While living on the island of Mauritius, and eating far too many baguettes a l’Ancienne with delicious French cheese, I needed to find a way to stay fit and healthy and relieve the stress that comes with running a busy media business. The Wellness Festival Mauritius came along just at the right time to build on my new found passion for yoga.
The power of wellness
My daughter suggested I try yoga to get my fitness back on track. I found a bubbly American instructor on social media, bought her 12-week yoga-burn series and got to it. To be able to practice yoga on your verandah with a view of the beautiful blues of the Indian Ocean, surrounded by birds and cool breezes, definitely made it easier to stay motivated. Whoever thinks yoga only consists of a little stretching and breathing is wrong. I had signed up for Vinyasa flow yoga and I slowly began to feel the results as I built both my fitness level and strength. The transformative power of nature, music, yoga and clean eating is life changing.
And just as I was beginning to enjoy a host of newfound benefits, the Wellness Festival Mauritius popped up on my radar. This was to be the biggest wellness festival in the Indian Ocean and Southern African regions and the timing could not have been more perfect. I was definitely ready to take things up a notch in terms of my overall wellness. The fact that it was taking place in my ‘neighbourhood’ was, so to speak, pure luck. But Mauritius really is the dream tropical setting in which to reconnect with nature, revive your senses and focus on wellbeing.
A festival in paradise
The festival was hosted at the beautiful C Beach Club of Heritage Le Telfair Golf & Wellness Resort in Bel Ombre in the south of the island. The entire Beach Club was transformed: Bedouin tents were set up on the beach for yoga, meditation, sound therapy and art classes, as well as on the rolling lawns under the trees to house raw-food demonstrations, and nutrition and personal-development workshops. Designated chill-out areas consisting of big, comfy cushions were set up under the palm trees.
The venue-based offerings were complemented by outdoor activities, including a sunrise hike up Le Morne Brabant, sunset SUP sessions, yoga classes next to a waterfall and sunrise surfing sessions. A market was set up next to the pool and I was able to buy a few wonderful items such as cork yoga mats, fantastic yoga gear, and even crystals and body oils.
Assemble-your-own salad and smoothie bars were open all day, while the evenings offered live music and dancing on the beach followed by delicious raw, vegetarian or vegan dinner options.
The complete package
The festival was well thought out and offered a completely inspiring journey for body, mind and spirit. The focus was on reviving the senses through music, dancing, cooking, art and other media so that you could realise their transformative power.
You could join as many classes, workshops and seminars as you liked. The full programme was rotated over three days so you could pick and choose what interested you and the rotations allowed you to experience almost everything. Leading Mauritian experts were supported by their international colleagues from countries including the UK, India, Australia, America and Europe.
‘The Wellness Festival Mauritius is a celebration of nature and an incredible journey for the mind, body and soul. The variety of classes, workshops, nature experiences and seminars is really impressive.’ Hannah Barrett, leading London-based yoga instructor and Wellness Festival 2019 instructor.
I can truly say that this experience changed me; it put me on the path to wellness for which I will always be grateful.
The 2020 Wellness Festival Mauritius was to take place from 22 to 24 May at Heritage C-Beach Club, Bel Ombre, Mauritius. However, the pandemic forced the cancellation of the festival. It has now been postponed to 2021, and I can’t wait to sign up!
Look out for more information on the line-up and packages for 2021 here.
By Ingrid Hale – this article first appeared in the March 2020 issue of Sail + Leisure magazine.
[Travel Tuesdays: Wellness in Paradise]