Learning from my retreats...

Creating a space for health, healing, and wellness for a group of people is an incredibly rewarding experience, and there are certainly challenges as well. Read more about my most recent retreat experience and what I learnt about myself. 

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The Travelling Yogi - Part 1

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They say that travelling is the only thing you buy that makes you richer and I wholeheartedly agree. Whilst it’s sometimes a pain when you overpack or underpack and stressful to think about all of the possibilities, temperatures, money, experiences, dangers, excitement, missing those you leave behind etc. I can honestly say that any little grievances you may have with travelling are all worth it as soon as you arrive at your destination, any destination and you drop your bags inside the door.

Since moving back to Australia in 2013 I haven’t had much of a chance to travel, finding the time and the money amongst all of the other fun things and yoga training and classes, work, catching up with family and friends was hard. So now it is time for me to take a long awaited break, to travel, to experience, to explore and to be.

One of the hardest things when you are travelling is finding the time to stop. I’m always so tempted to be out and about, seeing and trying everything I can. And that doesn’t mean your typical tourist attractions, but meeting people, finding and eating local food, living the way a local would, following their paths and time frames.

You often feel that you only have an allocated time to be able to see what you want to see, do what you want to do and for this reason every moment is jam packed with memories.

Only having 2 weeks to spend in the Maldives at a Resort with so much happening would usually mean to me I’m exploring and organising and filling my days up completely. But since arriving a few days ago I have actually made the time to rest because after all that’s what a holiday is for.

Too many times I have gone away to travel for a month or more and spent every second of every day doing something, only to go back to a job with only 1 day to spare and straight away feeling exhausted because I never truly took a break.

This time it’s different, whilst I’m exploring and experiencing and doing something new each day I am taking the time to practice yoga, to sleep – maybe even 3 times a day, to eat well, to look after myself and to spend time alone. Whilst I’m in the Maldives I’m also teaching SUP Yoga, preparing lesson plans, meeting guests and managers and exploring the island and the food options. I’m not in a rush, 2 weeks is plenty of time, and if I think I’ve missed out on something, I’ll come back again another time.

I’m becoming more conscious of this fast paced world, the drive to find and to see absolutely everything in one go. I’m slightly disappointed because I wonder how I am ever going to see how of this world that I live in,  but I have realised even if I go at a fast pace there’s no way that I’ll see it all. The best I can do is to be here and now, to not rush.

So as I did here on my sunbed next to my bungalow, shading myself from the harsh sunshine I am taking this time to relax, to get used to a different state of being and to slow down and shy away from this crazy fast paced world. I am taking the time to be still and to refresh. 

SUP Yoga Retreat Photo Diary by Chloe Wilson

I met the beautiful Chloe via Instagram when she entered our Active Nourish Grateful competition in July 2014. Little did I know at the time but Chloe was just beginning her wellness journey and less than 12 months later I had the pleasure of finally meeting her in person at my SUP Yoga Retreat. 

Chloe has inspired me since the beginning, her heart felt words, her perseverance, the fact that she replies individually to every comment on her page (and trust me that is a LOT as she gets so many comments on her gorgeous posts) and the way that she is able to find inspiration in every day life whilst providing inspiration for every single person who reads her posts. She is the girl-next-door LJ Fit Ambassador and a beautiful person on the inside and out and I am so blessed and grateful to not only have her support, her friendship but also that she came to my first ever SUP Yoga Retreat! 

For your little glimpse of the action at the luxury SUP Yoga Retreat through the eyes of my beautiful friend Chloe - keep reading below or check out her instagram @chloeawilson

Big love to you beautiful, thank you for your inspiring words Chloe x 

 

 

Packing for my SUP Yoga Retreat tomorrow! 1 more sleep! If I can get to sleep. Too excited. Feeling sparkly. x

 

 

 


Life to me should be an incredible, chosen but unpredictable adventure. It should be about learning and growing from experiences, dealing with the downs as well as relishing in the ups, it should be about falling in love and falling out, and not just with people, but things, places, careers, figuring out what it is that truly feeds your soul and it should be about finding your calling and making it your purpose one day at a time and then every single damn day from then on. Every day I am creating my adventure and making it happen. Are you living your adventure or are you holding back, waiting for it to happen for you? Life doesn't wait, time is precious, your adventure is what you make it. x


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Feeling blessed and a little bit sparkly. x

 

 

 


 

