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Enriching – Intense – Enjoyable – Inspiring and A unique learning experience

by Alexandra Gelny, Austrian Wellmother teacher, who in May 2014, was attending the Residential as part of her teacher training.

 Enriching and Nurturing

I am still “feeding” on the incredible richness this Residential offered: Sixteen women with very different personalities. Sixteen therapists from different fields of bodywork – Shiatsu, massage, Thai massage. Some of us teaching – Yoga, Qi Gong, birth preparation, Shiatsu… and some of us (including myself) aspiring to become a Well Mother teacher. And international too – from England, Scotland, France, Belgium and Austria.

What a great mix and diversity! What a rich coming together of diverse experiences in working with women, pregnancy, childbirth and babies! And what an enormous pool of knowledge and wisdom!!

I feel incredibly grateful to have had the opportunity to share a very enriching five days as part of this unique group.

Suzanne set up this Residential in a way which enabled all of us to exchange ideas and learn from each other. Our common interest in maternity work kept us connected and the programmatic journey from conception to the baby’s first year was a wonderful red thread to follow.

I feel I was able to contribute, and at the same time I returned with a feeling of having been very very nurtured.

Chickens at Holycombe

Chickens at Holycombe

 Intense and Challenging

Working with pregnancy, birth and babies needs a high level of awareness for oneself. Many of us have children themselves and have pregnancy experiences, we all have our personal relationship to maternity and all of us were born…

Tree house

Tree house

This Residential was not just about learning how to work with pregnancy, it was also a lot about our own personal experience, facing our own themes and triggers deep within ourselves and sharing what we needed or wanted to share. Thanks to Suzanne providing and holding an intimate space for us, and thanks to each woman in the group, an atmosphere of trust and support emerged. This facilitated an exceptional level of experience and sharing.

The five days were very intense, I am taking home with me some very touching moments, more clarity about themes I had known were there, but which I now can look at and face in a different way.

I am grateful to everybody for their trust and sharing.

Fi's fruit platter

Fi’s fruit platter


The days at Holycombe felt like a nice summer holiday with friends! The weather was wonderful, beyond any expectation, sunshine everyday (at the same time it was cold and raining in Vienna where I come from…).


Holiday meal

Holiday meal

The lush green surroundings felt like being in a fairy tale for me… and then of course, there were the labyrinth and the stone circle, the pond, the forest with the blue bells, the birds, the chickens, the cat, the Canadian goose couple, the cuckoo, mama duck with her 7 little ducklings exploring the world and much much more. This ambience was nurturing our senses so much!!

As did the great food, prepared by Fi with much love and amazing care… It didn’t only taste great, it was also a joy to just look at the meals, often a firework of colours nature has to offer.

Yes, this was holiday feeling… Eating outside and just enjoying the sun in our breaks, chatting, resting, doing exercises, learning and doing bodywork.


I felt I had a hundred new ideas every day! Reflecting on all the topics we touched upon during the five days, it’s really immense. Yet, since our journey had a clear direction, it didn’t feel like an overload or superficial to spend relatively little time on large topics. No, I think it was exactly this richness which made this Residential so inspiring for me. It is like I could take a nicely filled treasure box home with me which I can now tap into and always find something new again inside!



A unique learning experience

When you train to be a teacher, it is really invaluable to receive honest and in-depth feedback.

The way Suzanne set up this Residential for our teacher training, was absolutely UNIQUE. We not only had an interested “audience”, we also had a designated observer, plenty of time and space for formal and informal feedback. And – I was absolutely impressed by the honest, respectful and in-depth way I received feedback for my teaching.

It was also wonderful to see different teaching styles and to feel that there was a very honest interest in my feedback and opinion.

For me, this Is how this Residential was a really unique learning experience on many levels. I feel I have been able to learn so much from each person present.

Thank you Suzanne,

Thank you Aline, Catherine, Clare, Eve, Hannah, Heidi, Helen, Johanna, Kate, Linda, Lucy, Sam, Tricia and Véronique!!

Alexandra, Vienna

Bluebell woods

Bluebell woods


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