A mamas health retreat on the White Isle
Last October an email pinged into my inbox about a 6-day yoga retreat in Ibiza. I love yoga. I’ve been practicing for 15 years and I’ve always wanted to do a retreat but I was actually joking when I forwarded it to my two best friends with the subject title ‘Shall we?!’. Luckily for me, they aren’t ones to get bogged down in minor details like work or children and both replied instantly with the word ‘Let’s!’. So we did.
Fast forward 8 months and we arrived on the sun kissed White Isle super excited and slightly terrified by the itinerary we’d been sent which detailed 5 ‘optional but encouraged’ yoga and fitness sessions per day. The retreat was held at a private villa called Can Verru which has lovely rooms, a pool, and beautifully landscaped grounds.
We didn’t get off to the most virtuous start. Our first class wasn’t until 5pm so we went for lunch at the gorgeous Cotton Beach Club which unwisely included a couple of cocktails. While we made it back in time for our first yoga session I wasn’t in my most Zen state (or maybe I was too Zen). All I know is that downward dog made me see stars and I got several fits of the giggles. Thankfully Rowena and Anne, who were running the retreat, are 2 of the loveliest people ever and refrained from putting me in the naughty corner to sober up.
As well as being kind to drunk yogis, Row and Anne are both very experienced personal trainers. I know Row from Dubai and had attended her classes in the past. She has an amazing ability to tailor workouts to each individual and knows more about anatomy than anyone I’ve ever met. Anne has this inspiring yet calming presence and I basically want to be her when I’m a grown up. They are truly a dream team.
There were 14 of us on the retreat with a wide range of fitness levels, yoga ability, and ages but everyone received personal attention. As well as group classes we also had one-to-one sessions in which we were able to discuss injuries, individual goals etc. Our daily schedule involved sunrise yoga followed by meditation and then another yoga or pilates class before breakfast. We then had a fitness class at 11am which varied each day from circuit training to boxing and hiking in the hills around the villa. Lunch was at 1pm then a workshop at 5pm with a different theme every day and finally restorative yoga to end the day.
I should mention the food at this point. Hunger is a real issue for me so I was never going to do one of those retreats where you survive on clear broth and wheatgrass shots but I really wasn’t expecting every meal to be SO amazing! Lunch and dinner were catered by @danaluck, two talented Brazilian ladies who prepared the most incredible vegetarian feasts. I didn’t miss meat at all and even on the two afternoons that I skived off to go shopping in Ibiza Town, I made sure I was back for dinner.
Shopping trips, sun bathing, naps, daytime drinking (which resulted in the above antics) – none were frowned upon at all making it my kind of retreat! Row and Anne are very laid back and really just wanted everyone to enjoy themselves. They have been running these retreats for several years and next Summer’s will be in Italy. If you’ve ever been tempted to try a trip like this then I would highly recommend theirs. Of course, I couldn’t leave Ibiza without a little bit of partying so I ended my week with a night in the super cool ME hotel and a day at Nikki Beach next door. Because life, like yoga, is about balance.
If you’re keen to know more or to book a retreat then visit @rowenasoasis on Instagram and get in touch!