Natural Connection and Sound Awakening Retreat

Commenda di San Calogero, Sicily, Italy


from £1800pp
Available dates:

We love it for

Jivamukti Yoga, Sicilian Sunshine, Music Meditation Workshop


This October, focus in the moment and be reminded of the beauty and life all around us on the Natural Connection and Sound Awakening Retreat, held at the country home of Commenda di San Calogero in Sicily, Italy. Dating back to the 16th century, where 110 acres of lush green foliage meets the jewel-blue Mediterranean Sea, embrace a moment of serenity and disconnect from the daily swift and speed, taking it slow, realigning thoughts and emotions.

Across this 5-day retreat, witness the colours and rousing energy supercharge into the day in morning Jivamukti Yoga sessions with our experts Benjamin Beirs and Jennifer Schmidt. With a history extending back to 1984, this system of yoga is designed to help individuals realise their highest selves through compassion for all beings. Established as a physical, ethical and spiritual practice, during this retreat, Ben and Jennifer will bring together the dynamic yoga of Jivamukti, balanced by the stillness of the Yin practice in the evenings to conclude each day. The aim is to heighten interconnectedness, discovery of contentment and spontaneous joys, areas often forgotten amongst the haste.

Ensuring the beautiful surroundings are inclusive of the experience, engage in a historical archaeological river trek combined with a walking meditation workshop. Become aware of each step and each breath, learning to enjoy walking, appreciating the present moment, reconnecting with nature and oneself. Additionally, a Music Meditation workshop, to increase awareness through the sense of sound as well as a Yoga Nidra workshop to facilitate further relaxation is also included. On separate afternoons, enjoy a visit to Syracuse and the island of Oritigia, finished with an outdoor lunch and a plant-based cooking class exploring traditional Sicilian recipes.

Throughout this retreat, meals will be prepared daily using locally sourced organic ingredients from a menu, meticulously designed by Balance Holidays and the resident chefs. They will follow traditional Sicilian culinary concepts to present dishes of pure delight.

What's included

  • Morning Jivamukti Classes
  • Evening Yin Yoga
  • Walking Meditation Workshop
  • Music Meditation Workshop
  • Yoga Nidra Workshop
  • Visit of Syracuse and Island of Ortigia with outdoor lunch
  • Plant-Based Cooking Class
  • Daily field-to-fork meals
  • Turkish bath and sauna access
  • Essential bathroom toiletries
  • Wi-Fi

The Experts

Benjamin Beirs

Being exposed to yoga at a young age through his father who owned a yoga studio in Philadelphia, Benjamin Beirs is now a qualified Yoga teacher living with his girlfriend in Berlin. He completed his 200-hour teacher training at the Asheville Yoga Centre in North Carolina, July 2014 and his 300-hour Jivamukti teacher training at the Omega Institute in May 2016. Benjamin has taught in various studios worldwide, bringing a candid, joyful yet clear approach to his teaching with special influences through his spiritual beliefs and musical studies background, to encourage other individuals to combine yoga, meditation and creativity into their daily lives for the benefit of one and all.

Jennifer Schmidt

Born and raised in Berlin, Jennifer decided to leave the corporate world in 2012 to travel the world. On this trip, Jennifer discovered yoga in Paris 2015, which proved transformational for her as she felt an instant shift in her perspectives. She then decided to complete her 200-hour RYT at the Ashtanga Yoga Centre in February 2018 and has since been happily sharing and teaching yoga to help individuals discover balance and healing in their personal lives. She now lives in Berlin and teaches Yin and Restorative Yoga at Jivmukti Yoga in Berlin with her boyfriend, Benjamin where she also works as an Assistant Studio Manager.


Located in a beautiful region of Italy, come and explore a former feudal estate circled by lush greenery, blooming meadows and peaceful lakes and rivers at Commenda di San Calogero. To offer invaluable insight into its pastime, each room is furnished with precious antiques to portray unique character and rustic charm that has been preserved to provide a tranquil setting to relax and unwind. The property is the best-preserved traditional Sicilian country estate home with a history dating back to the 16th century, looking out towards mount Etna.

Room Types


Furnished to reflect the historic pastime, guests will be staying in an intimate space at the estate. To display unique character, each room is in a distinctive colour, adorned with hand-selected vintage pieces of décor to complement as well as wide glass windows and panelled doors. The private bathroom is decorated with traditional Sicilian tiles.

Shared spaces

After a day of activities, relax in the communal areas of the estate. A spa with Turkish Bath and sauna is also available to offer ultimate relaxation. Massages are available upon request.

Food and cuisine

Get the full Sicilian experience for breakfast, lunch and dinner, as each meal is meticulously prepared daily using organic ingredients grown in the estate’s gardens. Implementing traditional Sicilian culinary concepts, each dish is a true taste of Sicily that can be taken away home to integrate into everyday life. *Please notify us of any dietary requirements.

The ambience

Tucked away in a cosy corner of Sicily, wake up gently in a traditional countryside suite to the soothing whistles of the wind passing through the gardens, awakening the fresh blooms and surrounding wildlife in their natural habitats. The ancient yet ample spaces are footsteps away from organic citrus groves.


Situated in southern Italy, enjoy the warm Mediterranean Sea at your feet at Commenda di San Calogero this spring and soak up on Sicilian sunshine during your stay at the captivating country home grounds imbued in rustic beauty and charm. Commenda di San Calogero is one of the oldest and renowned farms in Sicily, producing aromatic jams, honey and olive oils. 

Practical Info

How to get there

Commenda di San Calogero is a short 25 minute taxi journey from Catania International Airport, Sicily, Italy. If instead you prefer to rent a car, you may do so at the airport. Simply quote the below address to bring you directly to the estate.

Alternatively, the estate is happy to organise a transfer for you through their preferred local company. Please email: quoting “Transfer” in the subject line. This transfer service will entail a separate fee, not included as part of the cost of this programme.

Commenda di San Calogero

Contrada S. Calogero,
SR, Italy

Check-in/ check-out

An arrival and initiation ceremony takes place at 6pm, therefore, we suggest booking tickets with an arrival time that allows sufficient time for travel from the airport to the estate. As a general rule, guests will be allowed to check-in from 1pm on the day of arrival. On the day of departure, as part of our programme, there will be a morning yoga session followed by breakfast however, you are welcome to depart earlier to suit your personal agenda. Please contact us if you have any enquiries regarding check-in and check-out.

What to pack

For those wishing to access the swimming pool or spa facilities with Turkish Bath and sauna, it would be advisable to bring a bathing suit as well as comfortable work-out clothes for yoga classes, hikes and treks. We would also recommend bringing sunscreen and insect repellent.