Join Ali for some nourishing yoga and a sun-filled adventure in Sri Lanka. Immerse yourself deeply and open up to new possibilities through your breath, body and soul.
The luxurious and spacious Sri Devi Retreat is a 15 minute walk inland from the turquoise blue sea on the southern coast of Sri Lanka. Situated a 15 minute ride from the city of Galle, the retreat overlooks paddy fields filled with incredible beauty and wildlife.
Sri Devi is hidden away and really is the perfect place for complete relaxation among the sounds of wildlife and the occasional chanting of monks in the far distance.
About Sri Devi Retreat
Situated on the southern coast of Sri Lanka, Sri Devi Retreat offers access to excellent beaches for relaxing and enjoying unforgettable sunsets. There are tea plantations and Buddhist temples dotted along the coast. This luxury retreat centre has over 2.5 acres of tropical garden. The outdoor yoga platform is covered and close to the paddy fields, amongst the wildlife. There is a large pool, a spa and both an indoor and an outdoor covered lounge area. The venue has extremely friendly and helpful staff and all modern facilities.
The chef Rusindu is very creative and cooks amazing regionally-inspired dishes using locally sourced products. Guests who want to join Rusindu on his daily trips to the local markets are more than welcome - he will point out fruits and vegetables most guests will have never seen before and show you how to prepare them. Sri Lankan cuisine include curries, fish and poultry in banana leaves, sambals and a few more special secrets.
There are many excursions on offer during the week and trips to explore on your day off.
The daily programme
There will be two yoga sessions each day including yoga, pranayama, 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 the morning session there will be an abundance of fruits and a healthy and filling breakfast. There will be several hours in the day to yourself, for walking to one of the nearby white, sandy beaches, taking a treatment with the in-house Ayurvedic therapist, riding to the nearby shops, cafes and restaurants on the beach or simply relaxing by the pool.
The group will meet again in the late afternoon for a more gentle practice dedicated to nourishing yourself, including restorative postures, meditation, visualisations and yoga nidra.
The retreat starts on the Saturday at 7pm with a welcome meal. The last class is on the Friday evening with a farewell meal. Five evening meals are included, leaving two nights free for dining out.
Things to do
There are 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 afield on the island or take one of the excursions offered.
Sri Devi Retreat is very luxurious and spacious, tucked away near a village and surrounded by nature and wildlife. There are many different areas to spend time undisturbed, simply relaxing. It's about a 15 minute walk along the paddy fields or a five minute tuk-tuk ride to the sea and sandy beach.
There are several beaches to choose from - some lively with music and entertainment, some quieter and expansive. There are many varied restaurants along the coastline for watching stunning sunsets and evening entertainment if you wish to experience Sri Lanka's unique and friendly social-life.
Excursions & activities:-
- A safari to see the wild elephants in Yala National Park
- A trip to Kataragama, a pilgrimage town in Sri Lanka for Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims and Veddas
- A sunrise boat trip to see blue whales
- A tour of a famous 19th Century tea estate
- A magnificent boat trip to Cinnamon Island to see how cinnamon is harvested and produced
- A walk around Galle Fort
The in-house spa offers Ayurvedic floral and herbal baths, the shirodhara drip treatment and a wide variety of massages. There is also the use of the steam box. An Ayurvedic diagnosis is available with one of the best practitioners. Umesha, the Ayurvedic therapist, has over 10 years of experience in different kinds of Ayurvedic massages and treatments. Her specialties are chakra massages, shirodhara (a slow oil stream on the forehead) and relaxing body massages - fantastic for reducing tension and stress.
Accommodation at Sri Devi Retreat
The villas at Sri Devi Retreat are luxurious, comfortable and spacious with twin or double beds. Each villa has its own tea and coffee making facilities, a fridge and counter with sink, a large bathroom and private terrace. There are a limited number of single occupancy rooms available.
In addition there is a fully equipped and staffed kitchen and for no extra cost the staff can prepare your own food for you.
I had a wonderful time. Ali was an incredible teacher and host, she went over and above to ensure everybody had a great experience and she is just such an amazing presence.Alice
The Sri Devi villas was a stunning location, offering comfortable accommodation with a delightful pool, and delicious food, not to mention the abundance of wildlife in the gardens and surrounding area. we were also offered massages at a very reasonable price. I would highly recommend Ali’s yoga retreat to anyone, whatever their level.Laura
Thank you so much Ali for a wonderful week. The location and space are almost indescribable…words don’t seem to do it justice. All the elements of the retreat come together perfectly; the peaceful location, the care that is taken by the staff to ensure we are well looked after, and the practice; so gentle and restorative. I feel like I am ready to take on the world again after this week.Geri
I had a blissfully relaxing time at Sri Devi Villa on a yoga retreat led by Ali Gilling. The Villa was incredibly comfortable and felt very luxurious. The individual apartments were very spacious. 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.George
Ali was the sweetest yoga teacher we could of wished for who held a very special, gentle supportive space for us.Tracey
We have enjoyed every minute here, the surroundings; tropical, full of wildlife, the simple luxury and the sights and sounds exceeded our expectations and have complimented Ali's calm, patient and knowledgeable teaching. We feel grounded, relaxed and have extra tools to help us in our daily lives when we return to the UK.Suzanne and Simon
A wonderful week of yoga and mindfulness at the Sri Devi retreat in Sri Lanka. Nestled in nature, delicious food and wonderful staff. The teacher Ali Gilling was really lovely and I enjoyed the heart-felt practices and poems.Priya
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Nourishing yoga and sunshine retreat, Sri Lanka, 12 - 19 October 2019
Price per person
Shared twin or double villa £950
Single occupancy villa £1250
To reserve your place a 50% non-refundable deposit is required.
The full amount is due 6 weeks before the start of the retreat.
Two yoga classes per day with one free day
Transfers to and from the airport to the retreat (a two and half drive in a comfortable taxi)
Your accommodation with generous breakfast
Five dinners at Sri Devi Retreat
Lunch and dinner on two evenings are not included in the cost to give you the option of dining out as a group or individually and to explore the array of affordable places to eat at the local beach resorts and tavernas.
If you haven't seen this part of Sri Lanka before you may like to extend your stay at Sri Devi.
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:
A taxi from Colombo Airport to Sri Devi Retreat is included in this holiday. The journey takes about 2 to 2.5 hours.