When big city life gets a little bit too overwhelming, since my first yoga weekend in the British countryside I turn to yoga to unwind. Contrary to popular opinion, yoga retreats are not only for ‘professional’ yogis who do headstands in their sleep, you are not only munching on nuts and seeds and green juices (while there are plenty of these, too!) and repeatedly ‘ommmm-ing’ throughout.
What you do get though is a mini-vacation where you learn how your body really moves, how important breathing is, and how delicious healthy food can be. These two and a half or two days are pure ‘me-time’ that you can use to your advantage. In case of Boho Chic Yoga Retreats by Carolina Smilas, these are spent in a welcoming atmosphere of Carolina’s own gorgeous home (expect boho chic vibes, unique pieces of furniture, framed old-school Vogue covers and lots of actual Vogue magazines) in Brightlingsea in Essex.
Designed to host 5-6 people only, Carolina’s yoga retreat in Essex is just one hour away from London by train, while the yoga practice, meditation and healthy nutrition goes a long way. With a packed schedule of yoga classes (taking place twice a day, around 1,5 hours each), morning silent walks, time for creative writing and art therapy, outdoor spa, massages and hulahooping, the retreat is very chilled and the actual routine reflects the vibe of the.
Settling into the retreat is made truly easy: having arrived on Friday evening, my friend Sarah of Energy For Life and I, alongside the other three yogis were invited to have a delicious vegetarian dinner, followed by the most relaxing yoga ever – Nidra yoga – which is a perfect way to prepare for sleep. Needless to say after such welcoming reception I slept like a baby!
Saturday morning started with a green juice, followed by a silent walk – something that I found very weird and uncomfortable when I went to my first yoga retreat ever 🙂 and what I have now embraced. Walking in silence means you are taking time to be one-on-one with yourself, enjoying the views of a peaceful countryside and letting yourself relax and connect with the nature.
Feeling fresh and with a clear(er) mind, I was ready for breakfast! (It’s amazing how much more aware you become of the way your body works and the signals it gives to you which in our day-to-day life we prefer to ignore, rolling with our (often unhealthy) routines instead!) Doing yoga on a full stomach is a faux pas (the body focuses on digesting food and would not care about your attempts to get to the new heights of mindfulness) so delicious home breakfast by Carolina had to wait.
Morning yoga is energising and powerful, while evening sessions are usually very relaxing and calming. During both sessions Carolina dedicates time and attention to breathing and mindfulness which I find extremely helpful. Even with all the resources at the tip of our fingers (such as Headspace app) I struggle to find time to meditate on a regular basis while I do see the benefits of this. When it was finally time to enjoy our breakfast, it was both delicious and healthy – and truly amazing!
If, just like me, you are easily impressed with all the healthy super foods you can see in Whole Foods, you will see lots of these at the dinner table. Goji berries, coconut and peanut butter, coconut yogurt, various nuts, cayenne pepper and lots of greens to name a few.
Carolina indulged us with the healthy nutritious meals, recipes of which she has been collecting throughout her travelling times. Her peanut and coconut curry with butternut squash was absolutely delicious, as well as were gluten free pancakes with blueberries, home-made bread with nuts and seeds, and various salads Carolina made for us.
Boho Chic Yoga Retreats is a perfect way to relax and unwind while getting a feel for what a week long yoga retreat abroad or else is.
If you are ready to start your boho chic experience, check out Carolina’s website here and pick any of the following upcoming yoga retreats:
- 10-12 July – Boho Belles Glamping Weekend
- 14,15, 16 August – Detox Day Retreats
- 21-23 August – Boho Chic Retreat Weekend
- 4-6 September – Boho Chic Retreat Weekend
When you are ready, you might also check out a Wild Spirit Retreat by Carolina in Marrakesh taking place between 7th and 12th June.