Reclaim Your Self review | Healthy holidays worldwide
Inspirational yoga, digital detox & healthy eating holidays
The Quick Read: Reclaim Your Self is a small, committed company full of integrity that offers a wide variety of yoga retreats and holidays in the UK, in boutique European locations such as Italy and Ibiza, and in ever more wild and remote locations worldwide including Mongolia and Iceland. The holidays are aimed at everyone, whatever their level of yoga, though their yoga retreats would suit those with an established practice and their yoga holidays would be particularly suitable for beginners. The trips combine yoga, healthy eating and holistic therapies in cleverly-picked locations around the world – we have tried a yoga holiday in Morocco, one of their digital detox retreats in the UK and a yoga holiday in Mongolia. They are committed to responsible travel, and quite marvellously, they offer monthly payment plans for those on a tight budget.
More on the locations: Reclaim Your Self runs a wide variety of yoga retreats and holidays in the UK, in boutique European locations such as Italy and Ibiza, and in ever more wild and remote locations worldwide. We have tried a yoga holiday in Morocco, one of their digital detox retreats in the UK and a yoga retreat in Mongolia. They also run retreats at villas in Tuscany and Ibiza.
Reclaim Your Self chooses private, stylish villas, houses or luxury yurt camps rather than hotels or resorts for all its yoga holidays and retreats and ensures they are never far from nature. Most locations enable guests to have their own room – sometimes rooms or bathrooms need to be shared, but that’s always obvious before you book.
People Watch: Reclaim Your Self was set up by down to earth massage therapist Julia Sampson, more affectionately known as Jools, who sources a small team of expert teachers, trainers and chefs for each of her retreats and hosts most of them personally, so you can be sure they are well organised.
More on the activities: On these interesting yoga holidays and retreats you can expect plenty of time to relax, explore, take a swim or go walking too. Different styles of yoga are taught on different trips, and include and include Anasura with Lisa Sanfilippo, Jivamukti with Emma Henry and Vinyasa flow with Faye Riches. One-to-one yoga sessions and workshops are sometimes on offer, as are meditation sessions and quiet walks.
One treatment is often included, and you can book more if you want them – the menu varies according to the holiday you choose, but might include hot stone, deep tissue, aromatherapy and Indian head massages, or pampering treats such as facials and back scrubs. Jools also sometimes uses as her coach NLP Practitioner and trainer Stephen Yates, who we rate highly.
Food Watch: Reclaim Your Self works with experienced health coaches and chefs who prepare tasty, mainly vegetarian meals with a wow factor. Their menus are carefully designed to support your yoga practice and compliment the location and the season. The menus are pretty clean and are created using whole foods, avoiding gluten and sugar and are low on dairy. Fish is ocassionally sometimes available if they find an organic source. You are encouraged not to have any caffeine during your retreat and Reclaim Your Self do not serve alcohol as they want you to be as healthy as possible while you are away. You’ll usually be given some recipes to take home, and there are sometimes cooking classes as well as workshops on healthy eating, where you are encouraged to eat and live your life according to your own health story and in tune with your constitution.
Fellow guests: Everyone is welcome, of all ages and lifestyles. Our Morocco break attracted an interesting bunch of people from a wide range of professions including the UN, various charities and the arts, and included women, men, two couples and a pair of friends.
What’s queenly: Reclaim Your Self breaks work because they are inspired by the founder’s own experiences. She was working in a stressful, isolating government job in Tanzania when a massage teacher, she says, ‘saved her’, teaching her about food, nutrition, exercise and yoga to help her ‘reclaim herself’, cope with her job and, eventually, leave it to do what she really wanted. She’ll similarly de-stress and inspire you.
What’s lowly: That Reclaim Your Self sometimes changes its venues regularly is on the whole impressive – unless you particularly loved a property or location and wanted to keep going back there!
Reviewed by Caroline Sylger Jones
© Queen of Retreats