Yoga Retreat in Sagres, November 2013

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For the last week of my burnout break, my parents and I went to the south of Portugal, near Sagres, for a week of yoga – my first yoga retreat. I figured it was my last time to really relax, before heading back to work. I was hoping for some time to finish some of the many, many half-finished blog posts, bits of code etc, but our schedule ended up being pretty packed with relaxing activities – something I found at times a bit stressful!

We had yoga morning and evening, but a slower than usual form that frustratingly at first didn’t give me the post-yoga high that I was getting in Bali. Although as the week went on, it got a little faster and more intense, and I started to enjoy it more.

I took a surfing lesson, which was fun. I felt no desire to stand on the surf board, but enjoyed riding the waves. I’ve never really been interested in learning to surf, but it was surprisingly fun! I would definitely be up for body boarding another time.

We were on a vegetarian diet, which was mostly very nice, although on the most active day there was no protein, which left me feeling horrible – most people picked at the jar of nuts made available to us, but I’m allergic so that wasn’t an option for me.

As the week went on, I decided to just focus on the yoga classes and spend the rest of the time doing whatever I felt like, rather than going out and about – my skin had reacted to some sunscreen, so I was not wild to spend too much time outside, and definitely not in salt water! So I spent time in the gym, went swimming, and read and wrote and coded, and did about 3 hours of yoga a day. I started to stress less – I find having my day completely scheduled difficult, especially when scheduled by someone else – and enjoy myself more.

By the end of the week my skin was brighter, and I felt healthier, and frankly, as relaxed as I am ever going to be. As a bonus, doing yoga (well, body flow) a week later, despite a stressful week at work, brought me back to feeling more centred and chilled out, and I could tell the difference in my flexibility too. Hopefully this (and Bali) have kickstarted a yoga habit for me.

I’ll definitely go on another yoga retreat at some point, although I don’t know that I’ll go out of my way to surf again!

We went with Pure Flow Motions (good crowd of people, many around my age, and lots of them had come alone), and stayed at the Memmo Baleeira, which is a gorgeous hotel. Very comfortable and spacious.

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