NAMAST’AY IN BED is about as Yogic as I felt at 7am last Sunday morning.
Admittedly this was a result of the Beauvine Festival ‘tasting’ a group of us had indulged in the night before, but 7am on a Sunday? That’s just mean.
*5 mins later in the shower*
“7am on a Sunday? Hell yeah! I’m, like, so dedicated to my yogic wellbeing – a bodhisattva! Hmm… what tights should I wear?”
A few months ago, a group of us booked places on a springtime Yoga day retreat up in the Perth Hills, for a day of chilled relaxation and recuperation. We were also totally enthralled at the notion of chanting.
After a 45min drive out of the city, we found ourselves driving round cute, windy roads as we entered into the lush, green Perth Hills. Kookaburra Creek was the perfect location for a day of yoga and relaxation, subtly nestled away next to a trickling creek within the tranquil, spacious forest.
On arrival, we bundled up our mats, blankets and cosy knits, and climbed some quaint lavender-edged stone steps to the serene entrance to the yoga studio. We were greeted at the top by the lovely Sara, Hayley and Susie – three very gorgeous and ridiculously toned Vinyasa Flow Yogis who were running the day retreat.
Given the nature of the day, I resisted the urge to photograph our practise, as I was genuinely in need of a retreat – and I really felt the benefit of doing so. The nature of my job coupled with my passion (obsession?!) for social media/photography means I often find it hard to switch off and not think of everything in filters, hashtags and captions. But I did. I switched off my phone and just enjoyed the moment (the fact I had no signal helped). And I loved every minute of it.
After settling into our space for the day (we were located right next to a floor to ceiling window which looked out onto the forest and creek), we were greeted by the three ladies who were positioned at the front of the studio next to our group, and the day began.
We were encouraged to fully explore our yoga practise throughout the day, with a full range of alternatives suggested with each movement. A fun and playful two hour Vinyasa Flow practise began the day – the first hour with with Susie and then with ‘Wild Thing’ Sara, before breaking for a light lunch, which in keeping with yogic principles, was vegetarian. There was a choice of Bolognese or Tofu Noodles, and we were also treated to Inner Ego organic cold pressed juices with a side of fruit and portion of nuts.
After lunch, we delved deep into Yin Yoga with Hayley, exploring and testing our limits, before surrendering with a (beautifully-welcome) Restorative Yoga practise, just as the weather changed. A cool breeze drafted through the open windows and it began to lightly rain, with the sound of rain drops delicately pattering on the roof. It was literally the most relaxing moment.
After about 30mins, the rain stopped and the break for afternoon tea & treats came just at the right time. Delicious fruit platters and refreshing protein balls were served, which a few of us enjoyed whilst taking a stroll around the creek, breathing in the fresh, dewy air and exploring the cool wigwam in the surrounding forest.
Once we were all topped up with fresh air and vitamin C, it was time for Yoga Nidra. Curtains were drawn, cosy knits wrapped around shoulders and blankets snuggled under as we settled into Savasana. The sound of Susie’s soothing voice had the room drifting in and out of sleep within minutes, feeling more relaxed than I have in a long time. Then it was (far too quickly) time to wake up and compose, ready for the practise end.
…But not before the closing chant! And yes, it was just as epic as we’d anticipated.
OM shanti, shanti, shanti.
If you’d like to learn more about Sara, Hayley and Susie, you can find links to their social media below. I believe the next Yoga Retreat will be at Cottesloe Beach in February, so stay tuned! (I’ll see you there!)