The retreat in Mallorca was bound to be special! Sheri Celentano and I started planning this retreat about a year and a half in advance and it all started with the desire to add sustainability and awareness of the ripple effects we all create, to the program of the retreat.
With retreats already being such a special opportunity for us to have a closer look at our habits, motivations and desires, they are the perfect place to start when we want to get more insight into what it takes to put our values into action and make choices on an individual level, that serve the planet and humanity as a whole. It has been my dream for quite some time to make this part of the retreats we offer and this retreat is the first one where we made it happen.
Mallorca is one of the beautiful Balearic islands and a great example of how our desire for beauty and nature can go together with behaviour that will ultimately destroy both. Dealing with water shortage and tap water that is not drinkable, 1,5 million plastic bottles are used on the Balearic islands every day. Unfortunately yoga retreat centers often don't have filtered water taps yet for guests to refill their own water bottles at, leaving them with no other option than buying plastic bottles. Luckily the retreat center we were staying at Tramunata Flow was ready and willing to make this change on their end so we could bring our group there and stay true to the teachings of the retreat. Installing a water filter system can be quite an investment for a retreat center, but the pay off is so worth it! So we could not have been happier with this beautiful water station that was waiting for us when we arrived. So not only our retreat could be truly free from plastic bottles, but so will all retreats at Tramuntana Flow from now on!
To learn more about the efforts on the island to save their beautiful Balearic Sea, we contacted Asociacion Ondine, an amazing organisation that is working hard to do research, educate children, tourist and locals, protect the marine life and clean up the beaches. They took us on a day trip of a lifetime! Teaching us about the types of plastic that end up in the ocean most often (ever thought about q-tips and toothbrushes?), and how we can avoid using them. But there is also plastic that ends up in the ocean that has never served its purpose as a product use by consumers yet. Have you ever heard of preproduction plastic granules? We didn't, but it turns out a lot of plastic already end up in sea before it ever reaches the factories that turn it into products, when crates of it go overboard in storms or when the ship needs to lessen its load. The explanations were followed by a quick beach clean up that resulted in mostly cigarette buds and pieces of plastic that were not recognisable as actual products anymore, blending in with the sand.
To make the day complete we got to enjoy the very thing Asociacion Ondine is working so hard to protect: the Balearic Sea. Exploring the area on an amazing sailing boat, snorkeling, learning more about the sea life and enjoying being on the water. It was a great reminder of why each plastic bottle counts and why our actions, no matter how small they might seem, matter.
Throughout the week Sheri offered her beautiful, fluid yoga classes with the theme of sustainability, starting with a sustainable life for yourself with the care you need in order to show up every day. Yoga philosophy offers a great entrance to explore these topics and through meditation, journaling and yoga asana we got have a honest look at what is driving us, what serves us in our lives, what doesn't, and most important: what do we have to offer. Combined with TRE, yoga nidra and teachings on stress and sustainability from Suze, this retreat offered plenty to work with during the retreat and after.
A big thank you to all the participants who showed up with open hearts, ready to connect, explore, share and grow together! We can't wait to collaborate with Sheri again, so she can share her practice, yoga philosophy, love for music, and vibrant energy with more of you. The changes we are trying to make, can only happen through collaboration. Without organisations like Asociacion Ondine and the retreat center Tramuntana Flow, and all the amazing work they do, this would not be possible.
More retreats will be coming your way where you get the opportunity to combine deepening your practice and enjoying a week for yourself, with creating a positive impact during the retreat and long after.
Enjoy the pictures :)