Holidaying with little ones

Holy-mama calling all yogis

So this is it.  This is why I came.  I could have picked anywhere to go with my little boy but I wanted to do yoga, and lots of yoga, so this is why I chose to come to the Holy mama yoga retreat.  When you have a baby suddenly life isn’t your own anymore.  You always have to think of someone else and sometimes this also means not doing what you want to do.  Suddenly planning to do ‘something’ is like a military operation.  So a mum and child yoga retreat was the ideal option for us.  At holy mama you get to do yoga every morning for 5 mornings and in this time your child is looked after by a lovely (handpicked by the owner of Holy mama herself) carer so you are free to completely relax and not think or worry about your little one.  Its win win for both mother and child.  Now that is something we rarely find!

Some people here are completely new to yoga and have come to try something new and take some time out to relax. Some are mums who discovered yoga in their pregnancy (a very popular thing now to start up when pregnant to keep up light exercise and a happy and healthy body and mind) and then taken their children to mum & baby yoga classes so this is the next ideal step.  Some are mums who are keen yogis and just don’t get time in their busy lives to practice as much as they wish, such as myself.   And the dads all seemed to tag along for fun (yes my husband actually though it was fun once he realised it was not a hippy dippy yoga place!) and to spend quality time with their wife and child.

So each morning once your little one has been taken off to the kids club to play you head over to grab a juice which has been freshly prepared that morning by the cooks.  A lovely shake a different one each day to energise the body (but not fill it up) before practice.  And then its off to the outdoor yoga sala.  A beautiful spot in nature to practice in the peaceful serenity of the Ibizan countryside.  It  is 90 if not more minutes of pure uninterrupted yoga, pranayama (breathing), asanas (the postures) and meditation (relaxation).  Our yoga sessions were taught by the lovely Suzanne Faith from Canada and they were run at a pace to include and interest everyone (from beginners to experienced yogis).  The practice being worked on and deepened day by day.  By the end of the practice and its time to slow down, to concentrate on the breath and to relax, it was only then that remembered where I was and thoughts of ‘hows Flynn’ popped into my mind. So needless to say I was completely relaxed and at one with myself.  Something I haven’t been very often in the past two and a half years.

As a Mother you are constantly thinking of your little one and putting their needs before yours. Well this was time to think of myself (knowing he was in good hands and having fun) and finally to concentrate on my own needs and well being.  And what way to look after yourself by spending it outdoors in a beautiful setting practicing yoga.

Baby yogi time at Holy-mama

So its not just the mums (and dads) who get to do yoga at holy-mama but the kids get to practice too.  Yoga sessions for those old enough to join in so my little one was there as hes a baby yogi.  Children’s yoga was out on the grass with space to run around.  The yoga mat is no child’s yoga space the whole space is a child’s yoga space! They played with glitter and feathers in the sunshine creating adventures and friends.

To add to that my baby yogi and I practiced around the pool in the afternoons.  Just throwing out a few downdogs and tree poses to impress all the other babies and toddlers. Baby and toddler yoga is lovely way to stretch their little bodies out, interact with others and best of all relax (who doesn’t love a relaxed baby or toddler!)

A typical day in the life at Holy-mama

 

So we awoke in the mornings at the holy mama yoga retreat to the sounds of chattering children happily running around . There’s nothing nicer than the sound of children happy and free.  My son miraculously slept in every morning (all the clean fresh air of Ibiza trust me this was amazing) and we would wake and help ourselves to breakfast before the carers arrived to look after the children.  Our carer (a beautiful, patent Swiss lady) would come along and take my little boy off my hands making me free. Childless. A strange concept to me.

So that’s free to go and do yoga. And that’s 90 minutes of uninterrupted yoga which living with a toddler is another strange concept to me.  So 90 minutes if not more of pranayama (breathing), yoga postures and relaxation and time to meditate. On the first day when it came to relaxation Suzanne the yoga instructor said to imagine someone who you loved and who you were building a relationship with, my son immediately came into my mind. My son! I had forgotten I had a son! Now that is the longest I have gone without thinking of him in 2 and a half years (well maybe bar that time when I was partying in Ibiza last year!). But that is how relaxed and at one with myself I was.  The outdoor yoga sala was by one villa and the ‘kids club’ where my son was being looked after was in another villa. Just enough distance to come get the mums if a child was upset and far enough not to hear the cries of the children. Perfect.

