Art of Retreat and Yoga

To try is to risk failure. But risk must be taken because the greatest hazard of life is to risk nothing. The person who risks nothing does nothing, has nothing, is nothing. He may avoid suffering and sorrow, but he simply cannot learn, feel, change, grow, live, and love”. Leo Buscaglia



Art of Retreating was born of Marieke’s discovery of the yoga mat sixteen years ago, and combines her two greatest passions: a love of travel that has evolved over more than twenty years of leading cultural tours around the globe with her life growing in yoga.

A once committed power walker, Marieke is still a keen walker but has found the addition of yoga to her life an invaluable tool and perfect antidote to life’s stresses and strains. Her daily practice takes many forms from meditative coastal walks, gentle breathing exercises, study of yoga traditions and modern interpretations to asana practices and the preparation of supportive nutritious food. She feels herself to be living proof of its benefits – a greater sense of strength, well-being, vitality, equanimity and clarity and at least once a year takes herself to an Ayurveda centre to re-focus, re-calibrate and to take time out for stillness.

Marieke also recognizes that yoga might not be for everyone, but urges everyone to consider the importance of self-care on a daily basis – not just booking a massage or downing a green juice – but creating new habits that actually break away from the obligations, rush and pressures of daily life to allow some quiet and more self-awareness in activities that will enhance your sense of health, happiness, balance and calm.


Marieke works with exceptional yoga teachers and annually offers a retreat either in Victoria or overseas. Past residential retreats have been in rural Victoria, Bali and Darjeeling. We have also created yoga journeys in Rajasthan and South India.
This November, we take up residence with Saraswathi Vasudevan at a gorgeous property in Trentham, central Victoria.


Marieke’s regular classes run daily from December to Easter and are held in a lovely pavilion at Portsea on the back beach, the southern most end of the Mornington Peninsula. Marieke is also available for private classes for individual students or small groups in their home, or to corporate groups conducting a convention on the Peninsula.



  • small group tour
    16 DAYS
    1-16 September 2018
    Womens Luxury Tour
    ‘a siren call to soul sisters’
    Mother India specially calls to women like a siren with her intoxicating colours, scents, sights, multiplicity of cultures and cuisines and ancient spiritual traditions.
This tour is ideal for wome...
  • 3 Days/Nights
    20-23 November 2018
    Saras Yoga Retreat
    Mindful Self Compassion
    This deeply immersive retreat is a rare opportunity to work ‘within’ and learn from one of India’s great masters and my revered teacher this last decade, Saraswathi Vasuvedan who is visiting Austra...


Thank you Marieke for a month of almost daily yoga practice: an invigorating, grounding and loving beginning to each day.

Your inspired teachings, focused on a concentrated exploration of the power of the breath, an integrated and detailed asana practice and an open hearted and varied meditation, were all offered from a position of deep knowledge, warmth and kindness. Individual needs were met with intelligence, creativity and care.

I feel much appreciation and gratitude for your grace, integrity and vitality. It was a real joy to share the mat with you.
Rosemary Geer

Dear Marieke

Thank you so much for the week just past.
I am grateful you took the time and expended enormous amounts of energy to enable all of us to experience Saras grace and wisdom.
My week held such treasures all gentle and informative.
To acknowledge my journey over these very recent years of toil and application so as to allow my self-time to rejoice and acknowledge the work completed. Before I continue my deep and prosperous journey inward to my true self.
Saras created with your help a space of immense kindness and possibility a massive task as I can attest.
You enabled a wonderful study event to unfold in a beautiful surrounding chosen as always with your discerning eye and appreciation for equanimity.
I am so glad that I was free to attend it meant a great deal to me to see you flying in the context of this relatively new path. You are unquestionably in the right place doing exactly what you are meant to be doing enabling others to find the light. Such a precious offering in this life.
I loved my time with you always fills me knowledge and curiosity on a raft of subjects.
Thank you for the beautiful meal and the welcome that you always provide me, deep loving sitting in my heart.
Much love darling.

Lou. x


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“Travel does what good novelists also do to the life of everyday, placing it like a picture in its frame or a gem in its setting, so that the intrinsic qualities are made more clear. Travel does this with the very stuff that everyday life is made of, giving to it the sharp contour and meaning of art.” –Freya Stark

The master in the art of living makes little distinction between his work and his play, his labor and his leisure, his mind and his body, his information and his recreation, his love and his religion. He hardly knows which is which. He simply pursues his vision of excellence at whatever he does, leaving others to decide whether he is working or playing. To him he’s always doing both. James A Michener

People say that what we are all seeking is a meaning for life. I don’t think this is what we’re really seeking. I think what we’re seeking is an experience of being alive. Joseph Campbell

The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched – they must be felt with the heart. ~Helen Keller

As you journey through life, choose your destinations well, but do not hurry there. Avoid the shortcuts… wander the back roads… enjoy the scenery. And remember that the true worth of your travels lies not in the destination but in who you come to be along the way. Anon.

The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page. Saint Augustine