‘This was my first yoga retreat and I can only describe my experience as exceptional and beyond expectation. I think one can describe a holiday or judge an experience on whether one wants to go back home… and I do not want to leave!’ ~ Sats Mistry
So I’ve finally taught a retreat abroad and it was by far much better than I had expected. It has been quite a journey but the hard work and effort of all the organisers really paid off. We spent six days and five nights in the heart of the Italian countryside in Umbria and it was absolutely amazing.
The journey started off quite eventful as our baggage did not arrive with our flight! Therefore we had to wait at the airport to queue up and complete forms…. not so much fun! But to be honest this could not have happened to a better bunch of people. We all put our yogic skills to the test and stayed calm, patient and present.
Our bags finally did arrive a day and a half later! However we made the most of the local shops and bought ourselves some cool yoga gear and bathing suits which we get to claim back from BA 😉 We also improvised with towels in replacement of yoga mats… nothing would stop us from our practice 🙂
It was amazing to see how quickly the group energy developed and it felt like we had all known each other forever. This really formed the foundation of the retreat which also allowed everyone to just be themselves.
The resort was beautiful and vast which gave us the opportunity to practice yoga in so many scenic spaces. As you can see in the slideshow below we got to practice yoga by the pool, among nature and on the hilltop.
We had the opportunity to eat local food including many of the resort’s own grown herbs and vegetables. The olive oil was also made on site as well as the wine and on our final day we visited the winery for a tour and tasting.
One of the highlights of the retreat was our visit to the town of Spello where we got to see the Infiorate festival. We followed this with a visit to the Basillica of St Francis of Assisi. The day was full of culture and spirituality which allowed us to witness and be a part of the Italian way of life.
The retreat manifested from a simple desire in my heart to teach yoga outdoors and in a new and unique space. For many years I have been teaching yoga in local halls and spaces and I really felt an urge to offer something new and different. Being outdoors has a profound effect on your energy and the healing qualities of being in nature can soothe the soul at a deep internal level. Also having taught yoga classes and workshops which only last a few hours it was great to spend so much time getting to know all the students.
I certainly felt nourished from the journey and I would like to thank Reshma Shah from Optimal Travel who approached me a year ago to organise a retreat. I had a lot going on at that time and it was only in January that I really got the ball rolling. Reshma organised things so well and I would highly recommend her services. She went above and beyond to take care of the students’ needs and requirements which really allowed everyone to feel cared for including the teachers.
I would also like to thank Prabha Shiyani from Flourish Wellbeing for her very informative workshops on nutrition, diet and sleep. The students took home lots of useful information and Prabha had them in fits of laughter as they were told about the importance of their poo!
I would like to say a big thanks to fellow yoga teacher Anjna Vekaria from Yoga for Serenity. Anjna’s attention to detail, kindness, her open heart and her extensive knowledge about energy made it such a joy to collaborate and share the space together.
Finally I would like to thank all the students who took part in this journey. Thank you for believing and trusting us and making our first retreat such an epic adventure.
I’m not sure when the next retreat will happen but I can certainly say that this will not be the last one. If you are reading this article and would like to join us in an upcoming retreat or event then please let us know. Your connection may just be the fuel we need to make the next retreat happen!