Alreet?! Been a while hasn’t it? If you follow my Instagram you may have noticed some rugged beachy scenes thrown in the mix recently and the reason being that I just got back from an intensive yoga retreat at Omassim Guesthouse in Portugal. After last year’s solo trip to yoga evolutions (in the secluded hills of Oleiros) I immediately knew that another yoga holiday had to be arranged for 2016. This time I had fellow yogi friend Sarah in tow and we had a much less isolated experience. If you’re interested in a wellness break that won’t break the bank then read on……
After raving about the immersive yoga retreat I went to last year, my mate Sarah was keen to join me on another one. She did some research and suggested Omassim Guesthouse in Ericeira. They offer surfing, paddle boarding, dynamic vinyasa flow, restorative yoga, yin yoga and meditation classes. I’m not entirely sure how she found them, but I’m so glad she did. We chose the yoga trial package which we did for 7 days and this included our accommodation, all the yoga, guided meditations, all of our meals and best of all- an auyurvedic massage. This cost 440 Euro’s which was around £350 at the time. There are other packages available, but being that neither of us had tried surfing before we didn’t want to choose an entirely surf based package. This allowed us to add on surfing classes as and when we fancied without feeling obliged to do them because we’d already paid to do so.
I opted to tag on a couple of surfing classes which were absolutely awesome. My only downer was that I was so incredibly nervous that it held me back. This was due to the fact that the beaches in Ericeira are quite rocky underfoot and the waves are pretty big and choppy. Obviously you want some decent waves to go surfing in the first place but since my TBI last year -I’m forever paranoid of banging my head again. This meant I didn’t really let go and throw myself into it, and I really wish I could have. Sarah on the other hand absolutely slayed it. She went back every day and I caught her standing up and riding the waves a couple of times, with a big smirk on her face. It was ace to see her enjoying it and this encouraged me to get back in the water and give it another go.
Omassim has an affiliation with Progress Surf School and for about 30 Euros we had 3 hours of their help catching the waves. This included pick up from the guest house, insurance, wet suite hire, board hire, their teachings and patience. If you happen to be near Lisbon and fancy a surfing day trip -you can’t go far wrong by hitting up Progress Surf School. About an hour from Lisbon by bus, the beaches in Ericeira are postcard picture perfect. Lusciously green pathways lead you down to the beach and the revitalising fresh, salty sea air really does blow the cobwebs away!
Now then… onto the reason we went away in the first place- the yoga. Lia’s morning vinyasa class was my favourite thing about the holiday and possibly my favourite class I’ve been to this year. Her style was soo fun, dynamic and elegant that I absolutely loved moving through the sequences she put together. The classes were pretty powerful and required a decent amount of strength and stamina (in my weak bodied opinion), but she tied in the right amount of resting poses to recoup so that you could push through the movements and feel truly stretched and strengthened at the end. Lia is the owner of Omassim and she was soo incredibly kind, funny and approachable that I felt truly at ease, relaxed and cared for at the retreat. She made sure to connect with all the guests individually, which I noticed at lunch and dinner times, and I think her personable touch is what makes Omassim feel so welcoming.
Half way through our stay an American teacher called Jade joined us and led us through a gorgeous guided meditation on the Friday evening. This particular session really resonated with me and it came at a time when I probably needed it the most. This is completely cringe to share, but her session really allowed me to connect a lot of dots and hone my focus on the kind of future I want. The 20 minutes I spent lying on the floor led me to a gorgeous daydream of my perfect future. It caught me surprisingly off guard and I felt both teary and inspired. It was the first meditation I’ve done where I actually had an experience like that. I think I got more out of that session than I have out of any counselling I’ve been to because I didn’t have to share it, I could just be honest with myself and not feel judged.
All in all it’s safe to say that Omassim has cemented my love of yoga holidays, and it was great to share the experience with a friend. We met a bunch of cool people from all over the world, some who had never actually done yoga before and this is what I love about the yoga community- it welcomes EVERYONE. If I haven’t sold a yoga holiday to you enough, then trust me when I say the best bit about going is coming home feeling revived, stronger and inspired.
I’ve loved reminiscing over this awesome break and I’ve got a few more travel adventures to brag about in the coming months. If you have the slightest bit of nosey intrigue- be sure to check back because I’m well excited to clog your Instagram livefeed with my boastful displays of #livingthatlife . On a more humble note, I had a couple of years not so long ago where I didn’t leave Little Britain once- so now that I am regularly getting away, I really want to document it.
Until next time, Namaste and take care x