Yesterday's sunset. So beautiful. Soon I am off to our first early morning beach yoga session run by the beautiful yoga teacher and host of the Luxury SUP Yoga Retreat @yogakiss. Feeling excited, open-minded and ready for anything. Looking forward to having sand between my toes again and the ocean breeze sweep over me during practice. I can't wait to just soak it all in. x

 


 

Last night at dinner at the resort's restaurant we all arrived to a beautiful gift sitting there waiting for us at the table. @yogakiss you are amazing. The food was divine and the company and all of the new faces were even better. Feeling so grateful in this moment. I have some beautiful and exciting photos to share from this morning's beach yoga session today. Stay tuned. But for now I am going to jump into the resort pool. x


 

 

 

This morning's yoga studio. Total bliss. x

 

 


So, this happened today! During our first beach yoga session this morning. I have never attempted any form of headstand or forearm variation before, but have always wanted to, and I even came into this retreat feeling like this is somewhat a fear to me, that I wouldn't be able to do this. Because of Kat and her incredible guidance and help I was able to manage one assisted first go and I am beside myself. So, so, so proud. I wanted to come into this retreat with an open-mind and a willing heart to give anything a go. Today I let go of doubt and grew. x


 

 

Yesterday's breakfast at the resort's restaurant with a soy latte on the side, which was pretty much what I had this morning too. Just yum. Perfect post yoga. x

 


 

 

Resort pool fun yesterday before a mid morning national park walk. x

 

 

 


 

 

Just one of our breathtaking stops on the mid morning national park walk yesterday guided by our beautiful Luxury SUP Yoga Retreat host @yogakiss. So beautiful. There are just so many moments of the retreat that took my breath away. x


 

 

Green smoothie post national park walk as part of our lunch back at the resort's restaurant yesterday. The most delicious glass of green goodness. x

 


 

Getting ready for our first SUP Yoga lesson at sunset with @yogakiss on Saturday. This bikini was a little reward that I got for myself to take with me to the retreat to wear specifically for SUP Yoga and I am so glad that I just went for it and wore it with confidence. It was too pretty not to. I can't believe how much I've grown on a personal level in just a few days. x


 

 

The location for our first sunset SUP Yoga lesson on Saturday. So calm and peaceful on the water amongst nature. Total bliss. x #supyoga

 


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Sunset SUP Yoga on Saturday with our retreat host and yoga teacher @yogakiss. This particular photo means so much to me. It feels so surreal that here I am doing yoga, SUP Yoga at that, with someone who inspires me so much in so many ways. So thankful and so grateful for all of these incredible lessons and moments throughout the retreat. This was our first SUP Yoga lesson. It was exciting, challenging but so rewarding. What an experience that I can't wait to do again and again. x (Repost: @yogakiss#supyoga


On Saturday after our sunset SUP Yoga we got out of our activewear, dressed up and went out for dinner to a beautiful Italian restaurant not far from the resort, where we were spoilt with some serious soul food. So many moments of the retreat took my breathe away but the food and Italian wine here took my tastebuds to Italy and back. I still can't believe I haven't had warmed olives sooner. What a treat and lovely night out with all the girls during the retreat. x


 

 

Up before the sun on Sunday morning and off to our second SUP Yoga lesson at sunrise with @yogakiss. x #supyoga

 


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Bright eyed, smiling and ready on our way to our sunrise SUP Yoga lesson on Sunday. x 

 

 


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Sunrise SUP Yoga on Sunday with @yogakiss. Another blissful morning full of challenges and rewarding personal moments. Yoga on the water takes the already amazing experience of the practice to a whole other level. My heart is so full of gratitude and I am determined to take my love for my life right now back into reality with me every single day. x (Repost: @yogakiss#supyog


 

 

Our final yoga session location after SUP Yoga and breakfast on Sunday. At one of the most stunning lookouts I have ever seen. It was so relaxing and peaceful. The perfect close. x

 


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I remember just breathing in, breathing out, listening and nothing more. I was totally at peace within myself and entirely in the present moment after our final yoga session, after lying in Savasana, I was all there. I am stepping back into reality today and I am taking my presence, my open mind, my positivity, my sparkle, my passion, my growth and all that I have learnt in these incredible few days away in paradise with me today and every single day from here on in. Sometimes all you need to do is to step away and to let go to find your path again, where your soul wants to be. I have let go of doubt and I know exactly who I am and where my heart truly lies. Feeling balanced, grounded and full of love. x


