What a fabulous way to recharge the body, mind, and spirit than being part of the Heal Retreat at Tanglewood! I honestly can’t think of a place I would rather be to soak up good energy and absorb nature. The team here at Tanglewood has put their very essence into each workshop, yoga class, meditation practice, and meal – feel so blessed and blissed out.
We arrived at Tanglewood in the late afternoon, after packing the car madly (hoping we had packed all of the necessities) and then fighting the Auckland traffic.
We finally arrived and was greeted by Stacey and Daisy Jane who warmly welcomed us to this land. We set up camp with our little 2 human tent and left all non-essential items in the car. Already other retreat goers greeted us and made us feel so at ease. At 6 pm we joined the welcome ceremony circle inside a tipi tent where we performed a gentle guided meditation to open ourselves and set intentions for the weekend ahead. Introductions started with 3 words to describe yourself, 1 fear, 1 fun fact, and our name – so I am an empath, driven and can see perspectives, I am afraid of not finding my true path in life, I married my high school sweetheart and my name is Paige.
After dinner we enjoyed the most delicious plant meal, I could have possibly dreamed it but there is no way I would have put together such an incredible combination of flavors.
We ended the first night with tea, raw cake and the movie doco Heal (which I highly recommend).
I was greeted this morning to sounds of birds and the trees rustling in the wind – I could wake up like this every day. Our day started with a lovely flow yoga and meditation with Stacey, she has a warm and settling practice which makes me feel instantly calm, collected and ready to stretch. After yoga was our delicious vegan breakfast, obviously I couldn’t help myself – I needed to take photos of the food to remind me of how yummy everything was to eat.
Tanglewood was previously a plant nursery that has transitioned into this special yoga retreat. It’s also home to NZ Spirit Festival. Stacey & her partner Ricardo have clearly put in so much love and care into this place – from the accommodation options (you can stay in a treehouse pirate ship) to the 3,000+ native plants they have planted to restore the beautiful habitat. This place is divine!
One of our hosts – Chai, took us for a bushwalk to explore the native plants and to meditate in the bush. Something I absolutely needed and loved. I felt grounded and welcomed by the land as I took my shoes off and placed my toes and fingers into the plant matter on the earth. I haven’t felt that connected since I moved to NZ – magical!! Chai’s knowledge of the native plants is inspiring, the natives are beautiful and medicinal from the famous Kawakawa to Purriri (read my blog about NZ natives here for more details). We even made tea from the leaves we collected.
The afternoon was filled with more mouthwatering food, a sustainable living discussion, plant-based cooking with Ricardo (this guy is an absolute wiz in the kitchen), yin yoga and a sound therapy meditation. This retreat has it all.
So I decided to head to bed a little early and was rocked to sleep by the wind shaking the tent and our lovely group of fellow retreaters who played music into the night.
A bright morning yoga class followed by a seriously scrumptious breakfast. The yoga here is taught by both Stacey and Daisy Jane who are absolutely fantastic, both make you feel instantly welcome and comfortable in the class whilst holding space for you to stretch and claim all of the parts that fill your soul. (I will definitely be dropping by for some yoga classes and you can too – here’s the timetable).
For most of today, we weaved macrame necklaces with the group – talk about focus and mindfulness because this task requires both. Macrame was followed by another delicious meal – seriously the food was that good! I could honestly rant all day about it. Dinner of woodfire oven pizzas that totally hit the spot.
This weekend was absolute magic, I feel rested, recharged and my bucket has been filled with all of the essentials things I needed. In the closing ceremony, everyone shared how much they felt welcomes, safe, secure and encouraged to make connections with each other, the group that only 2 nights before had never met was buzzing with the energy brought by all. I am blessed to have met some incredible people who I will definitely see again.