And the technique is just one of the many alternative wellness therapies people can enjoy right here in Wales. Whether you see yourself mediating on the shores of the Menai Strait, practising yoga on the snow-capped Brecon Beacons, or experiencing tranquility of stand up paddleboarding under the stars, Wales’ diverse and striking landscape is the ideal place to embrace your inner yogi*.
*Yogi is the term used to describe someone who has spent a significant amount of time learning about the philosophy of different yoga practices and, as a result, has reached an advanced spiritual state
Wind down in the mountains at a walking and yoga retreat in Snowdonia
Any ‘Instagram famous’ yogi would love the opportunity to share pictures of practising with the incredible vista of Snowdonia National Park in the background. But you don’t have to be a pro to practise in the North Wales hills. Dru Yoga in Gwynedd offers a number of retreats for people looking to relax and increase their energy levels, with yoga weekends, walking holidays and meditation breaks available all year round to those looking to get away from it all.
Dru Yoga is one of the most popular forms of yoga in the UK and focuses on the body’s chakras (energy centres), enabling practitioners to access the powerful energy of the heart. It also helps keep muscles and joints supple with fluid movements and Energy Block Release sequences.
Dru Yoga’s walking and yoga retreat is a rejuvenating break for those looking to recharge and de-stress against the dramatic landscape of North Wales. The waterfalls, lakes, forests and coastal paths should help bring the chill. This is just one of the many retreats offered by Dru Yoga but all holidays involve nurturing Dru Yoga practice, relaxation sessions and group meditations.
Take to the water and realign your soul under the stars at one of the world’s finest dark sky reserves
Wales is basically the holy grail for stargazing loveliness. And what better place to cast your eyes to the infinite skies than on a paddleboard off the rugged coast of Anglesey, or on a tranquil lake in Snowdonia? For a truly back to nature experience be guided by the moonlight for a stand-up paddle board session led by the experts at Psyched Paddleboarding. Embrace the solitude this unique activity has to offer and enjoy the rare opportunity of being away from your phone for a couple hours as you explore some of North Wales’ most striking areas of outstanding beauty by the light of the moon. Whether you stand up or lie down on the board, this mesmerising activity is magical for those looking for a unique stargazing experience, or those that just want to truly get away from it all and meditate on a board out on the water. Bliss.
Rebalance your energy levels with polarity therapy in the heart of Gower Peninsula
Situated in the UK’s first area of outstanding natural beauty the Seren Retreat is set within 23 acres of ancient woodland and is just a fifteen-minute drive away from the Gower Peninsula where visitors will find Europe’s top-rated beach, Rhossili Bay.
Offering winter wellness breaks and meditation retreats throughout the year, the Seren Retreat specialises in Polarity Therapy, a technique which focuses on the body’s energy flow. Swansea natives Rex and Alaea Beynon are Registered Polarity Practitioners with 30 years’ experience in the healing arts and the couple work with visitors in a group or on a one-to-one basis to help achieve physical, emotional, mental and spiritual happiness.
Retreat guests can expect body workshops focusing on the realignment of the body to ease chronic tension and pain and restorative counselling sessions which teach the mind how to let go of emotional and mental blocks. Treatments and sessions are supported by relaxing yoga and nutritional guidance to help maintain a balanced and healthy lifestyle, all with the added bonus of some pretty impressive scenery and revitalising sea air.
Float your way to happiness at Swansea’s floatation centre
We’ve already told you that Swansea boasts one of the world’s finest beaches but it’s not just the city’s coastline which makes it a destination for relaxation. In the city centre, you’ll find the Lazy Frog Floatation Centre, home to four floatation rooms where guests can enjoy hourly sessions of totally undisturbed relaxation. During treatments, guests lie down in the dark in a temperature controlled solution of Epsom salt, so dense that floating occurs effortlessly.
This feeling of weightlessness allows the body to attain one of the deepest states of rest and relaxation experienced outside of sleep. The benefits are not limited to relaxation with research claiming that self-motivation, creativity and brain function can all be improved with regular floatation sessions. Additional benefits are said to include weight loss, athletic rehabilitation and reducing the effects of depression.
Rediscover yourself and escape the 21st century in 200 acres of Welsh countryside
Hidden between the towns of Machynlleth and Newtown in the countryside of Mid Wales it would be easy to miss the secluded man-made community of Spirit Horse Retreat. Made up of tepees, yurts and Celtic round houses, Spirit Horse was founded in 1990 by Shivam O Brian, a renowned spiritualist who has created the ancient-style temple village for sacred gatherings and an area to aid self-reflection.
There are a number of different ways people can enjoy the simple facilities including a three-day self-reflection course led by Shivam which aims to help people find themselves and enter a new state of consciousness called ‘enlightenment’. While the results vary for individuals, all participants should feel the benefits of stronger communication skills and a feeling of improved self-worth. All visitors can enjoy exploring the epic woodland and wild gardens which volunteers and supporters continue to maintain for all to enjoy.
It’s worth noting that the village has no electricity or Wi-Fi and sparse phone signal, but these are just some of the many reasons guests continue to visit the hidden retreat in the hills.