Who isn’t familiar with sentences like “I am just so busy” or “one day…” or “if I had time I would do this and that”? It seems this is the “latest fashion” of the time we are currently living in: to never have time. It is hence not surprising that for many vacation is the time of year to try new things, finally go ahead with these resolutions and travel to far away exotic places and maybe even disappear from the oh so busy lives for a while, go to secluded and laid back places. So why not a fitness or Yoga retreat altogether? They are very “à la mode”, aren’t they? A fantastic place to do just that is the Workout on Water in the Cook Islands (a four hour flight from Auckland, New Zealand with Virgin Australia or Air New Zealand). The 15 islands in the heart of Polynesia, of which Rarotonga and Aitutaki are the most known ones, are simply paradisiac. Unique is this yoga and SUP retreat of Charlotte Piho in Rarotonga. (To know more about SUP read my blog on stand up paddling). Far away from big resorts and luxury hotels lies the surf house where Charlotte accommodates retreat guests. A qualified yoga instructor and professional SUP surfer, Charlotte makes sure guests are taken care of and adapts her sessions to the different levels, from beginners to advances. So what does a typical retreat day look like? Getting up early for a sunrise yoga or paddle session, spending some free time at the beach or doing some more paddling. Paddling is a great full body workout whilst being outdoors and on the ocean and since the Cook Islands are a lagoon, the waters are very calm and ideal for especially for SUP beginners. Many other disciplines like yoga, macro yoga or fitness can be done on the board to increase the intensity.
The afternoon may be spent hiking the beautiful mountains in the Cook Islands, doing a Hula fitness class or simply discovering Rarotonga (an easy and cheap way to do that is the “island bus” which goes clockwise and anti-clockwise around the island). This bus is quite an experience!
Charlotte provides most of the (delicious and healthy) meals (she is an amazing cook), however, a visit to the night market is a must! Local and delicious, albeit very rich food, as well as the atmosphere is just amazing and people are incredibly friendly. Worth a visit or more.
One thing to be aware of is the “island time”. It takes some time to get used to but after a couple of days….you will live by the island time and coming back home life around you will seem like such a rush! Islands time means that things take time, no one rushes but somehow everything works out perfectly well. Isn’t that the reason to do this retreat after all???!!! The best thing about the Cook Islands is that there is no telephone connection whatsoever for abroad providers and since they are located behind the date line it is easy to lose any notion of time and date.
All in all the Cook Islands are an incredibly beautiful, friendly and welcoming place, people living by their own time, it will change your way of looking at the pace of our Western pace of life. The retreat is the cherry on top beauty and is a fantastic way of staying active and being surrounded by like minded people and finding your your own path and getting your focus on life back.
Find more information about the Workout on Water here.