I had no idea where I wanted to go, all I knew was that I was craving an adventure. My husband was sitting out this adventure so, I started thinking “where can I go all by myself?” I definitely didn’t want to be alone in some big city doing the normal touristy crap. Yes, those things are fun from time to time but come on, we all need to go off the beaten path!
That’s when the idea popped in my head to go and do a yoga retreat! Shortly after searching the web, I came across Villa Azul Yoga and Pilates. It was the place that jumped out at me amongst the plethora of places to choose from; it was calling my name. Plus the location couldn’t be more perfect in Fuerteventura, one of Spain’s Canary Islands. A place I had never known soon became a place like home.
There’s so much that I could write about this wonderful place, so I am going to talk about my most memorable experiences, that have beyond a doubt made an impression in my life. I made wonderful connections with the people at Villa Azul along with the beautiful island itself. I practiced new and various forms of exercise; my taste buds were introduced to a whole new palette of delicious, vibrant and holistic foods; and I even did some epic (falling on my face) surfing! You can pack your week with lots of fun activities or you can hang back and relax beside the Villa pool.
Waking up at the Villa Azul with the sun climbing to the sky was like I was still dreaming. I just felt at ease; no racing thoughts, no real agenda and surrounded by beauty.
Fuerteventura is a magical, desert Island with long white sand beaches so soft, like flour. It has sharp crystal clear blue water, ancient volcanoes touching the clouds, goats grazing on the sand dunes and vibrant, marbled sunsets, not to mention all the tasty restaurants right on the water with fresh seafood and killer Spanish sangria!
The first class of the week was pilates with Nicola. Starting this 90 minute class the morning after my late 1 a.m. arrival I was feeling a bit groggy and not so motivated. Nicola was very upbeat and had no problem waking the group up with challenging ab and leg workouts. I like a good morning work out so I enjoyed the sweat! I must say after just that one week of classes I definitely felt leaner, stronger and longer! Nicola is a kick ass instructor, she was very motivating, positive and always making us all laugh, helping us get through the challenging circuits. Thank you Nicola!
Our first yoga class I remember being very excited, I love yoga so I was ready for anything, without expectations, feeling ready to stretch and sweat! There were many beginners in our group so our teacher, Valentina, let us know right off the bat that this was going to be a bit of an easier week. Right away I felt a little part of me disappointed, but I let that negative thought go immediately and kept an open mind.
She taught us sun salutations, ashtanga sequences, various levels of postures, ujjayi breath, mudras, bandhas and meditation. I really enjoyed every second of it, going back to the basics was great!
Valentina helped me to alter and work further into postures, much further than I knew I was capable of! She would literally stretch and pull my body out so far, it was bliss! Valentina was very captivating. You can truly see her passion, expertise and devotion to yoga. Something I really loved that while she was teaching she shared knowledge with us of the history, mythology and different insights of yoga.
She pushed me outside of my limits both mentally and physically, it was FANTASTIC! My flexibility amazed me, my physique was stronger and my endurance greater. Thank you Valentina!
Next up was meditation, these classes completely amazed me. It was the very first time I encountered Kundalini. This was Kundalini meditation taught by Frauke, she is an international Kundalini yoga and meditation instructor and I can personally say, an amazing woman. I really enjoyed the small talks I had with Frauke, it lightened my day. I am so happy to have had the opportunity to have learned Kundalini meditation and yoga from her. I will never forget the first meditation class and how cleansing and powerful it was for me (blog on this guided mediation is here.). I have since delved deeper into my own journey of Kundalini; continuing the meditations I learned from Frauke, going to a local kundalini yoga class and connecting with like minded beings 🙂
Thank you Frauke!
Finally, we had an opportunity to take a special Tai Chi class. It was my first time doing Tai Chi, along with most of the group. Our teacher Paco was a very fun teacher, helping us to laugh through the pain and let me tell you! IT IS HARD! PHEW! You may not think of Tai Chi as hard, neither did I before this class. Soon into Paco’s class he told us that this particular style of Tai Chi is more athletic and physically difficult, incorporating jumping kicks and stamping actions. Haha! I just giggle at myself now, looking back…
Paco had a great sense of humor and spiritual insights of Tai Chi and life, that was both motivating and inspiring!
Now, for the FOOD! Mm…mm..mmmm. Jo Dombernowsky and her team prepared mouthwatering vegetarian meals for breakfast and dinner. Jo really cared about cooking the food with love and good intention. This love was obviously seen while standing in front of the colorful food spread amongst the table. There were many familiar foods and flavors but also a whole new world of delicious, wholesome dishes; vegan & gluten free breads, spiced veggies, mixed salads, legumes, marmalades and chocolate date truffles.
Fuerteventura is a true gem. I picture the island, Villa Azul and the people I connected with as if it was yesterday. It was a life changing and eye opening experience to travel by myself and connect with like-minded individuals. I have a feeling I will be back, it felt like home.
The Villa Azul team is an inspiring group of people who really support your individual journey during your stay at the Villa. Thank you so much to all of the team for making this such a special experience!
Head over to azulfit.com to learn more and plan your stay!