12 - 16 Apr 2024


5:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Breathe, Move and Savour – a Mindful Eating and Moving Retreat

With Juliana Griese, Nicky Woodward and Laksmi Crick

12th-16th April

This will be the third year we are developing and offering this retreat. It is beautiful to remember the insights, and shifts that can happen in just a few days. We feel the benefits from simply starting to be more present for the eating moments; to stop, breath and share from our hearts the depths of our relationship with food. We knew at the end that it was not just about food and how healing can have the food as a vehicle to go deeper in understanding ourselves.

“Thanks to you all for your companionship and guidance which has been a turning point for me in my eating journey. A badly needed reset!  I feel empowered and relieved to have turned a corner and feel firmly on track now going forward. Yay yay yay! AND THANKYOU!” Katerina Selligman

Food and eating are so much a part of our everyday lives.  What if we were to pay more attention to the how and the why and begin to appreciate what we are hunger for? When we are present and aware of our food and eating habits we can ask ourselves questions such as: What am I really hungry for? Am I  listening to my body and soul when I eat? Am I comfortable with food, with eating and with my body? With these questions in mind, we can start to appreciate and  differentiate where our desire stems from (Is it from the body? Is it from the mind? Is it from the soul?). Developing this awareness allows the possibility for something new to arise. When we can begin to understand our relationship with food and eating, we can begin to nurture and fulfill our deepest needs for love, care and meaning in a more authentic way.

“We shared so much of ourselves with a trust that came with the peace at Wangapeka and the guidance from our wonderful guides . Loving thanks for it all… Being  mindful as I make choices about my food , my nourishment. I am eating more mindfully and chewing !!,Very good !! ” Margo Crick

What this retreat is about:

In this retreat we are going to undertake some explorations to become more aware of our body before, during and after eating. We will find ways to deepen our connection with our bodies, practicing to distinguish the different hungers that are part of our human nature and need to be respected (physical, social, pleasure and emotional or the 9 hungers as Jan Chozen Bays teaches). We will explore the gut-brain connection through bringing attention to the way we move, and learn to create neurological balance and ease within our being. By doing these activities together, we can learn to eat without guilt or shame and operate from a place of care and love for ourselves and the world. Collectively, these activities will enable us to eat without guilt or shame and operate from a place of care and love for the whole aspects of ourselves and the world.

“Some people have to go to India. Some people believe they need gurus or esoteric practices. But you have food—and it is your greatest teacher. If you are willing to engage with yourself rather than run from yourself, and if you are willing to be steadfast and not get seduced by the newest greatest diet, you already have what people go to India to get.” ~ Women Food and God: An Unexpected Path to Almost Everything, by Geneen Roth.

So, let the food be your Guru!

Jan Chozen Bays, the doctor and zen buddhist teacher, author of “Mindful Eating, a guide to rediscovering a healthy and joyful relationship with food”, says that it is our birthright to eat healthy using our inner wisdom, the one that is with us since the beginning. Life circumstances can upset this capacity and we can find ourselves confused around our food choices ending up with a loud inner critique that is self destructive. Through Mindful Eating we can rediscover this innate wisdom and bring back the joy of eating in a way that connects us to a healthy and good life.

We invite you to join us on this massive journey of awakening, self-knowledge, and care! We call it a massive journey because it sometimes feels impossible to go in another direction. It is so hard to overcome challenges such as compulsive eating, battling with weight and body image, lifelong conditionings that play out in the mind and body, and eating habits that are contributing to chronic diseases…But if you can come with the willingness to learn and adapt, you will discover your own tools, and find that they are available to you – all the time: awareness, connection with the body and self love.

Everybody is welcome!


Cost includes food, cook fee, accommodation and resource fee.

Wangapeka Member: $424 (hut/unit); $352 (camp)

Non Member: $464 (hut/unit) $364 (camp)

Dana/Koha: Our role as workshop guides and facilitators is not included in this price. To let the energy flow and contribute you can choose to give what is in your heart combining with what is possible for you at this moment. A Dana/Koha box will be available at the Centre.


Juliana Griese: I’ve been exploring and sharing progressively since 2007, meditation (mindfulness). I was trained as a Mindfulness Instructor in Brazil. In 2016, I was diagnosed with chronic fatigue and an autoimmune disease and realized that my relationship with food, eating and my body was full of struggling and masking something deeper that I needed to address. Mindfulness, a lot of inquiries and studies helped me a lot. It became my path for awakening and I believe that through exploring this with a community is part of my growth and healing.

Nicky Woodward: I have a professional background in health and have been involved with mindful movement through education, rehabilitation, Yoga and personal practice for over 30 years. I am a NZ registered nurse, certified Awareness Through Movement© (ATM) teacher, and NZ Guild certified Feldenkrais practitioner (2010). I have been influenced by a number of teachers over this time, and as part of this have studied with both Tarchin Hearn and Leander Kane at Wangapeka.

I completed an Advanced Yoga Teacher Training programme with Donna Farhi (2000), Ruthy Alon’s Bones for Life programme (2009), and I attend regular somatic movement seminars and Advanced Feldenkrais teacher training programmes. More information about my practice, current work and interests can be found from my Movement Rewired website –

Laksmi Crick: has practiced meditation for 25 years; which has underpinned/anchored the twists and turns of life. She has worked as a gardener, cook, outdoor instructor, support worker and massage therapist; loves the connections between many heart-centered, holistic traditions and sharing the human experience. A privilege to cook, be with the group and to support this amazing work!

Information and Registration

If you would like further information, please feel welcome to contact the Course Manager: Nicky Woodward

To register please fill out our online registration form

Register now

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Please consider becoming a Wangapeka member – click here for details.

Welcome to the Wangapeka Study and Retreat Centre. People visit from all over the world to meditate and enjoy the peace of this remarkable destination. The Wangapeka is a purpose built retreat centre, with fresh clean air and beautiful vistas. It is very quiet and ideal for respite, stress relief and deep meditation. We have a meditation hall, solo retreat huts, a main hall for dining and community, and a fully catered kitchen and an onsite vegetable garden.

The Wangapeka Study and Retreat Meditation Centre is a Universalist centre home to a wide range of teachings, paths, and studies. Retreats are held on Mindfulness, Vipassana, Insight, Heart based practices, Loving Kindness, Calm-abiding, Metta, Compassion, Conscious Movement, Nature, Forest Walks, Yoga, Dance, Feldenkrais, Wellness, Wellbeing, Archetypal Integration, Western Mysticism, Non-Duality, Zen, Dzogchen, Mahamudra, Mahayana and Vajrayana teachings with Empowerments and Sadhana Practice.

We are located in the foothills of the Southern Alps overlooking the Wangapeka River, about an hour and a half drive SW of Nelson, in the South Island of New Zealand.

We have meditation retreats throughout the year, have huts available for solo retreats, and welcome bookings from external groups. There are also opportunities available to work on our land. Come and enjoy this uniquely vibrant and peaceful centre.

355 Wangapeka River Rd
R.D.2. Wakefield 7096
New Zealand
Phone: +64 3 522 4221

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