The first day of the retreat was eventful in itself, preparing me for a week of introspection, mindfulness and self healing. I was stuck in Barcelona airport after my flight was cancelled due to stormy weather and was left wondering when I’d actually be able to get another flight. Luckily I was put on to the next available flight just a couple of hours later and landed safely in Ibiza. That’s when the next bit of the ‘fun’ happened, as I waited…and waited for my suitcase to appear on the luggage belt..which it didn’t. I wasn’t the only one with lost luggage, it seemed it was everyone who was transferred on this flight.
The lovely host, Jonas was patiently waiting for me in his car outside and after spending hours in a queue to make the report I was finally on my way to Can Amonita in the north of the Island. I was pondering on how I was going to cope on a retreat without my clothes, makeup or toiletries but trying not panic. Instead I took it as an opportunity to practice a bit of zen and the art of non attachment. As they say in Buddhism “the origin of suffering is attachment.”
Fortunately Louise who runs and teachers the retreats was a similar size, and I spent the next couple of days in someone else’s clothes, including some glitsy psychedelic lycra leggings that I grew to love. My suitcase arrived two days later and by that time I was already on my way to letting go, that is of stress, painful emotions and all the stuff that was no longer serving me. Having just suddenly lost my father I was in need of rest, the healing powers of nature and a lot of TLC.
The retreat group was small and intimate with just four wonderful women. This was a blessing as we all bonded very quickly and each of us had our own rooms.
We became a group women who supported each other throughout the week, and Louise held the space and listened as we shared our personal stories of triumph and tribulations and how we had ended up on this retreat together, sharing these precious moments with one another.
It’s hard to describe how special the retreat was after it’s happened as it was filled with so many magical memories. I will start with Louise herself, as she was such a shining light. It’s rare to meet someone who is truly authentic and who walks their talk, who is present, grounded and emanates peacefulness. She’s just great to be around! She empowers the people around her without even knowing it and in the gentlest of ways.
The retreat took place in a private home in the north of the Island, close to San Lorenzo. It’s surrounded by nature and on the first morning I woke up to the sounds of the birds, frogs, insects and the smell of wild flowers. Louise created a beautiful space for our classes and workshops with an altar in the middle of her precious crystals and a positive affirmation written on a board.
Having trained in both pilates, yoga and physiotherapy, her practice is strong but her energy is soft and nurturing. Her teaching combines all of these elements and is dedicated to her students. During the classes Louise always shared some words of wisdom from her own journey and travels. We all found comfort and inspiration in this, leaving the classes feeling positive and confident.
From morning till night, we were blessed with the most incredible vegan food from the in-house Glaswegian chef Ally who surprised us everyday with his delicious smoothies (and smoothie bowls), superfood oats with berries, amazing salads, wraps and hearty recipes.
I loved the little adventures that Louise had planned out for us during the week. This gave the group the opportunity to explore the Island. One day we walked along the coast towards a lighthouse and up to a high point with spectacular views and naturally occurring crystals in the rocks.
One early morning we caught the sunrise at Cala Nova beach for our yoga and meditation practice. Those Ibiza sunrises and sunsets are something special and worth going to Ibiza alone for.
We also had two evenings out – a sunset picnic at Benirras to listen to the drumming where we managed to grab the best seats (and table) on the beach and a night of music and dancing at Namaste at Las Dalias. This is a wonderful event that brings the whole community of Ibiza together.
The workshops were another highlight. We found our own unique superpowers, got high on cacao and had fun playing tribal instruments, singing and dancing. We even painted our own Ibiza canvas to take home with us.
By the end of the week I felt completely transformed, like I had shed layers of heaviness I had been carrying for years. My outlook on the world had changed and I felt ready for a new chapter ahead.
Here’s a couple of photos of our wonderful group, the girls and our host and chef to sum it all up. Don’t miss your chance to join one of Louise’s retreats in 2019 and experience it for yourself.