As I write this post I have a serious case of Ibiza blues….(every time!!)If you follow me on social media you will of seen that last week I was on a fitness and wellness retreat with Our Retreat. Yet this wasn’t any old fitness retreat. It was so much more, I arrived at the retreat stressed, tired, burning at both ends and in desperate need of a break. I left feeling like a new person, I felt stronger, healthier but most importantly happier. The constant feeling of anxiety that goes hand in hand with living in central London and running your own business was replaced by a feeling of happiness, calm and clarity. Its amazing what a week of healthy delicious food, Ibiza adventures and switching off can do. Not to mention being able to share this experience with the best group of people ever. We arrived strangers and left a little ‘Our Retreat’ unit. The guys on the retreat were such an inspirational motivating bunch they honestly made the experience for me. It’s hard to put into words what a magical week I had and how needed it was. So thanks Our Retreat for organising what can only be described as a life changing week.
Now I have been to Ibiza a few times and every time I fall in love so I knew this time would be no different. This time the retreat itself was based in Sant Miguel which is a beautiful part of the island on the north side I hadn’t explored as much. I would recomend this peaceful side of the island as it is near some amazing beaches like Cala Benirras and some amazing hikes and only about a 40 minute drive from the airport. But it was the Villa itself that made the retreat so special. The Villa was a beautiful new 6 bedroom finca, designed and built by Ibiza architect Rolf Blakstad, located in stunning and peaceful countryside surroundings.
I can’t put into words how incredible this villa was, it was breathtaking. Light, airy and the perfect combination of Ibiza style and modern design. With a dad who is an architect I have developed his love of buildings and this villa was truly special. It was the perfect lay out for the retreat, with so many outdoor areas for yoga and workouts, and to run around the grounds. The pool was salt water and had huge day beds perfect for relaxing and enjoying the Ibiza sun. Then the open plan kitchen, huge dining area and cinema room meant this villa catered for everything. Every little thing was thought of making our stay run so smoothly.
Our Retreat is a fitness and wellness retreat so exercise was a crucial element to our days. However what was so great about this retreat is that it wasn’t a ‘bootcamp’ and the focus wasn’t on fast weight loss and killing ourselves with hours upon hours of exercise, I mean don’t get me wrong there was a lot of working out and it was pretty darn hard but the focus wasn’t just purely exercise. No Our Retreat had the balance just right. The week was about making you feel amazing on the inside and out….and it did just that.
Wearing Adidas Womens Sports Bra, Leggings and Ultra Boost Trainers
So its time to introduce you to the man, the legend that is Richie Norton aka The Strength Temple (go check him out on social media). Richie was the trainer at Our Retreat who not only has incredible knowledge of health, fitness and nutrition, he also is the KING of smoothies (honestly this guy he makes the best smoothies ever) and an unstoppable force of nature with the most infectious energy and motivation. His energy and knowledge made the whole week not only more enjoyable but I also learnt so much. I spent so much time quizzing him on food and nutrition. Not only that but as a trainer Richie looks at each individual as a whole, he wanted to know about my background, my stress levels, my health, and where I was at with my mind, all areas often over looked but so important. I was honestly blown away by Richie, everything he said made sense and was no nonsense. On top of that he has the best energy….but be warned don’t feed him raw cacao as it makes him crazy….entertaining but crazy!
The exercise on the retreat was a combination of HIIT, yoga and hiking. Each morning Richie put us through our paces. First a warm up followed by a circuit style body weight HIIT session. Think burpees, stair sprints, TRX, push ups, walking lunges etc. The workouts were hardcore, I was sweating a ridiculous amount at the end of each session. But what was great about them is although they were really hard and Richie pushed us all to our limit they also were around 25/30 minutes. Showing us that you don’t need to kill yourself in the gym for hours on end to get results.
Wearing HPE leggings and Snake Bra, shop this look here
Then after breakfast we would have yoga, these sessions were held outside and there is nothing that beats shavasana in the Ibiza sun. The yoga was taught by two yoga instructors based on the island. The first day was more of a gentle flowing yoga class which was very relaxing to ease us in to the week. Then as the week progressed the classes became more advanced, ranging from doing more partner style workouts, to more strength based work. Yoga is something I need to focus on more and I say this all the time but honestly I have made a promise to myself to do more yoga. I am thinking of trying out some hot yoga in London perhaps? So my roomie for the week was the amazing yoga bunny Emily Cohen who is an absolute babe and yoga teacher. I got envy of her bendy limbs and beautiful yoga poses continuously! But lucky for me I was able to steal her away and get her to help me practise my handstands! By the end of the week I had fallen in love with being upside down….so thanks Emily for not only being the best roomie but also sharing some of your yoga knowledge! P.S she teaches at Power Yoga and Paola’s Body Barre if you fancy doing a class with her.
Then most days we had another afternoon session whether it be a hike or a core session ran by Richie. Now you know I love hiking and honestly I think its my favourite kind of exercise. One its a full body workout which uses your core, legs, glutes and not only that but your balance and agility. Also with it being outside you get to see the beautiful scenery and it distracts you from the fact your working out. My favourite hike in Ibiza is Atlantis its a pretty steep down hill hike but once you get to the bottom the views are worth it!
Wow where to begin, the food on this retreat was on a whole other level. It was catered for by the wonderful Ibiza Kitchen and the chef was the incredibly talented Debby. The only way I can describe it was like dining at a michelin star restaurant every day. The food was exquisite, beautifully presented, amazing flavours, healthy fresh food. It was dreamy and the amount of care and attention put into each meal was incredible.
Also there was a lot of food, we had a good sized meal three times a day and often a small smoothie and nuts to snack on too. This was in no means extreme dieting or cutting back it was eating nutritious delicious meals which were balanced and tasted amazing which were appropriately timed to fuel us for our workout. There were even desserts! Healthy desserts of course but they tasted so good you felt like you were really indulging.
The highlight meal for me was when the guys dragged us all down to the beach when we had finished a workout telling us we were going to watch the sunset. We were all knackered and starving by this point and I remember walking around the corner and seeing a surprise dinner laid out over looking the sea. The location was perfect it looked like something out of a film set. And of course the food was delicious making it one of the best moments on the trip.
It’s weird how life plays out sometimes. This retreat was a bit of a last minute one for me, but it turned out to be exactly what I needed at exactly the right time. I came away calmer, happier and much less stressed with a new lease of life. What I have realised more than anything is how much stress effects me and can have a negative effect on my life and health. So one thing I took away was how much my current lifestyle was having a detrimental effect on my body, so I am making a big effort to change some things. Giving me some ‘me time’ and learning to switch off. Life is a balancing act and my aim is to create a healthier happier balance.
So in summary, retreats are life changing I couldn’t recommend going on one enough and Our Retreat honestly raised the bar to a whole other level. This isn’t your normal retreat this is a week of luxury, wellness, mindfulness fitness and exquisite food. You will leave feeling energised, calm, refreshed with a new lease of life. The aim of this retreat isn’t weight loss but thats a great side effect we all dropped body fat but the real difference was on our faces. So thank you Our Retreat for creating such a wonderful week and everyone on the retreat with me for sharing the experience.
Now its back to my post Ibiza blues and planning my next Our Retreat adventure.
For more information on the retreat including dates, whats included and how to book visit the Our Retreat website here
Also follow them on their Instagram for amazing wanderlust images from their retreats @our_retreat