Physical Alchemy Retreat - Embodied Paradox - Ubud, Bali

Physical Alchemy Retreat - Embodied Paradox - Ubud, Bali

from 425.00

Physical Alchemy Retreat 2019 - Embodied Paradox. Reenchantment and Repatterning Work

Join us for a full week of immersion into the arcane art of Physical Alchemy. Lectures, discussion and physical practice with Dave Wardman, Craig Mallett and Frederik Beck await you amidst the lush scenery and rice fields of Ubud, Bali. 

Room type:
Payment Plan:
book now


Join us for a full week of immersion into the arcane art of Physical Alchemy. Lectures, discussion and physical practice await you amidst the lush scenery and rice fields of Ubud, Bali.  Below are the syllabuses and methods to be presented throughout the week, as well as all the practical information you need to join us!



Dates: 2 - 9 February 2019

Where: Dragonfly Village in Ubud, Bali

Presenters: Dave WardmanCraig Mallett and Frederik Beck.

The early bird booking period ends on the 1st of December 2018.

Connect with others attending this retreat and stay updated on the Facebook event!



Physical Re-patterning Work

Physical Re-patterning Work is a way of teaching physical methods that provokes dormant qualities to emerge across the full spectrum of what a Human Being encompasses whilst still preserving and enhancing the original physical capacities.
The guiding principles are explicitly not those of fitness, performance, health or wellness - though aspects of these may occur as ‘beneficial collateral’.  We train to free ourselves from the habitual patterns of motion, speech, behaviour, gesture and posture that bind our creative resources in stasis and prevent our authentic expression.  
This approach can be used to augment and balance practice in:  movement arts, martial arts, performing arts and parkour (arts of evasion).  


Reenchantment as defined within Physical Alchemy is a transmutation related to *seeing* that accompanies a fundamental shift in one’s perception of self, other, culture and the world.  This involves working upon the ‘Body of the Essence’ (*the life-force tension) via increasing ‘flexibility’ of the mental, emotional and metaphysical habits in a way that is analogous to the work upon flexibility and suppleness of the physical body. 

We will share the insights gathered from Dave’s last 5 years of research - including exercises, cosmology, lore and patterns involved in what is a largely unknown and potent aspect of human transformation.  

This retreat is the first time that this material will be presented in the public forum in workshop form. And possibly the last - as this material makes up much of the apprenticeship for specifically chosen applicants within Physical Alchemy. 



Repatterning Stretching

This syllabus utilises partner stretching as a method of self-enquiry. The primary intention is the refining of sensory impressions. Secondarily the emphasis is on increasing of  suppleness and flexibility of the physical body and working to transmute the physical base metal of the body, so that more potent methods can be trained safely and effectively.  

We use stretching to shine a light into the dark, unmapped corners of our inner landscape. As our physical barriers dissolve we can repattern our fear of unknown - our allergy to mystery.  

Alchemical Stretching

Alchemical Stretching is where the Repatterning Stretching and Reenchantment work meet. It is where we learn to work simultaneously upon the physical centre, mental centre and emotional centre.  Almost all available methods of physical training work one or two centres but not three (why this is will be explained in the Reechantment lectures).  

The experiences created in this syllabus have a one-way opacity.  Only once you have entered this territory can you look back and realise that these experiences are completely unlike what you thought you were striving for under so many names.   There is a veiled third peak beyond the binary mountains of ‘bodymind’ and ‘mind-body’ and only from this ternary vantage point can the full landscape be seen.  

The ‘Body Tessellation’ aspect of this method takes the partner stretching into its complex and intense end point - though not for show. These methods were created from the rationale that one can utilise intelligent partnering to gain access to the deepest structures in the human body safely and clearly return with the impressions gathered via the extra assistance.  The intriguing aesthetics are a simple side-effect. 

Another limb consists of work upon ‘atmospherics’, repatterning effects and the experiential dimensions of physical work beyond the abstractions and reifications circulating around methods dealing with physical transformation.  

