Rekindling wisdom of natural herbs

specialist creative workshops

sharing community and connection – sign up below to join us

foraging for wild herbs and flowers

holistic cookery classes

NEWSLETTER

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About

The Women’s Wellness School has been created to provide a warm and welcoming communal space for women of all ages and backgrounds to immerse themselves in nourishing self care practices, that invite a sense of peace, connection and self discovery.

Our intention is to share simple and effective tools and practices that can easily be applied in daily life. We offer various events and courses with guest tutors and therapists throughout the year, based around the practices listed below in more detail.

* The Women’s Wellness School is connected to two affiliated organisations that receive a percentage from all our events. Centro Il Fiume’ is a cooperative run community centre at the heart of one of Romes most diverse and working class distircts that offers high quality yoga, tai chi, capoeira, meditation, treatments, therapies and pregnancy/natural birthing care. The centre is also home to a shiatsu school and a children’s kindergarten. SHARE is a non-profit association that is made up of volunteers and a web of supporters that work in an independent way towards the realization of projects and support, in that fascia of the population which is often in dire difficulty.  A new project involving women’s health and prenatal care in Rwanda will be a direct beneficiary of our commitment and sharing of the Women’s Wellness School.

Holistic Cookery Workshops

Holistic Cookery Workshops

Our cookery education is designed to create clarity and confidence around the food we choose to eat. Classes are hands on and interactive including demonstration, theory, nutritional background, kitchen basics and food consciousness practices. Forming a complete holistic picture this approach to cookery focuses not only what we eat, but how we eat and if our bodies are able to absorb and assimilate the nutrients we provide.
We are inspired by and include aspects of 5 element theory, food energetics, macrobiotics and Ayurveda in addition to natural nutrition, raw and living foods, fermented foods, botanical cuisine and traditional/cultural methods and techniques.

Scaravelli Inspired Yoga classes

Scaravelli Inspired Yoga classes

This approach to yoga is inspired by the late Vanda Scaravelli. Vanda emphasised the harmonious relationship between gravity and the breath and how this dance helps awaken the spine and bring to life its natural, undulating and wave like movements. There is no push and pull in this practice, no desire to perform or achieve. Instead we focus on the letting go of tension, integration and a sense of ‘undoing’ rather than ‘doing’, to allow a more organic and natural quality of movement to emerge. This approach suits everyone, male or female, of all ages and all levels. It is a gentle yet deep and potentially transformative practice.

Meditation

Meditation

Meditation is the practice of resting the ‘monkey mind’ and returning to our true nature and state of being. When we learn to quiet and still the mind we enter the deep space and stillness that resides within us and are less influenced by thought, emotion and external stimulation. Regular meditation enables us to feel clearer and more focused in our daily life and improves our relationship with ourselves and with others. Through guided practice and visualisation, as well as plenty of time and space to discover what this means for yourself, meditation forms a fundamental aspect of our courses and provides the foundation and support for everything else that we explore.

Shu Sei Ho | corrective exercises for pelvic health

Shu Sei Ho | corrective exercises for pelvic health

Shu Sei Ho originates from Japanese tradition. It includes practical, functional and highly effective movements that stimulate meridians and energy flow as well as work with the muscular and skeletal systems. At The Women’s Wellness School we feel passionate about pelvic health for women and work with this practice to restore balance and harmony to this region of the female body.

Natural & Wild Herbs

Natural & Wild Herbs

Until recent times, knowing how to use the gifts of natures wild herbs and plants was common knowledge across all cultures. In the modern world we are fast losing this knowledge and wisdom and find ourselves relying on synthetic and man made alternatives. We believe that nature has all the remedies we need to support health and help prevent illness and feel passionate about developing this knowledge and in sharing it with others. On each event we explore a specific theme, interweaving herbal wisdom through the different aspects of our courses. Together we take trips out into nature to forage and collect our own herbs – used to create everything from tea infusions, medicinal remedies, toiletries, cosmetics and household products.

Self Care, Massage & Natural Remedies

Self Care, Massage & Natural Remedies

Here at The Women’s Wellness School we give lots of space and attention to self care. We believe whole heartedly that it is not selfish to prioritise your needs and make time for yourself, in fact it is necessary before we can truly take care of others and our responsibilities. In our workshops we look at many different types of nourishing practices and techniques that can easily become part of daily/regular self care, as well as self massage and creating our own medicinal remedies, toiletries and cosmetics from herbs and kitchen staples.

Reawakening Workshops in Personal Transformation

Reawakening Workshops in Personal Transformation

These sessions take many different forms and often we invite a guest facilitator with whom we resonate and admire, to come and share their creative work with you. Through art, voice, dance, song, writing, tea ceremonies, dialogue and practices such as Ikebana (meditative Japanese flower arranging), we access our creative self which when awakened and nurtured adds richness and depth to our lives. Through creative work we enter into a more playful and relaxed state of being; where ideas, dreams and fantasy are given full permission to be expressed.

Time In Nature

Time In Nature

This aspect of our courses is essential and our venue provides the perfect setting for full immersion and a ‘back to nature’ rural experience. We have 19 hectares of unspoilt land that includes woodland, olive groves, a sweeping valley home to wild horses, a large allotment, fruit and nut trees, donkeys, goats, chickens, bees and dogs. The land is hugged by the surrounding hills and sits against the backdrop of Monte Soratte, the only sounds here come from nature and it feels remote and timeless. By spending time watching, feeling, smelling, touching, listening and appreciating the natural world on a regular basis our lives take on deeper meaning and are less influenced by external stimulation and the fast pace of day to day life.