Kat's (@yogakiss) Luxury SUP Yoga Retreat was everything I thought it would be and so, so much more. The stay was luxurious and the food was perfection. It was exciting putting myself out there and meeting new faces. I loved the intimacy of the small group which made it easier to get to know everyone on a more personal level and also added a lot to the experience as I know we have all now left as friends. After doing beach yoga and SUP yoga I am not sure that a studio will ever be the same, it was total bliss. As soon as Kat started teaching you wanted nothing more than to be in the moment with her and to be right where you were, peaceful and happy in nature. She helped me grow and step out of my comfort zone more than I ever thought possible in just moments during beach yoga, SUP Yoga and all of our adventures. She helped me let go of doubt and believe in myself. Kat is so passionate about her practice and teaching it that her love for yoga and life is contagious. I feel so grateful to have attended her first ever retreat. She is an amazing teacher, has the biggest heart and the brightest soul and was an absolute pleasure to just be around, as were all the other beautiful women who attended. I highly recommend Kat's retreat to anyone wanting a luxurious escape in our own beautiful country right here in Australia, to learn, experience, challenge themselves, make lifelong friends and find their balance, and of course anyone who loves yoga. I promise that you will leave with no less than a heart full of love and a smile that you can't wipe from your face. I am still smiling. Thank you for everything Kat. Because of you I now feel like yoga with practice will become a part of who I am. I love every depth it makes me feel and I want to make it a part of my life every single day. Feeling so blessed. What an adventure. x


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Before I finished my weekend away and headed home I took myself to a gorgeous little cafe for coffee and to journal about every moment, every feeling and all that I had learnt throughout the retreat. Photos are one thing but to me written pieces evoke incredible inner feelings and I really wanted something to take from the retreat before reality came back into play again that I could stop and take a moment and use to take me back to moments of complete happiness whenever I wanted to. So glad I made the time to do it. Writing is a passion of mine and hopefully one day, when my stars align, all my notes and journalling might just come together in one single piece to share and to send out into the universe. Always dreaming big and making it happen. x


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Throughout the retreat I posted a photo of our Welcome Gift's we received on the first night at dinner, still wrapped up. So this is what is inside, so spoilt! Now I am home I can't wait to enjoy all of these products and take time to really appreciate them for all that they are, and maybe do a little shopping too with the vouchers to treat myself for letting go and being brave over the weekend. A big thank you to all of the amazing companies that helped Kat put this together for her first Luxury SUP Yoga Retreat attendees. How lucky are we. So thankful. x


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Thankful for moments not things. Thankful knowing that I will be back by the ocean again, sinking my toes into the sand in just a week. Thankful for learning, growing and becoming the person I would want to meet. What are you thankful for? x


I have practiced yoga a little each day, either in the morning or at night since the retreat and intend to every day from here on in. Whether it be a yoga flow or just spending time with my legs up the wall after a long day I am making time to do it, to stretch out my body and give my soul the love it deserves. I am going to a private studio tomorrow morning for a yoga class for the first time in a long time. Mostly since moving away from Brisbane where I originally discovered my love for yoga classes a couple of years ago now I have just been doing Body Balance classes since at my current gym which incorporate some yoga but I know it's time to step up my practice again if I want to progress. So excited. Love new journey's. I have tried to make yoga a part of my daily life in the past but this time, it will be. With the help and mentoring from good teachers, Ebooks and surrounding myself with the right souls I know in my heart it will be. Happy Fri-Yay! Inhale. Exhale. Let's do this. x


This time last week I was off to the most beautiful yoga class that I have ever been to on the beach. What an amazing group of beautiful, inspiring and grounded women to share a first experience and an incredible journey with at @yogakiss's very first Luxury SUP Yoga Retreat. This particular morning, the first morning and our first beach yoga session was just beautiful. It was during this session that we all started to really connect from supporting each other and this was when I really first started to unravel and grow the most. There's no feeling like being surrounded by others who seek to lift you higher and want to believe in you. So grateful for everything in this moment. I may not have the beach every day but I feel like with all that I have learnt that yoga can be a part of who I am every day. Doing the best I can, with what I have, where I am. Hello weekend. x


Love my beautiful new 'Happy' soy candle from @lemoncanary. It was one of my very special Welcome Gift's from the Luxury SUP Yoga Retreat. Perfect for tonight while relaxing during Earth Hour. Who else is turning off all of their lights at 8:30pm and joining in for 1 hour to save our planet one switch at a time? Every action in our lives changes something and makes a difference. Leave as little footprints as you can, your story is what matters. Turning off. x


Photo credit goes to Chloe Wilson - find her on Instagram @chloeawilson for some daily #fitspo and #wellness inspiration!!