Sacred Bodywork Retreat

2024 Update:
The annual continuation of the Sacred Bodywork Retreat can be found by the button below. Although with a different name, we use the same approach and tools in our foundation 10-day integrative bodywork training:


Week Retreat in West Cork, Ireland
25 June –  2 July, 2023
@An Sanctoir

Dive deep into experiencing
the movement mechanisms and systems of the body,
while opening your perception
Certificate in beginner training course in Thai yoga massage (level 1).

Supported by residential, natural setting in
countryside accommodation with nourishing meals provided.

This 7-day retreat in the south-west of Ireland is a special collaboration between two female bodywork practitioners. Through their journeys of practicing bodywork, they experienced how
we can touch, access, unravel and reveal so much that is at the core of our being. Through mindful bodywork practice, we use the tool of the physical body to also touch the essence or spiritual nature that resides within each of us. 

“It is impossible to touch the body without accessing the whole person.”

The foundational structure of this course is a beginner training course in Thai yoga massage (level 1 of 2), with a certificate of completion provided at the end of the course. This is our structure that allows us to have a solid foundation of techniques and principles from which we can then explore listening to the body, its internal rhythms and using our intuition to guide us. We will texturize this with rich sharings and movement classes from the intersections of other modalities that include working with the fascial layers, our internal dynamic and fluid rhythms, playfulness and dance, psychological and somatic bodywork and energy work through the koshas (five yogic bodies).

Meditation and gentle breathwork exercises will also support our ability to be aware of our own energy, drop into stillness and into the silent place from where we can truly listen. Through both silence and movement, we can ground into stillness, building full body presence as the bedrock for moving into this practice of bodywork. We hold our ground with the Earth, while recognizing the fluidity of our Waters. While we have the groundedness of the techniques of the Thai massage tradition, we can access the freedom and flow that comes from listening to the whole being, touching not just with our hands but also with our hearts. 

Keep in mind that as a beginner course this retreat is open for those with no previous experience in bodywork, yet its rich offering of our shared experience makes it worthwhile for beginners and advanced practitioners alike. We will also support participants to build their own personal practice to support their alignment and capacity to treat others, understanding the temple that is our body space, and managing our own energy when we give.

This course is a great foundation to begin the practice and art of giving deeply healing bodywork. It’s in the practice where the real learning happens. Within a safe space, you will receive guided attention and instructions to ensure you leave the training with confidence and understanding. This course is also a deep, personal journey, where the process of learning how to touch, feel and listen relate just as much to extending that practice to ourselves as to others. With the support of the bodywork as our foundation, we will explore the internal spiritual journey of the healing arts.


What is Thai yoga massage?

Thai yoga massage is a holistic and ancient bodywork practice that stems from yoga of India and Buddhism. As a traditional mind-body medicine, Thai massage works with applied static and dynamic techniques along energy lines, generally from feet to head, on the futon or floor while dressed. It stimulates deep relaxation in the body and release energy blocks and stagnation throughout the entire system. Using tools of meditation, presence and intuitive listening, we create a safe and sacred space to encourage self-healing for both the receiver and giver.

After this course, you will have:

  • An overview of the foundations and principles of Thai massage, including proper posture and alignment, how to use gravity and your own body weight to give deep pressure.

  • The history, philosophy, and medical theory behind Thai massage.
  • A variety of techniques to create and give individualized sequences of relaxing and effective massage treatments for healthy friends and family.
  • Understanding of how to manage your own body and energy to be able to give to others without compromising yourself.
  • A print manual to support your continued practice at home.

  • Rich understandings of how we can move, free and explore the body and our own energy after a week of playful movement and dance.

  • Meditations and practical exercises to explore presence, self-awareness, qualities of touch, and developing compassion and intuition.
  • Rejuvenated sense of self and connection through gathering together, playful fun and laughter in a supportive and peaceful natural environment.

When & where

Arrivals from 2pm on Sunday June 25th, first gathering at 6pm in the evening.
Departures after lunch on Sunday July 2nd, and closing session in the morning.

June 25 – July 2, 2023

2024 Update:
The annual continuation of the Sacred Bodywork Retreat can be found by the button below. Although with a different name, we use the same approach and tools in our foundation 10-day integrative bodywork training:

The course will take place at An Sanctoir, in Ballydehob, West Cork, Ireland.

An Sanctoir is a multicultural community sanctuary hosting holistic activities which encourage self-awareness, and nourish the human spirit, the land and the environment. Situated in 30 acres of beautiful nature reserve, it is the ideal place to be surrounded and supported by Mother Nature as we dive into our own physical and psychological nature on our journey as bodyworkers. There is access to many walks along the land, places for contemplation when you need, and open spaces to gather and play. Located just outside the center of Ballydehob, there is also access by car to some local shops and cafés

Daily Schedule

7:00 – 8:30: Embodied movement class/meditation
8:30 – 9:30: Breakfast
9:30 – 1:00: Thai Yoga Bodywork morning class
1:00 – 4:00: Lunch and break
4:00 – 7:00: Thai Yoga Bodywork afternoon class
7:00 – 8:00: Dinner
8:00 – 9:30: Optional nightly gatherings / rituals

The Facilitators

Erica Bhavani

Erica has been practicing yoga, spirituality and healing modalities for over 12 years. Having explored other forms of bodywork already, she found a real connection and faith upon discovering Thai Yoga Massage and hasn’t looked back since. She received her practitioner certificate through the Sunshine Network in 2015 and runs her private practice in Lisbon, Portugal since 2017.

