Bodies were slowed down and minds brought back into rhythm during our November Vinyasa yoga retreat with @sunkissedyogi
Based on our four founding principles – nature, yoga, nourishment & friendship the beginning of a holistic journey to an authentic self was reveled during these 8 starry nights and 9 sunny island days
Nov 2nd – the day before
Our retreat starts tomorrow, but some of our guests arrived today. Great – time to settle into island life. A seat on the traditional Maldivian joli located under the shade of a coconut tree offers views of the slower paced local island life
Welcome to Maalhos, Maldives
Nov 3rd – Day 1
Sunrise yoga followed by morning swim (our daily activity to kick start the systems) & whale shark snorkeling.
Maalhos is located in the UNESCO world biosphere of Baa Atoll, the site is representative of the Maldives’ high diversity of reef animals, with stony and soft corals, reef associated fish species, marine turtles, manta rays and whale sharks – lucky us, we are going to make the most of this….
Credits to @Maldivers diving centre for touring us to the spots and sharing awesome marine knowledge with us. A special shout out to Dhaanu for the professional Go Pro shot – yes that’s the whale shark we saw in our very own Maalhos lagoon today. Happy days! We couldn’t believe our eyes but when we got our hands on your shots we knew this was for real and you really do deserve that nick name – Shark Boy
Nov 4th – Day 2
Sunrise yoga (with drone snaps courtesy of the talented @Schunna), manta snorkeling (only very quickly saw a couple of mantas, but then we saw and snorkeled with the Dolphins leaving us totally buzzing), cooking class and to top the day off we sailed into the sunset looking for more dolphins
Dolphins are well known for their agility and playful behavior. Scientists believe that dolphins conserve energy by swimming alongside ships, a practice known as bow-riding – today we are grateful for these beautiful animals found in abundance in the Maldivian waters and that came and played with us. Just need to practice our dolphin stroke to synchronize our movements with them in hope to snorkel a little longer with them next time. Swimming with dolphins in their natural habitat – Maldives we love you, today was awesome!
Nov 5th – Day 3
Sunrise sandbank yoga, kajan workshop, sunset fishing.
We are so blessed on every day of our retreat we get to wake up to yoga outside with the sand below our feet and the sun rising over us. Today however we get a real treat to practice on a sandbank, we formed a circle and water surrounded us from all angles (as the tide came, even rising onto one of our mats), you can’t get much more immersed than that….
The Maldives offers so much more than sand, sun and sea as the islands are favored with a rich culture and heritage. Kajan or as more commonly known on the local islands as “Fangi Vinun” is thatch weaving from dried coconut palms fronds and ropes made from the fiber of coconut husk. The locals make it look so easy, and one must have a go to appreciate how hard these local ladies work thatching meters and meters of this day by day, thumbs up to this sustainable and eco friendly way to provide roofing and fences
Nov 6th – Day 4
Sunrise yoga, coconut tree climbing, trip to capital island Eydhafushi to get some souvenirs and to help our guest house Madi Finolhu stock up on their food stores.
Sweet and slow afternoon Yin yoga prepared us to wind down both the body and mind, and is just what we needed after all the activities of the previous days (snorkeling is pretty tiresome)
Nov 7th – Day 5
Sunrise yoga, garden time, afternoon beach volley.
Thanks Matheen for showing us how Maalhos is an exemplary island in managing waste. This documentary highlights how the council initiated the project and how they tackle the obstacles to be one of the first and successful island of waste management in Maldives.
We took some Maalhos home made fertilizer and got to plant out little seedlings. Thanks Thal for capturing these moments – we planted seeds of happiness today!
Nov 8th – Day 6
Sunrise sandbank yoga, yes more sandbank fun, it’s just a 10 min speed boat journey so why not???? Thank you Alexey for your beautiful snaps of the sandbank and how local life rolls on Maalhos
Today we got the delight off being part of a special anniversary dinner for the lovely couple Elena and Evgeny celebrating 15 years of marriage, who are also staying with us in Madi Finolhu. The set up was stunning, we enjoyed dinner on a beach full of wonderful people and a a sky full of stars
And a sea of stars…..as if the islands of the Maldives weren’t already heaven on earth, come night time, Maalhos reveals another mystical surprise: glowing blue waves, lapping the sandy shore, like something out of a fantasy land. It’s a natural chemical reaction with a fancy name, bioluminescence, which takes place when the water is disturbed by oxygen. Phytoplankton, the marine microorganisms in the water have a blue luminescence – a sight like this is priceless (also a lil difficult to capture on camera, sorry)
Nov 9th – Day 7
Sunrise yoga, after lunch we headed out for more snorkeling fun, we visited a few points looking for mantas and then carried on playing in the ocean for some underwater shots and enjoyed Maldivian short eats and tea at the harbor cafe on the way home.
Today we were outdoors amid the coconut trees, on the ocean to breathe fresh air breezes and while doing yoga listened to birdsong. By immersing in the natural world alignment with greater harmony and vitality was gained. We are now sleeping better, breathing easier, are more at ease and thinking more clearly and creatively
Nov 10th – Day 8
Sunrise yoga, and for the last day we took a sunset walk as a group and quietly reflected upon the week – how beautiful it was. It wouldn’t be right to do our farewells without a beach party and of course to wish Alexey a happy Bday!
We had some great laughs and awesome friendships were made
Nov 11th – Day 9 Departure
Paige, Jana, Matheen, Ahmed, Dhaanu, Khem, Nuch, Mit, Mimi, Schunna, Eskie, Alexey, Thal
8 days of nature, yoga, nourishment and FRIENDSHIP
A special shout out to Mimi for preparing us daily papaya salad to compliment our lunches and Schunna for searching out and finding the fresh Maalhos papayas. It was a great team work!
Thank you Maalhos, Maldives
You blessed us with white sandy beaches, graceful coconut trees, crystal clear lagoons and beautiful people
What more could we ask for?