Summer 2023 saw our very first Pilates inspired retreat held at the stunning Devonshire Fell hotel in the Wharfe River valley, west Yorkshire Dales.
It was such an amazing experience and one we are set to make an annual event.
After the welcome warmth of our Spring and early Summer, it was on a rainy Friday morning that our group set off for the rolling green hills of the Yorkshire Dales. The valley would not be quite so spectacularly green if it was not for the rain so we drank in the view between the clouds. It was made all the more inviting by the warm welcome we received from the hotel reception staff.
This was to be our very first overnight retreat and I was eager to impress our group with bucket loads of information and Pilates movements. The room was set, the goody bags laid out and the refreshments invigorating. We started with a Pilates workout to get our bodies moving and minds in the game.
We spent the morning deeply engrossed in the finer details, delving into common ailments that plague our bodies with age, the Pilates answer to keeping our movement healthy and the less obvious impact we can make with solid nutrition and hydration. It was, as I had expected, plenty to digest but we added some movement and played with the Pilates equipment to keep us focused. Lunch brought a welcome breather.
We whiled away the afternoon with walks along the Wharf river, an amble through the local village and some quiet time reading. The general consensus was that simply being away from the normal routine of home life and being immersed in such beautiful countryside was a tonic all in itself. We gathered for some final thoughts on our morning learning and a little more Pilates stretching before donning our Spa face and heading down the road to the pool. (Mental note to self: lots more time for the Spa next year!)
Closing the evening
The evening brought us together once more for a sumptuous dinner and delightful chatter. Our group shared stories from home and experiences of the day in easy company. The dynamic of a group of relative strangers can be daunting but my instincts had been that this group of beautiful ladies would mix like a fine wine. I was right and the actual wine flowed too. Our final treat for this most wonderful of days was a blissful night sleep in our luxurious bedrooms. Some even found it hard to leave their bed the following morning despite the dawn of another stunning Yorkshire Dales day and our planned pre breakfast walk.
More retreats and more exeriences
So after more than 10 years teaching mat Pilates classes, this first overnight retreat experience has boosted my creativity for more, out of the routine experiences. I cannot wait to start planning the theme for next year's retreat and my sights are set on imaginative ways to share all the knowledge I have gathered along the way.
It is never too early to register interest in joining our next retreat, you simply need to drop me an email. The places are very strictly limited so bagging a spot could be a jackpot win for 2024.
If you simply cannot wait until summer next year, why not join a short workshop session. We have five to choose from and the dates and venues are posted on our website as soon as they are secured.
Until next time I see you on the mat, take care.