Our brand partner Vamizi Island launched their first retreat in January 2012
07 March 2012,18:02:06 BST
I spend the morning putting in last minute touches to the rooms. Wellicious gift boxes including the stylishly feminine Miss Yoga Tank and relaxing organic herbal tea, leather bound notebooks, spa menus, flowers and a personalised note all await each guest. I want their stay to be like nothing else they’ve ever experienced. I make sure each guest has a freshly blended smoothie from the natural pharmacy that’s perfectly tailored to how they’re feeling. The group’s needs are diverse to say the least, so we make up a range of recipes from anti-oxidant rich blends with oats and flaxseed to build energy, digestion enhancing berry based recipes. Containing free radical fighting nuts and seeds that have the added bonus of promoting healthy skin made from the freshest ingredients available on the island.
The first yoga sessions starts at 5pm (for those who feel up to it) and am delighted with the turn out. There’s a real mix of abilities in the class - from beginners right through to hardcore devotees. There’s even a teacher with some 30 years’ experience so the pressure’s most definitely on! All eyes are on me but I’m super prepared and the feedback after the class couldn’t be better. When the teacher remarks that I’ve “got it all going on” I feel elated. From post-yoga juices, we move on to pre-dinner cocktails. Everyone is getting to know each other and I can feel the power of the island working its magic on the guests. Toes sinking into the sand and smiling over our BBQ dinner and I’m served the freshest fish imaginable. After a few glasses of wine and great conversation we are ready for a good nights sleep.
The light tinkle of the meditation bells in the seas breeze gently awakens the guests in the morning and a pot of hot water and lemon is left outside each of their rooms. For those who want to eat something light before Yoga, Momade our chef is on-hand to rustle something up. Yoga starts at 7.30am! Deep sea fishing is on the agenda for the afternoon with Stuart the expert. Having been on Vamizi Island for 15 years, he knows every stretch of water intimately. Everyone has their own line and no one returns to shore empty-handed. Tuna, barracuda and even shark make an appearance and we all enjoy a pre-dinner appetiser of tuna sashimi with our cocktails…delicious! The evening yoga session is all about the hips and pelvic region, an area that can be very challenging both physically and emotionally. We hold stress and negative emotions - such as fear, guilt, and sadness - in our pelvis. I liken it to a junk drawer at home. The aim of the class is to try poses that open up the area and release some of those pent up feelings. Afterwards we all laughed about our “junk drawers“.
For early risers there’s a nature walk with Stanley the resident conservationist. We are all thrilled to see the ‘Small 5’ which is made up of the elephant shrew, red billed buffalo weaver, ant lion, leopard tortoise and rhino beetle. Who needs safaris? We’re back in time for morning yoga which I keep upbeat as the brisk walk has got everyone energised. Here we are doing long flowing sequences with the sea breeze keeping us cool and the sound of waves helping us to meditate during the quieter moments. Doing yoga in the elements combined with chanting that opens up our heart centres; the sound of ‘Asato Ma’ resonates through the villas. Chanting has a peculiar power at the best of times but here on the beach it makes me feel even more alive and free. Judging from the look on the guests’ faces it’s having an equally positive effect on them too.
The group opts for a quieter afternoon and order spa treatments in their individual villas. Meg and Elaine work their magic with deep tissue massages, lymphatic drainage, cranial sacral therapy and reflexology, all taken inside or out on the verandah overlooking the ocean. It is pure unadulterated holistic bliss. Read more next week…← Previous Post Next Post →