“I felt wild and free and safe and home at the same time. I was able to let go, finally. The yoga retreat in Ibiza changed me a little. It was a gift to myself that everyone should give themselves too, it was one hell of a ride, a beautiful week. I can’t even describe it. Just go. Surrender. Feel.”
In may I joined a yoga & meditation retreat on Ibiza with YogaIbiza.nl. It was so special. I shared this experience with my dear friend Anouk, both looking for peace in our head, acceptance in our hearts. Share together, heal together. Blissfully I reminisce about that bohemian finca on a hill, overlooking green fields full of olive trees, the shimmering sea on the horizon, our beautiful bedroom, our garden with its lemon and palm trees, cacti, lavender and rosemary, the finca with its crystals, sacred wood, flowers, incense, the heritage dog running around, and did I mention the infinity pool? Oh, those magical sunrises and sunsets, meditations and yoga on the roof, the conversations on the lawn, the beautiful conversations, the mirror, the tranquility I found there, that dining table under the tree and the delicious food that was served daily, the meditations, the helpful words and Yin yoga lessons of Martine (she just breathes Zen), the Vinyasa yoga classes in the morning by sparkling Anna, the crying, the letting go, the realizations, the happiness, the light, the clouds, the coming home.
The first words I wrote in my booklet? “The first meditation evening and yoga morning were confrontational – but everything was right where it should be. I have lit the sun again, now I need to release the clouds.”
It took me a long time to write the words about this Yoga Ibiza retreat. The experience simply had to stay in my mind for a while, get some shape. I didn’t want to let go yet – it was until today exactly where it was supposed to be.
Oh my, what a week. What a place.
The Yoga Retreat
During the yoga retreat I learned a lot about yoga and everything that has to do with it, like proper breathing and self-care – but above all I learned a lot about myself. The daily yoga and meditation classes (from Yoga Nidra to Vinyasa and from guided meditations to mindfulness) and a number of workshops helped, but the free time was at least as important. Time to think. Time to process. Time to write. You decide whether you participate in a lesson or workshop or prefer to read a book by the pool, whether you want to participate in the conversations or just want to listen, whether you want to eat with the group at the table or take your plate to a quiet place to be alone with your thoughts – everything is allowed, nothing is weird. You can also book extra things such as a massage and healing from Martine (recommended) or a reconnective healing by Mariska from Healing in Havaianas (also recommended). And the best part? Every day, three fresh vegetarian or vegan meals are served and the food was SO good. Chef Gilberto prepares this with products from the island and you see and taste that it is all made with love, I mean, look at the pictures!
The most beautiful mantra
When I was mostly crying for my friend and Anna at one point told me that I should not forget myself and I also had to indicate what I needed, she touched a sensitive string. I sometimes do not know where I have to go with my feelings: I take over emotions quickly, think too much about others instead of myself, can become so restless by my own brain, have panic attacks, and I can’t handle injustice. Releasing. Releasing. Releasing. Just, live. Just, let it be. Repeating the simplest mantra at times like this helps me the most: I’m sorry, forgive me, I love you, thank you.
After I got home I created a small table with my crystals, my singing bowl from Nepal and the incense that was used during the retreat. I created it to remind me to breathe. I also cook the dishes that we ate there and take the time to enjoy it. I try to practise yoga and meditate every day. I try putting the panic attacks on a cloud and let it float away, but also I’m embrace my huge amount of feelings. Not all clouds are a burden.
I would like to explain what this retreat has done to me, but it is difficult to explain. You have to experience it. You have to surrender. I share this because I want to recommend it to everyone: give this to yourself as a gift. You deserve it.
On the last day we had to write a letter to ourselves. This will be posted in six months, and I’m sure I’ll have lost myself again in the chaos of life by then – and that’s okay. I think when I read it again – and even now when I write this – that I can feel like I did there again. I do feel lighter.
*last six pictures: Moon Jansen