When people asked me how my retreat was, my answer was…”it was literally the best thing I have EVER done” and I mean that. A few weeks ago I took myself off to the beautiful island of IBIZA to attend a Pilates retreat for 5 days which was hosted by Lottie Murphy + Kimberly Parsons. Lottie is a Pilates Teacher and Kim is a Chef + Naturopath. I went alone (there were 10 guests in total) plus Mama Murphy, Chloe (who was there to offer Reflexology, Indian Head Massages and taught us a dance class) and Natalie (Chief Hiker & Photographer).
We stayed in the most beautiful villa in the Ibizan countryside and it was SO peaceful – #HOUSEGOALS. I’ll talk you through the retreat day by day so you can get a feel for what retreat life is like, however, I don’t want to give too much away as I urge you to book one for YOURSELF!
We were welcomed to the most refreshing pomegranate, basil + raspberry drink, perfect for post flight dehydration. I need one NOW. Once we’d got unpacked etc. we got ready for our first Pilates class in THE DOME. Further up into the hills was a huuuuuge geodome (pictures to follow) which was our studio for the week. The class was followed by a welcome dinner which consisted of Miso Aubergine, Roasted Squash + Israeli Cinnamon Rice, YUM. It was my first taste of Kim’s cooking and OMG was I in for a treat for the week. The first workshop of the week was focused on Balance/Sleep and it was really great to hear from Lottie + Kim their tips for how to best find the work/life balance we all strive for and also how to ensure you are getting a good nights sleep. My 3 top tips I learnt were:
- DETATCH from Technology. Choose a cut off point in the evening and turn your phone off or on flight mode and pull yourself away from aimlessly scrolling on social media.
- DIGESTION! Try not to eat too late, ideally 3.5 hours before you go to bed. Eating earlier will allow your body to have the time to digest and settle before bed, we all know going to bed on a full stomach is not fun.
- CREATE A RITUAL. This is probably my favourite one (mainly because I do it already and always look forward to doing it). Take your time to get ready for bed whether that be your make up removing routine, lighting a candle, reading before bed, meditating or spraying your pillow spray – make sure it suits you and is something you can stick to every evening.
I naturally wake up early and was lucky enough to see the BREATHTAKING sunrise over the villa, this soon became our morning ritual. The day started with an hours class followed by a yummy breakfast (something I would never normally have for breakfast) of sweet potato with beans, asian coleslaw + pineapple, all washed down with a turmeric smoothie. During the day we had free time to walk, swim, tan (any guesses what I was doing), read, journal etc. The weather was beautiful, we were really lucky! In the afternoon we were treated to a wonderful cooking class by Kim and learnt to make Almond Butter, Tahini Cookies, Kale Granola, Quinoa Pops + Savoury Flapjacks. I ordered Kim’s recipe book ‘THE YOGA KITCHEN’ the second we finished the class and can’t wait to get cooking! You can order it here. We then had our second class of the day and dinner which was a Fennel, Lentil, Pear + Sticky Walnut Salad, Goats Cheese, Asparagus + Green Beans with Quinoa Pops whilst we did our Q&A/Journaling workshop. Lottie + Kim have a wealth of knowledge on the health + wellness industry and about how to run your own business.
Tuesday was the day I was most looking forward to because it was HIKE DAY, YAY. We started with our usual class then breakfast was orange soaked buckwheat, poached pear, blueberries + blackberries with an apple + raspberry smoothie. We also had a lunchtime BALLET inspired class which I loved! As we were heading to Es Vedra for our sunset we had an early dinner of Aubergine Mung Dahl. I’d never been on a hike so was super excited and the girls had told us that Es Vedra was a really spiritual part of the island. We climbed to one of the highest points then ALL the way back down (without falling over, Lottie and Chloe not included haha) to watch the sunset together. It gets really busy at Es Vedra so it’s clearly a popular spot and was definitely one of the most magical sunsets I have EVER seen.
Usual morning class and another fuelling breakfast from Kim which was Quinoa, Tuna, Nori, Spinach + Egg with a Peach, Star Anise, Banana + Coconut smoothie. I had booked an Indian Head Massage + Reflexology with Chloe which was in the DREAMIEST setting in a little hut tucked within the villa. Wednesday was also slightly different as our evening class was a 90 minutes YOGA class with the gorgeous Louise. We then had dinner and MOVIE NIGHT with healthy hot chocolates and popcorn. The whole week was like one big sleepover, THE BEST!
After a few days at the villa we were all quite excited to be heading into Ibiza Town for some exploring and lunch at Passion Café. Ibiza is so so beautiful and I literally can’t wait to go back and see more (although I am heading to the party side of the island so not sure how much exploring I’ll be doing). The menu in Passion Café is INSANE. A ridiculous amount of choice, not that I was complaining but I went for a green smoothie, TURKISH DELIGHT latte and a big bowl of creamy pesto pasta. I need to try and recreate the latte at home because not only was it tasty but it was PINK, perfect Instagram opportunity (obvs.). Chloe taught us a fabulous salsa inspired (sangria fuelled) dance class in the evening which was SO FUN. The best way to end our week.
HOMETIME, NOOO. I wasn’t ready, I wanted to be in my retreat bubble forever. So why was it the best thing I’ve ever done? Meeting new people, moving my body, falling more in love with pilates, experiencing something new, learning things about myself, eating the most delicious plant based food, having time to think, journal, read and just do something for ME. I have made friends for life and haven’t laughed so much in a long time. The memories we made and the stories we have are unique to our retreat experience and I love that. There’s something almost quite empowering about going away by yourself and I think everyone should do it (at least once).
I also can’t thank Jen enough for being the BEST roomie I could have asked for. We were so lucky that we got on really well, both happen to work in the fashion industry + love all things health + wellness and it felt like we’d been friends for years.
Thanks Lottie, Kim, Jacqui, Chloe + Natalie for making it a week to remember and also to all my retreat girls Jen, Denice, Laura, Renate, Amy, Chantelle, Louise, Kate + Katherine for sharing it with me!
PEACE, LOVE + PILATES.