A few years ago, I was teaching facial treatments and asked my students a question “when did you last have a facial?” To my amazement a number of them admitted that they had never had a facial and rarely had other treatments. I simply couldn’t understand it. One of the (many) reasons I work in this field is because I love having treatments, going on retreats, and embracing a healthy outlook on life. If I don’t experience the benefits how can my clients understand how necessary, all of these are in our crazy busy lives. The student’s homework for that week – “go and have a treatment!” I wanted to know how it made them feel, what they liked, what they didn’t like – often the questions I ask a client.
Earlier this month (October 2021) I took my own advice and was a ‘therapist on retreat’. Navigating my way through forms to travel, the nervous excitement of jumping on a plane after a couple of years of travel restrictions, venturing into the unknown of new travel rules didn’t make the start of the experience easy, but waiting for me at the other end was a 2-day escape to Spain with a group of likeminded people looking for a break from their usual schedule. The travel stress was going to be worth it.
There are so many different styles of retreats out there, I can guarantee there will be one for you! Whether you are into fitness and want to focus on a goal, you need total relaxation and removal from your social media feeds, you are a foodie and want to experience new foods or skills, looking for creative experiences – the list is endless.
The retreat I ventured on was a yoga based one, in a remote hilltop villa. If your perception of a yoga retreat is of full-on yogis taking it seriously, everyone in perfect positions ohming their days away, everyone knowing each other and extolling the virtues of their perfect lies – forget it. This was not one of those. I’m sure they exist, as I say there is something out there for everyone. This was a group of women – who had never met but been brought together as they were all connected with the host. Within no time connections had been made (its rare that a group of women don’t talk, find common ground, talk about their lives) and friendships made. By the end of the first evening over an amazing meal we were laughing so much tears fell from our faces, stories shared of crazy lives and anticipation for a great weekend built.
During the yoga sessions things were quieter, apart from the occasional giggle as someone would mention a comment previously shared, or from the swatting of pesky mosquitos (but by then even the mozzies couldn’t bring the mood down). Yoga positions challenging balance and flexibility, with our guide allowing us each space to move at our own pace and rest when we felt we needed to. I’m pretty sure if you felt the need to lie down in a savasana pose for the whole session that would have been fine.
The incredible food was vegan based and catered to those with food allergies, everything had been thought of. (The knock-on effect is since returning home I have been experimenting with more vegan and vegetarian dishes than before and enjoying new found flavours). We had vegan donuts, cake, breakfasts to die for – and yes, there was wine at lunch and dinner if you wanted it.
Sadly, this retreat was only for a couple of days, but we all said we felt as though we had been away for weeks! A change of scenery – and its beautiful scenery, meeting new people (social media gets criticised but it has meant we have all connected straight away despite coming from around the world), someone else preparing, cooking and clearing away meals (that’s enough to sell it to anyone), not having to think about anything other than what time the next yoga session was, or when your massage treatment was booked was perfect. I haven’t mentioned that bit, we even squeezed in treatments.
As I said to my students, how can you encourage other people to experience treatments, go on retreats or embrace a healthy outlook to their life if you are not doing it yourself. Well, that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it!
If you would like to know more about the host of the retreat I experienced check out:
If you would like to experience the type of treatment you would get on a retreat or at a spa, book in a see me.