Last year was one of the most difficult for me and I vowed to myself that 2018 would be the year of positive change. The universe was listening because when January arrived, an email inviting me away on a Yoga retreat landed in my inbox. I smiled even just reading the subject line because I knew it was exactly what I needed.

I’ll be the first to admit that I am no yogi. So yes, whilst I was grateful for the opportunity to relax at a retreat, I was pretty apprehensive about my capabilities when it came to the classes.

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Located in the Sierra Nevada mountains, Spain is Kaliyoga – founded by Rosie and Jonji in 2002, this yoga retreat has stood the test of time. The couple found each other and fell in love on their yoga teacher training course, so it’s no wonder that Kaliyoga comes from such a pure and loving place. The pair have put all they have in to creating a family of equally passionate individuals that truly make the experience what it is.

Whilst my position is to review this retreat for you guys, the message I really want to get across is how it made me feel. For someone who is totally new to this kind of environment, they welcomed me, and the rest of the group, with open arms. No question too silly, no personal request too much. I felt like I’d made lifelong friends in just a matter of days and it was truly, the most wonderful feeling.

I expected to be totally overwhelmed by two yoga classes a day and didn’t feel like meditation would be for me. I’m as cynical as they come and about as far away from spiritual as you can get – but I can say, hand on heart, that Kaliyoga has changed me.

I don’t know whether it was the stunning views or the passion oozing from everyone I met, but on arrival I felt instantly relaxed and peaceful – I was present and ready to try anything.

I gave myself fully to the experience and realised through meditation that switching off doesn’t mean ‘no thoughts’ – it simply means letting the thoughts in, acknowledging them, and then letting them go. Understanding that gave me a new respect for the practise of both yoga and meditation – no longer would it be something scary, but something I invited and looked forward to.

Whilst yoga and meditation was a daily practice we filled our days with so much more…We climbed mountains higher than Ben Nevis with Arantza, made raw chocolate and fermented cabbage, learned about superfoods with their in-house nutritionist Bex, received a Thai body massage and took part in a sound bath therapy. Even with a jam-packed itinerary I was whole heartedly relaxed and restored.

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One day of the retreat I will never, ever forget was with therapist Kim – who carried out the ‘Woo-Woo’ sound bath therapy. Using the sounds of her bowls she tuned in to us each individually, with the aim to cleanse our chakras and help us to let go of any pain we were harbouring. I think you’ll have already guessed I was sceptical about taking part, but the session overwhelmed me in the best way.

I felt the music connect with my body and my mind – and speaking with Kim after the session was totally magical. She knew things about me I’d have never been able to know, or find, for myself. It sounds a little ~wanky~, but in those few hours, she gave me tools to completely change my outlook on life. She saw parts of me I didn’t know were there and I’ll always be grateful for that.

My experience with Kaliyoga was so wonderful, I feel more connected with myself than ever before and I absolutely cant wait to go back. I’m so grateful for having had that time for my mind and owe them all the thanks in the world.

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So, what do you need to know? See below to find the rundown of everything you can expect from your very own retreat!
YOUR RETREAT

There are eight retreats to choose from, from hormone balance to hillwalking there is something for everyone so don’t worry, they’ll have something just right for you.

Your retreat will include your accommodation, daily yoga and meditation classes and a full board vegetarian menu, with all dietary requirements catered for.

The location is beyond breathtaking and with retreats running throughout the year, you can pick a time that suits your needs and schedule best.

ACCOMMODATION

The main building comprises of an open plan living space, combined with a huge dining area for sit down meals, comfy sofas situated in-front of open fires and a help yourself tea station. Situated in a quiet place is also the snug, tucked away with books and comfy seating, you’re able to take yourself away for quiet time there whenever you feel like it.

Outdoors you’ll find the stunning pool, embraced by the mountains and bright blue skies. There are various hammocks and places for relaxation within the gardens surrounding the house, as well as a sauna and a large outdoor table for group meals.

Dotted along the garden paths are Cabinas – one option for your accommodation; fitted out with twin or double beds, a beautiful ensuite and porch area to boot. Back towards the main house you’ll find the remaining rooms, which offer the same level of luxury.

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The yoga studio is set down a pebbled path overlooking the mountains – it’s warm and inviting with bifold doors that allow you to feel at one with your surroundings in the warmer months.

FOOD

When it comes to meal times don’t fret, even though it’s vegetarian, caffeine and sugar free, you will be fine. You’ll receive three meals a day and the food is insanely good – you certainly won’t go hungry. The macrobiotic ayurvedic fusion food is prepared freshly every day with locally grown produce and really opened my eyes to how much energy you can obtain from your diet alone.

Added comforts such as hot water bottles at night, blankets for you to take wherever you go and incense in your bedroom really make you feel at home. And of course, the accommodation has air conditioning for the summer months!

BOOKING

With each retreat is the option for additional workshops at an affordable price, and I’d highly recommend them all. With prices starting at £895 (excluding flights) it really is incredible value for money and I’ll guarantee you’ll want to go back (please take me with you!)

For further information on Kaliyoga and to book your retreat please click here.

Another huge thank you to everyone at the retreat, you’ve made my world a better place to be.

BOOK YOUR KALIYOGA RETREAT HERE