We got to enjoy a beautiful week filled with yoga and bodywork in Morocco and came back even more enthusiastic about this combination than we already were! So what made this retreat so special?
First of all, Morocco is a beautiful and heartwarming country, which is why we have offered so many retreats here already and always keep coming back for more! Friendly, welcoming people, beautiful nature, ancient history and a sense of community that for many of us is lost in the countries where we live. And of course the food is pretty tasty too! For this retreat we stayed in a beautiful resort close to Essaouira, away from the wind, but only a shuttle drive away from the beach and the lovely city of Essaouira.
The yoga shala was the perfect setting for our yoga and bodywork sessions. Tapesh and Anouk are the beautiful teachers behind The Alchemy of Touch, a meditative form of massage that works both into deeper aswel as more superficial fascia (in short: connective tissue that is wrapped around everything in our body like a spiderweb filled with liquid) and muscle layers making use of fluid movements. I think it is actually a form of art and when you are on the receiving end of it, it definitely feels like art!
Yoga has its own way of working with the muscles and fascia in the body. Most asanas focus on stretching the muscle and with longer holds also the length of the fascia (plasticity) is altered. Not so many regular yoga practices also increase the elasticity of your fascia, which basically is the bounce and reactivity of your fascia. There is a great benefit to having bouncy fascia as it makes you more adaptable to your surrounding, improves your balance and proprioception and allows you to stay mobile. Combining both these qualities in your yoga practice allows you to build functional flexibility and strength that allows you to feel free in your body.
Combining the techniques from The Alchemy of Touch with the yoga practice turned out to be a beautiful combination to release tension, movement patterns, and emotions that are standing in the way of being free and comfortable in your body and present in this moment.
The beautiful yogis that joined us were the best students, so willing and open to take it all in, be vulnerable and learn something new. Each retreat again I am touched by the magic that happens when people come together to truly connect. This retreat was no different and I can only hope that the magic moments and connections from the retreat traveled home with everybody as we all went home, back to our daily lives, a little different than when we came.
With all the retreats we have done in Morocco in the past, there was always one issue that seemed impossible to solve: the plastic water bottles. 2018 Has been the year that we really went plastic free with all the events, so for this Morocco retreat, I needed to find a solution for the water bottles too! It is truly not possible to drink water from the tap in Morocco and water filter systems have not found their way yet to hotels and retreat centers. But the government does provide drinking water for the local population. They get it at water stations where they fill large jugs that they keep at their house. The water is clean, but the taste if chlorine is so strong that it is not so pleasant to drink. Together with the retreat center we found the perfect solution that turned out to be beautiful too: pouring the water in ceramic jugs takes off the chlorine tast and leaves perfectly filtered drinking water. The ceramic clay is a natural purifier and with the water already being cleaned by the government from any bacteria, it was now both safe and tasty.
So what's next? More trainings will follow shortly where you can learn The Alchemy of Touch combined with yoga! So keep an eye on the website or sign up for the newsletter and you will be the first to know!
With gratitude to everybody who made this retreat possible.