Apparently we should all be feeling full of the joys of spring, embracing daffodils, posting like mad on social media and marveling at the wonder of life’s renewal. But its hard to feel wonder-full if we happen to be sat on an underground tube train with a passenger’s armpit wedged against our cheek, or feeling anxious about a suspicious-looking backpack whilst the other passengers numb-out to Instagram.
This might sound a bit grim, but most social media imagery is designed to keep us in a state of permanent inadequacy, so we continue to buy stuff we don’t actually need whilst advertisers continue to fund platforms that validate the followed and keep the followers wanting. We’re being titillated by quick flashes of perfection, but ultimately cheated because they fail to nourish.
The irony of social media
The irony of being digitally connected is that we’re becoming disconnected. Kaliyoga’s mission is to reconnect you with yourself, just as you are, with or without an iPhone, a six pack, thousands of Instagram followers, or the need for politically correct thoughts 24/7.
A retreat is a genuine investment in self-care, a proper respite from the ‘woulda, coulda, shoulda’ critic that most of us carry around in our head, along with that list of ‘things-I-must-achieve-to-be-my-best-self’ that leaves one exhausted and reaching for the wine to shut out the whine.
Kaliyoga’s best-kept-secret is our authentic approach to self-care. We do much more than just feed you delicious meals, teach you yoga and give you a nice room in a beautiful location. We also share the secrets of good nutrition to nourish yourself properly, especially if you are intolerant to specific ingredients. We teach you what it feels like to meditate, so you’ll know if you’re doing it right or wrong at home. And we teach you yoga in such a way that you can practice at home and continue to experience the vitality you felt at Kaliyoga. And we introduce you to our super team of holistic therapists who can help you work on any physical, mental and emotional issues. Kaliyoga retreats are life-enriching because they go to the heart of the matter, whatever that is for you.
Every week there are many guests who report epiphanies about a life-changing experience that far exceeded their expectations. For example, Jen Grieves arrived without a particular agenda, other than a desire for great food, yoga and sun, but during her retreat week our insightful team helped her to uncover some deeper issues that, once explored by Jen, allowed her to move forward with a fresh, positive perspective, empowering her to make better life choices and unlock more of her inner potential.
“I was absolutely dumbfounded by the change in myself when I left Kaliyoga. I’d arrived thinking I wasn’t particularly stressed, angry or unhappy; knowing I enjoyed a vibrant, busy and plentiful life, but the benefits of stepping back from myself for a week and looking within have changed me immeasurably. I experienced so much more than a holiday – I was a complete convert to a calmer, more holistic approach to life.” Jen Grieves, Hipandhealthy.com
Social media detox
The truth is that we all need time out to detox our bodies and rest our minds, not just by taking a break from Youtube and Netflix, but really taking stock of our lives and dropping habits or behaviours that may no longer serve us. Please note that no activity at Kaliyoga is compulsory and your time is your own. We encourage guests to follow their own rhythm and do what feels right, rather than blindly following a prescribed routine.
“The retreat detoxed me mentally and physically and I returned … feeling lighter in my body and my mind. I didn’t go to the retreat with any particular intentions but I left feeling completely rejuvenated and ready for the next stage in my life. I adored the food, I loved the surroundings and settling down in my bedroom each evening was pure bliss. This was a profound experience for me … it opened my eyes to the beauty that surrounds us.” Jessica Ward (positivelyjessicaward.com)
So what else differentiates Kaliyoga from all the other retreats you may have already Googled? Many people book a retreat with the aim of doing some exercise and losing a bit of weight. Whilst we can accommodate this aim with bells on, we can also take you deeper by giving you the confidence to ask yourself: ‘To what extent do my emotions contribute to my thoughts and actions?’ Emotions can be a strong driver when appetite is concerned. And emotions often trigger thoughts and thoughts can trigger emotions. For example, anxiety can make us believe that we need to be constantly checking social media, when we might be happier reading a good book, or meeting up with friends. And if we judge others by their look or behaviour, we end up feeling judged as well.
Our food is vegetarian, nutrient-dense and always gluten & sugar free. Guests take away valuable lessons on how eating the Kaliyoga way can improve physical health and decrease depression and anxiety. Our aim is to teach guests how to create and maintain a healthy gut biome in order for the nutrients to digest properly, then our bodies can heal. Of all the clients we have worked with from different backgrounds and with various health issues, nutrition can always make a difference, especially on mental and emotional health.
Over the years since 2002 we have gathered together a team of health professionals who are deeply devoted to giving guests the space to relax, let go and make changes based on a fresh understanding of who they are and how they want to live.
“I’ve seen various nutritional therapists over the years to help me understand/manage various stomach/gut related issues, but I found Kaliyoga’s nutritionist to be a class above the rest. The tailored information and recommendations she gave me really made a big difference to how I feel on a day to day basis.” Janine Woodcock
Kaliyoga guests return frequently – some twice or three times a year – and the reason is this: we offer a transformational ‘whole-istic’ experience approached from 3 key perspectives: mind, body & emotion.
“I have just returned from an amazing week at Kaliyoga, I was tired, stressed and had come to a crossroads in my life. I was seeking something relaxing but inspirational at the same time, and Kaliyoga was the perfect choice. Having never practiced yoga before (but always enjoyed fitness) I was apprehensive as to how I would get on, but the yoga teacher was truly wonderful! She made me aware of how the mind affects the body and vice versa in ways that I never thought possible.” Natalie Marcia.
Some people arrive at Kaliyoga with a healthy dose of skepticism, especially around the idea of spirituality, but they leave with an experience of genuine self-love. And whilst we don’t actively teach or promote any particular spiritual doctrine, people are surprised at the depth of their experience.
Our gifted therapy practitioners offer Aromatherapy, Reflexology, Thai Yoga Massage, McTimoney Chiropractic, Deep Tissue massage, Mind-Body Acupuncture, Quantum SCIO, Bio Magnetic Pair Therapy, Somatic Kinesiology, Sound Healing and EMDR counselling. We recently introduced a group of guests in Spain to our sound therapist, Kym Chandler. Before the session began they were cynical and many thought the idea of sound therapy simply ridiculous. However the results were staggering:
“The session with Kym was unlike anything I’ve experienced before, and I left with a much clearer head, a brighter outlook and feeling like a mental weight had been lifted. I felt immediately connected to Kym and trusted her warm, direct and crazily accurate advice and observations.” Scarlett Dixon @scarlettlondon
People like to come to Kaliyoga on their own, or with a friend or as a couple. Kaliyoga is a place to make new friends too, from all over the world and all walks of life. By the end of the week, your shared experience – on the yoga shala, on walks, at the dining table, during cooking workshops, or around the pool – will make you feel part of a family who have all experienced something together and altogether exceptional.
“I walked away feeling like a weight had lifted and being in a group felt much more relaxing. It was comforting to know that we all had reasons to be there and, even without speaking, felt more connected afterwards to each other and ourselves.”
Jessica Sheppard @coppergarden