‘Other than marrying you and getting our cat, this retreat is the best decision I have ever made’ – those were the words I said to my husband during my recent stay at Azulfits Correlejo retreat. I probably don’t need to say more than that, but if you still need convincing then I’ll go on….
I’ve visited a few weekend yoga retreats in the UK and always left wanting more. As my love of yoga has deepened I’ve wanted to learn about the true physical, mental and spiritual elements of this ancient practice. I also wanted to step out of my comfort zone; I’m naturally introverted so spending some time alone with a group of strangers would be a challenge along with spending time with my own mind as I’m not it’s greatest fan!
Why a Yoga retreat?
I always tell people that at a time when I was metaphorically on my knees in life and unable to leave the house, yoga offered me an out. By practicing in my home and eventually joining classes, yoga, along with medication and other self care methods pulled me out of my spiraling depression and addictive nature. Despite knowing these facts I am still a yoga dabbler, practicing once a week and not spending enough time deepening the practice. I viewed going on a retreat as a way to kick start a momentum and help me gain more energy, harmony and self-love to take back to my every day life.
The location of the retreat wasn’t high on my list with my only requirements being that I wanted sunshine and to be near a beach as that is my happy place. I chose Azulfit owing to the location, schedule and price, plus I’d seen some fabulous reviews from past guests.
I spent a wonderful week with Azulfit. As well as leaving the retreat walking taller and feeling much fitter, I have learned more ways to change my mindset. I long ago became tired of measuring my happiness using external and materialistic factors I cannot control as that was what made me sick in the first place. Money buys things I don’t really need so isn’t important, jobs change and relationships can alter as you grow. That’s life. It is important to be content within yourself and to be the master of your own happiness, something everyone at Azulfit lives and breathes.
A Bit About The Retreat
Azulfit was created by Jamie and Karissa Isaac to inspire individuals to help people on their wellbeing journey. All teachers are compassionate and internationally certified. I can honestly say that I have never been taught by a more passionate, kind and expert bunch that clearly love what they do.
People come here from all over the world for various reasons. We had only 3 people in my group, aged between 32 and 42. Everyone was there for different reasons – both emotional and physical. One girl had done yoga once before, one was a pilates advocate and then there was me – all different in ability and objective but we all left feeling the same. By that I mean we all left to learn knowing more about yoga, spirituality and feeling taller, more positive and relaxed.
There are two retreat centers in Fuerteventura (Surya retreat and Lotus retreat) which are open all year round. Surya is more remote so you can really get away from life and people where as Lotus is in a beautifully quiet location but five minutes from the beach and a buzzing restaurant scene. In addition to these, Azul have retreats in beautiful Santorini and sunny California. Azulfit has been featured in publications such as The Times, The Guardian and The Huffington Post. The prices are extremely low compared to other retreats depending on your retreat and room choice and they include the yoga/pilates sessions, a complementary massage, delicious food and accommodation.
What you will do there
The retreats offer a basic schedule on ‘normal’ weeks but there are also speciality weeks such as detox, pilates only, teacher training and kundalini that may vary.
Our Daily Schedule: Lotus
- 8am-9/9:30am: Meditation or yoga session
- 09:30am: Delicious organic breakfast cooked by Elia. Everything is made by hand from organically sourced local ingredients. You’ll wonder why you ever gelt there was a need to have butter, white flour, sugar and processed foods in your life after tasting the food here. This is the most delicious veggie food I have ever eaten and I bought the cookbook before I left the retreat so I can recreate the magic at home.
- 11:00am-5pm: Free time. Lounge by the pool or walk to the beach, soaking up the sun.. There is so much to explore on the island which I’ll blog about in a separate post, but options range from going to the beaches in Corralejo and El Cotillo, surfing, walking the dunes, snorkelling and hiking a volcano. Basically you can be as active or lazy as you like.
- 5pm-6:30pm: Yoga or pilates class
- 7:30pm-8:30pm: Dinner – served at the retreat twice a week (every night at Surya) or time to go and eat in Correlejo where you can sample delicious seafood, traditional tapas or try one of the many wonderful Italian restaurants – the choice is endless and at only 6 euros for a pizza and 2 euros for a glass of wine (hey it wasn’t a detox retreat) you won’t spend too much
- 8:30pm : Free time – Sometimes I would chill in my room, join the others in the lounge, walk on the beach or just have an early night.
What is the accommodation and location like?
This Lotus retreat is located in the center of Corralejo and is a short walk to the beach where we did yoga every morning as the sun came out. The white sandy beaches and blue waters are like the Caribbean – utterly beautiful compared to the volcanic beaches of Lanzarote thanks to the Sahara blowing in sand.
The accommodation is modern and warm with beautiful bright rooms. I was expecting it to be pretty basic (retreats normally are) but it was beautiful – a real home from home. The beds were incredibly comfortable and the fact the bedrooms had black out blinds meant I always had a fantastic nights sleep.
The bathrooms have powerful showers and the décor of the place is so beautiful – decorated in buddhas and comfy cushions to lounge around on with a good book.
The hosts Inca and Sarah were incredible. Inca has the most infectious energy, bouncing into the retreat with excitement and joy every day. Sarah our other host had the most beautiful soul. Owing to us being a small group she joined some of our classes and dinners which was fabulous and would often give us lifts to nearby sites as we had no car. Lastly, our chef Elia made food with such love and care. He was such and interesting guy and his book ‘The Sacred Manual’ offered me some great tips and insights into how to live better. In fact, everyone I spoke to during booking the retreat to the lovely lady that took me back to the airport were brilliant.
Lotus is a great choice if you are looking to combine some restaurant hopping and nightlife with your relaxing holiday and if you just don’t fancy being too isolated. I don’t drive so this was ideal for me, however I do intend to return to try Surya and owing to taxis being so cheap, I’m confident I can get around.
I can’t wait to get back!
I was amazed at how quickly my week at Azulfit went by. I learned so many new things about the history of yoga, new yoga styles, nutrition and a new found love of pilates. Most of all I learned more about myself, how simple things make me happy and how to be comfortable in my own company. Everyone I met at the retreat had a story to tell and a beautiful soul – something we forget owing to the craziness and bad news we are confronted with each day.
In the words of the wonderful Kundalini teacher Frauka ‘Ensure you are the master of your own mind and not it’s servant’ something I will certainly put into practice.
In short, I wish I was rich enough to stay at an Azulfit retreat every month – I’m already saving for the next one as it was undeniably one of the best experiences of my life.
For related articles please see my retreat packing checklist here
Also read about my fantastic reiki experience at the retreat here
For any more information on Azulfit then please go to their website.