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Photo: Susan Flynn

There's Nothing But Magic and Good Vibes in the Air at this Yoga Retreat

Yoga, wellness, and English immersion come together in one of the world's most magical spots.

Photo: Hans Vivek

The short story - I led a Wellness Retreat & English Immersion at Suryalila Retreat Centre in southern Spain. We could end this here and no doubt you’d get the feeling it was amazing, even if you weren’t in need of English immersion. I mean, the mention of southern Spain probably puts visions of rolling hills, whitewashed villages, sunflower fields, olive oil, wine… beauty. Right? And then add the fact we’re at a yoga retreat and talking about wellness topics- I’d bet you’re on board with the possibilities for Zen and relaxation.

But I need to tell you…. the place I just returned from is different. Located on a renovated olive farm, the setting of the Suryalila Retreat Centre makes you feel like you’ve been transported to the beginning scenes of The Alchemist, in the rolling hills of Andalucia. If you’re unfamiliar with this story, it’s the mystical tale of Santiago, an Andalusian shepherd boy who sets out to travel the world in search of treasure. While searching, he learns to listen to the calling of his heart and the guidance offered by the “language of the world.” The “alchemy” of the story is Santiago’s evolution, or “discovering his Personal Legend.” Here’s the tie-in…the longer you stay at Suryalila, the more you feel the same sense of alchemy.

And this, my friends, is why Suryalila is so magical… something about its very energy begs you to connect with yourself on a level that perhaps you hadn’t reached before.

The rolling hills of Suryalila will both “wow” you and make you feel incredibly at peace.

The rolling hills of Suryalila will both “wow” you and make you feel incredibly at peace.

GOOD VIBES... in every direction. But where does this energy come from? To begin, quite simply, let’s talk location. Set in a large open valley in the foothills of the Sierra de Grazelema, one can see the majestic mountain range peeking out on the horizon. Next, let’s talk views - every direction holds awe-inspiring surprises - rolling hills, fields of sunflowers like you’ve never seen, farmhouses, even an abandoned monastery. Moreover, its 45 acres of land hold a working olive farm with 350 olive trees as well as organic vegetables, fruits, and chickens, horses, goats, sheep, dogs, and cats.

Views, views, and more views make for the most zen-inspired yoga of your life. Not sure how to take in all of the views? Start with the property’s three yoga halls. The majestic Om Dome was the realization of a dream years in the making. In fact, Yoga Journal called it  “the most magnificent yoga hall in Europe.” The dome’s massive bay window offers views of beautiful rolling hills and an abandoned convent while you take in the special energy of the dome. Two other spaces allow for even more options for awe-inspiring yoga. The Moon Shala is a sustainable cobb (straw bale and mud building) organic structure located in the olive grove and offering its own stunning vistas. The Ganesha Yoga Shala is part of the retreat’s main house, with windows on both sides allowing plenty of light and fresh air.

Relaxation is the name of the game. Even when you're not practicing yoga, you'll find lots of chances to find your zen in the property's multitude of places to relax and reflect. Whether you cool off in the saltwater eco pool, nap in the Moroccan Pavilion, or sip tea on one of the benches, chairs, or pagodas aesthetically and strategically placed throughout the property, you’re promised unparalleled views and serenity.

Every meal was as gorgeous and delicious as this.

Every. Single. Meal...WAS THIS GOOD!

Mouth-Watering food you can at GUILT-FREE. While you’re nourishing your spirit and soul, your body will be taken care of as well as Suryalila’s cuisine is perhaps the most nourishing and lovingly prepared vegan/vegetarian organic food I’ve ever had. To say it is beautifully presented could be the understatement of the century. With ingredients sourced from the property, each meal is lovingly planned by a (very happy and friendly) group of chefs. There’s even a view of the site’s organic vegetable garden from the kitchen window.

As if the place wasn't magical enough... the people behind it ROCK TOO! 

As you can see, the setting of Suryalila is quite simply perfect. But the story can’t end here, because the setting can’t get all the credit for the magic of Suryalila.

The magic… can be found, and felt in every one of the people behind it. Bringing it back to the Alchemist, it’s clear that Vidya, the woman behind Suryalila, followed her personal legend to bring this beautiful place to life. Her positive energy and unrelenting spirit created this mystical, magical escape that attracts like-minded yoga instructors, chefs, property managers, massage therapists, and support staff. It’s obvious that each of them is on course to discover their personal legends as well. They come from all over the world, each in search of something different, but with the common spirit of making Suryalila (and the world) a better, brighter place. In doing so, they’ve created a vibe that shines as bright as the sunrises and sunsets gracing Suryalila every day. 

If you want to know (and feel) what I’m talking about, then please run (don’t walk) to your computer and arrange a trip to Suryalila.

I promise you, it will be magical.

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