Courses Overview >> Short courses >> Head, Hands, Heart 2020: Connecting to Nature with Whole Body Learning

Head, Hands, Heart 2020: Connecting to Nature with Whole Body Learning

Key Info: 
  • Explore whole-body learning
  • Understanding your own head, heart hands relationship
  • An opportunity for reflection

With contributors Stephan Harding, Sarah Gray, Ruairi Edwards and Fiona Tilley

£ 299.00
Course fees include all meals, field trips, materials and teaching sessions. The programme includes two nights simple and private accommodation with shared bathrooms and all vegetarian meals from the first lunchtime you arrive through until the
lunchtime before your departure. We recommend attending this course as a fully residential participant however for you may choose to book as a non-residential participant. Please call 01803 847237 for more details

This is an opportunity to step out of your normal routine and explore what it means to truly connect with nature and to learn with body as well as your mind. Nature can be our greatest teacher yet unless we embrace her with our head, hands and heart we cannot truly learn.

In this gentle weekend we will explore how it is possible to have a whole body connection to your environment. Optional activities will include forest bathing, gentle yoga and guided relaxation to nourish and nurture before bedtime. You can also join a guided walk on Dartington and join in with hands on working in the Schumacher gardens. There will also be the chance to take part in a singing session; our voices can be a powerful tool for expressing emotion and yet many of us fear using them.

This is an introduction for those who are curious about what lies within them and exploring in a supportive and balanced environment.

*The Booking Deadline gives us an accurate idea of course participant numbers before the course is due to run, at which point we confirm the course, add additional time for people to book on or cancel the course. We encourage people to register early for courses as places are limited.

With contributors Stephan Harding, Sarah Gray, Ruairi Edwards and Fiona Tilley
Dr Stephan Harding FLS

Stephan Harding

Stephan coordinated and lectured on the college’s MSc Holistic Science for nearly two decades, teaching on the core models of the programme, as well as on several short courses at the College.  He was born in Venezuela in 1953, and came to England at the age of six.  Since childhood Stephan has had a deep fascination with the natural world which led him to do a degree in Zoology at the University of Durham and then a doctorate on the behavioural ecology of the muntjac deer at Oxford University.  He later returned to Venezuela where he was a field assistant for the Smithsonian Institute, studying mammalian diversity in the rainforest and in the lowland plains. He also spent two years as Visiting Professor in Wildlife Management at the National University in Costa Rica.

In 1990 Stephan was one of the founding members of Schumacher College where he worked closely with James Lovelock, with whom he has maintained a long-lasting friendship and scientific collaboration.  They were jointly appointmed as founding chair holders of the Arne Naess Chair in Global Justice and the Environment at the University of Oslo.  At Schumacher College Stephan has taught alongside many of the world’s leading ecological thinkers and activists, including Arne Naess, Fritjof Capra, Brian Goodwin, Vandana Shiva, David Abram, James Lovelock and Lynn Margulis.  He is now the Deep Ecology Fellow at Schumacher College.


Sarah Gray

Sarah Gray leads playful, heartful yoga enquiries for attuning deeply to self and the environment. The yoga practice invites freedom, fluidity and permissiveness in both the body and mind. Inspired by somatics, which is at the heart of her practice, Sarah is interested in shifting our values to work without ambition and to embrace our whole selves with curiosity and kindness. The session includes calm and gentle guided meditation, breath work and classic yoga poses promoting joyful, grounded and healthy movement.

Sarah is an interdisciplinary artist, producer and teacher distilling wisdom from her experience in various disciplines, combining approaches for exploring consciousness. Sarah is a Scaravelli-inspired Hatha Yoga Teacher, training as Somatic Movement Educator in Body-Mind Centering ®, holds a First Class degree in Theatre & Choreography from Dartington College of Arts, and is a teacher of somatics and experiential anatomy at the School of Experiential Learning or SOEL.

Fiona Tilley

Fiona Tilley describes herself as a recovering academic. Having followed a conventional academic career in environmental social sciences (researcher in sustainability entrepreneurship) she stepped away from university life in 2009 and found herself at Schumacher College. In the last few years she has developed a practice in eco-facilitation, process work and nature-based practices, such as, the Way of Council. This has led her into the role of short course facilitator at the College.

