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How come we all ended up in Portugal and Morocco on Yoga retreats?

#nofilter picture at one of last foreign retreats

I've been on yoga retreats before and they weren't the greatest fit for me. I remember once staring at a grape for 20 minutes before I was allowed to eat it. That was torture, I was so hungry. But I am not here to speak negatively about other retreats. They will all offer something to someone and at a different time in my life I might have learned something valuable from that solitary grape. To understand what makes up a Brixton Yoga retreat it is useful to think about when I decided to run my first one.

One of my first ever students, a lovely lady called Zoe said to me she had just got back from a place in Portugal that ran yoga classes and in between you can go out on a range of fun activities like surfing, kayaking and hiking on the gorgeous Algarve coastline. Following week I had a free weekend so thought, I like the sound of that and off I went. By the second day of surfing a fella from my dorm said 'but dude, you're a yoga teacher - how come you are so bad at surfing? it doesn't make sense' It was a fair comment but also with this comment is a certain openness, frankness and closeness had very quickly developed between us.

I had made a bunch of friends in just a few days. It was an incredibly friendly place and I got to thinking about what it was that had made this weekend so special for me. There was a group of people who were into health and fitness and were after a healthy and holistic weekend away. A twice daily shared practice was a key part of how we got to know each other. Not only was there yoga but we had the chance to explore this magical place during the day and with surfing in particular - find a strong connection to nature. Furthermore, the food was all home cooked and there was a living room and swimming pool where we could hang out.

When I got back from Portugal, I knew I needed to offer this kind of experience to you all. I booked up the whole of the venue and sent round and email asking who wanted in...loads of you wanted in! I couldn't believe it. Almost 30 people for the first one! Affordability is important - it is not about offering something exclusive but offering something inclusive and if you come at this with an open mind, then you learn from all the different types of people who sign up.

On my first retreat - I didn't really know what I was offering to start off with. But I had a group of people who loved to come to class and they were the one's who looked out for everyone else who was new. After a big first day, I started to step back each day and watch everyone looking after each other. I organised the timetable, ran workshops, made sure food was of outstanding quality and slowly learned that that retreat is an extension of class. If the space is friendly and welcoming, the price affordable, the yoga timetable ideally suited to the energy of the group - then the group takes on it's own special identity, looks after itself and slowly a strong feeling of comfort, connection and well-being can take place.

The retreats are fun - so much fun, and there will be efforts to meet up together before we go and there will be opportunities for social nights together when we return so it's not just about that one weekend away but about connections between like minded people that grow stronger over time.

You'll find rooftop or beach based yoga classes looking out to the sea. Healthy and nutritious home made meals. Well thought out plans to give you a taste of local life whether that is visiting local restaurants in Portugal or having a local family look after you in Morocco. Time in groups or time on your own to relax. And everything is set to an affordable price.


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