I have never done anything like this, is it for me?
90% of our clients are new to most, if not all, of what we do and no one has ever walked away unhappy or dissatisfied. We offer a high degree of integrity, physical safety and emotional support which is appreciated by all who stay with us. Again and again, unsure moments are replaced by realizations of just how simple the techniques we use are.
As for whether it is exactly what you want to do, you are a better judge of that. Let me know what you are expecting, wanting and needing from us, and I will do my best to bring clarity to your decision.
I have never fasted or done yoga, I’m overweight and live a city life of stress and toxins. Is this retreat suitable for me ?
You are exactly the kind of person we are used to working with. If you were a healthy, yogi living in a cave and eating fruit, I would be coming to you to learn a thing or two! If you have awareness of just how out of whack modern life has become, and are starting to see yourself fraying at the edges, then you are ready.
Where are the retreats held?
The venue we are currently using is in São Pedro de Sintra, near Lisbon in Southern Portugal.
It is a well equipped retreat center with gardens and swimming pool. The setting encourages outdoor activities such as walks along the nearby beach and breathing clean fresh air – just what the doctor ordered.
Will I lose weight?
Most clients loose between 2-5kg during the 7 days retreats. We find that this weight loss is due not only to dissolution of fat deposits, but also the body’s adaptation to this new environment. Once reintroduced to meals, the previous weight can be regained. New eating habits will determine your new weight; after which, overweight individuals tend to get lighter due to a lessened need to store excesses and toxins, and the underweight fill-out in response their body’s ability to absorb and assimilate foods through a less restricted digestive tract. We have also found that the fat/mass ratio is reduced.
I am looking forward to losing weight during the fast! How much is normal?
Between 2 and 5kg is average range, but everyone is unique. The changes you make after your retreat will make a long lasting difference. It is the lifestyle between fasts that create health, not the fasts themselves – these are simply time of special rest and healing.
I don’t want to lose too much weight, what can I do to prevent it?
Thin people will indeed lose weight on a fast, as everyone does. However, how much weight lost is individual, and more to the point: it is only temporary. After the fast a gradual introduction to healthy foods and lifestyle is a sure way to gain long lasting benefits and thin people will often find that if they let themselves, they will reach a new weight average that might be higher than before the fast.
An important point here is to be fluid in one’s expectations regarding image, body image etc. We tend to worry about our weight and therefore use valuable energy fretting plus disrupt our clear intuition regarding what we truly want to be eating and doing right now. Our body actually knows when it is hungry and even what it wants or doesn’t want to eat. With some trial and error this sensitivity can be regained and then best let go of your idea of how the body needs to be, and let the body reach its own medium. Remembering that natural weight is always shifting, in response to environmental factors (diet, exercise, emotions, etc.). To change the weight of an individual you must change some of these factors.
To summarise: You may loose weight during the fast, but if it has been effective, then you will pick up again and reach a new balance point, as well as a different lifestyle for your system to nourish itself through.
Isn’t fasting starving the body?
Fasting is an ancient time-tested practice used to maintain perfect health of body and mind. Starvation begins several weeks after food is discontinued. Until then the body goes into several levels of internal miracle, or ‘house cleaning’. Starting with breaking down excess foods in the system, it then starts burning old or damaged tissue as fuel. These alternative sources of energy are abundant in modern mankind, and it is several weeks before the switch is made to healthy tissue – and even this is done in great wisdom; strategically using those tissues that are most easily replaced and least essential. Generally speaking, more than a month can pass before any irreversible damage is done. Any fast that is broken wisely before this later stage results in magical health increases.
The regime we follow is mild as far as fasts go, as the juice ‘meals’ introduce carbohydrates to give the body energy.
What symptoms should I expect ?
Every body has it’s individual detox tendencies. The body always chooses the most appropriate channel of elimination once the detox process has started. This is experienced as symptoms, often familiar symptoms, which are recognisable as what we tend to feel when we are ‘sick’. We will learn that many of these instances are not ‘sickness’ rather are the body’s ‘house cleaning’ methods to clear debris and restore health. We will need to reprogram our minds to appreciate these health-inducing methods and to celebrate detox!
As to the symptoms experienced, they can be anything: headache, hiccups, fever, pimples, lowered BP, runny nose, nausea, tiredness, etc… They are the strongest elimination route for your particular system. The symptom that takes most people by surprise are waves of tiredness. Most of us have busy schedules which do not allow us to regularly take time out. During this week, we are intentionally using our energy towards a full physical ‘spring cleaning’, and so some other parts of you may have less energy from time to time. During the retreat you may take time to nap and rest!
It is important to note that by the end of the week’s fast many people find that chronic symptoms, lifelong causes of discomfort and pain, are much alleviated or even gone. This is a well documented process and an inevitable result of fasting, though the duration and number of fasts till all chronic symptoms are alleviated and eliminated depends on each individual process.
Will I be able to go straight back to work on Monday ?
Yes, however you are advised to take a few days off to rest from commitments after the retreat, if at all possible. It is more about giving your the body the ‘option’ of not needing to do anything over the next few days. It may not need it at the surface, but the more time you can give it to rebuild and readjust, the more you will be getting from your experience regarding long term benefits…
After reading many books I’ve been left rather confused, why will your course be different?
There is much controversy in any field. In fact it seems to be an inevitable product of science. So, you may never ‘know’ whether something is true or not. But keep your mind free to judge things from all angles. Experience always beats intellectual debate, but better than either, is both. We have come through many schools of thought to get back to where we started – nature. The best way to understand why we do what we do is to join us in doing it.
I am a total beginner at yoga – is that a problem?
Rest assured, you will get a great introduction here and be encouraged to learn according to your own pace. Nothing in the Yoga classes are too challenging, and each individual in the group experiences something new and encouraging regardless of their previous experience. A beginner has as much to enjoy in the classes as an advanced practitioner.
I think I am a little too old & stiff for all that bending!
Yoga is more about experiencing how your body works, than it is about flexibility. Some of the most graceful and poised people on Earth are also the stiffest – they simply know their body’s strengths and weakness, and seek to move within those. It is generally true that with relaxed repetition of movement flexibility does come, as does strength and stamina, but to try too hard is to lose the wood for the trees.