Reconnect with yourself and nature at Yoga Retreat 2 Spain, a yoga, activity and agrotourism retreat in rural Murcia, Spain…
By Clare Roberts
As far as the eye can see, in any direction, the verdant hills of rural Murcia surround the little pocket of rustic buildings that I call home during my customised yoga retreat with Kes and Teresa.
The yoga “studio” – a thirty second walk from my bedroom – is a covered outdoor space, where I practise surrounded by lush green fields, a cooling breeze and the faint sound of chickens and geese from the smallholding that Kes and Teresa own. Rosa – their adopted dog – basks in the sunshine as she watches us do our Warrior poses.
My first yoga session is a group one, at 8am, followed by a private lesson, where Kes and Teresa refine my yoga poses, and give advice on working with the neck and arm pain I have been experiencing from too much computer work. As the retreat progresses, I notice how they tailor their lessons to accommodate my specific needs – just one of the many benefits of small group retreats. I feel nurtured and seen, and the tension in my body washes away.
Guided meditation and Pilates sessions are also on offer, but nothing is compulsory, and timings are flexible based on my needs.
Yoga Retreat 2 Spain: a home from home
Kes and Teresa are living their values. They built their retreat space in as eco-centric a fashion as possible, reusing building materials from whatever local sources they could find. The result is a simple, comfortable space which fits perfectly into the gorgeous rural location, as far cry away from the clinical, white-walled yoga studios I am used to.
I have a comfortable private bedroom, in a converted barn, with a large, shared living, kitchen and bathroom space, although the fantastic weather means that I am hardly ever indoors. The maximum number of people the space accommodates is six, so a lovely little community of beginners and more experienced retreatants practice, eat and have fun together.
Living off the land
After morning lessons, it’s time for breakfast. Kes and Teresa try to live off the land, eating as much as they can from the food they produce. I sample some of this as we sit down at a large wooden communal table next to their vegetable garden: Granola, yogurt, seeds, honey, boiled eggs, local bread, cheese and plums – picked from Kes and Teresa’s own trees – are on the menu as well as coffee, tea and juices. Afterwards, I enjoy a short nap in their hammock and a quick dip in the pool before getting ready for the afternoon activity.
Back to Nature
“What do you feel like doing this afternoon?”, Teresa asks. There are many choices – stunning local beaches and rivers, beautiful caves and marble mines, or a drive up the mountains of Sierra de la Pila National Park for a picnic.
We opt for the mountains. We don’t meet another human being on our journey, or during our lunch among the pine trees. The air is cooler and fresher here, and from this far up we get a glimpse of the sea in the distance. Most of the food is, again, sourced from the local land. I look out over the scenery and don’t want to leave.
Kes and Teresa talk about their passion for yoga for both physical and emotional healing and give some great advice on how to use breathing and meditation as tools to help with my stress levels. They listen intently to me, and just feeling heard causes my stress to melt away. I’ve never been given this much one-on-one attention on a retreat before, and I am really feeling the benefits.
We head back to the retreat centre for an optional early evening Pilates session, but I decide to just lie in the sunshine for a while, before devouring a delicious dinner of Paella.
We watch the sunset, then some of us go to bed with a book. I opt to stay up, get to know some fellow retreatants a bit better, and sample the local vino in the knowledge that I don’t have to get up the next day.
I don’t want to go home. This retreat has been a world away from those I have experienced before. Living, eating and practising in such a natural, no-frills space, has been truly enriching. When all that is unnecessary is stripped away, I have a clearer sense of what matters to me. Connectedness to nature, to ourselves and to each other. I resolve to live by these principles when I return home.
The cost of a customised retreat at Yoga Retreat 2 Spain:
All-inclusive customised yoga retreats with Teresa & Kes from March until November in 2022 start at:
- 2 nights £155 pp
- 3 nights £230 pp
- 5 nights £400 pp
Based on two people sharing a bedroom, more if single occupancy required. For details of retreats, including up-to-date prices, visit yogaretreat2spain.com. Flights and transfers are not included in retreat prices. Flights to Alicante airport depart from Heathrow, Luton or Stansted. Transfer from Alicante airport to the Retreat by local taxi is 100 euros (round trip).
Words & Images: Clare Roberts