At #TeamCoco we are all about balance, and as much as we love sipping cocktails on a tropical island, we are all about an active and healthy lifestyle, because Yin needs Yang of course. We recently teamed up with HotYoganic 40 and sent our travel writer Melissa across the Mediterranean to unplug and unwind at their first retreat in the beautiful countryside of Mallorca, Villa Finca s’Almudaina.
Yoga is an ancient practice, often associated with culture and sometimes religion. But at a time when our mobile phones dominate the way we live, think, breathe and even sleep, switching off and recharging from time to time should be a priority.
A yoga retreat is an experience out of the busy world we know and beyond the ordinary routines of emails, social media and phone calls. It opens your eyes to the possibility of changing old patterns and reflecting on what really matters, which above all is inner peace (and sanity). Yes you can probably tell I am still feeling Zen from all of the positive vibes, and I certainly hope it lasts. But on a serious note a yoga retreat is an absolute necessity for a millennial in this day and age and #TeamCoco are feeling fabulous after our digital – diet and detox.
Now I know that some people like the idea of a retreat but feel anxious at the thought because they can’t stand on 2 hands whilst chanting, well let me tell you a secret…I can only just touch my toes (and that’s at a push). Beginner or bendy- Wendy, whatever level or stage you are at you will not feel out of place. Yes you will do things out of your comfort zone, but that’s where the magic happens of course, and you will probably surprise yourself with a headstand like I did…apologies, I am just showing off now but I felt like I had to share my success.
Prepare to be left speechless when you arrive at Villa Finca s’Almudaina, a little organic and eco-friendly paradise hidden away in the rolling countryside of Mallorca. You will feel a million miles away from humanity and wonder if you can stay forever living from the land. I think sometimes you need to feel so far from home to give yourself permission to truly relax, and I instantly felt calmer.
The Villa has 7 bedrooms and sleeps 16 guests in total, the surroundings are un spoiled featuring a vegetable garden, fruit trees and plenty of chickens that produce organic eggs for breakfast. The swimming pool area adds a splash of cosmopolitan (which we love), so you have everything you need. We especially enjoyed soaking up the sunshine with the peacocks, who roam freely around the grounds spreading their colourful stunning feathers, the wildlife is incredible and you will also have the pleasure of meeting George the pig who by the way thinks he is a dog and it’s just too adorable. You will be pleased to know that Wifi is available, but of course the purpose is to switch off so I advise allocating a daily slot for emergencies, which includes Insta-story updates because they are still on the priority list! And don’t get me started on the view from our room; the best seat in the house.
The great thing about these hideaways is the ” no makeup needed” policy, you can give your skin a break, it is so liberating.
So what you also need to remember, it is not a bootcamp but a retreat, which means there are no rules and nothing is compulsory (thank the lord). They held a morning yoga flow, evening classes, group meditation under the stars, morning jogs, bike rides, but you do as you please and as you feel. If you want to catch some rays by the pool and read a book then thats what you can do. We also had the chance to venture out a couple of times visiting Palma, which is stunning and the local markets which was fun.
Now I know what your thinking. Where’s the food at right? #TeamCoco love our grub and even more so when we have a chef on hand morning, noon and night. The retreat is all inclusive with a vegan and vegetarian option. Every meal was full of colour, flavour and made with love by Max and Cynthia who are both self taught with over 2 years experience, they create dishes with a fresh approach through daily inspiration. Due to the amount of physical activity, we indulged in a lot of carbs which was an absolute treat, since we are always avoiding them. The mornings started with organic porridge made with whole raw oats and almond nuts, for slow releasing energy and we learnt it is also known to soothe and calm nerves, which goes hand in hand with yoga. This was served with an array of every single fruit and topping you could think of. Lunch and dinner was a party of flavours and wholeness mixing watermelons with goats cheese and recipes that would pleasantly surprise you.
Will you miss your daily caffeine fix (and other sins)? Well my body felt re-energised, replenished and nourished. Chai seeds are added to most meals due to the high protein and antioxidant profile they have. The human body needs fuel and sometimes we forget, every thing you put into your body at this retreat, along with been healthy is super tasty. The activities will have you building up a serious appetite! Especially the morning 5k run, which I decided to participate in with no previous experience apart from chasing the bus. But remember it’s the effort that counts and I soon accepted you can’t be good at everything, the morning Vinyasa flow was enough.
Zoe is the founder and main Yoga teacher at Hot Yoganic, she eased us into the first half of the retreat. With her soothing voice and perfect posture she moves smoothly across the mat, making everything look so simple. The only person I have met who can hold a full conversation whilst standing on her head; the definition of a yogi-goddess. The beauty of a retreat is you get more time for one on one help, anything you are struggling with you can stay behind for extra time with Zoe, she gave me the encouragement I needed to push my boundaries. Along with Zoe we had a guest teacher who came all the way from Canada. With over 15 years experience on the mat Angela came to guide us through the second half of the retreat. She carried a beautiful and contagious energy, with an intuitive nature that fuelled her ability to manipulate the body and the mind, her words so inspiring leaving you on a high all day.
Are you looking to escape the stress of every day life, spend some time alone finding yourself, or just work on your downward dog? Then a yoga retreat could be just what you need. We guarantee you will return home with a new zest for life, creative juices flowing ready to jump back into your routine but with extra “ommm” for times of need. Experiencing the unknown is the best way to learn and grow, so if you are hoping to escape reality in the form of a stunning hideaway in Mallorca perfecting that warrior pose, then just go for it “Feel the Fear and do it anyway”.
HotYoganic will be holding the next retreat towards the end of September 2017, the spaces are very limited so we suggest you book early. Below are their details.