A great way to recharge your batteries is to combine your love of travel with a yoga or wellness retreat. A truly luxurious way to boost your energy, rejuvenate your body and explore a country without organising anything yourself, is to go on one of Lisa Dunn’s yoga retreats.
Spoil yourself and find out how to combine yoga with wine during an all-inclusive well-being holiday. Lisa is the founder of La Vita in Equilibrio who specialise in creating bespoke, all-inclusive voyages of discovery in yoga and meditation, while exploring the cultural and culinary secrets of Italy.
Each holiday embraces the enchanting natural splendour of the region, the allure of its history and customs, along side the simple flavour of seasonal ‘slow foods’ and local wines.
I had the great honour and pleasure to join Lisa’s yoga retreat in Sicily. To Lisa, Sicily seems like it was the beginning of Italy, just where everything started.
We spent the first three days in Palermo where we discovered the city, its culture and food. Palermo presents an unusual mix, It’s edgy, it’s not posh and elegant, but rather dirty. You can sip a fancy cocktail in the hippest bars in abandoned old factories and at the same time discover historical sites.
Yoga for everyone
Every day starts with a gentle yoga session. No matter if you’re new to yoga, advanced or a pro, the morning session is for everyone. The classes are designed with an emphasis on the breath and intelligent sequencing. After a few minutes on the mat, I could feel the relaxation in my body.
In Palermo, our practice took place on a rooftop terrace overlooking the market. Whilst we focused on our breath, we could hear the soft sounds of the market beneath, the marketer praising vongole and cozze. An invigorating way to start the morning and prepare us for an afternoon of culture.
After the yoga session and breakfast in the hotel, a variety of activities await the group. In Palermo, we started with a tour through the Royal Palace, also called the Norman Palace, a World Heritage Site with its impressive Palatine Chapel and the beautiful Maqueda Courtyard. In the evening we visited the monumental Cathedral and walked up to the roof to have a marvellous view of Palermo at night.
One morning, Lisa booked a meal for us where we could try the typical Sicilian food, which is influenced by so many cultures. We experienced a true feast for our senses. Lisa very thoughtfully chose different restaurants within walking distance of our hotel where we enjoyed jovial dinners with the group.
She even managed to plan a surprise for us: A wonderful concert of 100 Cellos. Have you ever heard Another Brick in the Wall played by 100 classical instruments? It was simply amazing and one of the highlights of the whole week.
We left the city behind us and enjoyed the seascape and its stunning sunsets, with a glass of wine in our hands and a smile on our faces
After three days Palermo we moved into an ancient villa in Marsala. Located at the sea, it was our base for our upcoming days full of sunshine, sea views, sunsets, food and, of course, yoga.
We started our slow-down days with gentle sessions in the morning followed by a swim in the sea, which was just across the road of our villa. We went on a private boat tour to the islands of Favignana and Levanzo with our skipper preparing lunch on the boat while we strolled through the village.
A jump into the turquoise water of the Tyrrhenian Sea and a lesson in how to yoga pose on the boat completed the cruise before we headed to our dinner location by the salt pans in Marsala where we were blessed with a fantastic sunset.
Writing and thinking about it makes me want to pack this very second and go back. I celebrated my birthday this week of the yoga retreat and although I haven’t known all of those people before, they made my day a very special one. On our last day, we explored the ancient Greek city of Selinunte. The archeological site with five temples right next to the sea is particularly beautiful in the golden afternoon sun before the sun sets.
The program during the week is packed with different activities and yet you always find time for yourself to relax. Of course, you’re free to skip one of the things Lisa has prepared but I promise, you will not want to miss a single one.
Lisa is the perfect host. Being a BBC producer for many years she knows how and where to find the treasures of a place. She sets up a diverse program apt for everyone. It ranges from culture to fun activities while making sure everyone finds time for oneself to have a nap, read a book or go for a swim in the sea.
You’ll find it hard to choose from the retreats planned out for 2019 – there’s Luxury Yoga & Fashion in Milan, Culture, Food and Yoga in Tuscany, or how about a Luxury Spring Yoga Retreat in Rome?. Find out more about La Vita in Equilibrio here.
This retreat was reviewed by blogger and photographer Nicola of Suitcase and Wanderlust. All photos are credited to and owned by Nicola.