A few weeks have passed since we hosted our very first Women’s Wellness Retreats. We’ve had time to reflect, not only on how well they were received and how much we enjoyed delivering them, but also on the ways we can improve what we offer in the future.
The idea of hosting Wellness Retreats came about from personal experiences both Jenny and I have recently had. I’d been roped into attending a one-day yoga and mindfulness retreat myself, giving me a taste of the restorative powers of combining exercise, relaxation, great food and stellar company. We already know this is a winning formula as these components form the basis of our core three-day walking business. Jenny has been increasingly interested in health and nutrition since giving up drinking a few years ago. Not that she was ever a heavy drinker but because she felt it wasn’t necessary in her life.
It seems that we’re not the only ones looking for ways to enrich ourselves. The two Retreats we offered sold out in less than a week and with 60 people on our waiting list, we felt reassured there is a demand. Our modern world saps us of our inner resources and can leave us feeling disconnected from one another, our inner-selves and the natural world. At Tora we have the perfect environment in which to restore and revitalise. So, we felt compelled to help!
We knew creating a weekend of activities that struck the right balance was vital. We didn’t want to scare off the punters by coming across like a bunch of lentil eating zealots (although we do love lentils!). What we wanted to offer was attainable methods to achieve wellness – the right amount of exercise and education, in between relaxing and socializing (as well as some treats!). Time to call in the experts for some advice!
And the experts we called in couldn’t have been a better fit! Sarah, our incredibly knowledgeable dietician gave us great advice on how much people can digest during a workshop (sorry, couldn’t help myself). We very quickly settled on the topic of gut health with a Kimchi demonstration. The resulting nutrition workshop was incredibly informative. With the three-course wine matched dinner following her presentation we were all relieved to hear Sarah agrees with the science that the odd glass of wine can be great for one’s health! Kate, our super talented yoga instructor and mindfulness leader was equally appreciated. The yoga session was appropriately gentle, and Kate’s wise and soulful commentary generated a warm ambience. Her mindfulness session left us all feeling centered and present. It’s fair to say we were all “blissed out”. Both ladies were such a pleasure to have involved and were clearly highlights for many participants.
The wine matched dinner was a great opportunity to let our hair down. With the open fire roaring and the Palliser Estate Bubbles flowing animated chatter filled the room. The Big Sky Pinot Noir was the perfect partner to roast lamb and a Johner late harvest sauvignon blanc matched with Jenny’s delicious gooseberry trifle rounded off the evening perfectly. But not before some energetic dance moves were displayed!We were blessed with sensational weather on both weekends for the walk to the Trig. This 250m uphill “amble” (some would use a less kind word) was rewarded with incredible views and enjoyed with a coffee in hand and some of Jenny’s delicious baking.
Sunday afternoon rolled around much too quickly. We felt like we’d made a whole lot of new friends and it was sad to say our goodbyes. But the platform is now there, the feedback has been studied and collated and our fingers are poised over the repeat button. In Kate’s words we’ve created “a beautiful space for healing”. I can safely say the Retreats will become an annual event – we’ll keep you posted on dates for 2019!