Yoga & Creativity Retreat

Puglia, Italy / 22 – 29 September 2018

Stella Shakerchi and Chris Leuenberger invite you to join them in their yoga & creativity retreat held at Casina Settarte, a permaculture paradise and retreat center for somatic dance and performing arts in the beautiful nature of Puglia, Southern Italy.

Enjoy relaxing yet focused daily yoga sessions that will fit your yoga needs. Surrender to the flow of your innate creative potential and try somatic dance and/or creative writing.

While on your leisure time you can go for extensive strolls in the surrounding pine woods and olive groves, swim and play at the nearby beach and maybe after dinner join mantra chanting to calm your mind.

You will go home inspired and recharged!

Stella Shakerchi teaches creative writing and yoga in Oxford.
Chris Leuenberger is a Swiss dancer / choreographer working internationally. Both are 500hr RYT yoga teachers.

Janu Sirsasana

Casina Settarte is a place where the sun is reflected on the white roofs of the Trulli sprouting here and there amongst the green of olive groves. Here daily life is marked by the principles of love for the land, mindfulness and care for every living being.

Founded in 1993 in Puglia, Italy, Casina Settarte is a centre for creative development and education alongside the practice of sustainability, a place of creative research and experimentation surrounded by nature.

Comprising two dance studios and multi-use outdoor spaces, the centre focuses on movement, arts & crafts and permaculture with a particular focus on dance and contact improvisation.
Casina Settarte runs projects, courses and workshops throughout the year, lead by the Casina staff and visiting teachers.

Practice Spaces
– One large dance studio / yoga shala of 200 square meters with wooden floor. The space is protected from sun and rain and has open sides with blinds that can be pulled down for further protection from wind, rain or sun.

– One small studio 7x5m with wooden floor, central heating and a wonderful view.

The Land
Casina Settarte is surrounded by 2 hectares of land with Olive groves, fig trees, wild herbs (thyme, capers, oregano), almond trees and an organic garden which you can use for relaxation, research and creation.

The Geodesic Dome
The Casina Settarte community recently built a Geodesic dome 7 meters in diameter for open air activities. The wooden structure is comprised of a complex network of triangles, hexagons and pentagons and is particularly suitable for energy work and meditations.

During this retreat you will have two daily yoga classes with Chris and Stella. Experience extensive sessions of Vinyasa yoga, kundalini, restorative yoga, and celestial communication (mantras with extended mudras) in the evening.

To make full use of the life-affirming benefits of a regular yoga practice and to help unleash your creativity, we offer a choice of workshops in creative writing or somatic dance on three afternoons.

Typical Day Schedule
You will start your day with a 90 minutes Vinyasa class in the morning sun. After your class and relaxation session you will have your breakfast. There is sufficient time to rest, go for a walk in the surrounding nature or treat yourself to a massage until lunch. If you can’t get enough of the yoga, we will give the option of taking a shorter Kundalini yoga class right before lunch.
Should you wish to spend a larger portion of the day swimming and relaxing at the nearby beach or going on an excursion for trekking or sightseeing, we can arrange a picnic lunch.

In the late afternoon you will have a choice of creative writing or somatic dance workshops (Monday, Wednesday, Friday).
On Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday we will offer a 90 minutes restorative evening yoga class with meditation or yoga nidra.

After dinner you’re invited to join us for 20 minutes of mantras with music and mudras.

In this retreat healthy vegetarian yogic food will be served. The cuisine is

typical of Puglia, based on genuine daily products – lots of fresh vegetables and fruit naturally grown on the Casina Settarte permaculture farm.

The following meals are included in the price: breakfast, lunch, dinner, drinks Should you have special dietary requirements, kindly send an inquiry to Chris:

Casina Settarte has various accommodation options available:

  • The Trullo: a beautiful traditional southern Italian home. 3-4 beds, 1 doubleon the ground floor and 1 double/ 2 singles on the mezzanine, a bathroomand kitchenette; for close friends or couples
  • The Craniosacral Studio: double bed with ensuite bathroom next to thestudio, recommended for couples
  • The Lamia: quaint stone dormitory. 4 single beds with a kitchen andbathroom
  • Il Grottino / Cave: 3 – 4 single beds in a room carved into the rock
  • The Fish House: a rustic wooden bungalow with 3 single beds and seaviews on clear days
  • The Pine Forest: a perfect camping ground with shaded areas and flatsurfaces that can accommodate up to 10 tents

Accommodation Options and Cost:

Camping (up to 10 tents) EURO 499 
Fish House (3 single beds) EURO 559 
Il Grottino / Cave (3 – 4 single beds) EORO 559

Lamia (4 single beds) EURO 595 
Trullo (2 double beds or 1 double/2 single)  EURO 635 
Craniosacral Studio (1 double bed) EURO 635 


What’s included:

  • 2 daily yoga classes Vinyasa, Restorative (and kundalini for those who want)
  • 7 nights accommodation
  • daily yogic breakfast, lunch, and dinner
  • choice of creative writing or somatic dance workshop on 3 afternoons
  • mantra singing and celestial communication sessions after dinner
  • teas, coffees, and water
  • use of all facilities
  • free pickup from Ostuni train station
  • Wi-FiWhat’s not included:
  • airfares / train journeys to Ostuni
  • alcohol
  • excursions
  • massagesThings to doThere are many options for you to spend your free time on your retreat:
  • You can use the large Casina Settarte permaculture estate with its pine forests and olive groves for leisurely walks / hikes and to explore your personal meditation, mindfulness or movement practice.
  • We can arrange trips to the beach, to the famous whitewashed town of Ostuni or to the …. Valley for more extensive trekking and sightseeing.
  • Maybe you feel like treating yourself to a massage. Massages are offered at favorable retreat prices.

Arrival & Departure
Arrival is on Saturday afternoon, September 22nd. Departure is on Saturday, September 29th by noon-time.

Getting there

As we are in a remote place we can help you arrange your travel plans so that we can all save time, money and the environment.

We provide a free shuttle service from the train station of Ostuni (15 minutes from Casina Settarte).

The nearest airports are Bari and Brindisi. From Bari and Brindisi it is easy to reach Ostuni by train (half an hour from Brindisi, 1 hour from Bari).

Renting a car:

Car sharing makes the cheap rental cars even cheaper. At Brindisi or and Bari airport you can rent a car starting from 80 € per week. We will send an email before the trip and put all interested participants in contact.

Payment by bank transfer or Paypal

To confirm your space please text Stella 0740 212 6826

Side bend