This was my first yoga retreat. I had been nervous about going, and in fact wanted to go a month ago but couldn’t find anyone to go with me so chickened out of going it alone. I’ve written about my experiences of yoga before – the good and the bad. I was concerned that a yoga retreat could reflect the bad, too much immersion in pseudoscience and essentially lies about health and medicine. This retreat was recommended to me as the opposite to that by a fellow doctor. I was really looking forward to a weekend away in the countryside, to stretch, relax and feel a bit more zen. I said to myself I was going to switch off, not need to drive anywhere, and not race or even run!
Om Retreats is a fairly new company based in the South of England. Hannah and Charlie run a few yoga retreats a year, as well as day retreats at various locations in the South East. They are a not for profit and use the proceeds to provide yoga classes to people affected by cancer in conjunction with Macmillan and women affected by domestic violence in partnership with Rise in the Brighton area. Both brilliant causes, which made me feel even better to be there and that I’d chosen this retreat to spend my money on. They don’t have a website yet but you can find them on Facebook.
There were 12 participants and 2 teachers/hosts; Charlie & Hannah. It was a mix of Om Retreat returners and first timers, people who’d been on retreats elsewhere before, and some who were quite new to yoga but had been to classes run by Charlie in Brighton.
My retreat was located in Tilton House, Firle, about 20 minutes from Eastbourne. It’s a large house, with a big kitchen/dining area, a sun room, a library to curl up and read in front of the fire, and a range of single and twin bedrooms. The gardens have pheasants and grouse, a firepit, and the location for the yoga – the yurt. There is also a weimeraner and a couple of cats roaming around. And in just 1 mile, you can get up on to the South Downs Way….so yeah, I did go for a couple of runs after all!
Each day we did a couple of yoga classes and some meditation/relaxation, and had some free time to read and relax. And my goodness I slept well.
The weekend was fully catered with beautiful vegan food (eggs and butter available at breakfast).
On Saturday, Victoria Austin visited to offer massages and other treatments. I think it was the best back massage I’ve ever had, and I’ll admit to snoring a bit during the Indian Head Massage. There is also a small sauna in the garden where you can lie back and look out at some rather pretty views.
I’ve got to say, I don’t have much to say now I’m trying to write this blog 2 weeks later, though I couldn’t stop talking about it when I got home. I sort of feel the pictures speak for themselves. I had an absolutely brilliant time, and I would love to go back one day. Hugely recommended, (but not too loudly – I want space left for me!).
Cost: £350 full board, extra for massage.