Last week I was fortunate to experience something that I have always wanted to do, a health retreat.
After doing my research I settled on Byron Bay Detox Retreats, as it offered not only a detox of the body, but also the mind and the soul, plus it was on the beach at Byron Bay - what more could you ask for.
We arrived on Sunday evening after battling holiday traffic. What should have been a three hour drive turned into six hours as we joined the holiday makers at the end of a long weekend heading to Brisbane from the Sunshine Coast. We had received an email from the retreat recommending that we commence our juice fast on the Sunday, which we were doing really well with until we were stuck in traffic, hungry and with no food! So thinking there would surely be a juice bar at the service centre we stopped at, but noooo only fast food and packaged items! And knowing we were going to juice fast for the next 5 days - well . . . . .
Being the last to arrive, we had a brief run down with the lovely Natalie who runs the retreats, as to what was in store for us. The main idea behind the retreat is fasting. Fasting as practiced by ancient cultures as way to restore the body to spiritual and physical wellness. . We tucked into our bowls of Mineral Broth, briefly met our 18 other detoxers and received our program for the following day: yoga, juice, colonic, juice, juice, meditation, sounded like there was enough there to keep us going.
When researching the retreat, I read a heap of reviews "I never felt hungry", well, by Monday afternoon I kept trying to recall that, because I was hungry, I was VERY hungry, and I was looking down the barrel of 4 more days on repeat. I was also a bit bored, I like to be busy, but we were also under a technology detox so no work, and I had no energy to exercise, woe is me :).
You know, not eating sounds simple right? But simple isn't always easy!
Tuesday we had a few more activities and the day passed a little more quickly, especially with the news that we actually get to break the fast with a day of very light eating of raw foods - yay roll on Friday.
I was enjoying the yoga, and getting in touch with my breathing and my body, and learnt a heap from our instructor, Philomena, she exposed us to many different breathing and yoga exercises. The meditation was also enlightening and the different sessions that we did opened up an array of techniques to calm the mind and focus on the present.
We had a group of 20 on our detox, and everyone moved through their journey, but along the way we connected with some lovely people. By Friday we were all super excited to sit down to FOOD for breakfast, red papaya with passionfruit and it was absolutely divine.
The retreat was an experience I am feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to do, with daily cold pressed juices, Sauna's, Ocean and lake swims, Naturopathic consultations, yoga and meditation instruction, a raw food cooking demonstration it certainly delivered on the promise of an holistic detox. I can honestly say I feel not only lighter but far more connected and a fabulous sense of well being,
Michele Purvis is an advisor with over 30 years experience working in the accounting and financial services industry helping clients to define and create their wealth.