Revitalise Detox Yoga Retreat with Sally Parkes

I’ve been in my new job for a month now – my, how that’s flown by! I’ve been so busy, trying to take everything in and do the best I can in a new role that I haven’t really taken any time to process where I’m at now, and my fitness has definitely taken a bit of a back seat.
When the lovely Sally (of Sally Parkes Yoga) offered me the chance to review one of her yoga retreats I jumped at the chance to slow down a little! My friend Jo and I attended one her retreats in Seaford earlier in the year- a beautiful escape to the south coast- and we were both definitely keen to visit another.

LOCATION

So on Friday afternoon we headed down to the Revitalise Detox Retreat at Brooklands Barn in Arundel- an easy direct train from London Bridge or Victoria makes it very accessible,  but the setting in the middle of beautiful Sussex countryside looking out onto open fields feels like a completely different world to the busy city.
The converted barn complex is huge with plenty of bedrooms for the visiting yogis- there were about 12 of us attending which was a nice number. It didn’t feel crowded and I got to chat to most people individually- including Martin, a freelance writer from Om Yoga Magazine, and Rachel, newly qualified yoga teacher and professional photographer – she kindly sent me a lot of the gorgeous photos in this blog post!
Lounge – photo by Rachel Hudson
We had an open plan dining/living room for meals, and plenty of space to relax. I loved the wide terrace out the back with loungers and chairs for kicking back and reading my book- I finished Wild (which I can definitely recommend and has made me want to go hiking!).
There was even a heated swimming pool and mini sauna which Jo and I made use of on the Sunday morning!
The newly built yoga studio was spacious and light, with all mats, blankets and props provided. I loved it on Saturday when we took our mats outside onto the grass for our midday Pilates class!
Yoga Studio – photo by Rachel Hudson
There’s something pretty amazing about practising with the sun on your face and the grass under your feet, even if I did get some humorous tan lines as a consequence.
Outdoor Pilates – photo by Rachel Hudson

 

FOOD

As a Detox Retreat the food was home-made, healthy, vegetarian, wheat and dairy free. There were three meals a day, plus two detox juices/smoothies.
Yoga Retreat Food – photos by Rachel Hudson
I did struggle a little as I’m not used to eating such a restrictive diet, and definitely missed real milk and yoghurt, eggs for breakfast and of course cheese! I also wasn’t a fan of some of the alternative ingredients such as tofu and olives, but that’s just my personal preference. As you can see from the above photos, meals were vibrant and colourful packed with fresh fruit and veggies and we definitely didn’t go hungry! We were served pineapple upside-down cake, dark chocolate tart and numerous other tasty dishes too so I didn’t feel deprived of treats. I drank a lot of herbal teas and introduced several people to the awesome combination of toast with banana and peanut butter for breakfast!

YOGA

Sally and the lovely Anna were our two yoga teachers for the weekend. They led a variety of classes from Dynamic Yoga to wake you up first thing in the morning, to slower paced Hatha Yoga and relaxing Yoga Nidra (yoga sleep) sessions in the evening, as well as our midday Pilates class.

Yoga Studio – photo by Rachel Hudson
The classes were all beginner friendly, with modifications and different levels given depending on how much you wanted to push yourself that day. Having not practised yoga very much recently my legs were feeling very stiff, and my seated forward fold was more like a slightly creaky lean forward an inch –  but Sally and Anna were friendly and helpful, giving the classes a fun atmosphere with no competitiveness.
As always my favourite part was the Yoga Nidra – a gorgeous relaxing yogic sleep where you just lie back and listen to a guided meditation with blankets and an eye pillow to provide complete stillness. I might check out the app Headspace again, a daily 10minute meditation, in an attempt to bring a bit of calm to my everyday life.

ENTERTAINMENT

As well as reading, yoga-ing and sleeping during the weekend, Jo and I headed into Arundel on Saturday morning to explore the little town, and enjoy the sunshine.
Arundel is home to a huge restored Medieval castle and magnificent chapel, as well as some pretty amazing gardens.
We decided to pay the £9 to walk around the Castle Gardens, something which I highly recommend!
With the beautiful weather and exotic plants and designs, I honestly felt I’d just stepped into a Mediterranean yoga retreat instead, it was a great holiday feeling.
We may also have treated ourselves to an ice cream for the walk back (about 25mins) – salted caramel, shh, don’t tell them we’re on a detox!

SUMMARY

A great weekend escape, with a fun relaxed vibe.
Prices: £347 for a shared room, £397 for a single. Fully catered, with 3 yoga/Pilates classes per day and plenty of time to revitalise mind and body.
Yoga – photo by Rachel Hudson


Have you ever been on a yoga retreat? Or visited the spectacular gardens of Arundel?

Beki x


Disclosure: I was provided with a free place on the Yoga Retreat and Jo was offered a place for £200. In the end we paid £100 each as I felt a bit mean, and I really wanted someone to go with!

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  1. Anna TheApple July 28, 2015 / 2:11 pm

    Wow looks fantastic! Tho yes I would struggle on that 'diet' too (the ice cream was a wise move – sounds amazing).
    I read Wild last year and LOVED it. Made me want to travel hehe.

  2. lou lives well July 28, 2015 / 2:11 pm

    This sounds so good! I love a UK yoga retreat and am desperate to go on another one 🙂 I know what you mean about forward fold – I think mine will look the same as yours! It's all about using the strap! That food looks so yummy. When I went on my very first yoga retreat I wasn't into healthy eating at all and so I took 'illegal' snacks in with me haha. How times have changed now!

    Louise xx

  3. flakeandcake.com July 28, 2015 / 4:29 pm

    This looks awesome Beki, such a beautiful relaxing setting!

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