Since making the conscious decision to become a happiness maven, I often seek the things that bring me most bliss through seeing, tasting, feeling and exploring the world. When my five favourite things - being adventure, yoga, food, people and the ocean - combine into one weekend, you can bet I’ll spontaneously jump at the opportunity to soak them all up at once. And if any of your favourites fall into these, then the next Find Your Thrive Retreat may just be exactly the getaway you're looking for.
When you think ‘yoga retreat’, what comes to mind? A whole lot of time on your yoga mat? Copious amounts and kinds of breathing? Poses you possibly can’t get into? If the thought of a yoga intensive makes you less likely to go on that retreat, you may want this kind of retreat to be your introduction into the yoga and wellness world. When Eat To Thrive (Bella) & Saffa Tours (Josh) combine to create Find Your Thrive Retreats, you’re in for a light hearted weekend filled with a whole lot of laughter and adventure.
Looking for an adventure near Cape Town?
These retreats normally take you anywhere from Elands Bay to Pringle Bay. For this retreat think weekend getaway with surfboards racked on the roof of Josh’s car. Bella’s food all beautifully packed in the boot. Wetsuits, sun tan lotion, hats, sarongs and sunglasses packed and the car stacked for an hour’s trip past the beautiful Koel Bay Beach and Kogelberg mountains to Pringle Bay. One of those quaint towns with one supermarket, two restaurants, dirt roads, fenceless homes and the most exquisite beach that you get to enjoy virtually all to yourself. Our home for the weekend was just that, a homey space with open plan kitchen and living area (turned yoga studio), an outside courtyard for lunches and tanning and comfy beach styled rooms.
2. Craving feel good Yoga?
After arriving and settling our retreat kicked off with Bella’s evening yoga class. Her flows are playful, relaxing, yet challenging and beautifully orchestrated. Think slow flow through the poses. Whether you are new to yoga or have practiced for many a year, you will leave the weekend more relaxed, lengthened and loosened. My Saturday morning started with a sunrise beach walk and spontaneous photoshoot followed by a 7am yoga class in our lounge-studio. Nothing like a few morning sun salutes and flow to get your head in the relaxation game for another fun filled day. Sunday’s 8am Yin Yoga completed the Yoga half of our Yoga & Surf getaway. We connected in a full circle, plugged into our poses and breath, laughed a lot at ourselves and one another. You can expect daily yoga on this yoga getway, the informal kind that has you feeling lighter and brighter and encourages you to not take yourself too seriously, but just seriously enough to discover gratitude for yourself and body.
3. Finding food that makes you thrive
The Friday dinner festivities commenced with Bella conjuring her magic in the open plan kitchen while the rest of us chilled and chatted making ourselves at home away from home. Dinner combined chickpea burgers with woodfire roasted butternut, sweet potato and aubergines drizzled in a tahini yoghurt. Saturday morning yogic brunch consisted of date balls and to-die-for banana, tahini date smoothies. Our mid morning Pringle Bay Lemon and Lime Deli explorations (must visit!) had us ravenous. Bella fueled us with her famous Shakshuka, roasted veggie salads and a dash of tsatsiki on the side.
This retreat truly combined my love of food and adventure. We foraged our Saturday mussel dinner ourselves! On the rocks by the beach. Ocean to table. After Sunday morning’s yoga, brunch was one of those Sunday brunches made up of multiple elements; rooibos and coconut oats, poached eggs, mushrooms and date balls. Last but not least were the treats; mini balls of delight dubbed Raw Ferrero Rocher Balls. They tasted as good as they sound! Bella’s philosophy of eating foods that make you thrive truly comes through in her food. Think hearty whole foods, mostly plant based. She educates with her food, shares her creations willingly and truly wants you to eat to thrive.
4. Sea & surf
Sam Lowe Photography
We possibly escaped to Pringle Bay on one of the windiest weekends, but as our Surf guru, Josh, says, ‘You’ve just gotta embrace the weather, mate!’ And that we did! Saturday was a tad too windy to surf but we all trekked to the beach, were exfoliated by the beating sand on our legs and dipped in the ocean. Reboot of note!
That beach! Possibly one of the Western Cape’s most undiscovered beaches, surrounded by mountains from left to right with views of Table Mountain in the distance. I walked on the beach at sunrise each morning, did a sneaky yoga photo shoot in that breathtaking landscape with Sam Lowe, and even got to surf on Sunday afternoon! Josh had me up on my board in the garden hopping through the three surf steps. After many laughs and ‘surfing practice runs’ Josh and a few of the girls headed off to the windy beach to get our surf on. I’m proud to say that, came wind and weather, surfboards nearly flying away and epic patience form Josh, I stood up three times! I surfed baby!
5. No matter where you are or what you’re doing it’s about the people you’re with
The delicious bunch of humans that all joined this laidback getaway without a doubt made the trip. We laughed more than I have in ages, shared life stories, health journeys, passions and bounced off one another so well that by Saturday eve’s dinner we were sitting around the table mussel feasting and wine drinking like old friends.
Post retreat reflections by Bella perfectly sum up our shared sentiments, ‘It was so great being able to get out of the city for a breath of fresh air (amidst the tornado). Christi and Andy stood up on their first waves; Sam got salty again after a long dry spell and captured the weekend so beautifully, Stace sloooooowed down and got some time to breath (also queen forager!) and Andy experienced yoga for the first time! It's such a privilege to be able to share these experiences with you all. I hope you learned something, slowed down or just enjoyed the laughs.’
That we did! Thank you to Bella and Josh from the Find Your Thrive team for the first of many an adventure together. My heart is full.
If you are looking to find your thrive through yoga, surf and food with a rad bunch of humans at a spot not too far away from Cape Town visit Find Your Thrive Retreats.
Sam Lowe Photography