Reclaim Your Self, England
Luxury digital detox and yoga retreat in the beautiful British countryside
Stay for 2 nights in January, September and November.
From £485 per person for a shared room; £585 pp for a solo room, including 2 nights accommodation, 3 days of activities, all meals and soft drinks, 4 yoga classes, a Q&A session on yoga and digital detoxing, unlimited time in the labyrinth. Massages cost £70 an hour or £40 for half an hour.
Best for: Relatively fit stressed out professionals needing a complete break.
Not for: People who don’t want to switch off their devices or who are unfit - Jivamukti is quite a strong and physical yoga practice.
In a nutshell: Reclaim Your Self digital detoxes are relaxing, wifi-free retreats with yoga held in luxury locations. This year’s UK retreat is a Jivamukti yoga and digital detox weekend with yoga teacher Emma Henry, held at a manor house in Bedfordshire and featuring a programme of yoga classes, meditations, digital detox talks and time to relax and enjoy the venue. The food is nurturing and easy on the digestive system and free from meat, gluten and sugar. A welcome dose of calm.
The labyrinth, which copies the design of the ancient pattern of the labyrinth in Chartres Cathedral in France but incorporates the elements of earth, air, fire and water in its design. Research has shown walking a labyrinth helps balance the mind, so it’s a wonderful support to a digital detox.
The yoga studio is a little small so the classes can feel crowded if they are at full capacity.
Enjoy twice-daily yoga classes, massage and downtime with a total break from your digital devices.
Twice daily yoga classes are taught by London-based Emma Henry, a talented Advanced Jivamukti teacher who offers a strong flow practice in her classes apart from Saturday afternoon, when you’ll have a yin/restorative class.
It’s best if you have had previous experience of a flow class and enjoy being challenged by a vigorous and dynamic style of yoga on this retreat, though modifications and progressions are given so that everyone will find the yoga classes rewarding.
Jivamukti classes include some chanting, pranayama and asana yoga practice. Yoga philosophy is never very far away from Emma’s teaching, and all chants are not just translated but put in the wider context of yoga philosophy and lifestyle.
Guests are sent a series of messages in the build up to the weekend advising you how to prepare for your digital detox. On arrival devices are handed in or switched off and packed away. All the rooms have polite notices reminding people to stay switched off. On Saturday afternoon Emma Henry and Reclaim Your Self founder and host Jools Sampson lead a fireside chat about managing your online and digital life and how a yoga practice can help support this.
Reclaim Your Self have two therapists on the team: Amanda Tizard offers exceptional treatments using her impressive tool kit of deep tissue massage, Cranio sacral therapy, Transformational Breathwork techniques and healing work. Every treatment is different and gets straight to the core of what you need. Marina Kyriacou offers sports and deep tissue massages, hot stone therapy and reflexology.
Massages are extra and can be booked in advance or once you arrive. Amanda’s treatments take place in the small but grand library, a suitably private and inspiring place for her treatments. Marina works in a cosy study, where you can drift off in front of the fire.
Nestled in a secluded part of the garden, the manor’s labyrinth is a unique space for peaceful reflection and quiet time, perfect for a digital detox. A tour of the labyrinth by the owner is included in the weekend, but guests are encouraged to visit it in their own time whenever they choose. Water for the onsite spring is piped under the labyrinth pathway and into the house. It is delicious, pure and vital, and is served to guests during their stay.
Bedrooms: The manor has luxuriously plush bedrooms in both the main house and the converted stable yard. The bedrooms in the main house are larger, with views of the grounds, a huge original fireplace, and old wooden furniture and proper heavyweight curtains. These rooms share bathrooms between 2 or 3 people. The bedrooms in the converted stables are located in 4 cottages set around a courtyard. They are beautifully designed and most of them have ensuite bathroom facilities.
If you’re used to broadcasting your thoughts on social media much of the time, make sure you bring a pen and paper to offload your thoughts in the old fashioned way.
When to Go
This location is super cosy in Winter, with wood burners and ornate fireplaces in many of the rooms.
Meals are eaten in the large dining room in the manor. This magnificent old room has views out onto the landscaped gardens. You sit at a grand table under huge chandeliers.
Reclaim Your Self is passionate about serving healthy and creative meals and brings its expert retreat chef Saba Rahbar on the retreat. Meals are plant-based, hearty, sustaining, free from gluten and sugar and low on dairy.
Breakfast might include Chia, apple, almond and coconut pudding with ginger cashew cream followed by chickpea scramble with cauliflower and kale. Lunch could be butternut squash and coconut soup served with mixed seed crackers followed by cacao and orange amazeballs.
Dinner is a more abundant affair, with dishes such as Beetroot hummus with kohlrabi medallions, orange & carrot marinated kale salad, seasonal vegetable curry with lemon and cinnamon infused quinoa, roasted broccoli and ginger with tahini dressing.
The retreats are caffeine and alcohol free. Herbal teas, hand made with fresh and dried herbs such as olive, lavender, lemon verbena and fennel
Reclaim Your Self sources its food from local suppliers and avoids supermarkets. The chefs creates menus where they can recycle leftovers into the next day’s meals if needed. Water on this retreat comes from the natural spring, so no plastic bottles are used. The manor has an excellent recycling system in place.
Transfer time: Station: 20 - 30 mins, Airport: 1 hour