Team

The Women’s Wellness School was founded by Debra Chiat and Hayley North, both practitioners and course facilitators with over 30 years combined experience in the field of health and wellbeing.

Born from a passionate belief that self care is our primary form of health care and that through understanding what nourishes us on physical, emotional, mental and spiritual levels we are better able to fulfill our potential in life and realise our dreams.

Our team regularly includes guest tutors, therapists and colleagues from within our local community that offer their invaluable support on our events.

Debra Chiat

Debra Chiat

Debra began her journey into natural healing after a dance injury stopped short her dreams and career, which led her to Japan and the discovery of Shiatsu. Returning to her home in California she began studying massage therapy and went on to receive a certificate in Holistic Medicine. From there she moved to New York and began studying macrobiotic cooking and studying during the summers with Michio Kushi in Boston. She returned to Japan where she studied yoga philosophy, shu sei ho corrective exercises and Shiatsu for 3 months in a Dojo with Master Masahiro Oki. There she met her Italian husband and moved to Italy, continuing her studies of Oriental Medicine and Yoga with Yuji Yahiro whom she studied with for 20 years.

In 1985 she and her husband founded the Yoga and Shiatsu Center ‘Il Fiume’ in the San Lorenzo district of Rome, where study, practice and daily life could be shared in a community setting along with teaching yoga, natural cooking and natural remedies.

With the birth of her first of four children Debra began to bring her knowledge and study of yoga into daily life, centered around family as her inspiration and point of reference in personal and spiritual evolution. A shift happened and she began largely working with women and children in pre and antenatal care, as well as with fertility. This began first with a small group of mothers that grew into more structured monthly encounters, as well as summer camps for parents and children.

Debra’s teachings are directly influenced by what she has embodied and learned from her studies incorporated in a mindful and awareness based way. For the past 10 years she has been studying Scaravelli inspired yoga with Diane Long, with the emphasis on its deep inner work to create a space of listening and encouraging the natural wisdom of the body to re-emerge, which has led her deeper into her practice and presence in all aspects of life. Debra is also passionate about the importance of food in health and has always used food as medicine in nurturing and caring for herself and family. She has always been fascinated and intrigued by herbs and is currently studying Herbal Medicine for Women.

Aside from co founding ‘Centro Il Fiume’, Debra and her husband have founded ‘SHARE’ a non profit organization created in the sense of service that works with children and education in Rwanda, Myanmar, Morocco and Cambodia. This is where she continues to dedicate much of her time and energy and which is a constant source of inspiration and learning for her.

Debra’s way of sharing experience is simple, direct and heartfelt with an emphasis on creating a safe and supportive, non judgmental environment, offering the opportunity for each person to formulate their own questions and to find their own path to their own inner truth.

Hayley North

Hayley North

Hayley has worked with food and in the catering industry for almost 30 years and spent a childhood immersed in dance and movement, followed by professional training.

In 1999 she discovered yoga and began a life changing journey, diving deep into self enquiry, movement, healing arts, nutrition and what she has now come to describe as ‘holistic cooking’.

She completed a 3 year yoga teacher training in Brighton, UK, at the Natural Bodies centre, facilitated by Gary Carter and including many of the core teachers that studied with Vanda Scaravelli. She has been a dedicated yoga student ever since her first class, studying mainly with John Stirk, and has been teaching regularly since 2003 in the UK and internationally.

It was through studying yoga and attending many retreats that Hayley started to become fascinated by the role of food within the practice of yoga and as the foundation of health and wellbeing. She experienced many health benefits from adapting the way she ate and cooked, so much so that it became impossible to continue to work within the mainstream food industry. As more and more yoga teachers began asking Hayley to cook for their retreats she began to specialise as a retreat chef and has since cooked for over 150 worldwide.

Hayley is deeply passionate about the relationship between food and consciousness and the effect of what we eat on the mind and our ability to function at optimum potential. She has spent the past 10 years exploring approaches such as 5 element theory and food energetics, macrobiotics, ayurvedic nutrition, natural nutrition, raw foods and traditional cultural cooking methods — and she continues to study and draw inspiration from many different sources that enrich her ability and knowledge as a chef and cookery teacher.

Hayley has worked independently for many yoga teachers and as a chef for leading UK retreat companies. She was resident chef at Insabina retreat centre in Italy, has worked alongside local chefs at Yoga Gypsys in Goa, worked on recipe development, chef training and consultancy in London and Mauritius. Hayley also released an ebook titled The Holistic Kitchen.

Hayley’s passion is rooted in education and in sharing the tools she continually finds to be liberating and empowering.

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Venue

The school is based at Casali Del Soratte, 1 hour north of Rome in the protected region of Monte Soratte. With 19 acres of unspoilt rural land in the heart of the countryside, set around a sweeping valley against a backdrop of the mountains, this is an ideal space to retreat in nature and return to self. The location provides a nourishing and supportive environment for self reflection and reconnection to natural rhythms.

Accommodation options range from camping, twin rooms, double rooms and a self contained apartment. Facilities include a 50msq yoga studio and large country kitchen with open fire.

Contact us to find out more about Casali del Soratte. Visit our events page for prices and course information.

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