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Sara Campbell review | yoga teacher, Egypt

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Retreat

Diving, yoga & wellness retreats in Dahab

The Quick Read: Kundalini yoga teacher and World Champion freediver Sara Campbell offers private wellbeing retreats for couples and individuals in the laid back, beachside town of Dahab in Egypt where she has a home. Her retreats combine whatever you need, but can include yoga, meditation, life coaching, trips into the desert, downtime, snorkelling and freediving. She’s a highly likeable, very fit and talented Kundalini yoga teacher who also happens to be a freediving champion – this means she regularly dives down deep into the ocean on just one breath, so here is a lady who really does know all about how to control your breath, and so de-stress. Sara also runs ad hoc retreats in other beautiful locations of the world, including the Maldives, Bali and the Bahamas, and as well as meditation coaching via Skype to people all over the world.

Budget: ££

Sara Campbell Prana Pranayama retreat Dahab

Meditating with Sara in the desert

More on the wellbeing retreats: Sara runs bespoke wellbeing retreats for everyone, of all levels, on request, in Dahab. These can be tailored to your needs and goals, and can be just you, or you and a group of your friends. They could include yoga, meditation and pranayama, yogic philosophy, personal journeying and coaching, day and overnight trips into the glorious Sinai desert, and a boat safari for snorkelling and/or freediving. Sara can also offer nutritional advice based on traditional yogic recipes and the latest super foods. Read a word from the queen on her experience with Sara.

If you fancy a short break or mixing some yoga with other activities and sight-seeing, she will be offering long-weekend workshops every second month throughout 2015, enabling guests to recharge their batteries with four three-hour workshops (Thursday to Sunday) and still have plenty of time for diving, relaxing, massage or soaking up the beauty of the Sinai. As Sara travels a lot for work, check with her before booking your flights if yoga with her is one of your priorities in Dahab.

If you’re planning to be on holiday in Dahab anyway, Sara runs Kundalini yoga & meditation classes at the Coral Coast Hotel every Thursday at 7pm and every Sunday at 10am (they cost EGP 100 per session, which is about £10). If you can’t travel, Sara also offers meditation coaching via Skype.

The gorgeous courtyard at Villa Isis, perfect for couples looking for a healthy holiday together

The gorgeous courtyard at Villa Isis, perfect for couples looking for a healthy holiday together

More on the couples retreats: Sara specialises in running private retreats for couples who are looking for a healthy holiday together. You stay at the lovely Villa Isis in Dahab (see above). Start and end each day with private yoga and meditation tailored exactly to your needs. Come to destress, detox, work on how to communicate lovingly, a combination of all three or more – just tell her what you want and she will design a full week of yoga and meditation, pranayama, relaxation and couples work to specifically meet your needs. Spend your days relaxing in the beautiful shaded courtyard garden, top up your vitamin D levels with a spot of sunbathing on the roof terrace, or head to the beach for a mango juice and some snorkeling. Sara can also offer nutritional advice based on traditional yogic recipes and the latest superfoods – your fridge will be replenished daily with fresh seasonal fruit and vegetables from the market place, freshly baked bread and other local produce. On request day or overnight trips to the desert or on a boat can be incorporated into the programme.

The programme includes two yoga and meditation sessions a day, completely tailored to your level and your needs; two private coaching sessions to design a meditation programme for each of you; one massage treatment each; and one face-lift massage for ladies only (men get an extra full body/physio session). Drinking water, teas, coffee, blender are also provided.

Sara Campbell yoga meditation retreats Dahab

The relaxed main bedroom at Sara Campbell’s self-catering villa in Dahab

More on the accommodation: You can stay at a hotel which she’ll help you choose – usually Le Meridien or the boutique Alf Leila for luxury, or the Coral Coast or El Primo for a good, mid-range beach-front option. But our choice would be to stay in the self-catering villa attached to Sara’s home, Villa Isis, which is in the middle of the Bedouin village of Assalah in Dahab. The villa provides peace and privacy, is fully equipped for cooking and has a large fridge freezer, drinking water cooler and a juice blender. There are two double bedrooms with arabic-style domed ceilings, one with an opulent four-poster bed and ensuite bathroom. You’ll also have access to a private shaded garden-cum-outside living room and a sunny roof terrace for topping up your levels of Vitamin D.

Food and drink: If you are staying in the villa, food is self catering. Sara provides a generous welcome basket of fresh fruit, wholegrain bread, butter, cheese, jams, yoghurt, coffee, tea and milk, and the kitchen kit includes a blender if you want to make your own smoothies. There’s a market five minutes walk down the road that sells fresh fruit and vegetables, regular European staples like bread, cereals, milk and eggs, and local specialities such as baklava and falafel as well as international foods. There’s also a shop about a five minute taxi ride away that stocks specialist foods such as asian fare and gluten free things, and an organic market once a week selling a (sometimes limited) selection of locally grown organic produce and lots of fresh fruit. Local restaurants are varied and diverse and open more or less from breakfast to late evening – you can find authentic Italian, Indian, Thai, Chinese and Egyptian cuisine, and there are some excellent veggie and vegan options. There’s cafes and bakeries with great coffee, cakes and snacks – so you won’t go hungry! Sara can offer nutritional advice and guidance during your stay.

Sara Campbell Kundalini yoga teacher training

A group of students finishing their Amrit Nam Sarovar training in France

More on teacher training: Sara offers KRI Kundalini Yoga Level 1 Teacher Training in Egypt, with the international school Amrit Nam Sarovar. The format of the training is a beach-retreat style, with three four-day modules (Thursday to Sunday) in December, February and April, and a final week in French mountains with her teacher, Karta Singh, at the mother ashram in July. The training is open to anyone interested in deepening their knowledge and experience of Kundalini Yoga, whether you want to teach or not. Students will live an authentic yogic lifestyle, sharing the responsibilities of running the ashram, and cooking and serving healthy yogic meals. The course will lead to an internationally recognised certification to teach Kundalini Yoga. For information and to register click here.

The wonderful Sara underwater © Mike Pitts

The wonderful Sara underwater © Mike Pitts

Costs: Wellbeing retreats cost from £85 per person per day for two sessions (1 x 90 minute yoga, 1 x 60 minute meditation and pranayama) or £130 per person per day for four sessions (as above, plus yogic philosophy and personal journey/coaching).

Accommodation costs from from £30 per person per day depending on where you choose. Desert trips and freediving are extra – ask us for current prices. Prices are based on one person travelling alone – if there’s a group of you, the cost would reduce by 25% for groups of 2-4.

Couples wellbeing retreats cost £1750 per couple including airport transfers, all yoga and meditation classes, physio, massage and face-lift massage treatments, healthy snacks and refreshments in the villa and one follow-up meditation programme skype session. Flights and desert or boat trips are extra.

crown What’s queenly: Private, bespoke, expert attention from a highly likeable, down to earth and talented woman in a chilled out, sunny place – what’s not to like?

What’s lowly: Sara travels quite a bit, so last minute bookings are often not possible.

Reviewed by Caroline Sylger Jones

© Queen of Retreats

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Sara Campbell Bedouin kids desert

Sara Campbell (centre) with Bedouin children in the Sinai desert