As autumn approached we found ourselves tired and in need of some sunshine. Sunny beach holidays don’t appeal, nor does lying beside a pool, we need activity – or we will return from holiday feeling lazy! But how to mix a certain level of activity with time for reading and soaking up the sunshine was a question we found ourselves asking. We have had several very busy holidays this year so far; history; art; temples; cities; travel far and wide, but this one needed a more relaxing element. Ah! – a yoga retreat – it was the perfect solution. We both practice yoga and take a lot from it into our every day lives, so a holiday combining yoga to start and finish the day, leaving time for us in-between was just perfect. We could not have made a more perfect choice for our needs and ourselves. Tracey Joscelyne had two remaining spaces on her Andalusian retreat two weeks later. We snapped them up and off we went on a Huzur Vadisi retreat!
Having run yoga retreats myself, along with a wonderful yoga teacher, Cathy, who is also planning to run retreats abroad, I did have some idea of what to look for. We have previously also stayed at our friend’s guesthouse in Hay on Wye, tying it in with several yoga sessions a day in her private yoga studio. We’d had also been on a tailor-made couples yoga retreat in Cumbria a few years earlier, at Sunny Brow Farm, yoga, massage and quality time in a beautiful place. But this would be different, so we had to choose carefully. A whole week, with people we hadn’t previously met, with whom we may have nothing in common but the yoga….so much to consider. We chose to go with a yoga teacher we were familiar with as a person, although we had never attended her classes. This meant that if all else failed we knew at least the yoga would be fine. As it turned out, everything was more than fine, as the group, not surprisingly, was made up of really interesting people. And there was plenty of time in the day for us to also be alone, to meditate, read, explore nature and spend some quality time just the two of us.
The yoga was simply wonderful, Tracey is an excellent teacher, and treated us kindly whilst carefully taking us further from our comfort zone as the week progressed. The retreat centre was amazing with delicious vegan food, two natural swimming pools, lots of space to relax in, and wonderful surroundings to explore. An organised day trip to the beach gave us time to get to know our fellow yogis and some much loved sea swimming. What made it super special was the outdoor yoga shala, and the accommodation – both were superb. The main house, or finca, had a wonderful history. Our room was in the old farm buildings, corjito, actually a whole apartment with a luxury bedroom, sitting room, bathroom and kitchen – all to ourselves, not that we used the kitchen other than for early morning tea! It was full of history, friendly and stylish, the views magnificent and the wildlife fascinating. What’s not to like!
There are so many retreats out there to choose from, I would highly recommend trying one, choose carefully to suit your individual needs – but just do it!