I’m still relishing in the goodness of my recent trip to Hayman Island. It was gloriously decadent without being brash and over-the-top, and focussed on the things that mean the most to me – health, wellbeing and finding serenity in the craziness of modern life. Sounds amazing, right?
Well here’s how it works. Hayman Island, the 5-star luxury resort in the Whitsunday Islands, has just launched their very own Spa & Wellness Program, led by their resident wellness expert, Ryko Kalinko. Think of this as an opportunity to reconnect with yourself, learn new life skills, relax and indulge in some seriously tasty (yet superbly healthy) fare over 4 blissful days.
Here’s what I learned…
1. Make The Morning Your Most Precious Time of Day
I’m not a ‘bed springer’. I slowly open my eyes, resist the early morning light and usually roll straight back over for an extra half hour of sleepy bliss. On the flip side of that, I never sleep in past about 8:30am, but for those lucky bed springers this seems like a late start.
But here’s what I learned; those sacred few hours between around 5-7am are the most precious of the day. The world is awakening, the tide is turning and your spirit is ready to be embodied. Sleep through all that and you’ve missed out on a really beautiful, grounding time of day.
And so I’m changing. Instead of going back to sleep I’m making an effort to wake up when I first open my eyes, embracing the morning with a little meditation and morning exercise to lube up my limbs and get me ready for the day ahead. Be it chi gung, tai chi, movement meditation or yoga (all of which you learn at the retreat), I’m trying it. So stay tuned for the instalments on my Weekly Wellness Rituals, as they’re bound to pop up soon.
2. Be Open To Receiving and Sharing Information
I never used to be very good at opening up. I preferred to pretend things were always great, when in reality I may have wanted to scream. Or cry. Or do both at the same time. Over the past few years, as I’ve worked hard at delving into the depths of myself, I’ve learned to open up, express myself and share information with other people. It’s a gloriously liberating experience feeling open to receiving, because when we spend our lives giving, it leaves us with nothing in the tank. Of course, you need to still give, but giving and taking in equal measures is what creates balance and harmony.
Ryko is a true wealth of information and knowledge. In fact, I’d go as far as to say that he is the most spiritually advanced person I’ve ever met. His ability to listen and heal and teach is truly what sets this program apart from many other wellness programs out there, so by being open – rather than resistant – to any changes or experiences that come up, allows you to really get the most out of your stay. That same can be said in life, too.
3. Let Go of Inhibitions
One of the mornings we were there was spent doing a series of morning exercises, one of which included interpretive dance. At first we were all a little apprehensive as we bounced around on the grass, our arms flailing and my baby bump gently shuffling from side to side. From a distance we must have looked ridiculous, but as we kept going and let go of those inhibitions, the experience was hilariously fun. I felt free, alive, filled with energy and happy. So, so happy.
The lesson? So much of life is dictated by rules and worries of what other people think. It’s confining, uncomfortable and totally unnecessary. Even if you still live within those confines (and let’s be honest, most of us do), make time to break free of these shackles with a little free movement in the park, or in the privacy of your own home. I’m already planning on making morning dance a daily ritual with my son as soon as he’s old enough to stand up, and I already swan around the house making my husband break into fits of hysterical laughter. It’s great to feel uninhibited, so strip off and let loose, would you!
4. Slowing Down Ironically Speeds You Right Up
Know someone who’s like a bee in a bottle? You know, manically busy, stressed and so highly strung it’s almost hard to be around them. We all have one of those in our life, and while the fear of slowing down might make them feel their ‘to-do’ list is getting done, the reality is the busyness in their head is causing them to move around in circles. Oh, the irony.
Here’s the truth. No matter how busy you are, if you make just a little time to stop! And breathe, even 2 minutes, you will instantly reset your brain and have more clarity, focus and concentration than you did just 2 minutes ago. By slowing down, even for a few breaths, you are actually speeding right up, but in a much healthier, more manageable way. There’s nothing good about stress, rushing around, manically switching from task-to-task, so make it a priority to switch off EVERYDAY and learn to push reset. Your mind (and body) will thank you for it.
Tell me Happies…
What do you think of these lessons?
Do you want to do the Hayman Spa & Wellness Retreat?