With all of life’s pressures, it can be so easy to let self care slide, so when the opportunity arose to spend a few days doing exactly that (though if I’m honest, I wasn’t able to entirely stop working), it was an opportunity I wasn’t going to say no to!
About Billabong Retreat
Whilst there’s a number of types of retreats on offer, I chose the meditation retreat. The health benefits of meditation are backed by solid research, with positive impact seen on mental health, stress levels, irritable bowel syndrome and may even impact factors such as heart health, inflammatory markers and hormone levels. Regular meditation is something that has been on my to do list, with occasional spurts over the last couple of years, but I’ve never managed to make it a regular part of my routine outside of my regular runs or yoga classes – so I felt this the perfect opportunity to learn more about it, and embed into my daily routine.
From the first moment I arrived, Vanessa made me feel so very welcome, and the smiles from other guests (currently strangers) have that warm fuzzy feeling, where you know that there’s some seriously good vibes ahead.
Each day included two yoga classes (a yin style one in the afternoon, and a more energetic flow in the morning). Both Bacia and Neridah were fantastic teachers, I loved their relaxed, calming style. Evening meditation was also included, and all meals provided, with the food locally sourced, organic and entirely vegetarian, with any dietary requirements able to be catered for – such a win for people with food intolerances!
A little more about the food…
As you all know, I am a firm believer that nourishing your body with good quality produce is absolutely key to good health, whilst also working around any potential intolerances as well. The chef’s at the retreat did a phenomenal job, and it was so lovely to see some of the other guests trying certain vegetables and types of food for the first time.
One of my faves was the Dal which was prepared on our first night, with the recipe available here. Both Simon and Netty as the chefs were fantastic, so knowledgable about food, and so passionate about preparing great quality and tasting meals.
And other activities…
Ample time was provided each day to head out for a walk, relax in the bath on the balcony (seriously still dreaming of this!), and chats over cups of tea (rose hip for the win!), and there is also a magnesium pool to take a dip in, and a wellness centre with massages, facials and an infra-red sauna for guests to enjoy.
My favourite part
What really struck me was how quiet it was, yet still so close to Sydney, and waking up each morning to birds singing and the sun rising was such an absolute treat. Being able to enjoy that quiet and stillness, and starting the day with yoga as the sun comes up was divine, and a picture I have been re-looking at in my mind since to help me relax. And (forever in love with food), it was so wonderful to have some beautiful, healthy meals prepared for me and enjoyed in good company as well.
Will I go back?
Am already planning to! I honestly can’t think of a better way to give yourself a mini break, unwind and reset.