Waking up to a glint of warm Goan sunlight, sounds of birds & rustling leaves and going straight to a Yoga class. This is how my days began when I was on my first ever yoga retreat at Aura, Goa near Mandrem Beach organized by Wandering Jane in association with Jia Singh from Wandering for Wellness.
Normally I would reach for my phone & do my social media morning routine – Facebook, Instagram, and reply to emails. But those days, my mornings were completely different – yoga practice in a calm location with sounds of water flowing, delicious healthy breakfast with other girls who joined the retreat from different parts of India and chilling with them in the pool.
This isn’t a retreat of deprivation. We stayed at a luxury eco-resort, Aura with cottages surrounded by trees and water springs, had candlelight dinners made with organic and local ingredients besides the pool, experienced a relaxing spa session and spent our evening doing yoga on a water boat.
Being a person who has only traveled with her family, it was a challenging decision for me to go on a trip with people I have never met. I had these questions in my mind, “Do retreats actually work?” , ” Will people be nice and friendly?” and mainly “Will I be able to adjust with new people?” with no idea about the outcome.
Fortunately, those 7 days answered all my questions and my insecurities about opening up to new people. Staying with talented, well-traveled and smart women inspired me to travel often, balance work and personal life efficiently, workout regularly and keep taking care of my health as a priority.
Don’t get bored. :p This yoga retreat was not just confined to yoga. During this retreat we learned to make healthy smoothie bowls with the Chef at our resort, had a session with Jia Singh on nutrition, soaked in Goa vibes with cocktails by the beach, danced at some amazing beach clubs, kayaked the coastal black waters, explored typical Goan Cafes, and shopped at the street markets in Arambol.
In short, we drenched ourselves completely in typical goan vibes.
Apart from group practices and exploring places with everyone, we had our private time now and then where I used to watch sunset alone or roam around the resort to spend some time just by myself. I’m not sure at what point I became extremely relaxed – both mentally and physically. There was no point during the entire trip where we rushed. Everything was done at a slow pace to just be in the moment.
I flew back to Delhi with some amazing memories, friendships, beautiful pictures clicked by Jon and a few healthy habits. Few weeks on, I am still practicing Yoga daily, making smoothie bowls once a week, preparing healthy meals for my family, trying to substitute my sugar cravings with healthier options and planning my next trip.
Choose a retreat if you want some time away from the usual city life and experience vacation in a different way away from your loved ones.