Picture the scene. Its a cold blustery morning, the skies are grey and your feeling blue. The rain pitter patters against the windows and the distant rumble of thunder makes you sigh with unease. You think to yourself, how did I ever get to this point, bored to death and stuck inside. Your mental state of mind is under stress and you are suffering under the duress of winters cruel temperament. The weather matches how you feel and noone dares to talk to you when you are in a mood. You seek solace from winters dreary weather by gazing at endless photos of white sand beaches, glistening with secret treasures- its wanderlust. Ever since you were a little girl you dreamed of spontaneous travel, away from the hum drum reality of city life. Could now be the time to pack your things and go? After trawling through endless sites offering ‘party holidays’ you begin to lose hope and wonder if you could ever find a holiday cheap enough to travel to and still have change left over. But wait… there it is, like a beacon of light your dream holiday awaits you. And yet you are almost taken by surprise, you were once a girl who would love nothing better than to down shots in clubs abroad and now a Yoga Holiday was the flavour of the day?
You knew that you needed to make a change and the pressures of working life had left you desperately seeking a secret escape, a world so different from your own. You had always wanted to go to Tuscany and its promise of a ‘gloriously slow’ and ‘laid back pace’ was too good an offer to ignore. Scrolling through the images of women at peace in their beautiful Italian surroundings made you wonder whether some time away from the city would be just the ticket you needed to improve your health and wellbeing. After all if you were looking for a holiday to rejuvenate and cleanse your mind, body and soul then wouldn’t yoga help you stay grounded outside of the big city? Besides, those old wives tales that you used to read always told you that some time in the sun would help you feel more relaxed and happy and lord knows you needed some happiness, especially after everything that had happened.
The big day had come and your yoga holiday was just a flight away and as you waltzed into the airport you smiled, today was a new day. You wrote a list to pass the time, a little game if you will of things that would help you maintain health and wellbeing while abroad. The flight was wonderfully slow and it gave you time to indulge in that little list of yours, you would be sure to check it twice. You made a promise to yourself that you would try hard to be more mindful and that you would try your hardest to be healthier than you were in the big city. After all you worked 60 hour weeks, with very little play and you couldn’t remember the last time you had eight hours sleep. As for a proper cooked meal, it seemed like eons ago and lets not mention the fact that the last holiday you had was nearly five years ago. But that didn’t count, it was just a family holiday after all and self-care went completely out the window! No, this time things had to change and you knew that this yoga holiday would change your ways.
The plane flew into Tuscany and as you entered the taxi to take you to your villa, you remembered the first step on your list: sleep. You knew it would be a long journey and settled into a light slumber, luxuriating in your nest of dreams. You finally arrived and the warm rustic scent of freshly baked bread wafted underneath your nose, while you walked through a quaint apple orchard. Your hosts for the week had made you a special Tuscan meal of ‘sugo finto’ paired with soft slices of home baked bread. She gazed at the list you were clutching in your hand and smiled “number two-food, don’t worry Bella, I think we have that covered. While you are with us you will always be fed”. Her forehead furrowed as her expression deepened and she added as an afterthought “but I see you are malnourished, your clothes are hanging off your frame and the dark circles under your eyes are testament to how little sleep you get. “Cara you must look after yourself, you are not a child anymore” she scolded. You are almost taken aback by her no nonsense approach but looking at your list you realize that she was right. When was the last time you slept like a babe, feasted like a king and danced until the sun rose high in the sky?
It turned out that your hosts were yoga enthusiasts and mentioned that they would be joining you on your expedition to find peace. Confiding in you, the woman told you that she was once ‘you’, chained to her job day and night, forgetting to look after ‘number one’ but enough was enough and she found peace here in Tuscany. Tuscany, oh Tuscany the land where all your troubles are cleansed by the warm glow of the mid-afternoon sun.You look at her as though she has gone mad but that glow around her is almost ethereal, in fact she radiates happiness. She slinks into a waiting armchair and sighs with cream fed content, ” Tuscany will change you, Bella”. As the night falls and the time has come for you to settle into bed, she comes and finds you, places a warm cup of milk by your bedside table “drink this and sleep pretty dreams of Tuscan countryside, no bad dreams will enter your room tonight. Drink this with positivity in mind and forget the strives of yesterdays past”.
Day is dawning and you wake with intent, time to tick number three on that list of yours ‘meditation’. You go downstairs in a flurry of excitement and wait for your host to join you for yoga; despite her age, she seems more active than you and you struggle to keep up with her pace as she scurries out the door. Today’s class is Cintamani Yoga ; in the heart of the Chianti Hills you can feel the sun bathing all the yoga members in a warm mid-morning glow, massaged by its languorous rays. Like the cat that had got the cream you felt blissfully content;It had been a while since you felt true happiness and you knew that you had made the right decision on that cold, blustery winter morning. When was the last time you had even stepped outside of an office and truly appreciated how beautiful our world is? You knew that this yoga holiday would be one to remember and you couldn’t wait to tell all your friends all about it. The day was drawing to a close and you crumpled up that list, knew that you didn’t need it anymore because Tuscany had shown you the way. Tuscany had been the answer to all your prayers and you knew that one day, your ticket to mindfulness would be just one click away. You repeated it like a mantra to yourself… sleep, eat, self-care, repeat, sleep, take time out, think positive, sleep.
Have you ever dreamed of going on a Yoga Holiday? What are your tips for maintaining health and wellbeing whilst on holiday?
Please note this is not a sponsored post but an entry into a blogger competition. All creative ideas and processes are my own.
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