It was back in a very cold and miserable January 2016 when my friend Helen suggested that we went away on a Holy Mama (a mum and baby) yoga retreat in Ibiza. An exercise based holiday with free (included in the price) child care in sunny Ibiza? I (Katie) of course jumped at the idea.
So at the start of October Max and I joined Helen and her baby #3 and Sara and her baby #2 on a 7am flight to Ibiza Town. Everyone agreed Dennis was getting the best deal with a child free week at home! Although as we were off on holiday we were getting a pretty good deal too.
The retreat took place across three villas a short walk from each other and about a 20 min drive from the airport. Generally the days started with a morning yoga class for an hour and a half. During this time the babies were cared for by qualified nannies.
All the nannies were really lovely and friendly. The yoga class was held (weather depending) under some orange trees which was such a tranquil surrounding. Yoga was followed by a child free brunch which was an opportunity to chat to Helen and Sara and the other guests.
I enjoyed the yoga on the trip. I personally prefer more of a flow yoga series and the practice on the trip was more of the long hold variety which I am less keen on. I did feel like I learnt some new poses and improved my technique though and our teacher Anna was really sweet. The best bit was that at the end of each class she used to put a blanket over us while we were on savasana and put essential oils on our foreheads. Lying there listening to the wind was bliss. On the first day of the trip the morning was spent getting the babies used to the carers so the yoga class was moved to the afternoon and the babies came along too. Now it is quite hard to be zen with a toddler who has refused to nap all day climbing over you so that was not my favourite class.
This was explained in the holiday material which I had uncharacteristically read quite thoroughly . I didn’t realise this in advance however so it was quite disappointing.
Other than the first day we had our afternoons free to explore Ibiza. Ibiza is quite a small island and generally easy to get round so we felt like we had a good explore visiting Ibiza town, local villages and beaches on each side of the island.>
The villa we were staying in was nice and spacious with a lovely balcony and pool. Our villa was the ‘kitchen’ of the trip with all food being prepared there. This had its advantages in that we were close to the food but also meant that we had people in our villa from about 8am until around 8pm at night which grated after a bit. Early in the holiday we also felt that we needed to wait for people to leave before cracking out the wine and Oreos (as we worried these might be frowned upon) but later in the week we cared less about this! The accommodation has moved for the 2017 season so will be slightly different. I saw some photos and it looked lovely.
I am reliably informed by Helen and Sara and others on the trip that the food was amazing. I am such a fussy eater though that I didn’t enjoy loads of it but as I kept on saying to the chef this is my fault rather than the food’s. All the food was organic and most of it was vegan (unapproved Oreos aside!).
The holiday also included a facial or pedicure from a nearby spa which was lovely, as well as two evening mediation sessions with babysitting included. We went to the first session which was dance mediation but decided to give the second a miss in favour of going out for cocktails!
Would I recommend it? Before I went on the trip I had built it up in my mind expecting it to be THE BEST TRIP EVER and as with everything like this there were bits that were rough around the edges so I was a bit disappointed at that. However, looking back now I remember all the things I enjoyed more than the things I didn’t, like getting to spend time with friends I don’t see that much and time with Max. Overall therefore if you like yoga I would certainly recommend it as something to do with friends and kids.