoy an activity and some down time together, to immerse yourselves in a strategic planning day, or even better, a combination of the two, it is extremely difficult to step back and focus. At Larchfield Estate, our Corporate Retreat package has been designed specifically to aid this, all with an overnight stay incorporated. For larger groups, a day hire rate is also available and our team can work with you to plan according to your needs. We have found by taking some time away for an overnight retreat once a year, we manage to achieve so much in terms of discussing current and upcoming challenges, our plans for the short and long term, and some blue-sky thinking.
If you are considering planning a corporate event or retreat for your own team, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our award-winning in-house events specialists to discuss options. We have a whole host of recommendations we can offer to enhance your stay, from activity providers such as Denis, to private chefs and local catering companies to keep everyone well-nourished throughout your time with us.
Or, if you are simply looking for somewhere to kick start your own yoga practice, we truly can not recommend Denis and his team at The Den Yoga enough!