For the Love of Yoga: Sri Lanka
When approached with the opportunity to partake in an all-inclusive yoga retreat on the beaches of southern Sri Lanka, I really couldn’t refuse. I had been travelling around the country for about a week beforehand and was excited to join a group of passionate yogis and travellers to share in our love for yoga and adventure in a gorgeous setting on the coast. The retreat was located in Hiriketiya Bay, a secluded beach setting gaining popularity for its year-round surf and sandy shores. We stayed a one-minute walk from the shore at Salt House, a boutique jungle hotel with lovely Australian owners that really cultivated a perfect setting for our week.
My involvement in yoga had only just begun in the last six months that I had been travelling around Nepal and India. I had been exploring yoga: its history, its methodology, and the different styles into which it had blossomed. For me, the journey into practicing yoga was fresh, and this was my first opportunity to join in a yoga retreat. How perfectly had my travel plans lined up to meet up with Adzenture Retreats in Sri Lanka!
Daily Yoga + Workshops
Each morning, we awoke to the sounds only a tropical jungle can provide and I’d step onto my balcony and watch monkeys climb up and down the coconut trees. The early morning mist on the bay yielded a colourful sunrise as surfers dove into the water to paddle out to surf as the sun rose. Morning yoga began at 8:00 each day of the week and we rubbed our sleepy eyes and assembled in the yoga shala, beautifully built just beside our hotel. The sounds of the palm trees rustling around us really created the most peaceful ambience in which to do yoga and begin our days.
Our instructors, DJ Townsel (@dade2shelby) and Tie Simpson (@hippie_heathen) both hail from the southeast USA and were well-versed in how to accommodate both beginners and the more seasoned practitioners. In addition to the daily classes, they held workshops in both inversions and acro-yoga and helped many of us break through mental barriers and challenge ourselves to advance our practices. I’ve always found acro-yoga to be so enticing and was ecstatic to be able to finally get to try it out myself!
Some of the most memorable moments of the week were spent adventuring out of Hiriketiya Bay to explore and laugh our way through some other places. We went to visit Galle Fort, a fort built initially by the Portuguese and fortified by the Dutch, that now is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The whole neighbourhood around the fort had been designed into markets, restaurants, and boutique stores, that led to the lighthouse at the shore. We ran around snapping photos of the streets and dropping some yoga poses everywhere we walked.