True Belonging Retreat ~ Sri Lankan Wilderness (October 2019)

‘The wilderness is an untamed, unpredictable place of uncertainty & criticism; of solitude & searching ~ but it also turns out to be a place of True Belonging, & it’s the bravest & most sacred place you will ever stand’

(Brene Brown, Braving The Wilderness)

True Belonging Retreat, Rukgala, Sri Lanka, October 2019

22nd – 28th October 2019

Check in 2pm ~ Check out 12pm

Digana (hidden in the mountains on Lake Victoria near Kandy)

The Retreat & Theme

Come explore the magic of the Sri Lankan wilderness with me on this very special 6-night retreat in the depths of the Knuckles Mountains on Lake Victoria, where you’ll find the courage to stand in your true belonging.

This retreat & its theme are particularly special to me as it was created during a period of solo travel, self-practice & a lot of self-study. Here I learned that in times of solitude & in showing up to yourself fully to face your vulnerability, you are opening yourself up to love, belonging, creativity, joy & the confidence to stand in your true self. ~ Your True Belonging

These are the learnings that I am passionate about sharing over this week through playful & creatively-sequenced dynamic morning yoga practices and deeply restorative evening yin yoga. There will also be plenty of opportunity to explore the breath-takingly beautiful nature around us with wild swimming in Lake Victoria, hikes, treks to & swimming in the waterfalls; and of course plenty of down time to chill out in what will be our beautiful home for the week, so that we can drop all these ideas & expectations as to who we think we should be ~ and just BE.

The Yoga

Morning Practice

I’m a very conscious teacher when it comes to teaching to the whole room. I’m encouraging and compassionate, offering lots of options and modifications to suit all ‘levels’ (as much as I hate that word in relation to yoga!) in my flows, so all practitioners are welcome at my retreat.

That said, the morning practices will be around two hours long (including pranayama / meditation at the start, plenty of time to warm up as well as  a little restorative yin and a good long savasana to close) as I feel this is how you will get the most out of your asana practice. This will support in creating the space to move more expansively around the mat than you would during a 60-minute class.

My flows are explorative, playful and creatively sequenced, so having a yoga practice already will be beneficial – but not essential.

I really do welcome everyone and will guide everyone on my retreat in the best possible way to inspire both newbies and more experienced practitioners to break down barriers and move more freely in the flow.

In the morning practices, we’ll explore breath-lead dynamic vinyasa and mandala flows that work into strength, flexibility and intuitive movement via creative sun salutations, playful transitions,  backbends, balances and inversions.

Evening Practice

In the evening we’ll balance out the body and mind with a deeply restorative 90-minute yin yoga practice. Both the evening and morning practices will be carefully planned and sequenced to complement each other.

Yin is a practice that I absolutely love – deeply releasing yoga working into the deepest level of tissue in the body (the fascia).

In yin yoga we work with a series of long hold restorative poses (on the retreat I will teach around 5 minute-long poses and as the week goes on we may work longer and deeper) to improve flexibility, create space & help mindfulness.

This practice is simple, but by no means easy, serving as an amazing segway to meditation. With patience and commitment to this practice, you will find that your more dynamic practices are transformed, bringing some very much needed stillness and balance to our lives

“Rebound” (relaxation) poses are taken between each posture with a deeply relaxing extra long Savasana to close

Our Home

I’ve found us a gorgeous colonial-style villa that has been lovingly restored by its owners, tucked away in central Sri Lanka’s tea estates & mountain lakes ~ this truly is an unspoiled part of this teeny tear shaped country.

Despite being hidden away from the well-trodden path of Sri Lanka’s southern beaches, Rukgala Retreat is super vibesy and offers everything you could need to relax & unwind in comfort & style. So much care has gone into the villa’s understated chic interiors: Here beautiful, bright rooms with comfy king-size beds overlook either the mountains or our private pool, & we have plenty of chilled out communal areas to relax in & dine together.

Our private pool is a gorgeous spot to catch rays & unwind ~ the whole place is a total bohemian paradise, with space for privacy if that’s what you need.

The Shala

I’m so excited about the yoga shala here! It really is one of the most beautiful that I’ve ever seen.