And yet even farther afield from this another mode of stretching lays hidden beyond sight.. more a root than a branch.  

Repatterning stretching process.jpg

Daoist Physical Cultivation

The Daoist Physical Cultivation syllabus uses stances, drills, and cosmology from a Daoist and Chinese martial arts background to repattern the physical body and awaken the ‘sleeping giant’ of the central channel.  Jibengong [Foundational Exercises] are exercises that are trained in a sustained and systematic way to inculcate the qualities required to practice skillfully and transform the sinews (connective tissue and muscular structures).  Transformation comes by way of heating particular tissues and pathways in the body with either static postures or the rhythmic cadence of simple motions.

Simple does not mean easy, however. While the motions or postures do not change much in outward appearance, they are built upon with layers upon layers of increasingly complex details that refine the desired qualities. As the structure is established and the tissues are wrung of their protective tension, the possibility to approach the central axis opens. Operating out of the central channel gives birth to an extraordinarily agile and robust physical form and with this the available energy and feelings of vitality increases dramatically. Once these qualities are properly embedded in static and simple motions, the practitioner is able to move onto more outwardly complex movements and transition seamlessly and swiftly between postures without losing the qualities.

Copy of Physical Alchemy 2 BW.JPG


Dave is the creator of Physical Alchemy and a Guide in reenchantment work.  The true prima materia of this method came through deep learning and relationships undertaken with his 4 Teachers.  These include: an apprenticeship with Stretch Therapy creator Kit Laughlin; an initial transmutation in the martial arts; studying in the Da Xuan Daoist tradition and, most profoundly, by being a student of [L] -  his spiritual Teacher [Korean Zen, Shamanism, Advaita, Enneagram].

Craig is a principal member of Physical Alchemy. He was subject to many of Dave’s early experiments, which broke him out of stasis and propelled him into becoming a dedicated student of the Da Xuan Daoist tradition. He teaches within Physical Alchemy and is also the instructor of the Da Xuan School in Sydney. Prior to this, he studied the traditional Chinese martial arts of Xin Yi Liu He Quan and Cha Quan under Dapeng Wang for a decade as well as many other modalities of movement, strength, flexibility and general physical development.  

Fred is currently tinkering with strength acquisition within a Physical Re-patterning Work framework as his ‘craft piece’. He has an extensive background in gymnastics, stretching and Western physical culture and holds Master’s Degree in Medicine in his home country of Denmark. He is a teacher within Physical Alchemy and runs regular classes in Dublin. 



This first Physical Alchemy retreat will be taking place in Ubud, Bali.

Ubud is in many ways Bali's cultural heart. Located in the uplands of Bali, just an hour's drive north of the airport, Ubud is well known as a flourishing crafts centre. It's also home to good restaurants, cafes and streets of shops, many selling goods from the region's artisans. You can catch a glimpse of playful monkeys in their natural habitat, swinging through canopies, lazing along pathways or feeding on bananas in the Monkey Forest which is right near Ubud’s town centre. But you’d better watch out, those monkeys are cheeky and quick, so hold on to your valuables!

The surrounding District’s rain forest and terraced rice paddies, dotted with Hindu temples and shrines, are among Bali’s most famous landscapes. 


There is only one airport in Bali and it is the Ngurah Rai International airport (DPS), just south of Denpasar. From there, it is an approximate 1.5 hour drive to Ubud. We will be organising a transfer from the airport to Dragonfly Village in Ubud on the day of arrival. The exact times will depend on the groups arrival details, but we will make sure to let you know your transfer details well in advance.

While we will only be arranging transfers from the airport to the Dragonfly Village, if you wish to spend some time in Bali before the retreat and are unsure how to make your way to the retreat centre, don't hesitate to get in touch with us. Usually the easiest means to get anywhere is via taxi.

All transfers from the airport will take place on the 2nd of February. Check in will be at 2pm, and the official kick off will be at 3.30pm, followed by our first dinner at 7pm.


