Honeywood Farm Yoga Retreat in Review

In case you couldn’t join our first Honeywood Farm Yoga Retreat, here it is in review!

The Honeywood Farm Yoga Retreat really was a first of its kind. It is the first local retreat I have co-hosted. A first at this majestic family farm. Not too mention the amazing group of fellow Yoga teachers who offered a variety of daily classes. I have never shared the teaching of classes with fellow Yoga teachers. If you currently offer retreats, definitely give this some consideration.

Hosting a retreat in the countryside also means access to hiking trails, breath taking views and rock pools for swimming. Plus a few friendly cats and barking dogs along the way. We even had a visit from the horses on the front lawn.

Honeywood Farm has been in the family since 1817. Several times during the retreat I thought to myself, what would those  brave Scots that settled here think of all this! They could not have anticipated this sort of event taking place on the beautiful piece of land they discovered so long ago.

My parents often run bee conferences, weekend getaways for birders and weddings on the farm. The accommodation is a variety of rustic, farm style cottages. All fully equipped for self catering. But luckily for us we could enjoy Miranda’s delicious meals throughout the retreat.

The view from the front lawn

Mealtimes

I don’t think anyone was expecting to eat so well! Vegetarian food can often become bland, monotonous and carbohydrate saturated. The food was anything but your typical offering.

Breakfasts included wholesome homemade muffins, a variety of chopped fruit, berries and yogurt. Crumpets, muesli, fresh breads and cheeses. Served with Miranda’s famous marmalade and some of the tastiest honey you’ll ever enjoy.

Lunchtimes were a variety of salads sourced from locally grown produce. Freshly baked focaccia, wraps, farm butter, falafels, dolmades and thai noodle salads. My mouth is already watering. Plus we were even treated to a Picnic lunch in the Redwoods forest.

Dinner was an array of roasted Moroccan vegetables, the tastiest spinach and feta pies and on a last night a vegetarian braai which included rooster koek, mealies, cowboy beans and coleslaw.

If that wasn’t enough there was always an after dinner dessert! Gluten, lactose and dairy free treats that tasted heavenly. Everyone took home a copy of the recipe for Miranda’s scrumptious honey cakes!

Delicious Breakfast bowl

Delicious Breakfast bowl

Of course honey with every meal!

Yummy salads from locally sourced produce

Daily Activities

Honeywood farm is a fully operational farm and produces honey. I thought it was ideal for my Dad to give a short introduction into beekeeping and pollination. Bees are such a relevant topic at the moment. Given climate change, changing trends in food and of course supply and demand with the ever growing numbers in population.

The talk was really informative and I felt proud watching people take in all of my Dad’s extensive knowledge and expertise in his field.

Isolde Bennet of Zen Life Wellness  gave us an introductory workshop to Thai Yoga Massage. I asked her to teach us some techniques we could apply to Savasana adjustments. We then paired off and were able to experiment on each other. I have already been using what I learnt and my students are delighted!

I was anxious given that the weather forecast predicted a scorching hot day for Saturday. Luck was on our side and a walk in the forest to the Red Woods and then on to the rock pools had been planned. Both located in the nearby  Grootvadersbosch Nature Reserve . A picnic lunch in the shade of the Redwoods created the most ideal setting. Followed by a walk, combined with some climbing over boulders to the Duiwenhoks River pools.

Watching the enjoyment and expressions as everyone submerged themselves in the fresh, natural waters. It was a great day, and certainly everyone would be making special memories.

Walking to the Redwoods

Swimming in the rock pools

The Yoga teachers

It was my intention to create a special space of learning. Yoga teachers teaching fellow Yoga teachers can feel intimidating. But I believe that it is so important to remain in the mindset of a student. To expose yourself to opportunities to learn and grow when stepping out of your comfort zone.

I could not have asked for a more humble, diverse group of Yoga teachers to lead the daily classes. Each so beautifully sharing their narrative on Yoga. Teaching what they love and so readily sharing their knowledge. Even during downtime there were moments of shared learning.

From left : Domenique, Saskia, Theresa, Rose, upside down   Catherine and Lia, Front Isolde

For more information about the teachers who taught classes:

Catherine Leong, Johannesburg – Yoga Venture SA

Saskia van Leeuwenm, Swellendam – Pahara Yoga

Lia Mundell, Johannesburg – teaches at Yoga Lova

Rose Hay, Suurbraak – Rose Hay Yoga

Domenique Hendriks, Somerset West –Worlds View Yoga Studio

A family affair:

Living in Johannesburg can sometimes make it challenging to get back to the farm. A big part of this adventure was slightly selfish on my part. I really wanted to create an opportunity where all the members of my family could have a role to play and a part to enjoy in this event. And have an extra bit of insight into what my life is all about.

My sister, Erica Bartholomae made the most exquisite and thoughtful goodie bags and gifts.

Perfectly packaged thank-you gifts

 

I was even able to have my husband, brother and sister in law join for the weekend from Johannesburg. I knew that other family members who couldn’t be there were most definitely there in spirit.

For all the help with planning, the prep work, the suggestions for activities, an extra special, heartfelt thank-you.

To all the Yogi’s that attended the retreat, thank-you for joining us! It really is all about the people who choose to explore life and new adventures. We hope you had as much fun as we did and we look forward to hosting you again soon!

What to expect in 2019: 

There will be a repeat of this retreat in March and October 2019. Dates to follow soon!

The farm is also open to any Yoga teachers who would like to use this as a venue to host their next retreat.

So long till 2019!