Find a place like Chamonix to hide away from the world for a week and your body will thank you for it. Especially if it involves a luxury chalet, skiing, yoga and sound healing. Becky reports back on an unforgettable trip with Our Retreat…
As far as luxury retreats go, Our Retreat has pretty much nailed it. I’ve been on a fair few retreats in my time, particularly since entering my my thirties when I realised I didn’t want to be spending my precious annual leave on mediocre holidays. Our Retreat was set up by a one woman band Lisa who knows exactly how to put on a fabulous getaway. She set up Our Retreat in 2015 which now operates up to 15 retreats a year in places such as Sardinia, Ibiza, the UK and most recently Chamonix.
I only started skiing a couple of years ago at the age of 32 when I took myself off on a week-long beginner’s solo trip but I have been obsessed with it ever since. So, when the opportunity came up to go on a retreat that combined skiing, sound meditation and yoga, my ski gear came down from the loft faster than Eddie the Eagle flew down that jump.
I arrived at the chalet late at night and after a treacherous day in the office, this retreat couldn’t come soon enough. The fire was roaring, and I was welcomed by 12 smiling faces sat in the beautiful living room wrapped in blankets drinking tea. I should probably mention that although you are more than welcome to come with friends, a lot of people like me come alone. By 10pm people started drifting off to their rooms, which were perfect, right down to the Aesop toiletries and huge comfortable beds with feather and down duvets.
Our Retreat always invites a trainer to come on board for the duration of the week and I was lucky enough to be in the fabulous company of The Strength Temple aka Richie Norton. He led sunrise and sunset yoga with us every day. Richie has a refreshing approach to yoga that promotes movement, connecting with your body and listening to what it needs. I kid you not, I opened my eyes and look around the room and everyone was doing something different. It was the first time that I have been to a yoga class where it wasn’t about mastering the pose, it was about you and what your body was telling you to do, acknowledging that and moving with it. As we stretched out all the aches and pains from a day on the slopes in candle light, the sun set across Mount Blanc lighting the sky up with all the fiery hues.
Hitting the slopes
The group ranged from absolute beginners who took daily lessons and met the rest of the group for lunch, to the advanced skier and snowboarder. Everyone was here to achieve something different and that was really encouraged by Lisa and Richie. I’ll be honest, I’m no pro but I was so happy being out on the top of a mountain in the cold fresh air and blinding sun and running up and down the green and blue runs.
At lunch time we all met up and sat on the restaurant terraces in the sun wrapped in blankets. The age range is anywhere from 24 to 45, and it was lovely to sit and listen to everyone chat and learn more about each other. A true bonding experience.
Back in the chalet we were always greeted by a healthy snack and a hot drink while we unwind from the day on the mountain, the in house chef prepares daily breakfast, lunch and dinner. Everything is made fresh on the day and laid out for you to get stuck in. We were treated to overnight oats with fresh berries, chia pudding (that was to die for), and eggs with avocado for breakfast – and things like fresh fish with colourful salads for dinner. Later, I wandered back to my room for a hot shower and an early night. Bliss.
I always find when I’m skiing that day three is the hardest when your body starts to wonder what’s going on and your legs become tired. Luckily, we had the luxury of an on-site masseuse Cherabella, who I spent such an amazing hour with. ‘Masseuse’ is definitely not the correct term for what she does and if you ask her, she’ll describe something along the lines of immersive sound healing- electro-hot stone- aromatherapy -massage. Whatever it was, I’m hooked and I want to shout from the rooftops about how amazing it made me feel.
Since the session I have researched the effects of sound therapy, mainly because I want to know if bursting into tears for absolutely no reason was normal (it is apparently). I wouldn’t say I’m a spiritual person by any means but I’m open to new things and will always go into something with an inquisitive mind. Cherabella uses sound techniques which unblock anything you are holding within you and the release that a session with her gave me is something I will never forget.
For more information, visit the Our Retreat website.
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