On Friday 9th November, myself and the lovely Jenny (from Jenny In Neverland) went on a road trip all the way to Norfolk together to experience our first ever yoga retreat. (Big thanks to my dad and Jenny’s dad for kindly getting us there!). We knew it was going to be a weekend of being all healthy, so the night before we had a girly sleepover involving pizza and Disney (yay!) to mentally prepare us for the retreat.
The retreat was a Women’s Autumn Weekend Yoga Retreat ran by Tiffany Bown, which involved gentle and empowering yoga, the Chinese healing art of Qigong, meditation, self-care practices, relaxing and re-balancing Shiatsu massage, walking, resting, napping and wonderful home-cooked food (honestly, the food was amazinggg!). It was based in the beautiful and peaceful Norfolk countryside in a place called Fishley Hall, which was absolutely gorgeous. It was a bit like stepping into a copy of a posh Interior Design Magazine.
Fishley Hall, Norfolk
Jenny and I shared a room with Ryta the writer (an incredible lady who is 71 and a teaches yoga!)
You know you have made it in life when the bath is no longer attached to the wall.
We arrived before everyone else, so had a little nosey around. Fishley Hall is a 17th-century manor house near the village of Fishley, just 10 miles from the Norfolk coast. Interestingly, it was derelict since the 1980’s with no roof and was only recently brought back to life in 2016. It has 8 bedrooms and 5 bathrooms (some bathrooms even had TVs in) and sleeps up to 16. It is the most perfect location for a relaxing yoga retreat.
I need one of these fancy tables for my laptop when I’m blogging in the soft office (my bed).
Jenny and I were fascinated how these baths worked, like where does the water go?
Downstairs there were two large living rooms, a dining area and a hugeeee spacious kitchen.
The house was full of beautiful fresh flowers, books and gorgeous trinkets. It was clean and spacious yet cosy and homely at the same time. The attention to detail was incredible.
Whilst exploring the house, we discovered this cosy little secret reading room which is complete with a TV and comfy chair. This is such a cool space and ideal if you just want to hide away for a while.
Over the weekend, there were 4 two-hour yoga sessions and 2 early morning meditations. The whole retreat was so chilled, there was no pressure to turn up to every session if you weren’t feeling it. We practiced yoga in a light and airy conservatory surrounded by blankets, blocks, cushions and eye masks to make it super cosy and restorative. The yoga was gentle and calming and Tiffany shared teachings on Autumnal energy and female health and well-being. At anytime if you just wanted to lie on the mat, rest and absorb the peaceful and soothing atmosphere, that was also cool too. It was all very laid back.
One of the things I was feeling most anxious about was who else would be going on the retreat. This was a BIG step out of my comfort zone and considering I only ever talk to about 4 people and 3 cats, socializing is not one of my strong points. Thankfully, I didn’t need to feel worried for long as it turned out everyone was so warm and friendly. We first met our room mate Ryta who is such a fascinating lady, having written an autobiography (kindly giving Jenny and myself a copy to read), a series of children’s books with another book in progress and is also a yoga teacher at 71, I was amazed. Click here to see Ryta’s website.
The thing I noticed straight away was wow, everyone is so interesting. All the women had different backgrounds and stories to tell and each conversation left me feeling uplifted and inspired. I enjoyed a long chat with Wendy, a Chartered Psychologist who has developed her own app called My Power Bar – a clever way to check in with our own energy levels (mental, emotional, spiritual and physical) throughout the day. The app helps you to record and analyse what is boosting or zapping your energy and offers practical suggestions on how to improve each one. It’s pretty smart if you ask me.
Saturday morning 7:30am sunrise.
On Saturday afternoon, we had a couple of hours free time so Jenny, Ryta and I went for a little walk in the countryside. Fishley Hall is about 10 minutes from the Norfolk Broads so we followed a muddy path towards the River Bure spotting tons of pheasants on the way. Norfolk is such a pretty place.
The Food & Henry The Chef:
For the whole weekend, we were lucky to have Henry The Chef on site preparing the most delicious and nutritious home cooked food. Seriously, the food was out of this world, everything was bursting with colour and flavour and Henry always made time to stop and chat with everyone that passed the kitchen. Breakfast, lunch and dinner was vegetarian, verging on vegan with nourishing snacks and lots of teas in between (the chai tea was so nice!). My favourite meal was the Thai Vegetable and Coconut Curry with Teriyaki Broccoli and Jasmine Rice followed by a Chocolate Brownie and Vegan Ice Cream (wow!).
Everyone needs a Henry in their kitchen.
A selection of tarts and salad for lunch.
The very photogenic fruit platter.
The Overall Experience:
Having never been on a yoga retreat before, I really didn’t know what to expect. So, this was definitely an unforgettable experience and one I am really glad I have done. I got to spend time with the lovely Jenny, meet so many other interesting women, eat delicious food, practice gentle and calming yoga, all in a beautiful house situated in a peaceful and tranquil location. What an incredible thing to do! So thank you so much to the wonderful Tiffany for hosting such a brilliant weekend. I thoroughly enjoyed every moment and would 100% recommend it to anyone who just wants to take some time out from their everyday lives, switch off, nourish, rest and restore. Click here to visit Nurture Works Yoga and find out more.
Have you ever been to a yoga retreat? Let me know in the comments, I’d love to hear from you!