An Eco friendly Yoga Retreat – Part 1

All photos by Monique Pantel

Oh, lovelies, I have been gone for a while but I am back with so much to tell you.

Know those times where you just run on autopilot, trying to be as productive as you can, disregarding basic needs like regular meals, sleep or human connection? That is what my past few months looked like.

Me wearing ethical and sustainable yoga gear, the “Orbit” set, was kindly provided by the ethical and eco-friendly online retailer FAIRE.

From going back and forth between Salzburg and Aarhus for 3 of my friends’ weddings and one confirmation to volunteering at the Copenhagen Fashion Summit while writing my final semester project and working at grünBAG, it is safe to say that my cup of stress has “runneth over!”

So naturally, the last thing I wanted to do, when I handed in my final project, was to go on another trip, since I am a nervous traveller and get anxious quickly when flying anyway.

Wearing the “Orbit” crop top by FAIRE.

Nevertheless, the tickets were booked, the destination is chosen. I got on a plane to Lisbon 2 weeks ago to join a few of the Ethical Writers & Creatives members (Holly, Francesca, Annie, Alden) as well as talented photographer Monique Pantel for the Nourish in Nature a Yoga Retreat in Portugal.

I am not a regular when it comes to practising yoga, so at the beginning, going to a Yoga retreat was almost a little bit intimidating.

I did not know what to expect, so I went in with an open mind and heart and what happened was the most beautiful revelation of a list of things.

I will split this post into 3 parts and publish them over the course of this weekend, I had much to say and it couldn’t all fit into one post.

Quinta Canaval

We arrived late on Sunday and were welcomed with hot soup and delicious seed bread before we were pointed towards our rooms, which most of us shared with someone else.

The house the retreat was held in was built to be completely self-sufficient and off-the-grid, using solar-generated electricity and hot water. It is surrounded by the most beautiful vegetable and herb garden and was kindly provided for the retreat by Mabel Vandersteen, who also made fantastic shampoo bars and soaps, sold at the location.

The Rooms

The rooms were beautifully simplistic, cool and on our beds we each found a hand sown rosemary eye pillow, as well as fresh olive soap and a little bag with a herb seed mix.

The squishy mattress was very comfortable and with the huge pillow and my new eye pillow, I was set to have the best sleep I have had in months, if not years.

The Yoga Practice

On the next morning, I woke up early and headed to the main room in the building to join a few others for a morning tea, before yoga.

At 7:30 we started our first yoga session of the week with Fiona a true powerhouse and yoga teacher who has taught yoga for over 10 years and whose strength you could sense from the very beginning.

The sustainable yoga wear in these pictures was provided by the ethical and eco-friendly online retailer FAIRE.

Fiona opened the practice with an introduction circle, followed by a rejuvenating yoga practice that borrowed elements from asana, vinyasa, as well as yoga nidra.

My sustainable yoga wear is called “Orbit” and was kindly provided by the ethical and eco-friendly online retailer FAIRE.

I was afraid that the class would be too advanced for me to follow but the pace was just right and everybody was able to join in at their own pace on their own level.

EWC members from left to right:  Holly, Annie, Me, Francesca, all dressed by FAIRE.

The food

After yoga, we headed downstairs for some delicious wholesome food, prepared by Gabbi, our wonderful retreat chef, who spoiled us with all kinds of delicious plant-based meals throughout the week.

We had 3 meals per day with the option to take a variety of fruit from the fruit bowls placed around the common area.

Additionally, we had a seemingly never-ending supply of tea and fresh herbs, handpicked by Sara, the medical herbalist you are going to hear more about in part 2 of my posts.

After our classes with Sarah and a delicious nutrient-rich lunch, I was scheduled to have a massage with the wonderful Aiofe, a holistic therapist and truly intuitive genius that was able to release the tension I had built up. Aiofe provided a space to allow myself to tap into my feelings and check in with myself and I came out of the massage feeling thankful, emotional and deep in thought.

In the afternoon, we all got together again for an hour of blissful yoga nidra meditation with Fiona, which sent me into a state of exhaustion release and I spent the rest of the day sleeping on the couch, surrounded by women who understood.

Nourish in Nature has two more retreats coming up with spaces still available:

  •   September 16-22
  • September 23-29

Head on over to their website and to sign up or find out more.

EWC members from left to right: Me, Holly, Annie, Francesca and Alden. EWC members are all dressed by  FAIRE.

*For this post, I partnered up with Nourish in Nature to write about my experience at the yoga retreat in exchange for a discounted stay. Our ethical and sustainable yoga gear in this post was provided by the ethical and eco-friendly online retailer FAIRE. All opinions in this post are my own, read more about my disclosure policy here. You can also read my lovely fellow EWC gals’ review of the retreat here: Alden of Ecocult’s review, Holly of Leotie Lovely’s review, Annie of Terumah’s review, and Francesca of Ethical Unicorn’s review.

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