Toby Brothers and Ann Moradian join forces once again, with Reading the Body, a deep plunge into body, being and nature through literature and yoga-based movement practices, in the idyllic setting of the Swiss Alps.


  • Cultivate your Mind with salon-style literary study of transcendental essays.
  • Fine-tune your Body and waken to its wisdom through yoga-based movement, meditation and breathing practices.
  • Reconnect with Nature and flourish.
This retreat will be enjoyable for anyone looking to immerse in nature, great writing and deep connection to the living, breathing body. An extraordinary escape that includes room, board and a full program of activities.

The magical surrounding of this Alpine environment will inspire and amaze you. No experience of formal preparation is required. The preparatory reading comes with supportive and guiding notes. 

Ann and Toby have each been exploring in their work the movement from personal understanding to connection and global engagement. They have designed this retreat to further their mind and body work towards a deeper understanding and experience of our shared relationship with the natural world. 


  • Each day will include a few hours of Salon-style literary study of Transcendental essays (Emerson & Thoreau) leading into Housekeeping, Marilynne Robinson's powerful meditation on identities broken and healed in the icy reaches of the deep woods. 
  • Participants will have two yoga-based movement sessions each day, exploring the inner landscape of personal, lived experience, and the outer landscape of shared experience in our beautiful surroundings. 
  • The afternoons have been left open for walking, pondering, reading... whatever participants require to replenish and re-source during this inspiring retreat.
In addition to a full yoga practice each day, along with more free form physical explorations based on Ann's work in dance, the martial and energy work, we will spend time considering representative writing by the American transcendentalists, Thoreau and Emerson. The philosophical inquiries of these writers re-imagined the individual's relationship to society and the natural world. Our self-reflection through our physical practice will parallel this process of questioning. 

Thoreau in his Walden Pond experiment sought to strip away the influences of society so as to more fully and deeply connect to his divine nature -- not as an end in and of itself but towards greater clarity so to return to society wide awake. This is a question we set ourselves in this retreat, through the literary, the discursive and the embodied physical.

"I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practise resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms... " (Henry David Thoreau)

We will turn from the Transcendentalist writings to the incredible work of Marilynne Robinson. Her sublime novel, Housekeeping, explores the journey of two women who depart from societal norms in a broken and transcendent journey that overturns assumptions about home, parenting and healing.

Toby's approach to literature, as developed in her years of running literary salons, offers unique and inclusive discussion-base studies -- weaving the ideas of participants with questions the writings raise about what it is to be human. You will be asked to read approximately 12 pages of Thoreau and Emerson and to complete the short novel, Housekeeping, for the study. The Salon offers support for all ideas and questions in response the literature -- the work has been described as a lively journey together into the depths of ideas and words. 

Ann's approach to yoga and embodied movement exploration allows anyone, and any body to work at their own rhythm, allowing the body itself to serve the role of primary guide and wise teacher as we learn to listen to, speak and act with our full and embodied being. With over 30 years of experience teaching, Ann's approaches are influenced by her work in dance, yoga, choreography, improvisation, the martial arts and systems thinking. Her work has been described as a gentle, deep and dauntless immersion into the depth of being and wholeness. 


Toby Brothers is the founder and director of the London Literary Salon. Toby guides unique and inclusive discussion-based studies of fiction, nonfiction, poetry and drama -- weaving the ideas of participants with questions the books raise about what it is to be human. She is currently preparing for her first TED Talk.

Ann Moradian is a movement artist, director of Perspectives In Motion and the founder of ShinGaia YogaAnn integrates yoga, dance, the martial arts, systems thinking and sustainable practices. Her workshops focus on deepening our sense of self, relationship, health and wholeness. See an interview with Ann on her last yoga retreat in Ireland. She was voted Best Yoga in Paris 2016 by Expatriates Magazine.