We will be arranging a shuttle on the 9th of February to transport you back to the airport. The exact time will be confirmed once we know what everyone’s flight departure times are. Check out will be on the 9th of February at 10am.

When you have signed up, we will send you an email outlining all of these details to help you make necessary travel arrangements and help you prepare for the retreat.


Accommodation, Training and Leisure Facilities


Dragonfly Village will be our home for the week, an enchanted retreat paradise, set in the midst of one of the most beautiful rice field walks in the centre of Ubud.

The Village is all about living close to nature, so the rooms are designed so the natural world is very much a part of your experience here.

It has a 12m length salt water pool and a herbal steam sauna which will be fired up one evening during our stay.


During the retreat, you will be staying in bungalows. These century-old antique bungalows were brought over from remote villages in Java and are decorated with beautiful carvings from 100% recycled teak wood. All balconies are facing the rice fields, with its own private outdoor garden. 

Each bungalow has an attached mud-wall bathroom, passion fruits & vines climbing over the natural roof, semi-open to the nature. Hot showers are available. All rooms are supplied with natural organic shampoo, soap and insect repellent.

The beds and furniture are specially designed, made from recycled wooden ploughs, which the farmers used to drag behind buffaloes to plough the rice fields. 

We have two rates available, one for single occupancy and one for shared occupancy. If you sign up as a couple, we will try our best to accommodate you in a private bungalow. Pricing details are outlined below. 

Training Space


There are 2 workshop spaces available – an upstairs and downstairs Hexagon, 90-100m2 each, 100% wooden structure.

The upstairs shala is completely open with a 360 degree view of the rice fields. The entire northern mountain ranges of Mt Batukaru and Mt Agung are in panorama. You can see as far down to the Balinese coast in the south. Views of the moon rise and stunning sunsets can be seen from here.

The downstairs shala is semi enclosed by a half bamboo wall offering more privacy.

There will be multiple training sessions and lectures each day, with enough time to enjoy the leisure facilities of the venue.




Food and Drink

Breakfast, lunch and dinner are included in the retreat fees. The Dragonfly Village kitchen is vegetarian only. 

If you wish to supplement with meat, the restaurant right next door has meat options available, however this is at your own cost. You can also stroll into town for a dinner in one of the many tasty restaurants Ubud has to offer if you prefer. 

For the included food, please make sure to specify any allergies or food preferences during your booking (a form will be provided).



Pricing for the full retreat includes accommodation, transfers from/to the airport and all meals and is outlined below:


Early bird price: Book by the 1st of December
€2125 for shared accommodation
€2325 for private accommodation

Regular price: From the 2nd of December onwards
€2325 for shared accommodation
€2525 for private accommodation

Payment options:

Payment can be made via PayPal or Credit Card by using the check out above. There are three different payment options available, and you can chose your preferred payment plan in the drop down menu. The price applicable (super early bird, early bird or regular as seen above) is determined by the time you first book, and you will keep your price over the following instalments.

Option 1: Five instalments
Shared room:
Secure your spot with an initial instalment of €425 for the super early bird price, and pay four further monthly instalments of €425. You will be notified when payment is due and receive a link from which you can easily come back to the checkout.
Private room:
Secure your spot with an initial instalment of €465 for the early bird price, and pay four further monthly instalments of €465. You will be notified when payment is due and receive a link from which you can easily come back to the checkout.

Option 2: Half and half
Secure your spot with the with the first half of the early bird price, €1062,50 (early bird, shared room) or €1162,50 ( early bird, private room), and pay the other half in the months leading up to the retreat.  You will be notified when payment is due and receive a link from which you can easily come back to the checkout.

Option 3: Full payment
Select to pay the full amount of €2125 (early bird, shared room) or €2325 (early bird, private room) in one go - you won't have to make any further payments.


If you have any questions regarding this retreat, please don't hesitate to get in out with us at