Sunday 10th September 2017

By mira

I’ve just returned from a lush yoga retreat in Ibiza by Chaya Yoga Retreats (as you might have seen from my instagram), run by my friend Lucy Hill. Each aspect from the theme – this time it was ‘Joy’ – to the yoga teacher, the nourishing food and all the small details were so well thought out. And it really was the entire package of food, yoga, sun, Ibiza and people that made it so nourishing, healing and joyful to the body and soul. I spoke to Lucy about the retreat, about her upcoming retreats in France, Goa and Bali and how food is such an integral part of her retreats – watch the youtube video here.

I actually don’t know what I expected – I’ve been to various retreats and each one has been so very different – but I left feeling entirely revived and happy. The yoga and the poses we held for longer than I’m used to had been emotionally powerful for me (I loved Leanna Buchanan’s style of yoga – check her out YogaMojoIbiza), the food was full of love, beauty and flavour, created by the wonderful Laura Paine, and then there were deeply healing massages by Judit Yague. And Ibiza itself, such a special place. I’ve been to Ibiza before, for different things from my brother’s wedding last year to partying the year before and for another yoga retreat a few years ago, as well as just a few days of roaming around and shopping – and I keep coming back! Meeting others on the retreat, connecting with them and making friends is of course a beautiful part of the retreat. It’s often just so heart-warming to meet like-minded people from entirely different backgrounds, places and even countries and have interesting conversations.

The retreat took place in a charming villa with rooms and spread around the pool area and the main house itself, all set amongst the lush green hills of Ibiza, only half hour from main town. The days started with yoga in the yogashala, slow yet very strong, we then had a happy lengthy brunch by the pool and then time to chill, go to the market, sleep, and everyone had massages scheduled in (I managed 2 long massages in those five days – Judit’s massages were so different and worked on an entirely different level of the body/ soul). The Chaya team, Lucy, Laura and Filly had a way of making everyone feel entirely at home, so the kitchen was open, we could graze on fruit all day, make ourselves tea whenever we wanted and dip into the fridge if we were hungry. The second yoga session of the day was more yin, a delicious evening stretch, followed by another lengthy dinner. I made my chilli chanas (chickpeas) from Saffron Soul one morning and rather than layering them inside yoghurt pots, I poured them on a bed of greens (see the pic below) to compliment the daal that Laura had made. I also made the brown rice kheer or pudding from my book for dessert one evening, but with my chai spices rather than just cardamom.

Among the many dishes and flavours and deliciousness we ate everyday, there was one ‘life-changing bread’ which Laura made daily which really was life-changing – simply because I don’t eat bread and this is not really bread in that there is no wheat or yeast in there, yet it is the yummiest bread, something I will be making every week now. In fact, I just made a loaf this morning, waiting for it to sit for a few hours before baking it (the chia, psyllium husk and flax take time to gel together).

So I wanted to start this Sunday morning by sharing this recipe, from Sarah B of the mynewroots blog. It’s certainly filling but it’s good fuel, great for the digestion and it doesn’t require any of the kneading and waiting palaver. As she writes on the blog, ‘This bread, on the other hand, is kind of brainless. Dump all the ingredients into the loaf pan, stir, and let it sit for a couple hours. Or overnight. Or all day. Or however long or short you find convenient. Whatevs. You rule the bread, not the other way around.’ It’s brainless – just make it and you’ll see. I also then ate a few slices of this bread with a some greens and tomatoes and a super quick yummy dressing (find the recipe here)

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