As I sat on the train into London I couldn’t quite imagine what I would be arriving to. This pop-up yoga evening allows one to have a taste of what the weekend retreats have to offer, and are also a chance for people to re-connect if they have been away on retreats together. To say I was a novice at yoga would be the understatement of all time. I’ve watched people do it in the movies – does that count? Perhaps not.

However, when the lovely people at adventure yogi invited me to come along and review their event I was honoured and excited! It’s always been a bucket list item and I’ve dreamt of those serene Indian Yoga retreats – so what better way to see what it’s all about than this taster evening in the stunning Round Chapel in East London.

This inspired idea of having yoga retreats with a twist is what really made this company stand out for me. The practice of Yoga is paired with fun activities and healthy lifestyles, and who wouldn’t want to say yes to a SnowYogi holiday or perhaps SurfYogi? Founder Michelle has done a great job of raising awareness and showing people what you can get from practicing yoga. She is keen to prove that it’s not all about tree hugging hippies and that it’s for everyone that will give it half a chance!

I was pleasantly surprised, as a newbie, that at no point did I feel like I shouldn’t be there. Everyone was welcoming and friendly, but not over-bearing in any way. It’s like the old saying – “time fly’s when you’re having fun”. As we took our final few deep breaths in the downward dog position, our teacher Carolina slowly brought us back into the world and I realised that we had been practicing yoga for an hour and half. I can honestly say that it felt like 20 minutes had gone by at the most. They say it’s like being completely at one with the earth and losing yourself in the practice. It was my first ever experience with yoga and I probably wasn’t as involved as some of the more experienced. However, time almost stood still for me and I was so at peace and relaxed that I was almost drifting off to sleep surrounded by 40 strangers, so I’d say I definitely felt some kind of connection.

There was no better way to finish our yoga class than to the smell of delicious food wafting through the room, from Adventure Yogi chef Filipa. It was as if by magic that the room was transformed into a candle lit dining area, each chair adorned with mouth-watering goodies from Rude Health and adorably packaged tea from PositiviTea. I would recommend checking out the Rude Health website for how to make the most of their natural ingredients, all of which are sourced from fields, orchards and vines. Watch out for my banana bread recipe using their sprouted whole spelt flour!

Sprouted Spelt Chocolate & Passion fruit Cupcake

I must say that I came away feeling like a weight had been lifted from my shoulders, and I had one of the best night’s sleep I have had in a while. It was a similar feeling to that of just having had a full body massage but instead you have spent over an hour stretching your whole body and holding some difficult positions. As I write this, the morning after, I am being punished by muscles I never knew existed. Yet I also feel like I am going into the weekend relaxed, rested and ready for anything…

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