Mindful yoga retreat, Sri Lanka

18 - 25 February 2018

Cost from £850

Teacher Ali Gilling

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Stretch your body-mind into Mindful Focus to make the beginning of 2018 'Your Year' with a programme of yoga, mindfulness and meditation.

Plan your winter holiday in the sun and open up to new possibilities, immersing yourself in a deeply nourishing, sun-filled adventure in Sri Lanka.

The beautiful Sri Devi Villas is a 15 minutes walk inland from the turquoise blue sea and overlooking beautiful paddy fields with incredibly rich flora and fauna. This really is the perfect place for complete relaxation with the sounds of the wildlife, the occasional chanting of monks in the far distance and the local fishmonger and bakery tuk-tuks offering their authentic local produce.

The daily programme

There will be two yoga sessions a day, including yoga, mindfulness and meditation. The mornings will begin with meditation and pranayama for those early risers, followed by a dynamic yet meditative hatha flow yoga practice.

After morning yoga, there will be time to swim in the pool or stroll along the nearby white sandy beaches, have a massage or simply read and relax.

We will meet again in the late afternoon for a gentle practice dedicated to nourishing yourself, including restorative postures, meditation, visualisations and yoga nidra.

There will be several optional activities to choose from during the week for those interested in seeing the sights of Sri Lanka. There will be one free day during the week when you can explore further on the island, take one of the excursions offered or have some treatments.

Activities offered include: Sunrise boat trip to see blue whales - Safari to see the wild elephants - Touring the most famous 19th Century tea estate - Booking a magnificent boat trip to Cinnamon Island to see how cinnamon is produced - Segwaying your way around Galle Forton - Experiencing the flavours of Sri Lanka with a top chef - Ayurvedic massage.

Things to do

Situated on the southern coast of Sri Lanka, offering excellent beaches for relaxing and enjoying unforgettable sunsets. There are a few tea plantations and various Buddhist temples along the coast.

This luxury retreat centre has over 2.5 acres of tropical garden. There are 2 pools, one large and one small with jets and an indoor and an outdoor covered lounging area. The centre is fully staffed with a cook and all modern facilities. There are many excursions, Ayurveda and massages to try during your stay.

Excursions:
- Sunrise boat trip to see blue whales.
- A tour of one of the most renowned tea estates in Sri Lanka dating back to the 19th century. The owner Herman Gunarathne has written several best-selling books.
- Cinnamon Island - see how cinnamon is produced and take a wonderful boat trip.
- A tour of the Galle Forton on a Segway - a fun experience!
- Cooking classes with one of the best chefs.

There are lots of different spaces around the villa to also just relax and do very little. It is about a 15 minute walk along the paddy fields or 5 minute tuk-tuk (the local 3 wheeler) to the beach. The beaches are expansive and varied with many restaurants along the coastline for a perfect view of the stunning sunsets.

Accommodation & food at Sri Devi Villas

Sri Devi Villas offer clean spacious twin or double villas. Each villa has a tea/coffee making facility, a fridge and bar/counter with sink and a large private terrace/balcony. An indoor and outside shower. There is limited single occupancy available for an additional cost.

Breakfast/brunch is included each day after morning practise plus two dinners at the villa. One on your arrival evening and one on your last evening. Lunch and dinner on other evenings are not included in the cost to give you the option to go for dinner as a group or individually and to explore the array of affordable local places to eat along the stretches of beach resorts and tavernas. In addition there is a fully equipped and staffed kitchen, so for no additional cost the staff can prepare your own food for you.

Comments

I had a blissfully relaxing time at Sri Devi Villa in February this year, on a yoga retreat led by Ali Gilling.

The Villa was incredibly comfortable and felt very luxurious. The individual apartments were very spacious - a friend and I shared one together - and had plenty of space to ourselves, a sitting area, kettle and fridge - plus a beautiful bathroom. Each morning we awoke to a lovely view of the garden and pool. The yoga platform is situated in the garden - a wonderful setting. It was so tranquil, yet teaming with wildlife and bird sounds. It proved to be an ideal space for meditation and breathing exercises, where you could tune into the sounds and rhythm of the place.

I especially selected this yoga retreat as it was led by Ali Gilling, who has led other retreats I have been on in the past. Ali's style is very restorative and nurturing. She supports you to explore a very wide range of postures, whilst listening to your body and going at your own pace. Ali adapts to suit the needs of the group - and of individuals - meaning that everyone has the opportunity to learn about and develop their own practice. This, combined with the wonderful staff at the villa, who were so welcoming and attentive, made it the ideal holiday.
George

Mindful yoga retreat, Sri Lanka, 18 - 25 February 2018

Costs

Price per person for a shared twin or double villa is £850 for 7 nights
Price per person for a private villa is £1050 for 7 nights (limited availability)

To reserve your place a 50% non-refundable deposit is required.
The full amount is due 6 weeks before the start of the retreat.

Included:
Two yoga classes per day with one free day.
Transfers to and from the airport to the villa. (This is a two and half drive in a comfortable taxi)
The choice of private or shared accommodation.
Breakfast/brunch.
Two dinners at the villa. One on your arrival evening and one on your last evening.
Lunch and dinner are not included in the cost to give you the option to go for dinner as a group or individually and to explore the array of affordable local places to eat along the stretches of beach resorts and tavernas.

Travel Arrangements

Although there are many options for flights to Sri Lanka it is essential that you book early to get the best deals. A visa is required for visiting Sri Lanka, which you can apply for online - your passport is stamped upon entry to the country.

For flights to Colombo:
www.monarch.co.uk
www.skyscanner.net
www.cheapflights.co.uk
www.southalltravel.co.uk
www.srilankanairlines.com
www.jetairways.com

A taxi from Colombo Airport to the Sri Devi Villa is included in this holiday. The journey takes about 2-2.5 hours.

If you haven't seen this part of Sri Lanka before then you may like to extend your stay. There are many nearby affordable places in the area and we are happy to help you find somewhere.