Where to even start with this post? It’s Monday evening, the day after I arrived back from my yoga retreat at Raithwaite Estate and I’m still completely and utterly buzzing from it. I’ve already got that nostalgic feeling of looking back on it and wishing I could repeat it all over again. I’ve got honestly hundreds of photos of my own and probably hundreds more to come in from the other ladies on the retreat on our Facebook and WhatsApp groups.
And that’s what made the retreat So. Much. Fun. The group of people I was with were just amazing. In the run up I’d been quite nervous and apprehensive about being in a group of people I didn’t know. I’m not a naturally sociable person and have to really push myself into doing things like this. But I couldn’t have wished for a better group to have had these experiences with.
More on the group later on though – I’ve got SO much to say about the weekend that I’ll be publishing various posts on the different aspects of the retreat: the hotel itself, the yoga, the Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUP) and yoga on the boards, the food, the grounds, the people, the experience. I just wanted to check in today with a few photos of the retreat to get you started and an overview of the whole thing to get the words out of me to describe it.
The retreat ran from Friday 21st April lunchtime to Sunday 23rd April lunchtime and included sunrise yoga, SUP yoga (with the fantastic Simon from Valley Adventures), afternoon yoga and evening yoga nidra all with the wonderful Victoria Sky at Tree Living Yoga. That’s also not to mention the 3 course evening meals we had on the Friday and Saturday evenings, plus full breakfast both mornings, lunch on Saturday, use of the spa and the accommodation itself for two evenings in Executive Bedrooms in the Keep. All of this was £350 for 2 people sharing a bedroom or £481 for a single occupancy room. Initially that price might look expensive, but stop and look at the list of what’s included again – we honestly couldn’t believe just how much was included in the price (all that yoga! All that food! The accommodation! The gorgeous setting! Need I go on?!).
And even better, they’re running another retreat with a similar itinerary in September (although it’s possibly subject to a couple of changes to make parts run slightly smoother next time). That retreat is taking place from Friday 29th September to Sunday 1st October – details are here. If you’re considering doing a yoga retreat and going back and forth on one like I was – stop doubting right now and just book it. I should also add that a couple of ladies had never done yoga before (so you don’t need to be an expert at all) and none of us had set foot on a paddle board before either. Seriously, this weekend was one of the best things I’ve ever done and I honestly can’t recommend it enough.
Not only was the yoga itself and the SUP super fun, but I’ve got a whole new group of likeminded friends thanks to the retreat. It really helps that everyone who books one of these is in the mindset to take it seriously but not too seriously. As in, they’re not going to be judging what you’re doing during yoga (I know a lot of people worry about this), but they’re ready to have a lot of fun while doing it – we were crying with laughter so many times during the retreat over the smallest things and sharing personal stories about ourselves within 24 hours of meeting each other. Sharing in something like yoga and meditation together and knowing that these people understand your priorities just brings you all together so much more quickly. One lady commented as we were leaving: “I feel like I’ve known you all forever!” and I couldn’t have said it better!
So that’s my outpouring of gushing words about the retreat but I promise I’ll be back with a lot more to say about the retreat very soon – stay tuned! The last thing to say is a HUGE thank you to Raithwaite Estate for hosting and organising the retreat, as well as Dan for inviting me to be a part of it, plus, of course, Simon and Victoria for holding the best yoga and SUP classes.