Retreat life is all about stepping away from everyday stresses and immersing yourself in the ultimate self care routine from waking up to going to sleep. I might only grab time for a 45 minute Pilates session, a quick smoothie catch up with a friend or a 5 minute cleanse tone and moisturise in the evening during my day to day life but on retreat, well my retreats anyway, we completely soak up every opportunity to take care of ourselves and the schedule is basically like my perfect day from start to finish. From how we move, what we eat and everything in between so I thought I’d give you a little insight into a day in the life of my most recent retreat with Our Retreat and who’s to stop you incorporating some things into your every day life or at least once a week, you can make any day a retreat day…
7am: Wake Up
7am is my ideal time to wake up; not too early not too late so you feel like your wasting the day because even 8am can feel like that sometimes. During my everyday life I could be waking up at 5am to teach or fit in a workout or 9am if I’ve had a late night and am working from home but on retreat sticking to the same wake up time makes me feel so well rested and in a nice rhythm especially by day 3.
Ideally the phone is still on flight mode or turned off (lots of retreats have bad wifi anyway which is a dream.) I will always spend this time in the morning on retreat journalling and maybe reading some of my book. As much as retreat life is very calm, this could be the only time you have to yourself to be completely alone especially as the host/teacher. I get myself out of bed so I don’t fall back to sleep and I write whatever comes to me or spend the time reading.
7:30am: Lemon water/ herbal tea
After a quick shower and putting on activewear (a luxury of retreat life is also no make up life), we’ll head to the kitchen for a herbal tea or lemon water, chat about how we slept, what’s for breakfast and how much our abs might be aching from the previous days classes.
8am: Dynamic yoga practice
My best friend Emily will take us through an amazing dynamic yoga class for an hour and a half to start the day. When you’ve had such a peaceful morning already and the place you go to class is only a 3 minute walk away and you know the rest of the day that lies ahead is full of lovely things, yoga practice is a dream! It’s so nice to feel yourself getting stronger every morning too and really hones in how a consistent practice is key.
Breakfast is an absolute feast of overnight oats, fresh bread, eggs, fruit, greek and coconut yogurt, jams, nut butter and roasted nuts. This first meal together of the day after moving our bodies is when everyone starts to open up and chat about life, work, the future. We’ll share our fave recipes, restaurants, travel destinations usually whilst going up for seconds. Our retreats are definitely not about restricting yourself in any way and when the food is so deliciously prepared, fresh and nourishing it’s hard to resist.
Once breakfast is digested, we move again and it’s Pilates time. Obviously my favourite time of the day as I get to teach. Most people on retreat have done more yoga than Pilates so I LOVE introducing people to it and also helping them understand it a bit more. After the gorgeous flowing yoga, I usually focus on toning and stability which compliments the yoga practice during the retreat. It’s so great to see people improve so much over such a short space of time. I’ll work people hard but I’m also very hot on technique and because we’re on retreat and are so relaxed and calm, it puts us in such a better place to really become more aware and learn.
Just like the wake up time, having set meal times every day is so nice as your body and mind starts to feel more balanced and know when it’s next meal is coming. We also do movement before a meal which I love and lunch is a lovely light mix of salads, polenta bread, lentils, pesto, beetroot hummus and seeds.
2pm: Free time
Everyone tends to scatter now and do their own thing for a bit. Getting out of activewear and sunbathing, reading, writing, reflecting. It’s amazing how much you can solve so many of your worries when you give yourself the space. Avoiding checking emails can be a struggle but on this most recent retreat I really made myself switch off completely and finish a whole book in two days.
4pm: Walk in the Countryside
One of my favourite things to do it walk and walk and walk in the gorgeous countryside, getting lost (this happens a lot), seeing wildlife and breathing the fresh air. It’s nice to get out, stretch our legs and raise the heart rate a little bit. Nothing too stressful.
6pm: Yoga or Pilates
A third class of the day might feel a bit much so this is always completely optional like everything on my retreats but most people are so up for it. We’ll try something new like barre Pilates or yin yoga and everyone is always so energised from the day and the walk. You also feel so body aware and connected from the two morning classes.
We are soooo ready for dinner and again everything is light, nourishing and the chefs spend hours in the kitchen preparing the dishes with so much love so it just smells amazing as you walk in. We’ll have things like thai curry, rice, roasted vegetables, baked aubergines and quinoa salads. Everyone always looks so vibrant and eating alfresco is such a treat and something I’m starting to do more at home as much as the weather lets me. The evening is when we tend to get most reflective and everyone really starts to open up. Nothing beats a long lazy evening meal in the sunshine talking for hours and putting the world right.
9pm: Facials/ Meditation
Emily and I love our skincare and it’s part of our daily ritual so the facial workshop has become an essential part of our retreats. This part of the day definitely has a girly sleepover vibe as we all get into comfies and partner up to do mini facials on each other using our fave Neals Yard Remedies products. Face massage is actually so wonderful and if you’ve been tense, talking a lot of holding your breathe throughout the day then to relax around the jaw, eyebrows and cheeks feels like heaven! We’ll always end the day with a meditation, maybe just scanning the body, thinking about everything we are grateful for or setting affirmations for the future. I’m never more clear when I’m on retreat, my mind isn’t cluttered and I truly feel at peace in meditation.
10pm: Reading and bedtime
We really try and encourage no tech after meditation before bed on retreat and it’s something I always struggle with at home but on retreat I’m just in a better frame of mind to be disciplined with this but to be honest I never even want to look at my phone. I’ll read a few pages before drifting into the most amazing sleep, ready to start it all again tomorrow.