So after yoga there was time for a facial or pedicure to really relax before having lunch. A child free lunch where you could actually eat and not have to force feed a child or mop up food. Every mums dream. After lunch it was time to go pick up your child and yes by then you really really miss them. Time to go swimming or take a drive off round the island maybe to a local beach or even go grab some food (my husband was overdosing on tofu so we would tapas and sangria hunt in the afternoons whilst Flynn napped).  After a morning alone full of quality time it’s time to reunite feeling relaxed, revitalized  and ready to tackle the toddler world again.

Holy-mama its dinner time!

 

There’s nothing better than having your lunch and dinner freshly prepared and served to you. All fresh, organic ingredients whizzed up into superb platters of food by amazing cooks. And on top of that meals for the little ones and different food for the adults. Saying that my little one just wanted the adults coconut spicy soup. But in a plastic cup with the number 7 on it. Alright then! And then not to forget which was a great surprise (when your at a yoga retreat) some bottles of Spanish rioja and sauv blanc placed around to help yourself to if you wish. When in Spain!… Still detoxing though with all the delicious vegetarian delights. And even if your little one just wants to run and play in the beautiful gardens that’s ok as there’s plenty of healthy snacks going around too.

Holy-mama we’ve arrived!

 

So finally we have arrived at our beautiful Ibizan family yoga retreat. After several days of getting used to the Spanish way of life of siestas and sangria my husband, my son (who had siestas only) and I have made our way inland to the beautiful villas where the holy mama yoga retreat is being held. Stunning is the word. Set in the middle of no where, two villas housing several mamas (some papas) and lots of children. Lots and lots of children of varying ages from small babies to big babies to toddlers all the way up to an 11 year old, who all bring a lovely vibe to this beautiful setting.

So the rooms are beautiful and the villas are tastefully decorated.  There is a couple of swimming pools and lots of grassed space for the children to run around on whilst the parents can laze on hammocks.  My toddler is loving life. There is a trampoline.  And a whole heap of new pals and a whole heap of new toys. This is heaven on earth for him. And on top of that there are carers who come in to look after your children (yes really!) for the morning each morning whilst you get to go and do yoga. So now it’s heaven on earth for the parents too.  So whilst my son bounces up and down on the trampoline with his new pals I can relax and start to find my inner zen.

We are off! To a family yoga retreat… and here is our experience

Ever wondered what its like to go to a yoga retreat.  Or even fancied getting away with your little one, either on your own or with your other half, but to somewhere that is child (and adult) friendly and where you can simply relax, where your child can play with other children and might I add not in those brash kids clubs or soft plays (my idea of hell).  Well I’ve found it and I’m going to share this amazing secret with you.

It will come as no surprise that I love yoga.  I teach it and I run my own successful YogaBellies business in the southside of Glasgow.  Last year I went to Ibiza for the first time.  I know shock horror after 40 years of living I had never been to Ibiza. And I went to party for a friends Birthday.  And it was amazing.  But I didn’t see the beautiful island (just the beautiful clubs) and also I had to leave my little boy behind so I vowed I would return with him, see the island and experience it together (not at Pacha).

So on my return from my weekend of partying I was in full research mode to find something for the both of us (as I was NEVER partying again and NEVER wanting to leave my child again.. until the next time) and I stumbled across Holymama.  A yoga retreat for mums and their children.  In Ibiza.  You couldn’t find anything more perfect than this!  So I booked to go the following Summer.  I somehow picked papas welcome week without realising it and my husband was keen to join us.  Which I’m not going to lie I was unsure of at first as I wanted this as something for my little boy and I to experience together (writing this I am sorry hubby!) but I can safely say it turned out to be an amazing family holiday.

To add to the amazing family holiday we also spent a few days before the retreat discovering Ibiza with a toddler which was something quite novel.  The amount of people when you say you are going to Ibiza say oooh are you going to party.  No I’m going with my 2 and a half year old who I preferably (not always the way in Spain) like to go to bed before 8 pm.  But I have to say Ibiza has it all (gorgeous beaches, pools, child friendly restaurants, play parks) its not just for the party goers. Although we did sample a little party by going to a daytime beach club, el chiringuito, with a kids club little el chiringuito (again a cool kids club right on the sand) and we didn’t really party we just sat and drunk nice rose.

So I am now currently wading though my thousands of pictures and my blogs I wrote here and there.  I’m putting them together to share, to reach like minded souls, and as a memory for my family as our tans fade and we sink back into reality (but with refreshed minds and energised bodies) and before we start planning our next Holymama retreat and Ibiza family holiday.