HealthLife & Style

Top 3: Yoga and Meditation Retreats in NSW

What is that one thing that we all have in common? That we are just human beings. And what do human beings get? Tired.

Tired of the monotony of daily life and often the emotional drainage that comes with it. So if you’re in need of a breath of fresh air, a yoga and meditation retreat is the perfect mini getaway to reinvigorate your senses.

Here are Hunter and Bligh’s Top 3 Yoga and Meditation Retreats in NSW:

Billabong Health Retreat:

The fact that it’s located forty-five minutes away from the city by car makes it super convenient for Sydneysiders to travel to – yet when you get there, it feels like a magic far-away land.

The beauty of this retreat is the teachers’ ability to strip away all the hype and psychedelia that made mindfulness and meditation seem like a hippie fad reminiscent of the 1960’s and 1970’s. You are taught about the science of mindfulness and how it has been practised since the dawn of time and only given a label recently. So the closest you get to tree-hugging is living in a treehouse, which is pretty awesome, like something out of The Hobbit.

Accommodation is divided into four types, from a basic dormitory to luxury cottages, one of which has an antique, clawfoot bathtub overlooking the forest. So for those of you who want the best of the best, be sure to bring a lush bath bomb as you indulge in the mystical scenery of the billabong to the sound of chirping birds and the lull of cicadas.

A luxurious way to relax in between yoga and mindfulness is by immersing yourself in the water of the magnesium pool, known for its calming qualities. Plus, you can’t go past the gentle-hand massages that you can pre-book. There is also a secluded area on the other side of the billabong, where you will find hammocks that will rock you to a state of total relaxation.

Meals are vegan and are created with a majority of the vegetables that are grown on the establishment. The food is delicious and satisfyingly filling with only natural sugars used, like coconut sugar. As part of the program, food mindfulness is practiced as a unique way to ground you. It makes you feel like a professional Chef, the way you have to concentrate on the textures of nuts and dried fruit and how they taste and make you feel.

Happy Buddha Retreats

Located in vast bushland of the Blue Mountains at Wentworth Falls, Happy Buddha Retreat is the perfect place to regain that clarity and peace you’re looking for, whilst surrounding yourself with likeminded people. Whether you’re in need of a break from your busy work schedule, want to pick up on some healthier habits for your everyday life or are recovering from a trauma, the teachers are very supportive of your intentions.

You can reconnect with your health with three distinct types of yoga; Hatha, Vinyasa and Yin Style, as well as mindfulness meditation. You can also reset your body with healthy and delicious vegetarian or vegan meals – a good alternative to high sugar and low nutrient food that often takes over your life when you’re busy. So when you get back home, you’ll be craving a healthier life!

During your free time, you have access to a pristine pool and a waterfall practically in your garden. The walk is thirty minutes downhill and results in a comfortable resting place for you to unwind to the calming sounds and view of a waterfall. However, the return climb is slightly longer, so be sure to bring some hiking boots! After your hike, you can indulge in a relaxing, pre-booked Hawaiian massage.

There’s also a homely fireplace in the lounge area, where you can curl up with a book on those colder Blue Mountains’ days. The accommodation is quite comfortable, and you can request a private room if you’re with friends or would prefer your own room, otherwise individuals will be paired with a roommate.

Byron Wellbeing Retreats:

This retreat is a forty-five minute drive from Coolangatta Airport or a twenty minute drive from Ballina Airport. It’s founded and facilitated by one director, who is renowned by her clients for her work as a host, chef, yoga teacher and massage therapist. There are three re-energising schedules to choose from; Yoga and Surf Retreat, Yoga and Raw Food Retreat and Yoga and Detox Retreat. If you’ve never stood on a board before, do not worry, these surfing lessons are aimed for beginners and intermediate surfers.

All retreats include yoga and meditation, heavenly massages, delicious, fresh and innovative vegetarian food and are family friendly. The food and detox retreats include a health talk as well as a cooking lesson, meaning you can bring some nutritious recipes home for your everyday life!

There are a range of luxurious houses and villas to choose from, with some only a short stroll into town and beaches of Byron Bay. The retreat schedule allows for plenty of free time in which you can swim, check out markets, lighthouse walks, and popular cafes. The gorgeous “Sweethaven” house is one of the best waterfront positions in Byron. Located at the exclusive Belongil beach and surrounded by lush tropical gardens, it’s the perfect and serene place to unwind and gain that stillness you’re looking for.

The balcony overlooks the gardens and creek, where you can meditate to the sounds of nature or watch the sun set with a glass of wine. Then there’s “San Duan Surfers Cottage”, which is a 100 year old rustic cottage with a timber wrap-around verandah and a beautiful Balinese-style garden. There, you can dine outdoors while soaking in the sun and do yoga on the lawn!

Although committing to the lessons you learnt at a retreat is the hardest part, bringing that bubble of inspiration back into the real world means that you can change your habitual patterns for the better and learn to breathe, observe, reflect, self-regulate and respond accordingly in everyday situations.