I knew when I saw the name ‘Adventure Yogi’ (being the adventurous yogi, I even call myself @adventurecheryl on Instagram) that this yoga and hiking retreat was the one for me. A 7 day retreat combining three of my greatest loves – yoga, hiking and nature. Held in the magical setting of the French Alps in a picturesque chalet called the Auberge, surrounded by majestic mountains where the air…and the water was pure and clean.
In the name of eco-tourism I travelled green and took the overnight train from Paris to Bourg St Maurice, just a 20 minute drive from the Auberge, located in the traditional village of La Thuile. On arrival at the retreat I jumped straight into the hot tub where I immediately began to feel peaceful and relaxed! Nature has that profound affect on me, when I simply sit still in it, observing the beautiful surroundings and listening to the silence. Paradoxically whilst I was feeling peaceful on the inside, mother nature had her own weather plans and we were in for some stormy weather that week!
The first yoga class began on the evening of the arrival day with a group of mixed levels and abilities. Our retreat group was mostly women, apart from one man who had never done yoga before! What a wonderful gift he gave to himself and to us! Wenche, our amazing, beautiful and loving Norwegian yoga teacher for the week, led us through two wonderful heart warming and invigorating classes a day (besides on our mid week day off). The classes incorporated meditation, philosophy, pranayama and asana, working with the elements to help us connect with the earth and turn our attention inwards, to focus on creating balance in our lives.
Come rain or shine we flowed like epic warriors, as strong as mountains with open hearts and minds, rooting ourselves to the earth and reaching for the sky, soaring like eagles and letting go and surrendering! It reminded me of the Rumi quote ”you were born with wings, why prefer to crawl through life?” about our endless potential and greatness.
On the days we were blessed with sunny weather we went hiking! There is no better way to get to know these beautiful mountains, meadows and stunning scenery than by hiking them in the summer months and putting your feet on this rich green earth. Each walk was approximately 3-4 hours with a picnic stop to eat our packed lunch and re-fuel our energy levels. Breathtaking, exhilarating, a good workout for the legs and to purify the lungs with the crisp clean air!
I found a magical gift on the mountain, a huge quartz crystal rock which I now carry with me on my travels, it feels like my lucky charm and protector, to always have a piece of the mountain with me.
Choose your adventure
There was a list of adventurous activities to join in during the week such as white water rafting, hydrospeeding, mountain biking, cycling and parapente. I went for cycling on the other day that we were blessed with the sunshine again. A few of us biked 20k along the rapid river Isere where the rest of the group were white water rafting and we could watch them flowing (and bouncing!) down. The cycle path ended at a swimming lake where we could cool off before heading back along the river again, taking in the luscious scenery and stopping for a picnic.
So much love for the highly talented chef Will and his girlfriend and hostess Jess! It’s obvious that Will has copious amounts of passion for cooking and put such extraordinary creativity and attention to detail into the vegetarian and mainly vegan dishes that we were presented with, inspired by a recent vegan cooking course he had taken. Our senses were aroused by the creative presentations bursting with flavour and texture. The evening meals were very social with lots of conversation and laughter with a delicious dessert and organic wine served at every meal.
Apart from being a fantastic yoga teacher Wenche is also an energy healer and tarot reader. I had the most incredible and healing treatment from her incorporating reiki, sound healing and a reading. We had a very special connection and I’ll definitely be seeing Wenche again either in India this year or at the Adventure Yogi retreat in Sardinia next year.
Adventure Yogi specialise in offering yoga holidays and yoga retreats in the UK and abroad that combine yoga with adventures such as skiing and snowboarding, surfing, hiking, climbing or biking and wellbeing and detox retreats.
They feel passionate about eco-tourism and promote slow and green travel and recommend travelling by train and bus when possible.
A Big thanks to Andy and Sue, the lovely couple who run the Auberge and looked after everybody!
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