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Yoga Big Day Out 2018

Ashleigh Went

For anyone in the Canberra yoga community, it will come as little surprise that Ramone Bisset is one of the driving forces behind the Yoga Big Day Out.

Ramone is the creator Wild Sage Wellbeing, hosting retreats to exotic locations like Sri Lanka, Bali and Tuscany. She also offers Thai Yoga Massage, meditation courses and of course, yoga classes.

Basically, if you’re overwhelmed, overworked, stressed and needing a little TLC in the wellbeing department, Ramone is your girl.

While she recently relocated to Hong Kong (sad for us, great for her), Ramone will be returning to Canberra to host Canberra’s biannual ‘micro yoga retreat’ on Sunday, March 18 at The Boathouse by the Lake.

We caught up with Ramone to find out more about her journey with the Yoga Big Day Out, and what to expect this March.

Ashleigh: When did you start Yoga Big Day Out?

Ramone: The Yoga Big Day Out started in 2012 when four Canberra yoga teachers got together to share their love of yoga, eating delicious healthy food and enjoying time in nature at Cuppacumbalong Homestead. The event was a huge success and each year we’ve increased in size, strengthened our community and outgrown some beautiful venues around Canberra.

What was your vision for the day?

The vision for the Yoga Big Day Out has always been to bring people together to dedicate some quality time to themselves, to deeply nourish them with healing food, help learn a ittle more about how yoga can help them live happier daily lives, and to enjoy some of the beautiful natural spaces in Canberra and it’s surrounds.

How has it changed and developed over time? 

Our beginnings were very humble! Local teacher Jerome Davidson was actually living ata Cuppacumbalong and wanted to use the historic space to teach yoga and have people enjoy the farm’s riverside property. When I was invited to join the teaching crew I suggested a few ideas like selling tickets to the event so we knew how many people to cater for.

Muriel, a trained dietician and I (a certified food lover) cooked all the food for our first couple of events. It was a days work and not without a few catering fails, like exploding green soup all over my kitchen walls, baking 300 cookies for 50 people, and dropping an entire bucket of salad on the Cuppacumbalong Homestead deck (and no, we didn’t serve that salad! But yet, we did eat raisin-oatmeal cookies for weeks.)

What happens at a Yoga Big Day Out?

We have a whole lot of yoga flavoured fun! It might seem intimidating to think of doing yoga for a whole day, but the day is designed so that you get plenty of breaks, lots of delicious sustenance and time to connect with other participants and make some new yogi friends.

There are four practices, from four different styles of yoga taught by four teachers over the day. This gives you a great opportunity to try out new ways of approaching your practice and learn new things. The morning practices are stronger and more workshop-based in style so you get active and learn at the same time. There’s a break for morning tea, and at least an hour to chill and enjoy relaxing by lake or sampling some of the local wares on offer in our wellness showroom. After lunch, the practices are slower, more gentle and meditative in nature with an afternoon tea break in-between.

At the end of the day you get to head home feeling relaxed, rejuvenated and aligned – with a bonus gift from Aveda Canberra to help ease you into your Sunday night at home

Who is the Yoga Big Day Out intended for? Is it open to all levels?

 The event is for anyone interested in yoga. All ages, all ability levels and practitioners from all styles of yoga are welcomed to join the fun.

It’s a great chance to learn about all the different styles of yoga and meditation, to reward yourself with some well-deserved time-out from your busy life and to spend quality time with the amazing people from the Canberra Yoga community.

Why do you love yoga?

I love yoga because it always has something to teach you. Most people come to yoga for the physical practice, to ‘get more flexible’ but they usually stay because of how it makes them feel. The state of a calm and centred mind, feeling your body get both stronger and more supple and the personal insights that bubble up through a regular practice are addictive!

The fun really begins when you start to see progress in your life ‘off the mat’ and outside the yoga studio. From being able to be kinder and more patient with your colleagues, more compassionate with your kids (and yourself) and more disciplined in your actions and choices, to offering you the focus required to perform highly at your chosen study, career or sport, yoga can truly transform your life.

Why have you chosen The Boat House as the venue?

Having a location that offers access to nature is central to the ethos of the Yoga Big Day Out. Immersion in nature is one of the most healing things you can do for your busy, frazzled nervous system and the Yoga Big Day Out is all about helping you remember what it feels like to feel good.

Lunchtime breaks are always long enough to walk off your meal with a lakeside stroll, or nap on the lush green grass under the willow trees.

With the incredible space we have at the Boat House, we now also have a full showroom dedicated to local products and services that support your wellness journey. Aveda Canberra are always on hand to provide massage and a selection of their organic products for free.

Can you tell us a bit about the food that will be on offer?

 The Boat House is well known in Canberra for it’s focus on the high-quality local produce and the talented chefs to go out of their way on the day to create a menu of delectable vegetarian fare for us. All dietary requirements can be catered for, and the focus is on food that nourishes, heals and most importantly, is deliciously tasty.

What about the performers that will be participating?

 This March for the first time I’m very excited to welcome internationally renowned traditional Japanese bamboo flute player Riley Lee to the Yoga Big Day Out. Riles will be performing on the ‘Shakuhachi’ with highly accomplished local musician and classical guitarist Steve Allen. Rile and Steve will play alongside the afternoon gentle and meditative Yoga practices taught by me and fellow Yoga Big Day Out founder Muriel.

Who can we expect to be leading the yoga practices?

This year we welcome back a much-loved and missed Canberra teacher Ariane McCormack who has been living overseas. She brings a wealth of knowledge form her extensive Yoga Medicine training and will be helping teach uss all a little bit more about yoga anatomy.

Also joining us is Canberra’s only certified Anusara Yoga Teacher  Amanda Morley from Radiant Energy Yoga.

And I’ll be coming back from my new yoga-home in Hong Kong! I an’t wait to reconnect with my favourite Canberra Yogis.

The essentials
What: The Yoga Big Day Out
Where: The Boathouse by the Lake, Grevillea Park, Menindee Drive, Barton
When: 8:30am – 4:00pm, Sunday 18 March
How much: From $175.16, payment plans available
Bring: A yoga mat, a towel or blanket to keep warm, a camera if you’d like to take photos (you will be asked to turn off your mobile phone for the duration of the event)


Ashleigh Went

HerCanberra ACTIVE Editor Ashleigh Went has a passion for all things health and wellness. As someone who loves champagne and cheese almost as she loves a sweaty workout, she's all about living a healthy, balanced lifestyle. She can usually be found with her nose in a book, planning her next adventure, in the gym or updating her Instagram @wentworthavenue. More about the Author