“Pilates is complete coordination of body, mind and spirit.” – Joseph Pilates.
With an emphasis on building core strength and stability, Pilates aims to ‘strengthen and lengthen’ the whole body; complementing well other physical activities &/or sport as well as how we move about our lives on a daily basis. A low-impact form of resistance training, the Pilates method is based upon the principles of concentration, control, centre, flow, coordination and breathing. During a class you will activate correctly, potentially ‘re-programme,’ & work, muscles you may never even realised that you had! After each session it is common to feel more mobile, balanced &, perhaps, even taller!
Ally’s teaching style combines original Pilates exercises with her own contemporary & creative sequences; keeping each session engaging, challenging, and most importantly, fun!
One’s movement practice is also a life long education. There is something in Pilates for every-body & always an opportunity to take away something new from each class. What you learn on the mat can be practically applied to our daily lives; from the awareness of our breath to using those activated muscles hiking amongst the Alps!
It is our intention to create a week of fun, laughter, love and breath. Prepare to open a new chapter. This retreat is open to all levels of experience.
This retreat includes:
- A full body welcome massage
- 7 nights accommodation in a beautiful chalet
- Healthy and delicious meals: Brunch, snacks and dinner (apart from one free evening to enjoy a meal at one of the fabulous local restaurants)
- Fresh juices and healthy smoothies every day
- A full week of pilates classes (check the retreat schedule for detailed info)
- All yoga equipment (mats, blocks, bricks, eye pillows, straps, bolsters and blankets)
- Guided mountain hikes
- A whole day at a local Italian spa in the center of Chamonix
- Transfers to and from Geneva airport according to these time slots
- A welcome pack
Our beautiful chalet is nestled in the mountainside, high above the valley floor, with stunning views of Mont Blanc.
The chalet has 7 bedrooms, all designed and equipped to a very high standard. All of them have French doors leading out on to a South facing balcony overlooking the Chamonix valley and directly opposite the magnificent Mont Blanc mountain range. The bedrooms can be shared twins or doubles with a super king size bed and all have an en-suite bathroom, TV, DVD player and iPod docking station. Several have sun loungers just outside on the balcony.
The chalet has its own spa with a sauna, steam room, walk in shower and treatment room for the on-site massages. The terrace is the ideal place for yoga, complete with Jacuzzi, outdoor pool and breath-taking panoramic views of the French Alps. We also have a secluded indoor space for yoga and meditation, in case of rain.
The living area has large floor to ceiling windows to capture the valley scenery. A stone open fire place plays centrepiece to the sunken lounge and dining area, making it an inviting and sociable area to relax. There is also a cinema room and games room at the chalet to enjoy in your free time.
During your retreat, there will be an excellent full-time chef, chalet host and driver providing catering, cleaning, driving and 24hr assistance.
The quality of the food on our retreats is very important to us. You will enjoy healthy, nutritional meals carefully chosen by our chef to complement the retreat perfectly. The food will be absolutely delicious and mostly vegetarian or vegan but you can opt for fish or meat when booking your retreat. Please include your dietary requirements in the section provided at checkout. We use organic and local produce where possible.
ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR
Ally McDonald-Bull is passionate about helping others to live better in their bodies through the universal language of movement. With a professional background in the performing arts, Ally has been working within the wellness industry since 2015 as a multi-disciplined movement artist & wellness coach specialising in Pilates.
First discovering Pilates herself in 2012, Ally then went on to experience, train in, & teach, a variety of different styles of Pilates & dance based movement methods across the world. She has taught classes worldwide from Africa to Mexico as well across her three ‘home countries’ – New Zealand, UK & France.
Ally believes movement is for everyone. She has worked both in a clinical setting closely alongside physiotherapists as well as trained professional athletes. Ally has taught classes for schools, charities, fitness festivals, studio openings, brand collaborations and special events as well as working privately. Ally also provides individual mind-body coaching using tools of self-discovery & facilitates cacao ceremonies for women. Ally aims to always create positive & safe environments to work in filled with great energy.
When she isn’t helping others be ‘in motion’, Ally can be found in her hiking boots off on an adventure in the mountains or, in Paris, at the theatre, in a bookshop, or at the nearest chocolate shop!
Check out Ally’s website.
Experience guided walks through the stunning French Alps.