A lot of time & effort has gone into building a truly special place to practice in using mature teak from a nearby estate to give a warm, natural feel, built against a natural rock wall. On one side the Shala looks down through the trees and on towards the lake, and is open on all sides with a nice high ceiling so there’s a great feeling of space.

The Shala has a good range of yoga equipment and props available for our use – mats, blocks, cushions, straps & (light) blankets so there is no need to bring your own mat, unless you want to.

I honestly can’t wait to guide you through practices here in this amazing space!

The Food

Trust me, the food here is absolutely epic & you will not go hungry! My preference is to follow a plant-based diet, but as the eggs & dairy at Rukgala are locally & ethically sourced, over the week we will enjoy three amazing, healthy, colourful vegetarian buffet-style meals per day.

Buffet Breakfasts will include the likes of: Fruit platters & smoothie bowls buffalo curd & granola with fruit & nuts; Wholemeal sourdough with avocado eggs; Mushrooms, tomatoes & spinach on wholemeal sourdough; Hoppers kola kanda (sri lankan herbal porridge) and Vegetarian Sri Lankan breakfasts.

Buffet Lunch and Dinner options include: Lotus root & zucchini rolls; Beetroot carrot & orange salad with feta cheese; Asian slaw with mayonnaise; Middle Eastern fattoush with falafel; Beetroot fritters with raita; Red rice noodle stir fry; Stuffed aubergine Laksa with tofu; Grilled vegetable skewers with cous cous; Sri lankan curries (chickpeas, soya meat & pumpkin)

There is a pretty epic selection of Desserts like: Chia & mango puddings; Mango raw cheesecake; Beetroot chocolate cake; Raw chocolates; Avocado chocolate mousse; Banana ice-cream parfait.

Also available to order at each meal are Juices, Smoothies, Mylk Lattes and Elixirs like: Papaya, ambarella, watermelon, apple and pineapple juice; Raw cacao & coconut; Spinach & avocado; or Mango & banana smoothies; Turmeric lattes; Chai tea and Spiced cinnamon coconut mylk lattes; and Cardamom, ginger & turmeric or Ashwaganda & coconut milk elixirs.

Fresh local Sri Lankan coffee will also be available each morning ~ I can’t give that shit up so I’m not expecting any of you to over the week! But it would be great if we could limit the lattes until after morning practice, rather than before, so that we don’t over-stimulate the nervous system before working to calm it down…

But I’m not here to judge if you sneak off to the kitchen & make yourself a cheeky cappuccino before practice 😉

While Rukgala doesn’t have a license to serve alcoholic drinks, the team have said that they’re happy to get some beers etc. in for us.  At the end of the day this retreat is time that you’ve given to yourself to get what you need from the experience. So as long as we are all respectful of each other, I’m not at all opposed to you guys enjoying some wine with dinner or chilling on the terraces with sundowers.

What’s Included?..

  • 6 nights accommodation in our gorgeous boutique villa in the Sri Lankan jungle
  • Amazing locally-sourced vegetarian buffet-style breakfast, lunch & dinner
  • A special Sunday night Sri Lankan BBQ
  • Daily dynamic morning yoga practice
  • Daily evening yin yoga
  • 1 (optional) self-practice workshop
  • 1 very special guided meditation in one of the Bambaragala temple’s sacred meditation caves
  • Group excursion to the local tea estates & waterfall trek
  • 1 Ayurvedic massage
  • Support & guidance from me throughout the week

What’s not included?..

  • Any additional Ayurvedic treatments
  • Day trip to Kandy (if you want to explore the famous botanical gardens & Temple of The Tooth) ~ let me know if you are interested in this & I can arrange for you with the villa. Please note that this may mean missing some of the yoga sessions & meals which are included in what you will pay.

The Prices

  • Garden Double / Twin ~ £1,250 per person if travelling with a friend / for solo travelers* willing to share
  • Garden Double ~ £1,050 per person if you’re travelling as a couple
  • Garden Double ~ £1,450 per person if you want the room to yourself
  • Top House Doubles / Twin ~ £1,450 per person if travelling with a friend / for a solo traveler willing to share
  • Top House Double ~ £1,200 per person if coming as a couple
  • Top House Double ~ £1,600 per person if you want the room to yourself

Payment plans are available, but please note the instalments will have to be non-refundable from April 2019 which I hope you can understand. ~ email me if you want to chat about this 🙂


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