I have just come back from a week at Soulshine’s flagship villa Can Sarana, and have only one word to say to anyone who is even vaguely considering a yoga holiday – Go!
Whether you are newish to yoga (like me) or an old hand, you will love it. Two hours of Vinyasa flow every morning before breakfast may sound daunting, but having the time and space to be shown the moves and hold them deeply, in a pine forest, while day breaks, is something you will badly miss once you come home. It is a far cry from whizzing through the moves in a gym; here you get to genuinely feel what the move is doing to your body, and hold it for long enough to stretch each move. Add in the breathing, the humour, poetry, mindfulness and fun, and this is the real deal; a genuinely restorative, caring and potentially transformative week. Yin Yoga was new to me; a calmer, slower yoga each evening, holding positions for longer and breathing deeply. Yoga Nidra (‘the equivalent of 5 hours sleep’!) was one of the most relaxing half hours of my life. Whatever state of mind you were in when you came, you will leave in a better place.
Soulla and her team look after you like an old friend from the minute you arrive. The food is vegetarian, dairy and wheat free, but even avid meat and bread eaters felt full and happy – the food is fantastic. Hazel and Andrea explain what is in each meal or juice, why it is good for you, and how to recreate it at home if you like, but the bottom line is that it all tastes great, and contrary to my private fears that I would veggie food would leave me feel hungry, I have rarely felt so full. While the emphasis is on fresh, healthy food it is testament to Soulshine’s genuine desire to make the week great for you, whatever your tastes, that the team brewed more coffee in the week we were there than the rest of the summer, without judgment or complaint. Likewise wine is included with the meal and you can help yourself to more at the honesty bar.
The talks on mindfulness, nutrition and ayurveda were professional and interesting. Included in the price are two 30 minute treatments from a range which includes Indian Head massage, Deep Tissue massage, Shiatsu, Reflexology and a ‘Soulshine special’ (a bit of everything). You can pay to extend these, or book one on one yoga, mindfulness or nutrition sessions – but even if you stick with what is included the week is a really good balance of stretching your body and mind, and lying by the pool looking at the beautiful view. Wednesday is a ‘free’ day, so you can explore the island after the morning yoga, and is the only day you eat out. Lisa came up with the perfect route for us, which included a coastal walk, a restaurant and a good beach; the team will help you find whatever it is you want to do. My only question mark of the holiday was whether, on a 6 day break, I really needed a ‘day off’ – I enjoyed the set sessions so much, but it does allow you to see a bit of Ibiza, which is beautiful.