If there’s one travel experience that is at the top of my list to attend, it has to be a yoga retreat. With a student budget and wanting to tie in any holidays with my boyfriend’s interests, I can fit yoga in but haven’t so far been able to attend a dedicated retreat. That being said, I have spent plenty of time thinking about what kind of retreat I would like to go on. Here are all the components that would make up my ideal yoga holiday!
First and foremost; what styles of yoga? My main form of yoga for myself is Vinyasa flow, so I would definitely pick this as the primary form of yoga practiced during the retreat. For me, there is nothing better than starting the day with sun salutations and using a flowing sequence to generate heat to deepen your practice. However, I also love Yin yoga and believe it is very important to balance the flowing Yang style of Vinyasa with a more restorative practice. I have been desperate to try Yoga Quota’s Yin and Tonic classes, where 75 minutes of Yin are combined with personal adjustments and massage to maximise class benefits and really help you to “soften”. So, for evenings, Yin and Tonic classes will be offered to compliment the morning Vinyasa.
As a conscious consumer, being able to attend a retreat hosted by an eco-friendly venue is paramount. Being by the sea also tops my list as I feel so much more at home when surrounded by clean salt water (with a family history rich in maritime life, it is quite literally in my blood!). Tipi Valley, located just outside Aljezur on the Algarve coast is an eco-friendly yoga and surf camp surrounded by cork trees. Accommodation is tipis and tents made from local materials, and much of the food is organically grown on-site. Tipi Valley aims for simple living rather than luxury, but this is perfect for an off-grid, back-to-nature retreat. This ecologically minded location has the perfect vibe for the kind of retreat I would wish to attend.
The Extra Activities
On a yoga retreat, it is lovely to have some downtime and other activities offered. Being right on the Algarve, it would be almost criminal to not hit the waves. My surfing is still decidedly rusty, so I would love to take advantage of some lessons on the Atlantic surf. Luckily, Tipi Valley specialises in surfing, but if I went anywhere else on the Portuguese coast I would definitely want an in-house surf instructor to offer guidance. For when I’ve fallen in one too many times, an hour or two spent on the more steady SUP boards would be perfect. I’ve loved stand up paddle boarding since I first had a go on a canal five or six years ago and would definitely be wanting to practice a little SUP yoga -doing wheel pose and watching the waves upside down is the strangest of feelings!
For me, the best way to explore an area is to lace up your trainers and use your legs. A half day’s hike is the perfect way to see the area in which you are staying from an entirely different perspective. And what better way to end a hike or surf than with a massage back at the venue before evening yoga or meditation?
When I’m on a healthy living-themed holiday, I want to food to reflect that wholesomeness, whilst still being flavoursome and hearty. A menu full of vegetarian food that celebrates the locally grown crops has the kind of ethos that would match a retreat. Raw desserts, herbal teas and a breakfast buffet of Instagram-worthy delights would round off the culinary offerings perfectly. I am in love with Kimberly Parsons‘ book The Yoga Kitchen. As she has also run retreats and workshops, I’d love the menu to reflect her recipes or even have Kimberly visiting to run a cooking workshop… the possibilities are endless!
I may not *quite* be at the point of organising my own retreat yet, but if I did the easiest way for small businesses and individuals to manage bookings is by Eventbrite* who make managing RSVPs and organising payments a breeze.
I can’t wait to get myself booked on a yoga retreat (I’m so going to be selling the yoga/surf idea to Stuart…). What would make your dream yoga retreat?
*This post is not sponsored but has been written in association with Eventbrite. As always, all thoughts, opinions and contents are my own! All photos are from Tipi Valley’s Surf Algarve website.