Our gentle half day hikes last 2 – 3 hours with plenty of rest time to take in the incredible views. No prior fitness level is required. Our qualified and experienced walking guide and nature expert, Susanna Walker, carefully chooses trails to suit the abilities of our clients. She makes sure no-one is left behind, while imparting knowledge on the local wildlife and beautiful fauna.
On the full day hike we leave the chalet at 10am and set off to explore some of Chamonix’s best hiking trails. Around midday we make ourselves comfortable in an Idyllic setting for a high mountain yoga session followed by a healthy packed lunch with impressive views by Lac Blanc. When rested, we continue our inspirational journey through the spectacular Mont Blanc mountain range before returning to the chalet to enjoy a fresh healthy smoothie and to relax in the hot tub, sauna and steam room.
All hikes are optional.
WHAT TO BRING
Chamonix Mont Blanc is the most beautiful Alpine region in Europe and as with all mountain regions, the weather is unpredictable. It can be extremely hot on sunny days and occasionally very cold even in summer, so it’s always a good idea to check the weather report right before you travel.
We recommend bringing hiking boots or sensible outdoor footwear, sunglasses, sun cream, a bathing suit (for the hot tub / spa / pool), a backpack, a waterproof coat, a hat, warm layers and flip flops or slippers to wear on the deck. Don’t panic if you come unprepared or forget anything, there are plenty of shops in town.
The yoga classes will take place on the decking outside the chalet surrounded by the stunning Mont Blanc mountain range but we do have an indoor room to use on rainy days. We provide blankets as well as all yoga equipment (mats, blocks, bricks, straps, bolsters, eye pillows and blankets) but please bring extra layers in case of cold days.
We also provide towels and bathrobes at the chalet so no need to bring your own.
During the meet and greet we will go over the schedule and weather report for the week so we can adjust the schedule a bit if necessary (hiking on sunny or slightly overcast days). We will fit the massages in around the schedule.
HEALTH AND SAFETY
In light of recent events, our diligent staff have been retrained and now implement updated health and safety procedures in line with government guidelines. It is now obligatory for our staff to wear personal protective equipment (PPE). We will also provide masks for our guests to use and there are hand sanitising stations in place.
We now have a lower maximum number of clients (10) and if you opt for a shared (twin) room you will be in one of the two largest rooms, with daily thorough cleans of the bathroom and each guest having their own sink, products, towels and bathrobes. There will be a top to bottom disinfection of the property between retreats, extremely thorough cleans between use of sauna / steam room (only one person at a time and 30 – 40 minute slots), regular disinfecting of surfaces, no sharing of yoga equipment, general social distancing rules which we will go over with you on arrival and whenever possible we will practice yoga on our spacious deck in the fresh mountain air.
Please try to social distance as much as possible for 2 weeks BEFORE the retreat and check your temperature on the morning of travel. If you are feeling in any way unwell, stay at home. It may be possible to reschedule your retreat at no cost to you but please take out cancellation insurance to avoid any disappointment.
‘The whole experience was beautiful. The setting, the chalet, the food, the yoga, the massage, the food, the walks, the spa day, the food, and the total vibe – calm but energising, excellently organised but relaxed – were all perfect. The food was delicious, healthy, satisfying. El and Anna were totally brilliant. I loved the food. The yoga was inspirational, every day. But the aspect that perhaps I wasn’t expecting, and which surprised me, was the power, joy, and inspiration I gained from my fellow guests. Thank you all.
And did I mention the food..?’ – Simon Blake
‘The other guests were wonderful; inspiring and real pleasure to spend time with. Everyone involved in running the retreat was very welcoming, friendly and really fun to have around. Eleanor and Anna made us all feel really at home and looked after us brilliantly. Wonderful, inspiring, responsive yoga teacher. I had the best massage I have in years. The food was excellent, absolutely delicious. The views were magnificent. Perfect balance of structure and freedom.’ – Fiona Paveley
‘Had the most relaxing week. Such a great experience. Everything was so smooth, well organised. Awesome yoga and hikes of course. The venus is fabulous, with indoor spa, pool & jacuzzi, in-house cinema …the food was incredible. On top of all that, it was so lovely to meet new people and it truly ended up being a beautiful, fulfilling and humbling human experience. Thanks to all of you.’ – Morgane Boucherit