Meet the Real Retreats Team

The people you spend your time with can have a significant impact on your mental and physical health, which is why it is so important for you to get to know our wonderful Real Retreats team.​

Find out more about specialists and retreat hosts below

Jo, Physiotherapist and Pilates Instructor

Movement is my thing, sport, dancing, walking the dog, anything really but preferably done outside. I’ve been a Physiotherapist for the past twenty years so perhaps a fascination with muscles and motion isn’t such a surprise. It’s through Pilates though that I find real joy. I love experimenting and finding ways in which movement might happen more efficiently, more comfortably and beautifully.

We are unique and I feel that to make lasting change you need to make sense of your own body. My teaching involves helping you create a sort of personalised internal map so that you understand how things are now and how you might create change for yourself, rather than just being instructed through a series of moves.

I particularly enjoy teaching Pilates on our retreats as it allows for so much variation. We can do early morning wake up classes, Pilates in the pool, evening relaxation sessions, sometimes quiet and meditative, sometimes raucous and more energetic but always with a sense of humour.


Ian, tree man and walking guide

As a boy I loved riding my BMX for the freedom and space it gave me, the joy of flying along under my own power.

We lived in Dorset for a while and my favourite place was the Undercliffs nature reserve at Lyme Regis, a wild area of coastline with landslides and gnarly vegetation. This was in the grounds of Allhallows school where I made friends with Patrick, the Rector’s son who knew the old landslips like the back of his hand. It was a magical summer when the schools own piece of Jurassic coast was deserted, I was twelve but it could have been any time. I loved rock hopping, chasing fish, that darted amongst the boulders in the shallows by the cliffs.

In my twenties I studied Forestry and Agriculture at Bangor where my final degree perhaps reflects the time I spent walking in the mountains as opposed to the lecture theatre! After a few years in an office working in agricultural finance, I found my way back outdoors and qualified as an Arborist. Over the past thirteen years I’ve worked with people of all ages creating woodland schools, working on large estates and helping people to understand the trees in their back garden.

Our retreats give me an opportunity to share my passion for activity within nature and also to reawaken the natural inquisitiveness and joy that we have unlearned as adults. Helping someone, who has been watching tentatively to climb the big oak at Casa Rosa, then seeing them smile as they take in the view from the top is real job satisfaction.

Emanuela Grima, Clinical Psychologist and Mindfulness Teacher

I grew up in the countryside, in the beautiful hills surrounding Assisi, in Umbria, Central Italy. My family, originally from the UK decided to escape the city in the 1970s and set-up a self-sufficient farm in Italy where my brothers and I grew up. It felt so normal as a child to spend my days discovering nature, getting lost in the woods, horse riding, jumping from waterfalls and swimming in the freezing cold water of the natural pools not far from home.

As an adult, after having spent over fourteen years living in cities in the UK, I realised that I was longing for that freedom and the contact with nature that I experienced as a child and I felt that Casa Rosa was such a special place that I wanted to share it also with others. This dream came true when I returned to Italy in 2014, started my own family and founded Casa Rosa Space for the Mind.

During my time in England I qualified as a Clinical Psychologist and developed a particular interest in Mindfulness; I subsequently qualified as a Mindfulness Trainer. Casa Rosa Space for the Mind has brought together my love for the peace and harmony of the place and my passion for psychology and wellbeing. It proves to be the ideal location for courses and retreats.

Jo Beeston, Physiotherapist and Pilates instructor

I am delighted to have been asked to teach Pilates in such an idyllic setting.  I hadn’t previously visited Italy, I was waiting until my children were older so I could absorb all it has to offer, scenery, culture, food (I particularly love food!) and drink. 

As a child I always loved the outdoors, helping my dad chop wood while my brother helped my mum prepare lunch.  I think it was the fresh air, movement and sense of achievement I loved.

Deciding I wanted to enter a profession to help and empower people, I soon found physiotherapy.  Physiotherapy is an ever-changing world as research enables us to find out more about the body and how to look after it. When I trained there was little mention of core muscles but now we know of their importance.  I love being a physiotherapist and find that people are helped by exercises, but the motivation to maintain a home programme is not always there.  When I had the opportunity to train in addition as a Pilates instructor I jumped at it.  I could treat people as a physiotherapist and then provide them with an opportunity to continue and maintain their recovery by joining a class.

 I was never shy, always happy to stand in front of a group and make a fool of myself.  Maybe this came from being a magician’s assistant in my teens in order to get some pocket money?  Having been teaching for some years now, I have seen the benefits my clients have gain from Pilates.  I have also seen and felt the benefits myself, being amazed as I initially changed shape and clothes felt different, but also using Pilates as an important rehab tool after an accident which meant I had to have a small back operation.

Physiotherapy and Pilates complement each other perfectly, I am able to adapt exercises to make them easier or more challenging which will and enable me to deliver classes to suits all participants, with a smile and some sunshine.

Contact Us

Tel: 01453 276376