All holidays and trips are about having an ‘experience’. In fact, whilst the ‘flop on a beach’ is still very much in existence, many people are looking at ways to use their downtime more effectively. Learning or improving a skill, gaining a new hobby or using the time for self-improvement.
Here at isleofwight.co.uk, we were lucky enough to have such an opportunity and attend a Yoga Retreat weekend. No, you don’t have to go all the way to India to find yourself, you can do it right here on the beautiful Isle of Wight.
Carol Macartney Yoga has been running yoga retreats and classes on the Island (and further afield) for years. Yoga over recent years has boomed and apparently, there are more yoga instructors here on the Island than in any other concentrated area in the UK. It’s not easy to fact check that one, but you will certainly find at least one in all our towns and villages. What makes Carol stand out is that she has probably taught these teachers herself and they regularly still go to her to improve their own teaching and practice. She has been practising yoga for years – well before it became trendy. But that doesn’t make her ancient, far from it, if you need an advert for what yoga can do for your body and mind, look no further than Carol. A mum of three, upon the first meeting you know she lives and breathes yoga and extols the virtues, wanting it to be inclusive for all, regardless of age or ability – everyone is, as she regularly states “trying their best”.
The days vary, but typically include a range of yoga, from the physical asanas (poses) to meditation, mantras and uplifting dance, all followed by some of the best vegetarian food ever tasted – coming from a very non-veggie! There is plenty of time to yourself to explore the local surrounds, read a book, or just have total time to yourself.
This particular retreat was held in the positively beautiful surrounds of Nettlecombe Farm in Whitwell. Rolling landscape plays home to a multitude of animals to see, too many to list but they include the usual friendly farm animals and a few surprises, namely the emu and the reindeers! There is a range of accommodation in barns, stables, quaint cottages and the farmhouse itself.
Each year, Carol puts together an exciting programme of retreats, carefully selected through her own experiences and from listening to the feedback of her many students, such as “Carol is a spectacular teacher and so great at what she does. She is a talented maestro leading her class into an incredible spiritual and physical journey that pushes the boundaries of everyone’s comfort zone. Her charm and warmth creates an environment where anyone regardless of their level will feel inspired to discover.”
To book a retreat with Carol or try one of her many Isle of Wight classes, visit carolmacartneyyoga.co.uk
To book holiday accommodation at Nettlecombe Farm, visit nettlecombefarm.co.uk