For me Retreats have always been about escape, stepping away from reality or perhaps even running away from reality. I have always seen Retreats as a solace, safe haven of sorts. This is why more often than not I go alone to focus on myself.
I was heading to the Holistic Health Project retreat in such a happy relaxed place which is such an amazing place to be in. I didn’t go with the intention of needing “fixing”, I went thinking, you know what I’m feeling pretty good about life right now, I just fancy some switching off time, and that’s ok. You can go to a retreat for whatever reason you want. Maybe you need to get away from life, maybe you’re stressed, or there’s a specific something you need to work on. Sometimes you just need a few days to yourself, switch off, relax, work on your fitness or yoga. To be honest any reason is a good reason to go on a retreat. And lord know y’all know how much I love a retreat!!!
So back to the Holistic Health Project, I was there with fellow blogger Emily from The Style Lobster and we were on the Yoga Project retreat. This meant a week of yoga, meditation, healthy plant based food. Nestled in the heart of the Andalusian mountains I intended to get my zen on I’ve the few days. And get my zen on I did.
The Holistic Health Project also run other styles of retreats including the Quarter Life Health Project which is a retreat aimed at 20s and 30s. The overall concept is brilliant, The Holistic Health Project found that there is an enormous number of young adults struggling with depression, stress or anxiety. Life is so fast paced and full on these days and there are many of us around this age struggling to balance everything without burning out! The Quarter Life Health Project Retreat is aimed at rebalancing, taking time out and working on you.
Now I can’t write this blog post without a mention of the wonderful bunch of ladies I got to share this experience with. Retreats are funny things you turn up at the beginning of the week a bunch of strangers, then leave at the end feeling like you know each other so well. On a retreat you become a family, a unit of support and it’s such a special experience. I am still in contact with everyone I have ever meet on a retreat and I think that’s down to how close a bond you make.
The group of ladies on the Yoga Project were wonderful, a variety of ages, backgrounds and from all over the world. Everyone was on a personal journey and it was clear to see that they had all come to work on themselves for themselves which is such a wonderful thing to see. As lets face it we all need to spend a little time on number one.
The Yoga and Workshops
I love yoga, I don’t do it enough but when I do I really enjoy it (and promise myself I will do more but it never happens! You know the drill). The yoga on this retreat was exactly what I needed. I feel like every yoga practise I do and every teacher has such a different style and vibe. The best way to describe the yoga classes here were warm, loving and grounding. They were mainly gentle flowing classes especially the morning ones we did first thing which woke our bodies up. The afternoon workshops sometimes focused more on balancing work like headstands and handstands and partner work. There were also some brilliant workshops on the origins of yoga and reflexology which I LOVED!
The Food We Ate
It was all plant based and the menu was designed by Stephanie the founder of the Holistic Health Project. It was fresh, tasty, loads of vegetables and fresh salads. I loved the Buffett style of breakfast and huge sharing bowls at lunch and dinner which meant big portions….totally my kind of vibe!
Breakfast was a buffet style so loads of options. Ranging from avocado on gluten free toast, homemade Nutella, granola (homemade) yoghurt etc
Lunch and dinner were big sharing bowls of fresh salads and vegetables, quinoa, vegetable curries, sweet potato wedges you name it. All delicious.
So what does a typical day at the Yoga Project look like?
- Wake up
- Morning meditation
- Tea – and fresh fruit provided
- Morning yoga – a lovely flowing style practise on the balcony whilst the sun rose
- Breakfast – buffet style so naturally I ate about 3 portions
- Free time / pool /reading
- Lunch time yoga or workshop and these varied from reflexology to the foundations of yoga
- Free time
My Final Thoughts
It was clear for me from the beginning that this retreat was so much more than a standard yoga retreat. This week is a journey, I kind of went in expecting to do lots of yoga, sunbathe and eat some yummy food. All of which I did but this retreat went a lot deeper than that. It was emotional, soul searching and pretty damn deep, that’s the only way I can think accurately describes it. If you are expecting a light a fluffy yoga retreat this probably isn’t the one for you. But if you are after something a bit deeper and more meaningful then I would highly recommend. Expect lots of time journaling, writing down your thoughts and feelings, meditations and workshops.
The retreat itself felt like the perfect place to escape life and work through anything that has been on your mind or effecting you. This week is one of self discovery and connecting with yourself and your emotions. I think every woman left feeling like a new stronger and happier person and how often can you say that?
To find out more about the retreats head to the Holistic Health Project website HERE.