Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Gwinganna; My Little Slice of Heaven

I have recently returning from a 7 day detox programme at Gwinganna Lifestyle retreat.
I decided I had to blog about this amazing place and share with you the life changing lessons I have learnt there.
Besides the inevitable weight loss there are so many other life enhancing benefits that I walked away with and this was my 2nd (of what I now know will be a yearly if not twice yearly) stay.

The first time I discovered Gwinganna I was looking around for a place to de stress and take time out from my hectic life,  I was also at a cross roads in my personal life and needed to gain some much
needed perspective.  Although professionally I couldn't be happier, I knew that I was just re-acting to life and was not mindful in my daily choices i.e The food I ate, the exercise I DIDN'T get and the way I dealt with the many levels of stress associated with being a mother, business owner and a professional person in a demanding industry.
So (being a serial researcher) I looked up what was on offer in Health retreats and compared options and philosophies of the various wellness facilities out there. I loved the holistic and practical approach Gwinganna offered (not too alternative but still embracing an organic and spiritual experience) so I booked into Gwinganna for a 5 days Wellness Programme and extended my stay to 7 days and fell instantly in love.
For any person that has multiple balls in the air and needs a respite from the careening pace of an over scheduled life then Gwinganna is the perfect Oasis.

I have said recently that I would go to Gwinganna over most destinations in the world...and I have been to a LOT of places (as an International Flight Attendant for Qantas for 10 years and now in my travels for Lily G).
This statement is due largely to how I feel on leaving the Gwinganna environment:-
I feel refreshed, rested, in control, nurtured and stronger both physically and mentally.
My body and my mind feel more unified and I leave more in control and able to cope.
These are all huge benefits for a person that previously stayed on track with only nervous energy and adrenaline as her coping mechanisms (and a glass or two of Sauve Blanc).
I have a very strong will and run on the frenetic energy that a creative person with a huge ADHD streak is predisposed to; but when burnout is happening and I start to feel like I'm free falling in a mudslide I now head to Gwinganna to gain back some equilibrium.

This last stay was for 7 days of their fabulous detox programme, (meaning no Alcohol, dairy, meat, caffein or gluten...very little spices or anything that puts stress on your system)
as hard as that sounds at first it is an easy swap over when you discover that the meals are all made freshly from organically farmed local produce and are prepared by talented and creative chefs.
Your daily coffee is replaced by nurturing and beneficial teas, animal based proteins with essential Omega 3 Fish and Vegetable curries and an abundance of healthy organic green leaves.
After a couple of days you start to feel as though you are truly tasting food again.
You eat slowly and mindfully and that helps your digestion.

A typical day at Gwinganna begins with a cheery wakeup call to start you off on your daily ritual, which consists of the following:-
6.30-7.00 Qui Choing ( a calm contemplative movement based exercise based on Tai Chi)
7.00 -8 ish Daily hike (several levels of difficulty) Such a beautiful way to commune with nature and start the day.
8.00 - 9.00 Breakfast (always delicious and nurturing)
9.00 - 11.00 Morning Exercise (choice of Yin or Yang exercises)
range from Pilates, Yoga, Dance, Boxing, Boot Camp
11.00 - 11.30 Morning Tea
11.30 - 1pm Educational Seminar on various topics i.e Digestion, Sleep, Stress (These seminars help to give you the resources you need to make the best choices once you leave)
1.00 - 2.00 Lunch
2.00 - 7 Dream time (Day spa bliss OUT!!)
7.00 - 8.00 Dinner
8.30 Bed

As you can see your days are full and there is plenty of quiet time. Lots of stunning walks to go on and one day I exercised 5 Hours!! for a person that has alway embraced The Lounge Lizard school of exercise that is amazing to me!
First 3 days are a bit murky as everyone detoxes the sugar, caffeine and other various dependencies but about the 4th day you start to feel cleansed and energised.
 The Daily exercise is in stunning surrounds with motivated trainers and you definitely feel that you are making long term changes due to the educational seminars that are held to reinforce the Practical exercise.
After the exercise and the lectures you have a endless list of spa options to sooth away the muscle stiffness from the morning. This is called Dream Time and it is aptly named.

When your whole afternoon is spent being cocooned in the most stunning day spa with a menu of holistic and therapeutic treatments you can't help but start to slow down.

I am now well and truly back into the daily grind of life and work now and look back longingly at my beautiful stay. But I am armed with the latest nutritional education and Gwinganna is sending me my weekly updates to help me keep on track.
I am sticking to their 80/20 rule on everything and have happily shed some excess weight and the and a huge weight off my shoulders as well.  The weight I lost feels so easy to keep off now that I know how to follow simple rules.

If you were thinking of going to a health retreat I can't recommend Gwinganna enough and would love to hear from anyone that has been and what their impressions were of this beautiful place.

My Room in The Signature Villas 
View from My Room


Blissful Bathtime over looking the pond

Very Happy on my first day!

Where daily Morning Tea and the Seminars are held

Some lucky Full time residence

Over looking one of the many herb gardens. Magnificent views of the Gold Coast Coastline

The Hanger where exercise, dance and one of the infinity pools

My Dream Garden....one of the most relaxing places to visit at Gwinganna

For more information on Gwinganna go here