Is the constant city-work-life grind getting to you? The effects of our modern, urban lives take their toll, and your body feels it long after your brain already knows that you need to take time off. If you were waiting for a sign, this is it. What do your body, mind and soul need right now? Probably just something to forget about your responsibilities and concentrate on your breathing for more than a minute…
What better way to do this, than to build in a little road trip to a destination where there are people waiting to help your stretch, twist and zone out? Try one of these...
Buddhist Retreat Centre, KwaZulu-Natal
Amongst KZN's lush indigenous valleys, forests and rolling hills, here is a place where people of all religions can come to experience peace and tranquility. The Buddhist Retreat Centre has been featured on CNN as one of the 10 finest Meditation centres in the world, and was declared a Natural Heritage Site by the Nelson Mandela. It is a gentle, sympathetic space where one can be still, breathe and master the art of mindfulness. The Retreat Centre offers a tranquil environment for the study and practice of philosophy, psychology, meditation and the arts associated with Buddhist culture. They offer a "Doing Your Own Thing" self-retreat and conducted retreats, both experienced in Noble Silence. The next retreat this month, the Zen Of Recovery: Twelve Steps Towards Wholeness and Well-being, from Friday 29 April to Sunday 01 May, offers help in alleviating suffering and understanding wholesomeness again. Like a blessing, guidance and solace can be found throughout the year, as these retreats are available almost every second week.
Call: 039 834 1863 / 0878091687
SUP Yoga, Gauteng
Some people have way too many obligations to be able to leave them behind for a few days, and so Yoga Works offers a single day "retreat" to experience the art of balancing, moving and breathing with yoga in the most unconventional sense. One of their yoga concepts includes sessions that are held on a stand up paddleboard floating on the Emmarentia Dam. For peace of mind, the SUP boards are wide, long and stable and excellently designed for a variety of yoga poses. Practicing on the boards requires a higher than normal engagement of core strength and encourages a mindful and slower approach to your normal practice.
If you're looking for a bit more of an adventure, this May they have cooked up something truly special. From May 20, there is a yoga and hiking retreat offered in the Drakensberg. In September, they are hosting a yoga and rock climbing retreat in Mpumalanga. Check them out here.
Yoga Kitchen, Swellendam, Western Cape
Yoga Kitchen provides sustenance and solace in the Hideaway Retreat Centre in Swellendam. The two-night and five-night Yoga Retreat Packages include restorative yin yoga classes that focus on tension release, vinyasa flow yoga classes, and a Yoga Kitchen Philosophy Nutrition Workshop. Food is high on the agenda here, with vegan fare dished up and all designed to reboot your body from within, thanks to the resident yogi and nutritional therapist Marlien.
If you want to fill your time to the brim with creativity, pampering and natural wonder more can be added onto your retreat package. This can include a blissful 60-minute treatment at Rain Spa, as well as a 3-hour pottery session at Bukkenburg Pottery that neighbors The Hideaway (home of the retreat), as well as a healing meditation walk in Marloth Nature Reserve.
Call: 076 508 7188
De Hoop Nature Reserve, Western Cape
Iyengar yoga teacher Marianne Wiid has something unique on offer for Mother's Day - a yoga retreat in the pristine and beautiful setting of the De Hoop Nature Reserve from 6 May to 9 May 2016. Wiid teaches regular yoga classes at her Hermanus studio, My Yoga Space and also in Stanford.
The 3-day Retreat, from Friday afternoon 6 May until after breakfast on Monday morning, 9 May will be a combination of fresh air, restorative yoga and nature walks in the tranquil setting in a meditative space which will recharge and revitalise your energy.The Retreat includes not only yoga workshops, pranayama, asanas, restorative yoga and sun salutations on the Koppie Alleen dunes, but also sundowners which you can enjoy while watching the pelicans and flamingoes on the vlei, stargazing, bird and marine walks (at low tide) along the spectacular rocky shores to Koppie Alleen and a picnic outing.
Call: 021-422 4522