It had all the hallmarks of a kooky, witchy woo-woo retreat: forest bathing, sharing circles, soul sessions, women howling at the Moon, hugging trees and lashings of meditation and yoga.
Welcome to Yallingup and Kelly Hine’s Replenish and Reconnect Retreat, a weekend dedicated to self-care and conscious reconnection to your mind, body and soul.
To be frank, I went to escape the teenagers, the humdrum of everyday life and the never-ending dishes and deadlines.
I wasn’t confident of a divine spiritual awakening given my healthy scepticism of mysticism; it takes faith to believe and I thrive on doing, not being.
But let me tell you, I haven’t felt this much elation since I was “punching the light” during the thumping 1990s rave scene.
My accommodation for the three-night retreat was Premalaya, a gorgeous 2.4ha property with modern chalet apartments nestled in the forest — as perfect a place as any to unplug and remember what your body really needs to feel blissed out once again.
As a dozen women, all strangers to one another, gathered on the first evening, I was clearly green in exploring the frontiers of mindfulness and meditation.
Many were stalwarts in this journey of spiritual awakening, of finding quiet in a noisy world.
These women oozed an enviable degree of inner peace, and I wanted some of what they had.
Each morning began with an hour of gentle yoga perfect even for beginners.
After breakfast, the morning was dedicated to Hine’s signature Soul Sessions, where she walked us through the importance of gratitude, quietening the mind, listening to the whispers of your soul and the life-changing powers of daily rituals, whether it be deep breathing or having a groove to a banging song.
The afternoons were spent soaking up nature whether it be the soaring forests or gorgeous coast.
There were a couple of hours free time for relaxation, reflection and self care before we sat down for a shared meal.
I must have missed the explainer that this retreat served only vegetarian food...
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