Calm your mind, relax your body and recharge your batteries on these wellbeing retreats in stunning locations
The best summer retreats.
THE AUTHENTIC YOGA RETREAT
Where: The Malabar, Kendal, Cumbria, England When? September 21-24, 2017
Can’t get to India for an authentic yoga retreat? Look no further. Renowned yoga teacher and founder of Yogacara Healing Arts in Mumbai (yogacara.in), Radhika Vachani is bringing her Living Yoga & Meditation Retreat to the UK. A devoted student of the late BSK Iyengar for more than 12 years, Vachani is offering a varied programme of yoga, meditation and pranayama that throws new light on familiar postures and will show you how to incorporate simple practices into your daily life to help reduce stress and bring new meaning to your life.
In your free time you can enjoy walks (including a unique barefoot walking experience with a local shepherdess) on the surrounding Lakeland fells and wild swimming in silent pools and isolated waterfalls. Back at The Malabar, a converted 18th century Grade II-listed bank barn, you can relax with a therapeutic massage, before enjoying a monsoon shower or soak in a boat bath in the underfloor heated bathrooms. And when it’s time to feed your body, Vachani has teamed up with Malabar chefs to devise a series of yogic meals created especially for the retreat to nourish your mind, body and spirit. Price: The retreat starts from £650 and includes all meals, drinks and snacks, and yoga, pranayama and meditation sessions; themalabar.co.uk.
THE MINDFULNESS RETREAT
Where: Eilean Shona House, Argyll and Bute, Scotland When? September 19-24, 2017
Where better to practise mindfulness than a private island off the west coast of Scotland. Leave your busy life behind and immerse yourself in the wilderness of Eilean Shona for a week of Living Mindfully and Connecting with Nature in the company of writer Caspar Walsh. Taking inspiration from the land, sky and water, you’ll learn to live more fully in the moment using walking meditations, creative writing and personal exploration. Through workshops, journaling and hiking across the island, with time for personal reflection and work on individual projects, Walsh will draw on the transformative power of nature and use mindfulness to help you discover how to live a more creative and fulfilling life.
When not enjoying group discussions or one-on-one tutoring, relax in Eilean Shona House, a quirky former hunting lodge. Feast on home-cooked vegetarian food, with the option of local seafood and venison, join in yoga and meditation sessions, brave the loch for wild swimming or kayaking trips, or
snuggle up in front of the log fire. Price: Five-night retreats start from £950pp based on two people sharing, including full board, teaching and transfers from the mainland; shonaretreats.com.
THE SURF RETREAT
Where: Ahangama, Sri Lanka When? All year round
Water babies will love Surf and Soul’s new Sri Lankan retreat. Set amid the lush jungle foliage of the south coast, sheltered beaches give beginners a gentle introduction to the sport while seasoned boarders will love the reefs and wilder seas further offshore. You’ll enjoy five surfing classes and five sunset surf sessions, a surf theory lesson and video feedback session, seven yoga classes, plus a guided SUP session or canoe ride along the river. Back at your villa, which overlooks the river, there’s an indoor/ outdoor lounge, covered pavilion, sunken swimming pool and yoga shala overlooking the jungle. What’s not to love? Price: From £2,075 for seven nights (two adults and one child all participating in surf and yoga activities); soulandsurf.com
THE HEALTH RETREAT
Where: Capra Hotel, Saas-Fee, Switzerland When? From July 22, 2017
If you like your health retreats Alpine-style but tinged with luxury, the Capra Hotel could be for you. Peak Health’s new eight-part series of Precision Wellbeing retreats is set in the idyllic Swiss Alps and includes weeklong stays on sleep, fertility, energy and wellness for genetics. The signature Core Peak Health programme evaluates your hormonal, functional and metabolic profile, then gives you the tools to make changes to your lifestyle. Focusing on what the organisers call the interrelation of the ‘Life Quadrant’ – four key areas including physical fitness, diet and nutrition, sleep quality and mindfulness practice – be prepared for a total mind and body immersion, where you’ll spend your days boosting heart health and toning up with three training sessions a day. You’ll also enjoy two 60-minute spa treatments, a sleep-improvement kit, one-to-one sessions with wellness advisors so you can integrate your experience into your life once you return home.
The hotel boasts two Michelin stars and you’ll enjoy breakfasts on the sunny terrace and evening meals in the award-winning restaurant, while stunning views of the mountains can’t fail to lift your spirits. The minimalist spa of wood, stone and slate has steam rooms, saunas and plunge pools, allowing you to lie back and relax. Bliss! Price: From 4,500CHF, including a pre-retreat health, nutrition and lifestyle assessment, unlimited use of the spa, and daily mindfulness and wellbeing events; capra.ch.
THE SOUL JOURNEY RETREAT
Where: Nadi Wellness Centre, Queenstown, New Zealand When? September 20-24, 2017
Want to dive a little deeper? This retreat invites you to find stillness by experiencing your true nature. Recognise how your family and culture have defined you, and discover ways to ‘recreate your story’ by dissolving self-limiting beliefs and replacing them with self-love, so you return to your life with your inner eye open. The five-day Awaken ME retreat is packed with experiences to support your inner journey, including an intention-setting ceremony, daily sacred walks in nature, Nia dance (awakening your spirit through dance movement exploration) daily yoga and mindfulness sessions, plus an hour-long massage and a treatment of your choice (think chakra clearing, colour therapy, hypnotherapy and nutrition). You’ll receive a reflective journal, and have plenty of ‘Soulo’ time to reflect on your inner processes.
It’s non-residential, but does include all meals. Looking after your body is as much part of the process as caring for your soul, so you’ll eat real, mostly plant-based and organic food, prepared by some of New Zealand’s top chefs at local cafes and restaurants. If you need ideas on where to stay, the Sherwood Hotel has a retreat-like feel, with plenty of places to chill, including a tipi, and wonderful lakeside views. Price: The five-day Awaken Me retreat costs NZ$3,250, including three meals a day, but excluding accommodation and flights; souljourneys.co.nz. A standard room at The Sherwood, costs from £94 per night; sherwoodqueenstown.nz.
Go surfing in Sri Lanka
Put a new slant on your favourite yoga pose in the Lake District
Practise mindfulness on a Scottish island
Go on your inner journey in New Zealand
Immerse your body and mind in the Swiss Alps