When my friend, and now business partner, Sarah, asked me if I wanted to lead a yoga retreat with her on the Amalfi Coast of Italy, I didn’t hesitate to give a loud and enthusiastic “YES! I’m in!” While there was a lot of planning and behind-the-scenes work that went into this week-long retreat with 16 guests, I want to share some of the exciting, incredible experiences and give you a glimpse into what our yoga retreat looked, felt, and tasted like.
The retreat centre is in a little town, about 20 minutes outside of Sorrento. The building itself is an old convent, overlooking the Gulf of Naples. With a winding street leading down to the water, this quiet little town created the perfect backdrop as we settled in for a week of being connected through yoga.
Our retreat used yoga as the common thread to allow us to discover, explore, and renew in a variety of ways. It was important to Sarah and I that our participants were able to choose how involved they wanted to be, in every capacity. There was a daily offering of yoga and meditation, ranging from 30 to 120 minutes. Classes included meditation, Light Flow, Fire Flow, restorative, and myofascial release. The first full day of the retreat looked like this:
There were also excursions so that people could discover and explore the breathtaking scenery of the Amalfi Coast! We took a ride along the coast and spent the afternoon exploring the beach, shops, and pizza in Positano. Another afternoon was spent with a visit to a nearby lemon farm to taste the regional specialty liqueur, limoncello. For those who love to cook, they spent one morning at a cooking class learning authentic Italian recipes and techniques. There was one full-day excursion, in which we took a boat to Capri - explored the island for a bit and then continued with the boat ride around the island - complete with a refreshing jump into sparkling blue water. One of our guests, Rebecca, shared the following: “Christine and Sarah led our group through exciting excursions along the Amalfi Coast and planned activities at the retreat centre that brought the group together in a unique way.”
Some of the people in the group knew someone else but some came without knowing anyone. As we gathered to do yoga together, an inviting space was created to get to know one another better. Being able to explore your own movement, practice, and breath while feeling the breeze and overlooking the water is quite magical. Many of our participants had little yoga experience prior to arriving at the retreat.
Sitting down to meals (delicious meals, at that) that were prepared by Italian women who infused passion for food and culture into every bite, allowed for people to continue to learn more about each other. We lingered over lunch and dinner, sipping red wine, and enjoying the food and the company of one another. Bonds starting to form very early into the retreat, and people were excited to show up for the next class, excursion, or meal, to pick up where they left off.
Another guest, Anne, said this: “Being able to experience a yoga retreat while traveling where I had never been gave me the comfort and structure of yoga classes, while also having the excitement of sharing new experiences with like-minded people.” The final night of the retreat, we gathered, as many of the group had throughout the week, at a local restaurant/bar along the water, just a few minutes walk from the retreat centre. We raised a glass of limoncello to the new friends that were made, the joy of having absorbed ‘la dolce vita’ for a week, and for the individual discoveries and explorations that we each took away from our yoga retreat together.
If this sounds like the experience you have been waiting for, then please, come with us for one of our next adventures! We are heading to Prince Edward County, Ontario and Playa del Carmen, Mexico in February, 2019, and are already working on Costa Rica and Bali for 2020.
We hope to see you on the mat soon; be it one of our local classes or for one of our retreats!
Written by: Christine Noonan