She says:

“The College has been a welcoming, nourishing and stimulating learning and living environment ever since I arrived. The worlds of myth and story, contemplative practices, education for sustainability, nature-work, the outdoors and eco-facilitation have reignited my joy of life and my creative imagination. I feel I have been reconnected back to myself and the magic of the cosmos. I can swim again in the mystery."

Ruairi Edwards

Ruairi Edwards

Ruairi is a nationally sought-after conductor, pianist and vocal coach whose approach to music – and to singing especially – is to empower and uplift people into discovering within themselves and others a deep source of joy and connection.

Originally coming from a prestigious academic background in Economics, Ruairi established a career as a professional musician aged 21, and quickly developed a national reputation within the choral music world. Having rapidly gained apprenticeships with several of the UK’s leading choral conductors – including David Lawrence, Dan Ludford-Thomas and Paul McGrath – Ruairi became sought-after for his ability to work with a huge range of different groups, from children’s choirs to choral societies, gospel choirs to business organisations.

Originally based in the Midlands, he has held lasting positions with some of the country’s most prestigious choral and music organisations such as Ex Cathedra, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, National Youth Choir of Great Britain, National Children’s Choir of Great Britain and Glyndebourne Youth Opera.

Working with groups and people is Ruairi’s greatest passion. Far from sticking to conventional methods of choral conducting, Ruairi developed techniques and approaches which enabled him to work with people of hugely diverse backgrounds and in different settings. He has had enormous success in working with people and organisations who believe they “cannot sing”, and of creating ways of allowing people to access their voice – and their bodies – joyfully.

From 2012-2013, Ruairi worked alongside Gareth Malone on the BBC’s BAFTA award-winning television series The Choir. In this role, he was engaged to work within various business organisations as a vocal coach and pianist, working with people who had never sung before and creating choirs which ultimately performed on national television. With one of these organisations – Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service – his work was so successful that he was appointed permanent Music Director to the Fire Service. With this choir he went on to perform around the country and internationally, including at New York’s Carnegie Hall.

As a Vocal Tutor in Ex Cathedra’s nationally award-winning Education Team, Ruairi works up and down the country working with young people in schools, hospitals and choirs. In 2016 he went to Bangkok, Thailand, to lead massed choirs and worked with over 1000 children in a week.

Between 2011-2016 Ruairi was appointed Associate Artist at the Warwick Arts Centre, where he founded and directed an unprecedented International Music Festival, culminating in an annual event called Warwick Fused. This event ultimately featured over 250 musicians from around the world performing on stage together. This success of this festival led to its official coronation as the Lord Mayor of Coventry’s annual Charity Event.

As a student at Schumacher College between 2017-18, Ruairi has already used his music extensively with people from around the world who have come to visit. Working on several Short Courses with Jenny MacKewn and Satish Kumar, Ruairi has created choirs and performances with people who thought they could never sing, and who have reported that doing so had been one of the highlights of their experience here.

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Residential accommodation for "Changing the Frame"  is at Higher Close, a 20 minute walk from Schumacher College. All meals will be provided at the college.

A place can not be guaranteed unless we receive your deposit or payment on your chosen course. If you would like to apply for a bursary, please do this before making your course application.

Short Course Bursaries create an opportunity for an individual to experience the powerful transformative learning by joining a course that assists the participant to inspire their wider community and benefits from the participant’s own unique contribution. It is our hope that our bursaries support a wide cross section of participation on our short course programme. The number of bursaries available is limited, competition is strong and funding is not always available for every short course. Please be aware that most bursaries are in the region of 10% – 20% of the course fee so please be prepared to raise funding from other sources.  A bursary award is not intended to cover travel or incidental expenses.

Applications are viewed on a case-by-case basis and we are unable to enter into discussions on any decisions. We generally have many more applications for bursaries than we have funding available. We can only offer one bursary per person per year and priority is given to those who have not attended the college or received a bursary before. To help us support as many people as possible, please only apply if you would be unable to attend the course without a bursary.

How to apply for a bursary

Six weeks before the course is due to start all bursary applications will be considered and responded to.  If successful you will be required to accept our Bursary Terms and Conditions.

Please answer the following:

  1. What does a bursary mean to you?
  2. How will your attendance on this course benefit the wider community?
  3. If your financial situation justifies you applying for a bursary, how much are you able to contribute towards attending this course?

Please be prepared to supply an appropriate reference in support of your application.