When you reflect back on the twists and turns of Life's journey, you can sometimes discern how it is that you are where you are right now. This is true for me when I consider where I now live and the retreats I lead...
Back in 2002, I left my flat in Stockwell, London to spend a month volunteering at a retreat centre in Portugal, on my way to live in India. The retreat centre gifted me with a first hand experience of exploring a vegetable garden in search of lunch or dinner. It felt like Heaven. In addition to all the vegetables and herbs growing in the garden, the numerous fruit trees were bowing down with the weight of their fruit, and it felt as if I was in Paradise. The sun was shining, the days were long, and I had a permanent smile on my face.
I already had a foundation in health and vitality – I was a vegetarian eating a lot of organic produce, practicing and teaching yoga and meditation, practicing various complimentary therapies, but it felt as though this was the next step – to dive deeper into the actions of healthy eating and living.
I was however, on my way to live in a relatively poor inner-city ashram in India, where there was very little chance of fresh, organic, vegetable gardens. So, before fulfilling my desire to live off the land, I was to spend a year diving deeper into meditation and spiritual practices - and that’s another story…
It's now 15 years and many experiences later, and I’m living in Portugal, where I live off the land with my man, Keiron and our 4 ginger cats, growing much of our own food and learning more and more about living closely to Mother Nature.
Eating more raw food feels like a natural step forward, and leading my retreats in Puglia, Italy where our host, Cathy prepares amazing gourmet raw delights has been an inspiring influence and motivation to move in this direction.
Eating only raw, vegan (and delicious) food for a week in early Spring of each year is an easy and gentle way to cleanse the body and to lose any extra weight gained after the possibly more sedentary Winter days. Some people come because they feel they need healing on some level, or a boost of health and vitality, or simply to relax and enjoy. No matter the reason for coming, at the end of the week, everyone feels brighter, lighter with more energy and sparkle.
Of course, the daily yoga and mediation contribute to this feeling of wellbeing, as do the amazing massages from the very talented therapist who visits us daily. The ancient olive groves, narrow country lanes, silent starry nights also lend themselves to a very special experience. The venue itself is very comfortable – a lovely restored Trullo with under floor heating, a solar heated pool and comfortable rooms.
I believe this week inspires you to introduce more raw food into your diet, as it shows you that it can be done easily, and is both delicious and healthy. During the retreat, I give daily talks on healthy living, as well as a daily demonstration on how to prepare something raw and healthy with every meal once back at home. We also explore natural products for body care and house hold cleaning.
The week is a beautiful gift to yourself - treating your body, mind and spirit with respect and love.
Find out more: http://www.yogadetoxretreats.co.uk/italy-yoga--raw-food-retreat.html
Globe-trotting nomad, yogini, holistic therapist, cat lover who, after 20 years of traveling the world, has finally laid down roots in the magical mountains of Monchique - Portugal's 'upper Algarve'.