How you will Benefit from a Yoga Retreat weekend
Today I am refreshed and motivated. Balanced and focused. Clean and light. And you want to feel that way too, dont you? I have just returned from a Yoga retreat in deepest darkest North Devon. I have been looking forward to this weekend for months and months. It was booked in a moment of feeling flushed back in June when I had just been paid for a couple of big brand campaigns. With a few thousand sat in my business account I wanted to treat myself with a reward for my hard work and success. but with something that I knew would reap rewards afterwards.
I had written a manifestation list a few weeks earlier that included a yoga/detox retreat. There was the opportunity on a plate, my wonderful friend of five years, Helena had one arranged and there was two spaces left. I was in.
Turns out the date was perfect timing. It was the last long weekend of the summer holidays and I knew that I would need a break away from the kids by then, boy I did. The last week was full of arguments with the children, between the children, with the hubby. I needed to escape and I did.
I knew Helena, the host of the retreat and teacher of the yoga but knew no one else. This didn’t worry me at all. I have been to many of Helena super yoga sessions and had got to know here from Jack pregnancy yoga so knew she surround herself with the right energy. Many of the women were from near to where I live so I also lift shared with Karina who picked me up for the journey. All 224 miles of it!
It was a five-hour journey to a farm in North Devon. The farm was in the middle of nowhere, a 45-minute drive from the M5 at Tiverton and down a very narrow and long country road. We arrived to warmth, the sun, a beautiful day and a very welcoming pool and hot tub.
Then proceeded two days of Yoga Retreat bliss
Our first yoga session was at 5:30pm. We kicked off the weekend with a restorative session to settle us in and stretch out after the long drive. My favourite bit is always the sun salutations. The flow, the repetition, the energy, the sweat. People arrived at around 5/6ish, traffic delayed people a little, but we were all there for most of the yoga session and dinner.
The food was being cooked by Lucy from Chia, a Vegan and plant based health food café in Hitchin. I was so looking forward to a few days of good food and Lucy did not let us down. Dinner on Friday was a vegetables Thai curry with rice noodles. Followed by dessert of chia seeds and mango. It was beautiful food and I didn’t not miss meat (or dairy or gluten) one bit.
The conversation was amazing. Maybe because we knew that we only had 2 days together the stories got intense. We discussed deepest darkest life stories and experiences. Everyone had something to share and a story of life to tell. It really does go to show that everyone has something to deal with, some darkness from their past. But all of us were there to share, gain perspective and improve our lives.
The farm slept around 14 I think, I was sharing a room with fellow bright lippy lover Marie. We had a twin room in the barn conversion bit added onto the main house. A fab roommate. We both woke up at the crack of dawn on Saturday and discovered that we had an awful lot in common.
Saturday Yoga Retreat
Yoga started at 8:30am on Saturday morning so I took advantage of the early morning and went for a swim. The pool was glorious, 32 degrees lovely and warm for 30 minutes of lengths. Morning yoga began with 30 minutes of meditation then another two-hour session of lively yoga, I sweated a lot. It was thoroughly enjoyable.
Brunch followed the yoga session. The most beautiful spread of rawnola, which I am so going to make at home. With coconut yoghurt and cashew butter. Gluten free bread topped with smashed avocado and mushrooms. Such good food.
Helena had arranged for a massage therapist to come over on the Saturday and Sunday afternoon. My session was early afternoon on the Saturday. I had an amazing massage where all tension was removed from my body. I even had tension in my forearms! She finished with my favourite a glorious head massage.
A few free hours were filled with more beautiful conversation, detox tea to stop my constipation (yep I went on a detox weekend and got constipated). Another swim, a dip in the hot tub and sitting with a book filled the afternoon. At 5:30 it was time for another two-hour yoga session. Yes another.
Dinner was straight after yoga. It was a feast of vegan treasure. Beetroot and quinoa open burgers with coleslaw, homemade cashew cream, kale salad, sweet potato wedges, hummus. I filled up my plate and stuffed my face! Such a good dinner. I was so full I couldn’t eat my raw lemon cheesecake.
Sunday morning yoga and departure
Saturday was a restful but equally tiring day so I was in bed by 10pm. On Sunday I was awake at 6am in a sleeping quiet house. I just sat on the sofa and read. Again, it was morning meditation at 8:30 followed by a two-hour yoga session. Ending the weekend with a beautiful and tough session. I am not a fan of those pigeon poses but oh so love a tree pose. Everyone had a blissful time.
One final brunch and we all slowly made our way off to the busy M5 and home.
It really was the most amazing weekend. Today I have started the day with incredible intentions. I have specific aims for the month, made all the easier with the kids back to school this week.
Balance has been achieved and I am at one with myself. I know where I want to be and what I want to be doing. Thank you, Helena, for the most restorative weekend for my body, mind and spirit. Namaste.