Having never been to a yoga retreat before, I approached my weekend at the Tara Rokpa Centre with equal amounts of excitement and trepidation. The theme of the retreat was Yoga and Mindfulness, but a previous title had been Yin and Yang Yoga, concepts that became familiar through our practice over the weekend. We were led through the retreat by Lucy Draper-Clarke and Steven Heyman, the perfect example themselves as a teaching duo of the balance found in yin and yang.

Partner Yoga session

Our daily routine consisted of a gentle morning yoga and mindfulness class, followed by breakfast. After this there would be another yoga class, tea break, yoga class and then lunch. If it sounds like an endless cycle of yoga and eating then that is not an entirely inaccurate description! But the food at the centre was so tasty and the yoga classes were so inspirational that I would happily have followed this yoga-food cycle on repeat forever.

In the afternoons we had a choice of activities; on the Friday a hike and on Saturday a trip to the Eye, a local attraction where you can swim in beautiful crystal clear water surrounded by water lilies. This was definitely a highlight for me and not an experience to be missed. In the evening we’d have dinner and then a pre-bedtime class to end the day. As it turned out my initial feelings of nervousness about going on a retreat were completely misplaced. The Centre is the perfect haven away from the bustle of Gauteng and the ideal location to take a break and unwind from the chaos of daily life. The retreat itself was a masterpiece of teaching, perfectly balancing the need to both challenge and nurture the students through their yoga and mindfulness practice. But personally for me the best part of the weekend was the wonderful people I met there. I was so inspired by everybody on the retreat and the different stories they had to tell me about the journeys they are on. I’m very grateful to have been part of such a special weekend and cannot wait to plan my next trip to the Tara Rokpa Centre.

The Yoga Tree, with Steph, Heather and Dina

 More photos on Heather’s Facebook Album, here.