Monday, 30 November 2009

Yoga Body Temple Retreat

I haven't been practicing yoga for quite some time - six months to be exact from bikram and more than a year's break from ashtanga yoga. The best way to ease this tight body back into a daily practice is to take a weekend retreat and the best one so far, is Teresa Herera's Yoga Body Temple Retreat at The Farm in San Benito, Lipa, Batangas.
It was not the usual hectic yoga retreat sked and the venue was just perfect! We had two yoga sessions a day in the 'shala' located right smack in the garden, providing a breathtaking view of the grounds, the man-made lake and Malarayat mountain.
CNNTraveller voted The Farm as one of 6 Environmentally Friendly Hotels in the world. There were birds walking freely around - peacocks and ducks, and birds chirping along with Teresa's playlist. In between the yoga sessions, I was able to squeez- in medical and spa treatments - alternating days of colema and colonics and afternoon massages. And of course, enjoy their surprisingly filling, three-course vegan menu which is 85% raw, 15% cooked and 100% organic. We ordered French organic wine with our dinner and believe it or not, the Alive! restaurant has a range of interesting coconut nectar (tuba) brews such as pina coladas, margaritas, ginger beer or tuba-on-the-rocks.
Our meals were served in conducive settings - breakfast under the 200-400 year old magical mango tree in the garden (right photo shows Teresa enjoying breakfast) and lunch by the south pool. Everything in the farm is organic and homegrown from the food served and the soaps and massage oils used. The Farm has its own organic garden for its herbs and vegetables and since the whole area is surrounded with hectares and hectares of coconuts, they harvest the coconuts to make their own, you name it - butter, milk, juice, water, infused coconut oils, crackers, soap and cold-processed virgin coconut oil (bottled as Oil of Life).
As usual, I didn't finish my reading list. How could I with the relaxing treatments in-between the yoga sessions plus the long three-five course meals. I brought Adbobo Magazine's year ender issue and two books - Yehuda Berg's latest The Power to Change Everything which was launched last November 9 in Los Angeles and George Friedmans' latest The Next 100 Years. I thought I would finish Yehuda and then start Freidman... but ended finishing Chiqui's book insteadThe Man Who Ate the World by brit-Top Chef Masters Jay Rayner.

Here's our Yoga Retreat sked:
Thursday, Nov 26, 2009
12:00nn Check in @ The Farm
1:00-2:00pm LUNCH
5:00-7:30pm Opening / Prana Vinyasa Flow (lunar)
7:30-9:30pm DINNER
Friday, Nov 27, 2009
6:30-7:00am Sunrise Meditation
7:00-8:30am Prana Vinyasa Flow (solar)
12:00-1:00pm LUNCH
4:00pm-5:30pm Lunar practice: Meditation / Satsang / Journal Writing
7:30pm-9:30pm DINNER
Saturday, Nov. 28, 2009
6:30-7:00am Sunrise Meditation
7:00-8:30am Prana Vinyasa Flow (lunar)
12:00-1:00pm LUNCH
5:30-7:00pm Yoga Trance Dance (solar/high energy)
7:30-9:30pm DINNER
Sunday, Nov 29, 2009
6:30-7:00am Sunrise Meditation
7:00-8:30am Prana Vinyasa Flow (lunar) / Closing Ceremony
12:00nn Check Out
This is indeed the best way to start the holidays and the new year, going inward through yoga and nature and cleansing the body. For the next yoga retreat and other wellness packages, check out Travel Club Philippines.

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