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Nourishing ourselves deeply with the Extraordinary  Vessels

Immerse yourself in the nurturing qualities of the Extraordinary Vessels and understand how they are nourished by our outer world of the five seasons and directions.

We will explore our creativity, fertility and self-expression - with shiatsu, massage, movements, dance, sounds and other expressions as appropriate to the group.

The difference, and benefit, of being on a retreat is having the space to connect more deeply with where we are at personally, as well as in our therapist role. We will have time to exercise, meditate, reflect and relax as well as longer practical sessions which allow the work to be geared to your needs. Although we cover relevant theory, the focus is more on the experiential aspects of the work.

It is open to anyone who has already studied with Suzanne Yates or a Wellmother teacher. Suzanne will be doing all the teaching on this one, but there will still be time for some sharing your work and skills with other students.

If you are a massage therapist, please be aware that we will be including shiatsu (as many participants are shiatsu practitioners)  so if you want to brush up your shiatsu skills you might want to consider doing the on line course on shiatsu

If you would like some more information about the Residential you might want to read about retreats at La Source or  the Blog of a previous residential, written by Alexandra Gelny or the one which I wrote Blog

There is also a blog on the Residential at Gallese 2018 by Kate Codrington

Note that you must have already attended a Course  with Wellmother to enroll onto this course. Please contact us for more information.

Nourishing the different phases of our life

We will explore the different phases of our life where we most need to nourish ourselves and rest - after any demanding time, for women after menstruation and for anyone after having a baby. Nourishing ourselves becomes even more important as we age and pass through our midlife (menopause and andropause). We need to nourish ourselves so we can live well.

Nourishing ourselves is linked with how we are able to receive deeply – emotionally and physically. This is the essence of the Penetrating Vessel (Chong) but it needs to be supported by the Linking and Stepping Vessels as well as our connection with the daily world through our breath (Lung) and food (Stomach, Spleen)


Exploring death (letting go) within life as a form of nourishment 


We will also explore how we can withdraw our roots from the earth so we can gain a greater perspective on our life and learn new ways to nourish ourselves. This is also a preparation to meet our physical death. We could say that with each out breath, we die to the current moment but have the potential to nourish a new self with the next in breath . This is the expression of the Conception Vessel, whose regulating point is Lung 7. It regulates our first and last breath. The in breath is the Governing Vessel, whose regulating point is Small Intestine 3. We prepare for the new moment. Conception and Governing Vessel are intertwined.

Death is easier to accept if in life we have embraced the dying of each moment and the new and unknown quality of the next. If we have been able to fully let go of each moment we are able to live in the present. As we die, the Stepping Vessels withdraw from the earth. How we navigate more complex endings like moving house, saying goodbye to friendships and relationships, the ending of our fertility, changing jobs show the nature of our Linking Vessels. These are informed by the memory in our tissue of how we make simple transitions. Stepping and Linking are intertwined.

Course structure

Times: Arrive on Wednesday for an evening introduction and meditation and finish Sunday afternoon for a closing gathering. Final times will be decided depending on people's flight times but the main teaching is Thursday to Sunday.  You can arrive from Tuesday night and stay until Monday morning.

A Typical Day
07.15-08.15 Exercise & meditation with focus on day's theme
08.15-09.00 Breakfast
09.00 -10.00 Meditative activity outside
10.00-13.30 Practical Work
13.30-15.30 Lunch, Siesta, Walk, Integration
15.30-19.30 Practical Session
19.30 Supper
21.15 Exercise & meditation
One evening an “event” : a celebration/ceremony depending on needs of group.

Evening fire celebration at La Source retreat

Your location: La Source, near Mielan, Gers,

The teaching room is a hexagonal pavillon by a linden avenue. There is plenty of outside space. We will be a small group of 8 people plus Suzanne. It is where Suzanne lives and accommodation is in the main house with a couple of camping spaces. There are 3 hectares of land to explore around the house.

The food is provided by a local vegetarian cook. It will be organic and vegetarian. We are in the middle of the countryside with a lake nearby.

Teaching Pavillon Sunflowers

I have really enjoyed the CPD training over the years , in particular the residentials. These are 5 days of bliss, meeting wise women, inspirational teachers and therapists and allowing myself rest and physical, emotional, social and spiritual nourishment in an idyllic setting. They have introduced me to Qi Kung and yoga, which I now incorporate into my daily life and into my teaching sessions.

Catherine Tugnait

Massage therapist and NCT teacher

Suzanne Yates in Pavillon teaching at La Source

Dates and location

  • La Source, 32170 Mielan, France
    26/06/2024 - 30/06/2024


Suzanne Yates

Suzanne is the founder and principal teacher at Wellmother, established 1990

Entrance Requirements

  • You need to have already attended a Wellmother course, but you can come from any discipline. Note that we will be working a lot with the energies of Chinese medicine and especially the Extraordinary Vessels, so if you are less familiar with these you might want to do the on line Shiatsu foundation course to brush up your skills.


Cost: teaching £430 (early booking £400)
Cost: Accommodation: 260 euros for the 4 days’ full board.
Nearest airport Toulouse: one half hours drive: transport can be arranged (approx 15 euros each way depending on numbers)

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