You can probably tell from my blog and Instagram that I’m a little obsessed with Yoga and Pilates. Practicing both disciplines regularly as part of a healthy lifestyle and exercise routine really does keep me in the best shape – and my mind centred and balanced.
Back in October, me and a few girlfriends headed out to Kookaburra Creek in the Perth Hills for a Yoga Day Retreat, ran by three gorgeous yogis; Hayley, Sara and Susie. We enjoyed ourselves so much, we decided to book places on their Summer Yoga Retreat at the stunning Cottesloe Civic Centre.
Before I begin with my zen, I wanted to flag that this blog post is a first for me as all my photos were taken in B&W. I just love the textures and fusions of shade that shooting in monochrome achieves – particularly of the gorgeous, unique canvas I had to work with at the retreat. Given Yoga has a heavy focus on Yin/Yang, I thought the balance of black and white opposites would be appropriate – I hope you enjoy the result as much as I do!
Okay, back to it… If you’ve not visited Cottesloe Civic Centre, you seriously have to. Like now. Get up and go, right now. The grounds of the Cottesloe Civic Centre are just gorgeous – tranquil, green, spacious and serene. The space is regularly used for wedding ceremonies and receptions, and it’s easy to see why. Just check out the old stone work overlooking the main lawns. So pretty. Yes, this was without a doubt the perfect venue for a day of chilled relaxation and restoration.
On arrival we were greeted with smiles and warm hugs by the lovely (and oh-so super-toned) Hayley, Sara and Susie who were running the retreat once again, before settling into our space for the day on the gorgeous dark wooden Civic Centre floor – our studio for the day.
Susie began the day with a playful Vinyasa Masterclass, followed by a Restorative Yoga practise with Sara. Yogis were encouraged to fully explore their limits to really get the most out of the practise – and a full range of alternatives were suggested with each movement throughout the day.
Lunch was vegetarian, in-keeping with yogic principles – with both gluten-free and vegan options available. There was a choice of salad or wraps from Nourish and Feed, and we were also treated to scrumptious cold pressed juices, along with portions of fruit and nuts. Several local retailers set-up pop-up stalls next to our ‘studio’ for the day, selling gorgeous yogic clothes and equipment. I just LOVED all those textured tights!
After lunch, we tested our limits with Hayley as we explored an intense hour-long Yin Yoga practise, which was bloody hard work – but we were rewarded afterwards with tasty bliss protein ball treats! Once we were fully charged up with fresh air and protein, it was time for Yoga Nidra. Snuggly knits were wrapped around bodies, fluffy socks pulled on over feet and cosy blankets buried under as we settled into Savasana. After dozing off (maybe) during the Kookaburra Creek Yoga Nidra practise – I knew we were all in for a real treat. Sure enough, the soothing sound of Susie’s voice (seriously, she has like the most relaxing voice EVER) had the entire room drifting off within minutes… Twenty minutes later, we were gently (albeit reluctantly) brought back to the present for the epic closing chant – the day was complete and I felt beautifully refreshed, serine and rested.
Hell yeah, Namaste!
If you’d like to learn more about Hayley, Sara and Susie, you can find links to their social media below. I believe the next Yoga Retreat will be back at Kookaburra Creek in May, so stay tuned – maybe I’ll see you there!