I attended the 'Autumn Advantage' retreat at the beginning of September and I'm so glad I did.
Set in an idyllic spot, surrounded by pine forests I instantly felt relaxed. The beautiful Spanish masia was wonderfully spacious with comfy sofas and a fireplace, making it very homely and cosy, and I felt very soothed after the evening candle lit mindfulness session by the open hearth.
Rachel and the team were very attentive and lovely, as too were the other guests - I went on my own so was a little apprehensive but turned out I had nothing to worry about.
Having healthy and tasty meals prepared for me daily was a definite bonus, as I never have time to properly cook in London. Each dish was delicious, shame they couldn't have been bigger but that would have defeated the object and I wouldn't have learnt the valuable lesson that I do not need to gorge to feel satisfied! All of which has also helped with my IBS and thanks to Claudia's nutrition plan I have something concrete to follow as well some of the recipes to keep me on track.
The days were well balanced, a good mix of pretty hardcore training sessions from jovial coach Paul provided lots of laughs and got my blood pumping whilst the Hatha style yoga which was taken both outside next to the pool and indoors, complemented the work outs with lots of stretches and strengthening postures. My aches and pains were wonderfully soothed after, thanks to massage therapist, Nunu's magical hands, a definite highlight! There were daily drop in mindfulness sessions which helped me to kick start my own, very much needed practice again. As well as an informative introductory talk, there was also a mindful walk which I really enjoyed. Listening to the birds and cowbells really helped me to decompress and tune into the moment - something I struggle with on a daily basis. And being in the outdoors, taking in the fresh air and seeing stars in the sky felt like a luxury after coming from the city.
If there's anything negative that I'd say about the retreat is that it's a pity it wasn't longer! I could definitely have done a week.