Gavin King.

blog / Living For The Present

Yoga Holiday – My First But Definitely Not My Last.

Sunflower Retreats

A long time since the last blog post was out due to work commitments and the holiday I have been on which this article is about. It is about a company I actually do SEO marketing for  called Sunflower Retreats (google yoga retreats they are quite high up – nice little plug for me there). Ok, so now me blowing my own trumpet is out of the way I would like to say how amazing this holiday was, my first yoga holiday and what an experience.

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Me admiring the views in Casperia – I didn’t know the photo was being taken, honest ;)

For me yoga holidays have always had the stigma of being a bit more for the middle aged generation and maybe a bit boring for someone of my age. In the area I have grew up in if you don’t drink for 15 hours of the day on holiday then you aren’t considered to be having a good time, and even though we did drink a fair amount of red wine every night It was a nice change to have something in the day to occupy time.

So me and my girlfriend arrived late on the Thursday night at Sunflower and missed the arrival buffet which was a shame, but Alan and the staff had kindly saved us a gigantic plate of food we could work our way through, and by this time we were both starving having not eaten for 6 hours (the plane food wasn’t very tempting). Once we had a bit of a chat with the other guests there, we were shown to our room at the casa latini; we had the first floor of this restored old characteristic building and we were very impressed by the space and interior. The bathroom was the icing on the cake (an old cave dug out and restored) picture is below.

 

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The next morning after a good night sleep we were up and ready to try our first session of Yoga. Our teacher Sarah Eyde rounded everybody up and took us to the studio which again was a restored room within the village. My original concern was not being as advanced as the rest of the group in terms of yoga, I had only used a yoga DVD at home to stretch off in between football matches previously. However, I found the classes quite easy in terms of progressing through the difficulty levels of the exercises. I also enjoyed Sarah’s explanation of the different chakra’s involved in yoga because for me yoga was always about stretching and nothing more.

So a big thank you to Sarah and I hope you have a website soon so I can link this post as more people need to be exposed to your good work!

 

After our first yoga session we had breakfast, which consisted of eggs, organic bread, fruit, muesli and cake which for us brits is hard to gage but “when in Rome” as they say – even though we were an hour outside of Rome this was a good enough excuse!

We had then booked an excursion to the Hot Springs of Viterbo for the day which was a good experience, if you like mud baths and skin peels you would love the feeling you get after a sulphur based natural clay mud bath. The springs to wash your self felt like recently boiled water – but after all the temperature was around 40 degrees the whole holiday. This was pretty much the only excursion we did on the holiday apart from a walk on our 2nd to last day, we didn’t feel the need to do anything – the pool and retreat were keeping us occupied plenty enough!

As you can see from the picture the views of the pool were amazing, we made the journey down to the local pool twice on probably the two hottest days. This for me was the most relaxing part of the trip, something about the surrounding areas that made you focus on the present rather than worrying about anything in the past or future. The mistake we made was deciding to return to the retreat around a mile away at 4 oclock in the afternoon on a pushbike. Now bearing in mind its predominantly uphill its fair to say we felt like the village ginger cat (below)

 

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“Its too hot!!”

 

In general the day time was really relaxing and serene but by no means boring, plenty to do and see if you want to and you can take it at your own pace. Alongside some brilliant holistic treatments from Ciara you felt rejuvenated rather than the usual tired after a few pints in the day.

Now, if you are like me holidays are all about the night time and this is where Casperia really becomes surprisingly entertaining. My stereotypical view of little remote villages was that there was no night time entertainment – but here it couldn’t be further from the truth. Every bar has so much vibrancy and energy, if you are lucky you might get to watch the queen tribute band we did! Along with a unique Irish dancer (not quite sure its her day job but entertaining never the less) and great company the nights in this little village were brilliant and definitely recommended.

 

 

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Lastly but definite not least, the food. I didn’t think I was much of a lover of Italian food – all the pasta, bread and cheese but I was proved wrong…again! We visited a restaurant that Sunflower call “the local restaurant” in which we had to get a 2 minute bus ride to, once you are there it looks as if you have rocked up to someone’s house over looking an olive grove. Well, that’s basically what you are doing; this family run restaurant only serve what they produce – a dream restaurant for a foodie like me. Once more, their organically grown red wine was gorgeous and im sure was to blame for dancing to the Queen tribute band later on that night….

Anyway, the overall message I wanted to portray is how this retreat can cater for everyone. I would like to thank Lucy and Alan for being so brilliant with every aspect of the trip and will definitely be returning in the near future.

 

Also please visit Lucy’s personal page the divine feminine – using this link.