As the plane taxied into take off position, the man next to me opened a packet of hobnobs. This was the exact moment it really dawned on me that I would not be eating for two whole weeks. I was winging my way to a health retreat where the only thing on the menu would be juice. Hobnob man looked horrified when I told him. I have to admit to feeling a little daunted myself.
The place in question was Jason Vale’s mountain retreat in Turkey. My friend & Pilates teacher, Juliet Nicholas, had been out to his Portugal ‘Oasis’ earlier in the year & came back raving. We are both big juice fans & you will quite often find us slurping the green stuff, but I wanted to discover why going away to a retreat was so beneficial.
I also wanted to see if I could make some big changes for myself health wise. Ironically, as with many health professionals, I had neglected to look after myself over the years. Five years ago I returned from New Zealand, with a long list of ailments, including a a weird heart beat, the inability to walk in a straight line & fatigue so great that I went to bed every afternoon. My weight crept up as my thyroid went AWOL & my fitness plummeted when fatigue & balance issues affected my ability to exercise (I once toppled over in a yoga class & took out 2 of my fellow attendees in the process – mortifying!).
I don’t share this much & I have greatly improved, but it has been a struggle. I’m a big advocate of taking responsibility for your own health & it was time to put my money where my mouth was. I knew food really affected the way I felt, but I couldn’t quite work out how or what. It was time for a reset.
The days are carefully structured ~A blend of exercise, juices & sunbathing.
It was an opportunity to try out new activities.
Meditation brought a calm start to the day
Rebounding (bouncing on a mini trampoline to music) was brilliant fun & did wonders for my balance. (More about the benefits of this in a future blog.)
The high impact fitness classes challenged us in the cardio department, whilst the yoga allowed a deeper exploration of the body through gentle movement.
Was I hungry? No, not at all. The juices were delicious & I left with an expanded repertoire to try out at home. It felt like I was giving my whole body a rest, including (& possibly most importantly) my digestive system.
As the week passed I found myself less tired, but doing more. My head felt clearer. I suddenly noticed that the nausea & pain in my abdomen had disappeared. A niggly shoulder injury that had been plaguing me for weeks suddenly eased. I am not saying that juicing is the answer to all ill health, that would be irresponsible & untrue. But what I do believe is that giving your body it’s basic needs – movement & good nutrients is a recipe for health & getting away from it all is a chance to reset, restore & renew. It gives your body that rest time in which it can get back to what it does best – healing itself.
It turns out it wasn’t just about the juicing. It was an opportunity to pause from the world, just for a moment. Bliss.
It’s not always necessary to fly off to some exotic location to switch off from the world….in what ways do you press pause? I’d love to know – just leave a comment in the box below.