As a member of the Thai Healing Alliance, she continues to study regularly with a variety of teachers, taking advanced courses and assisting her teachers in their own trainings. Her studies have branched out into osteopathy and even more present, shamanism, or the understanding of how nature, the elements and energy all play a part in who we are. Erica believes in our ability to heal ourselves, and shares these modalities as a complement and support to help her clients and students along their own personal journeys.

Susan Keogh

I am a licensed physiotherapist, acupuncturist , movement educator, dancer, myofascial therapist, and life long student of meditation, myofascial yoga and Daoist internal arts.

I received my professional training in University College Dublin school of physiotherapy, graduating in 1993, and a post graduate diploma in acupuncture from Coventry University. I have undertaken a considerable amount of professional training over the years in integrating trauma informed breath work with myofascial release and structural integration. I am currently delving deep into the study of visceral osteopathy and Daoist Nei-Gong.

Early experiences of entering profound states of bliss and healing connection during treatment sessions led to a determination to learn more and deepen my understanding of conscious touch and the mind-body connection. My search for higher teaching in my twenties took me to India and Thailand where I immersed myself in yoga, meditation and the eastern healing arts.

My passion for Thai yoga bodywork was ignited 20 years ago while studying in a forest monastery in Southern Thailand. After that, I spent several months in Thailand immersing myself in the study of Thai yoga body work, ayurvedic bodywork , Keralite foot massage, chi gong and meditation predominately through the sunshine network in northern Thailand under Asokananda.

My working life as a Therapist now spans over 30 years of blending the wisdom and experience received through my own direct experience, my clients and students and all the insights and inspirations drawn from extensive travel and studying with incredible teachers and traditions of bodywork.

Value Exchange

The price of the course varies on whether you choose to stay in a private room, dorm room or on the grounds in your own tent. Bedding is provided only if you choose to stay in the house. For dorm and private rooms, space is limited so please do register early if you need this option. If you bring your own tent, please note you must also bring your own bedding, as needed.

Your own tent on the grounds: €860

Shared 6-bed dorm room: €960

Private room: €1030

Early bird discount, if registered by April 30th – 60€ off
Register with a friend – 100€ off, EACH
Offers cannot be combined.

Food and accommodation includes: 

  • Two main vegetarian/vegan meals per day, plus breakfast.
  • 7 nights in a serene and natural landscape.
  • Community-oriented, comfortable and down-to-earth accommodation.
  • Option for private room or single dorm bed in a cozy and spacious shared house.
  • For those staying in the house, sheets, pillow and towels are provided.
  • Serene, natural landscape and grounds to support your own internal processes through the journey of this week.

Course includes:

  • Morning and afternoon sessions of Thai massage classes (3-4 hours each).
  • Certificate in Level 1 (of 2) in the Beginner Foundation Course of Thai Yoga Massage, inspired from the Asokananda and Sunshine Network lineage of Thailand.
  • Print manual to take home with you to continue to support your classes.
  • Daily movement and/or dance classes that also support our understanding of the fluid movement of the body, somatics and anatomy.
  • Meditation and/or breathwork exercises to work with our own energy and facilitate the practice.
  • Organic gatherings in the evenings, possibly including rituals and ceremonies.

Karma yogis spaces and financial need:

If you are in financial need, you can contact us about further options to make your stay more affordable for you.

We are offering 2 spaces this year for Karma yogis to receive a reduced discount on the course, while offering an exchange of providing some extra help and hands with tasks we have to support a clean and comfortable space for everyone on the retreat.

If you are not in financial need, we do ask that you leave the karma yoga spaces for those who truly need it. If you are simply interested in providing help and being of service, we are always grateful to have support in small tasks that honor your gifts and without taking up much time, so you can also fully benefit from receiving during the week.

Registration and Payment Terms

Non-refundable deposit of €150 required to reserve your space.
Payment to be made by SEPA transfer, or other form agreed upon.
Payment in full is to be made in cash on arrival of the first day of the course.

*In the case of event cancellation or date change by the organizers, the full deposit will be refunded.

SEPA Transfer Details:
Account Name: Erica Goodman
IBAN: BE39 9673 1815 5619
Bank: Wise
Avenue Louise 54, Room S52 Brussels 1050 Belgium

To register, please complete the following form:  REGISTRATION FORM.
Alternatively, you can e-mail Erica at