Using Movement to Share Experience - The Deep Retreat with Dave Gardner
“If we can tap into being and into listening… into what I like to call the art of doing nothing.. then from that space we can create and share.”
Dave Gardner’s experiential process of learning and growing has allowed him to bring an authentic way of sharing to his teachings. We got in touch with Dave to hear all about his journey, on and off the yoga mat, as well as what you can expect in his upcoming retreats and workshops!
For as long as he can remember, Dave has been fascinated by movement, culture and humanity.“ As soon as we start to consciously observe ourselves and the world, and start to ask questions, we begin the process of self-enquiry” says Dave, going on to explain that the process can start as early as birth. After finishing school, he started training in Muay Thai, where his teacher would often share mantras and meditations with him. This was when Dave’s process of yogic philosophy and asana practices began.
His first exposure to yoga was in the style of Ashtanga, after which he dove straight into various styles of practice. Dave’s enquiry into movement led him to study with Jim Harrington and Simon Borg-Olivier of Yoga Synergy, to which he was able to travel while learning. He then met Cameron Shayne and was introduced to the style of Budokon; a synthesis of yoga, martial arts, calisthenics and animal locomotion. Most recently Dave has been working with dancers to collaborate on various movement styles.
“This started to shape into my life” says Dave, going on to explain how his teachers have been leaders who have inspired him through their lives.
“At the moment I feel like I am really focused on sharing my experiences and my own personal practice - not an exact form, style or lineage, but rather my experience of these styles I have practiced in”
Dave’s process is to study with these and other teachers, to research through his personal practice and develop a way in which we all contribute to one another’s lives and work. His work is to assist and facilitate the individual to create their own path through self-awareness.
Dave is excited to be hosting his first retreat in October this year. After attending many retreats and month long intensive immersions, Dave felt the natural progressions for him was to create that space where people could get into their own practice without too much of a rigid schedule. “I spend a lot of time in nature” says Dave, explaining the importance of finding a place that provided, not only a natural surrounding, but also a calming environment that facilitated open learning.
The Deep Retreat gives you the opportunity to explore the mountains, lakes, forests, caves and rivers of the Overberg. There will be a lot of time focused on finding space through morning mobilizations, playtime on the grass, fireside discussions, silent practice, sound journeys and walking meditations. Guests can also look forward to plant-based workshops and culinary explorations. .
“The space is really incredible” says Dave, explaining that Somerset Gift it situated right in the mountains with a crystal clear river running through it. “For me it is a dream come true in many ways” says Dave, highlighting the simple and basic, yet beautiful accommodation embraced in nature.
“I realized that having a team is really special", working together to create an experience”.
Dave will be teaming up with Guy Buttery, Nathalie Larsen and Francesca Annenberg to bring you real experience focussed on rooting, authenticity, movement, stillness, nutrition and nourishment, belonging and wilderness, being alone and integration.
Dave has been a fan of Guy Buttery’s music for years. He approached Guy about a collaboration of yoga and music, which soon expanded into a national tour. and very good friendship. Guy’s music is very much influenced by Classical Indian music. The lessons that Guy has learned is largely influenced through meditative practices. Similarly as expressing through asana, Guy expresses through his instruments.
“There is a lot of space in the music to use your imagination and explore” says Dave, explaining that the sound journeys will allow for free movement and enjoyment.
Both Nathlaie and Francesca attended Dave’s Budokon Yoga Teacher training in Cape Town this year. They all clicked since the moment they met.
“Having moved and shared with them, now we will be holding the space together.”
On this retreat, guests can look forward to delicious plant-based food which will be used as a form of healing and expression. There will also be learning experiences in the form of cooking courses where you will learn how to integrate nourishment and plant-based eating into your everyday life.
What makes this retreat unique is the fact that Dave will be sharing his experience of various different forms. Sometimes it will be more meditative and calming and sometimes it will be more playful and partner-based. Not all will be yoga specific but they are all complimentary as they invite you to listen to your body, the environment and one another. There will be a lot of time for self-practice, where practitioners can dedicate time to their own processes.
“I am looking forward to witness people witnessing themselves”says Dave, highlighting that those who attend the retreat are already taking the opportunity to make time for themselves.
“It is courageous and confrontational to break out of the doing and take some time to sit with ourselves and ask questions.
Embrace being. Embrace living. Embrace these practices and the beauty of life.
This is only the start of retreats and many other exciting events for Dave.
Dave will be in South Africa, sharing in Johannesburg, Port Elizabeth, Cape Town and Durban until the end of January. Dave will continue to study and continue his process of listening, learning and sharing.