Wedged in between the most hectic weeks of work EVER our staycation yoga retreat was perfect timing. With ‘The Circle of Life’ chiming around in my head and the production a day away, reports, parents evening and general Week 7 of a half term exhaustion, it was the best opportunity for a weekend away (30 minutes away from our houses). I’ve loved doing yoga since I moved to Penang and I’ve really benefited from the relaxation with all the anxiety and negative energy of the past year and 2 months.
Our staycation was hosted by Angeline, who is very friendly and was very organised and knowledgeable. Our setting was Boulder Valley Glamping Site which is a new hidden gem in Penang, far away from the construction and traffic of the south of the island.
Click the link Penang dwellers or potential visitors to check it out.
Boulder Valley is very beautifully created with amazing glamping tents and lots of big windows so you can see all the green. The furniture was the nicest furniture we have ever seen in Penang (Penang has its own 10/10 scale compared to the world for rating things because it’s not often on a par with elsewhere) and it was a 10/10 UK scale, so really nice wood. There were lots of cute bottles and jars with plants in which would make a great jungle wedding setting according to Beth, and the ambience was very relaxing. We loved it there immediately.
We got a free apple on arrival and it was a pretty great apple.
Our weekend was made up of 5 different sessions. First we went to Himalayan singing bowl yoga. We learnt about our 7 chakras and we listened to the vibration of the different bowls.
At first I was sceptical, as ever. When the bowls were placed on top of Beth and I and a man was sucking a mint whilst gonging us I was really struggling to remain zen. I’m not really mature enough to have these kind of experiences with my friends. However at the end we all felt so relaxed and wanted to go back the next morning for another session. At the second session the bowl was placed on our back and that was really, really nice. Here’s some pics of us having a go…
I was laughing too hard in the last photo to get a clear shot, still not matured.
After the first singing bowl exercise we had some time to enjoy our rooms, so obviously we whacked out the prosecco. Beth has given up Instagram for lent so she was struggling with the perfection of the setting and activity
Next up was Aqua Yoga. This was hilarious after two bottles of prosecco and some M&S jelly sweets. We tried our best. We laughed a lot. There were some very serious people so we tried to remain low key. However when one woman was floating towards Becky’s boobs feeling zen but unaware that was the end. I’m not sure that Aqua Yoga is my thing but the pool was really nice.
Later on it was time for dinner, which was included. The food was amazing and plentiful. It was impossible to eat it all.
Debates were had about whether this was just a giant fan or some kind of renewable energy source. Sadly probably just a fan. Sad times Malaysia. We discussed topics such as ‘Can headlice make you anemic?’ and strangely some people actually wanted to talk to us and make friends. Straight from dinner we went to our final yoga session of the night which involved holding stretches for 4 to 5 minutes. For one of them you had to put a band around your head and attach it to your foot. Once again, hilarious.
The room was unfortunately full of flying ants but it’s okay because a man came with a spot sweep to dispose of them. At one point the woman in front of us let out a lot of gas in an unfortunate position and this was really the end of my composed manner.
The biggest drama happened on return to our tent when we closed the curtains and found the biggest, thickest spider I’ve seen inside. I’m not good with spiders. Once I called my house phone to tell my mum to come upstairs and get rid of a spider that was on the landing. Once I didn’t sleep in my room for three weeks because I saw a spider and didn’t know where it went. Imogen and I used to plot elaborate plans to get rid of them when we were growing up. This one made those ones look like a kitten and my god was it fast and clever. Beth and Becky took one for the team as I lay distressed on the bed getting a stress headache. In the end we had to jungle formula it because it just wasn’t cooperating.
Here’s the moment when it ran out and then ran back in.
To calm down after this terrifying situation (some spiders are poisonous here guys) we had some more wine and put on a clay mask.
The next morning it was a 6.45am start for yoga (gross) and noone slept because of post traumatic spider stress and the fact the air con was cooler than the Arctic but none of us thought to turn it off. Bad night sleep all round. The morning yoga was my favourite kind of yoga ‘dynamic flow’. Yoga in the dark with bugs made it a ropey start but by the end I was into it.
After breakfast, which was unfortunately disappointing, Jess and I skipped the mindfulness discussion to lie in bed with another face mask. Namastay in bed. Jess is always reliable for a great caption. We video called Jen and Andi in Colombia which was a mindful activity in keeping up with loved friends in other countries ❤️
We looked at nail art designs on Pinterest. It was a wholesome hour of fun. Finally we returned for our second singing bowl session, which was delightful.
It was a lovely weekend full of laughing and learning new things. We had SO much fun. I would recommend Boulder Valley for a night away in the jungle, we will definitely be returning. Hoping for another yoga retreat before July.
Much love for my Penang pals in our final months together, SOB. 1 week to go until Sri Lanka!