The past two years have been a rollercoaster ride for many of us and New Wave Retreats is going to be the guide you need to be mentally, spiritually and physically enlightened. Combining both body and mind, the team led by Jamie Richardson and Kate Dennison have managed to create a retreat that is going to challenge you to be the best you can be.
The 5-day residential retreat is designed to reinvigorate physical and mental wellness and I experienced a two day taster session of New Wave Retreats in sunny Brighton.
New Wave Retreats Day One
As with anything new, I was a bundle of nerves and a tangle of excitement.
Our accommodation at New Wave Retreats was equipped for just about anything you would need. Even on a grey and miserable day, the atmosphere in the house was radiating. Split into two houses, rooms are large with a cloud-like double bed, making bedtime even more pleasurable. Heated floors help on the arrival back from the ice baths. The beautifully and contemporary designed rooms, all with en-suites, make the days seamlessly fall into one. Waking up to not only the sound of the seagulls but to rise with the crashing waves and the scenic pebbled beach was a real motivator.
After a quick unpack, we all gathered in the kitchen. With a quick introduction by Jamie of what is on the itinerary, Kate who is also a happiness life coach, helped us strangers become a team. With quick mindfulness exercises, we finished the morning session with a Kundalini eye contact task, to look into the eyes of the person next to you and simply look. No talking and just seeing into the other person’s eyes. After three minutes went past, laughter and tears were shed. The daunting task of eye contact is something most of us nowadays try so hard to avoid. On the tube, catching someone’s eye and then quickly changing direction seems to be an activity that happens nearly at every stop whilst commuting. However, this broke the ice and Kate’s ice breaker helped us all get to know each other, even if a little awkward at first.
Battle with the PTs
The time had come for the physical activities to commence. The afternoon started with two sets of workouts instructed by two of the most encouraging and tough personal trainers you could meet. The sessions were based in sea containers and fully adapted with all matters of equipment from tyres, bars, and Pilate tables. The type of exercise classes was and could be endless. However, we stuck to a 60-minute full-body strength class. Although some of the toughest 60 minutes I have ever had, everyone was there for each other so we didn’t give up.
Wim Hof Cold Therapy
Feeling hot, sweaty and energised, it was time to try some cold therapy with the Wim Hof Method. It is safe to say we were all a little nervous before even stepping onto the minibus to take us to the beach where the perfectly placed bath jam-packed with ice cubes was. The session began with an introduction by Mathew Scott, a Wim Hof qualified instructor who bravely explained to us all why and how he began cold water submersions. With the list of benefits never-ending, the excitement slowly crept into my bloodstream, and I was looking forward to getting into that freezing bath.
The moments before submersion, the classic Wim Hof technique resembles a calmer version of the Haka. In a squatted position moving side to side to keep the body and mind, helped distract for what was about to happen. I was mentally preparing to scream, but it was easy to sit completely down in the metal ice bath as soon as I put one toe in. focusing on breathing and listening to the sound of the crashing waves made the whole experience extremely mindful. Two minutes flew by, which meant it was back to the deep squat movements. To warm up naturally without any towels or clothes felt like it would be completely unnatural but it was far from that. For anyone who wants to do it or needs to be woken up physically, mentally and spiritually I would hurry to fill your bath with ice and find your centre.
New Wave Retreats Day Two
We were blessed with an early morning, a wake up with the birds as we head to Devils Dyke for a sunrise strength and boxing session. The sun had finally graced the sky and warmed us all up for the session of all sessions.
Split again in two, the workouts consisted of a range of bodyweight and weighted exercises aimed to target the whole body. Boxing in pairs became a place where the frustration of the outside world could come out in a safe and practical environment. All fitted with brand new pads, the boxing was hard work and made you not only push your body but also required you to use your brain. Feeling unable to walk after, we headed back to the accommodation to have a breakthrough class with Kate, the happiness life coach herself.
Breakthrough: Happiness Life Coach
I was extremely optimistic for Kate’s session as from the day before when in the introduction with Jamie, she gave us a taster of what she does and what she believes in. Discussing with us about a hero’s journey, a type of mythology which Joseph Campbell said that all good and popular stories have to have. By overcoming challenges and not giving up the hero (you) will and can ultimately come back a new person, a person who has been able to make the change for good. Everyone within the room, their eyes widened and the feeling within the room electrified. Not only did Kate explain to us how we all have this potential. She discussed the concept of breakthrough. Partnering with the hero’s journey, a breakthrough is a type of epiphany or enlightenment like in the final stage of the hero’s journey. We left the session with two questions. What is my vision statement? What is my mission statement?
My food experience at New Wave Retreats
With a retreat that prides itself in health and well-being, I was apprehensive most for the food and scared we would be provided with a lettuce leaf for all meals. But that was far from it. All made on-site, the chef focuses on organic, low salt, low sugar and no dairy food and the meals and even snacks were packed with flavour. We were greeted at breakfast with a yoghurt and granola bowl topped with a varied combination of fruit. The spicing within the oats complemented the freshness of the fruit and was filling and nourishing for a perfect wake up meal.
Lunch changed my mind on salmon. Usually a fussy fish eater, a teriyaki marinated salmon on gorgeously crunchy coleslaw and sticky black rice arrived in front of us. Dinner on the other hand by far was my favourite meal. Even when getting ready for dinner in my room, I was almost knocked down with the unctuous smells of what was being prepared downstairs for us. Rushing to get down, on the stove was a split lentil dhal and cauliflower fried in mango chutney. Reigniting my love for dhal, this dinner was warming and had similar effects of what the happiness life coach had on us.
At every mealtime, the room was flooded with silence. A silence that was pure enjoyment and excitement. Snacks were also prepared, and we were able to sample the luscious cocoa and peanut protein ball which was the perfect energy pick me up we needed after working out.
In a nutshell
Though my experience at New Wave Retreats was a condensed version, the five day experience aims to completely change your mindset and improve your physical state as well. All prices include 3 meals and 3 snacks for each day and sessions including happiness coaching, sunrise meditation and reflexology, laughter yoga, kundalini eye contact, Wim Hof breathwork and cold exposure, wild fitness sessions, cooking classes and beach volleyball.
To discover more, visit: newwave-retreats.com
Imagery courtesy of New Wave Retreats.
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