Sunday, 4 October 2015

Free Your Body & Mind with Fresh Perception - Yoga, Hiking & Mindfulness Meditation Retreat

If you have never been on a yoga retreat you really need to go, it truly is an amazing experience you will encounter, especially if you are yearning to be in tune with your body and mind. I felt so blessed to be invited along to attend my very first retreat, I cant tell you how excited I was.

Friday 25th September 2015

Day 1 - Arrived at 12:30pm for coach pick up at Oxenholme station - I noticed straight away that the air quality was much cleaner than what my lungs were use to, you could almost taste it... oh and the slight smell of farm life. The drive from the station was about 45mins to our destination to High Lowscales Farm in Millom, Cumbria. Millom is very picturesque and the farmhouse we were staying in is situated on a hill over looking the valleys, it had such breathtaking soundings. I had to give thanks for such beauty.

Upon arrival we were greeted by the beautiful smile of our host Hope Bastine the founder of Fresh Perception & the farmhouse owner Mark who told us about the history of the place and how he came about buying the property and sounding 17 acres of land, it was most interesting to see how his project came alive from a run down Georgian farmhouse to a very impressive modern home, it was beautifully decorated and came with everything you would expect to find in a holiday rental home. 

Hope showed us around the property and of course where we would be sleeping, I would be sharing with 3 other ladies (Yvonne, Eden & Karen) which was nice. The yoga room was very impressive too, equipped with infrared heaters and state of the art yoga mats (Liforme) which help which your alignment and were environmentally friendly, I couldn't wait to get started with my yoga and mindfulness practice.

We had some welcome drinks and a light bite to eat outside on the patio over looking the beauty and getting to know the rest of the retreaters.

Time seemed to fly by, before you knew it, it was time to get changed for our first class, it was an 11/2hr gentle class to wake up our muscles, the room was warm but set at a pleasant temperature. The type of yoga we were performing was Vinyasa: meaning flow, which focuses on coordination of breath and movements, it is a very physically active form of yoga. 

It wasn't my first time doing yoga so knew a few of the poses that were being performed and felt comfortable doing them. Hope was a really good teacher, she had a calming voice and took time to help you out with certain poses you were finding difficult, I picked up on Hopes favourite word which was "Delicious" I found it really cute and refreshing, when she would explain certain things, she would end it with " It's quite Delicious" I loved that! After an hour of yoga we practiced 30mins of meditation & mindfulness, I always find it hard to clear my mind and focus on my breathing but it does take a lot of practice.

After yoga we freshened up as dinner was being delivered by Paul our caterer who was preparing our lunch and dinner meals during our stay over the weekend. For dinner we started off with a Roast Pepper and Tomato Soup, followed by Indonesian style fish cakes, Asian slaw and for dessert Chocolate & Blueberry Brownies, everyone really enjoyed the meal especially dessert.. 

We finished dinner about 8:30 and some of us ventured out to the back of the house to the hot tub with a glass of wine overlooking the valley lights and taking in the stillness of our surroundings, it was like being in another country. The tub was rather impressive, and was rocking some disco lights, I would never in a million years think I would be sitting in a hot tub enjoying this experience with a load of strangers, but we all hit it off really well, which was comforting. I was in complete ore and appreciation of it all. The night ended on a high and we retired to bed around 11pm. 

Saturday 26th September 2015

Day 2 - 6:45am I didn't have the best nights sleep, I'm one of these people who find it hard at times sleeping in a strange bed and in new surroundings, but I didn't let that get me down. I was excited about the day as we had a little adventure scheduled, a 4hr hike to Black Combe Mountain. 

The rest of house started to emerged from rooms as we were due start the day at 7am with a green smoothie and tea/coffee. I went outside onto the patio the sun was shining and again I was thankful for the beauty, it was out of this world, it really made a change from waking up in London, with the hustle of bustle of life on your doorstep.

Our morning Yoga and mindfulness practice was due to start at 8am for an hour. I have never sweated so much in a yoga class before, the class moved a bit faster than Fridays session too and some of the poses were harder which focused a lot on your core. I absolutely loved it, you could hear the whole group really getting into it, breathing through the pain and not giving up - because let me tell you some of the positions were challenging and quite painful if your body isn't use to it, but you could always come down into child's pose to rest for a while.

