What to Expect from this Holistic Wellness Retreat in Yorkshire
Yoga & Spice is not an ordinary yoga studio where you turn up, do your class and go home
From the moment you arrive at Valley View – Yoga & Spice’s wellness haven nestled on the Yorkshire coast not far from Whitby – to the moment you leave, you are fully immersed in the experience. ‘When guests come to us they receive the whole wellness package, from being connected to nature, the exploration of movement, working with the breath and understanding the benefits of growing your own organic produce,’ explains Lorraine.
Visitors can choose between a one-day retreat or a full weekend, with woodland rooms available for overnight stays. As Lorraine’s partner Mark was a professional grower (and has a deep understanding of horticulture and a passion for the environment and wildlife), he is in charge of the sustainable set up at Valley View. ‘We grow all our own produce here so from the yoga they’re doing to what they’re eating it’s a complete holistic retreat,’ explains Lorraine.
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During a typical retreat visitors will get a chance to practice yoga by the waterfall as well as in the spacious studio. They learn a little bit about Ayurveda, which is all about connecting with the elements of nature. Guests then actually go out into the vegetable garden and see how the foods they have eaten were grown – it’s a full circle experience.
The retreats combine Lorraine’s two passions, yoga and food and she says the inspiration for this was her time spent living in China. During her time there Lorraine presented a cookery programme on Chinese Central Television and on her return she published her book Why the Chinese Don’t Count Calories. She explains: ‘In China I discovered that people had a much more positive attitude towards food and exercise than we did in the UK.
‘People ate and exercised to nourish themselves rather than following punishing diets and regimes. We make sure that all of the retreats at Yoga & Spice use food and exercise to nurture participants.’
Lorraine has been teaching yoga for 10 years and is familiar with various different styles, ranging from Hatha to Qigong, Yoga Nidra and Kundalini. However she focuses less on the exercise side of yoga and more on the movements, their combination with breath, and using that to begin understanding your own mind and body set up.
‘For me it’s not about doing a posture and looking good, it’s an exploration and a journey. People will say things like “I can’t touch my toes” but touching your toes is not a life skill. Understanding a little bit more about yourself and coming into that happy space, coming into the present moment, letting go of all the stuff that weighs us down and exhausts us, that is what yoga’s actually about,’ says Lorraine.
Taking this approach to their retreats means Yoga & Spice is welcoming to everyone, even those who are new to the idea. ‘We always welcome beginners because whether they’ve never done yoga before and want to try it, or have done a class and want to understand why it makes them feel so good, people that come to us are on a journey,’ says Lorraine. ‘The postures are only a tool to understand more about ourselves so there’s no reason why a beginner can’t come on a retreat and get as much, if not more, out of it than someone whose been practicing yoga for 10 years.’