Whakapapa Yoga Retreat - magical!
Yoga retreats are an opportunity to unwind, relax, and dive deeper into your yoga practice. This may mean participating in a different type of meditation, trying a new style of asana practice, or diving deeper within through self-reflection.
Kanuka Yoga creates safe spaces for you to explore yoga outside of the studio. Expect time in nature, quiet time for yourself, and time building connections with fellow yogis.
The Find Your Balance Retreat at Whakapapa with Yogascend was a weekend full of exploration, expansion, and community; 17 yogis came together to enjoy time on the mountain, yoga, and amazing vegan food.
FRIDAY - first day:
We waited for all our guests to arrive at the Whakapapa Ski Lodge, where every guest was greeted with a tour of the lodge and their room, introductions to other guests + goodie bags. A delicious welcome platter was provided by our chef for the weekend, Deborah Sah.
We began our retreat with a walk to one of the mountain peaks to appreciate the views during the window of sunny weather.
Afterwards, Jock of YogAscend led the first yoga practice with a Hatha Flow, followed by a heart-opening Cacao Ceremony. The perfect way to connect with a new group of people, in a new place. A delicious dinner was served right after the ceremony, and with full bellies we held a sharing circle where everyone had a chance to talk about their own personal journey, and what they were looking forward to at the retreat. We were blown away by the sharing circle as it opened up the whole weekend for more heartfelt connections across the group.
We ended the evening with some live music and a group tarot card reading led by our creative, Victoria Rose Sheridan - the similarities from what people shared after dinner to what was read during the Tarot Card session was unworldly and insightful.
SATURDAY - day two:
Stu of Kanuka was available early morning for a group meditation and slow flow vinyasa. Breakfast and coffee/tea was shared and the rest of the morning was spent enjoying the facilities - reading, chatting, napping... before grabbing lunch and heading out for a longer hike in Tongariro National Park and a cold water immersion dip! (Yes, there were enough hot showers to go around after the cold dip =))
For the Saturday afternoon, Raquel of Kanuka led the group through a chakra meditation + thai massage which went down a treat! By this stage, everyone's energy was refreshed and appetites were ready for a gorgeous gnocchi dinner.
The evening ended by a warm fire as the weather began to turn, sipping a few glasses of wine, listening to live music, and sharing heartfelt conversations and playful movement on the dance floor.
Sunday - last day:
The last morning of the retreat began with a slow flow vinyasa led by Raquel, in preparation for the dynamic group Acro Yoga class. It was beautiful practising in the comfort of the Hawkes Bay Ski Lodge as the misty clouds descended on the mountain.
We closed the weekend with a tuning circle, some beautiful human mandala shapes and shared a few words of gratitude towards each other and for the time away in the mountains.
Finding your balance requires knowing where your centre is - moving from your core - leading from your inner truth. We are privileged that our retreaters allowed us a glimpse of their authentic selves and together created an incredibly moving and connected community for the weekend. Many retreaters left with internal tools to not only find balance on the mat, but also off the mat in their day-to-day lives.
Here's the video edit (shortened version) from the amazingly talented, Victoria Rose Sheridan:
You can watch the full video edit here.