It was time for breakfast - fruits, cereal, soya yogurt, Chia Pudding, tea and such delights, I had a feast as I thought of the hike and how I need to energy. After breakfast it was time to hit the shower and get ready for the hike, Paul delivered our lunch - sandwiches, quiche, fruits, salad etc so we packed up our rack sacks and headed out. It was a nice time too really see more of the beauty that surrounded us.

We walked pass cows and sheep we even saw lamas which was strange, the trek was through farmland and woodland trails.

We then came to Black Combe Mountain... were we really going to climb right to the top? Yes we were, it was the most exciting yet painful experience, I don't know how I did it, but we all encouraged each other, one of the group (Eden) who had injured her foot a few weeks ago was an absolute trooper, even through the pain she was experiencing she made it to the top. Before reaching the top we stopped to rest and have a spot of lunch, it was much needed. My legs have never worked so hard.

Once reaching the top I did little jig for successfully completing the difficult task, we climbed a staggering 1,804 feet - 500ms and it was very steep but had really good paths to walk on, we stayed at the top for a while wrote our names on a piece of slate by the monument and some of us did a brief mindful meditation. How exhilarating!

The views were outstanding, you could even see the Isle of Man and the Irish sea. It was getting late and it was time to venture back home, going down the mountain was just as challenging as going up it, I slid down a few times and my feet were absolutely battered, my poor toes were sliding to the front of my boots and the pressure was unbearable, we finally got home i couldn't wait to get in the shower, my whole body was aching, well it did have a serious workout. Due to just over 11 miles of hiking we had gone a little over our scheduled time and yoga & dinner was swapped around. We all freshen up and met downstairs for dinner which was Roasted Butternut Squash Soup, Fish on a bed of Quinoa with Broccoli and Almonds and Cheesecake for dessert. 

We decided to have our dessert after our restorative yoga and meditation practice which started at 9pm and was all about the centring of your breathing and body - aligning the physical and mental by practicing stillness and gentle movement for extended periods of time, using bolsters, straps and blocks we even had eye bags. 

The setting was beautiful, the candle lit room really set this session off. It was so tranquil and relaxing and much needed after that long trek early in the day. I retired to bed after dessert i was so tired yet couldn't sleep, guess I was high on adrenaline.

Sunday 27th September 2015

Day 3 - started the day a bit later than the usual 7am start, we got an extra hour in bed, my feet were still hurting from the hike but surprisingly my body was feeling fine. We had a rejuvinating smoothie to start the day, I went outside to take in the views, had the sun beating down on my face and watching the beautiful sunshine shine down upon the hills. 

Today was my last day, me and a few of the others where leaving late afternoon due to work commitments on Monday. A cab was due to pick us at just before 2pm. We did our last yoga and mindfulness practice at around 9am, had brunch on the patio around 11am. During our hike the day before, Hope encouraged us to find a memorable item like a stone etc to remind us of that day, so after breakfast we had to say a little something about the item we had come across and how and why we chose it and then give or virtually give it to someone in the group and why you were giving it to them, it was quite an emotional and beautiful thing, showing love and gratitude

Hope had organised for us all to have a 30min massage and that was definitely the icing on the cake, i almost fell asleep and could of easily returned back to bed afterwards, it was such a great end to the retreat, I was gutted I couldn't stay for the whole day and return home on Monday.. but was happy to be going home to hubby for cuddles and tell all about my adventure.

I highly recommend going to a Fresh Perception Yoga Retreat, and experiencing it for yourself. I couldn't fault anything... the late night restorative yoga session was just perfect, the group of people that attended were of the same mind and we all got along really well, all from different walks of life, and the food was amazing and the top it off Hope was amazing.

I will be coming back again soon and will be bringing hubby with me, as he would absolutely love the experience.

Thank you Hope for the most memorable weekend I will not forget.

Fresh Perception has the following yoga retreat dates available. So get booking....

11th -13th December 2015
22nd - 24th April 2016
22nd - 27th July 2016
23rd - 25th September 2016

Contact: Hope Bastine at for more details or visit the website:

Have you been on a yoga retreat? How did you find it? Would you go again? Do comment below I would love to hear about.

Namaste. x

Disclosure: I attended for the purpose of a review. This is not a sponsored post and no money has been exchanged. All views and opinions expressed are honest and entirely my own.

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