Last weekend I held the first of my weekend yoga and nutrition retreats at Symondsbury Manor in Dorset.
Spread over three days – Friday to Sunday, the retreat provided the perfect getaway from hectic London life (for both me and my guests!). I visit Dorset often and have absolutely fallen in love so the location was a no-brainer for me. Symondsbury Manor is a gorgeous tudor manor house owned by an artist, resulting an a mix of old English elegance and quirky paintings and decor.
We kicked off the retreat with a Yin Yoga session, the perfect wind-down after the drive to the retreat followed by a delicious meal of stuffed peppers and salads provided by my lovely caterers – completely vegan, gluten and oil free! The evening ended with Yoga Nidra – or “yogi sleep” which ensured we all slept peacefully and woke up refreshed for our 90 minute power yoga session the next morning.
After an amazing quinoa porridge breakfast we congregated around the fire with mugs of peppermint tea and began our first nutrition workshop, detailing the benefits of eating a plant-based diet and information on my favourite superfoods – chia, goji berries, bee pollen, spirulina and raw cacao to name just a few! This was followed by relaxation time in which my guests chose to take a walk, drive to the local beach or have a one-on-one nutrition session with me.
We met back again for a delicious lunch and our next nutrition session in which we focused on healthy grains and natural alternatives to refined sugar. Our evening comprised of lots of tea drinking, another yoga session followed by a delicious and nutritious meal of butternut squash risotto, black bean patties with mango salsa, potato, tofu and spinach bake and a variety of delicious salads, followed by a cinnamon chia pudding – we were stuffed! We ended the evening once again with Yoga Nidra to calm the body and mind for a deep and relaxing sleep.
The final morning began with our final power yoga session followed a pumpkin oatmeal breakfast. This was followed by a relaxation session in which we soaked up the sunshine and picturesque surroundings before our final nutrition workshop in which we discussed different metabolic rates, personality types and why to stay away from sugar and caffeine! This was followed by a delicious farewell lunch of a vegetable quinoa salad and warming soup.
A huge thank you to everyone that came to the retreat and made it such a special weekend!
I am pleased to announce that I will be holding a second retreat from the 22nd – 24th of February 2013, the perfect post-christmas escape – Book now!
I will leave you with one of the (many) amazing dishes that was served up at the retreat:
Autumn Simmered Butternut Squash with Lentils and Savory Fruit
1 large butternut squash
1/2 medium yellow onion (thin slices)
1/2 tsp ground cumin
2 1/2 cups of low-sodium vegetable broth or water
1/2 cup red lentils rinsed
handful fresh thyme (chopped)
1 medium apple (chopped)
Peel squash and cut into 1 inch chunks. Spray one heavy bottomed pay with cooking spray and heat on high. When hot add squash, onion and half of the cumin. When squash starts sticking add 1/2 cup of broth and simmer for 5 minutes with lid on. Add lentils, thyme, apple and remaining broth. Replace lid and simmer for 15 minutes. Enjoy! Delicious served with brown rice.