So I have been off the wagon lately hence the suspicious absents for the last 5 weeks. I have recently returned to post graduate study so all that additional stress was soothed with chocolate, lots and lots of chocolate. So last weekend was the yoga retreat which my mum had booked us on a few months ago and I figured it would be a good time to de-stress, re-focus and get my healthy lifestyle back on track. The retreat was down in the Coramandel which is about a 2 hour drive from where I live. It was a really beautiful drive and it really is quiet an isolated location. I’m not super into yoga but I thought it would be good to try something new and it was a good chance to just chill out for a change, escape life for the weekend and spend some quality time relaxing with my mum.
When we got there (Friday night) we had an amazing dinner. They only eat vegetarian which I was a little apprehensive about but the food was actually so good! Then we spent the rest of the evening doing restorative yoga which consisted of laying down on bundles of blankets and breathing. Sounds simple but it was so relaxing.
On Saturday morning we woke up at 7 am in our little bush cabin, all the buildings are made of untreated timber and have a really homely feel to them.
We had a yummy breakfast of porridge, yogurt and fruit and then snuck down to the meditation platform and had a muck around until our first Pilates session at 9. The platform overlooked a valley all the way down to the ocean inlet. I was a bit cold (it’s winter at the moment) but the sun was coming up and it was a clear morning so it soon warmed up.
For the first Pilates session we grabbed our mats because warm up was the 20 minute walk up the mountain the temple or “Tara Sanctuary” which is a beautiful stone building . It has the most amazing views which are framed perfectly by the architecture, there are these really cool stain glass windows in the upper walls and the roof was timber with a glass dome in the middle. Amazing building if you are into that stuff. There was also a bell tower which went off every 15 minutes which added to the spiritual monk like feeling.
The weather, for the middle of winter, was stunning. Lounging around the retreat center in our spare time was so relaxing with the views and the gardens and bush surrounding us. There were plenty of birds cheeping and country silence which was peaceful, you could really forget about the outside world quiet easily.
On Sunday which was the last day we walked up the mountain. Now it wasn’t a real mountain but it was definitely a descent sized hill. It took about 40 mins to reach the summit from the retreat center through bush, some gravel tracks but mostly narrow dirt tracks. It involved walking up to the temple where we had Pilates the day before and then a 20 minute mission from there. There were cook little statues and trinkets along the bush track and the view at the top was totally worth it! Like magic, just as we reached the summit the temple did a 15 minute bell chime which only happens twice a day which made the feeling that much more special! At the summit there is a trig station and also a crystal which is dodgily propped on the edge of a rock. I managed to touch it but it was a little precarious!
The final climb
The track to the top…
We finally got to the top and the last 3m is pretty much a vertical clamber up a giant boulder with only a rope for assistance. Its not like I wasn’t going to do it after all that work getting up there.
My mum in the mountains!