“Live a happy, healthy
and fulfillled life.
Change your thoughts, change your life.”
I was fortunate enough to attend Nicky Arthur’s 3 Day Yoga Retreat in Karratha recently and I’d love to share with you what I experienced over the course of the weekend.
Nicky has a wonderful approach and gentle way of coaching you into each Yoga posture. I have done quite few different types of Yoga before but nothing quite as physically demanding as this. It pushed a lot of boundaries for me and gave me a different insight into another type of exercise. I had sore muscles, did some serious sweating and ate a tonne of broccoli during the detox process ;-). I gained quite a bit of mental clarity and reassurance that I was safe in each posture and that I could push myself harder. I felt revived, relaxed and rejuvenated after the weekend and thoroughly enjoyed meeting Nicky and hearing about her practice and what she has achieved from it. Such an inspiring lady!
Looking forward to the next visit to Karratha WA! 2014
Lighter, less heavy and blobby. I have incorporated mediation and relaxation into my life since the workshop and I just feel so much more happier, relaxed and enjoying life. I love the cd. It is a great tool to help me mediate. I have more clarity and a positive attitude towards achieving my goals with structure."
Emma 23 yrs
Health and nutrition however it opened my eyes to new ideas and concepts. It was the kick start I needed to look to look at what I was eating and how I was exercising. The eating plans and food diary are great tools. It was a very relaxing day and I have become a yoga convert. Just wish there were hours in the day to learn even more. Very aptly named ‘live in balance’ as I feel I am truly on the way to achieving mine. You are truly amazing an amazing inspiration."
Audrey 44 yrs
"As a direct consequence of attending the workshop I’ve got renewed vigour and enthusiasm for my training program for the World Master’s Games in October, and also the Hawkesbury Classic. Was getting a bit disheartened. Now training everyday."
Marayke 65 yrs NSW
"Just wanted to thank you again for the workshop last week... I really enjoyed it! You will be pleased to know that it prompted me not only to listen to your meditation CD, but also to finally program my iPod after having it sitting in its box for nearly 12 months."
Jo 37 yrs NSW
"Very interactive and life changing. Exceeded my expectations, very valuable information, great content."
Nicky your zest for life is truly inspirational to women and your positive spirit shines through to all of us, what an amazing person you are.
Toni J WA
The results have been amazing. I have lost 8.1 kg in weight in the first two weeks.
My initial measurements until day 5 but since then have lost an average 1-2 cm off all areas except the waist, which is now 9cm, less.
It is nice to be able to get one on one coaching. It helps keep me inspired.
Nicky, when it comes to being a coach, you are awesome.
Cheers, Sonia WA
Nicky Arthur's Bali Retreat - 20-25 August 2014
Nicky mentioned during a Yoga class I was fortunate enough to attend that she had one place available at the Bali Retreat and that started me thinking about attending.
Once I looked at the Fivelements website, I could clearly see that it was a very beautiful place and I had the thought that attending the retreat might help strengthen my resolve to live a better lifestyle and help with my fitness program. I also thought that it might better equip me physically and mentally for my chosen sport. In any event, I thought it would be a nice break and should improve my very basic yoga skills.
A couple of things were not quite clear to me. The food would be vegan and I am not vegetarian. How would I cope? Also, Nicky spoke of healing occurring and I gathered she was not talking about just physical injuries. Did I need mental or spiritual healing? Time would tell.
From the start, the organisation was seamless. On arrival at Denpasar, I was met by Newman, a member of the Fivelements staff who drove me to the resort. There I was greeted by Chicco, the Resort Manager, even though it was now well after 12.00pm, completed my registration, and was shown to my room, where a nice snack and tea awaited me.
The full beauty of Fivelements unfolded with the light of day. My Balinese Villa was very roomy with a king size bed overlooking the terrace which contained a deep bath in its own shelter. All the Villas back onto the Ayung River, which provides a peaceful rippling sound by day and night. My shower was in an enclosed garden adjoining the bathroom, a very nice way to shower.
Venturing outside, the full beauty of the gardens and the resort became apparent. All the buildings are constructed in traditional Balinese style and are very impressive, especially the largest building, Mandala Agung, where we had our first yoga session at 7.00am.
Apart from Nicky, I did not know any of the other people in the group, including Tina Stephens, our other yoga instructor, but Tina gave us a great first class after which we all sat down to our first breakfast in the Sakti Dining Room.
This is when one of my unanswered questions was answered. The food was fabulous! Every mouthful was a treat and the fruit somehow tasted softer and fresher than at home. After Day 1, when we had also had lunch and dinner, I was extremely happy with the food and ready to convert to raw vegetarian food if I could produce that quality at home.
Our daily routine was basically yoga at 7.00am for an hour and a half, breakfast about 9.00am followed by a workshop and free time until lunch at 12.00 noon. Sometimes the workshop would be in the afternoon instead. Then we either had more free time until dinner at 5.00pm. After dinner we had yoga again about 7.15pm.
I recall at dinner on Day1 thinking that there was no way I would feel like doing yoga afterwards, but I found it was a very pleasant and relaxing experience, especially when finishing with meditation and with Nicky taking the class, how could it not be? After evening yoga, I had no problem retiring to my villa, lighting an incense stick and listening to some Balinese music. It was also an opportunity to indulge in such typical Western habits as editing photos, checking text messages, stock exchange performance and posting on Facebook, before gratefully going to sleep!
During our free time we could have our complimentary massage or indulge ourselves in a number of other beauty and/or heath treatments, given by skilled Balinese healers, which were both varied and interesting.
Day 2 started with our first morning yoga session conducted in the Sacred Space, a special circular area set in the gardens of the resort. It was so nice to do yoga outside, see the sky, feel the sun on your body and appreciate nature around us, which once included a curious chicken or two! A circular array of flowers with incense was always present in the middle of our yoga areas. The staff provided us with juice and towels at the end of each session, which were welcome. Tina conducted the morning classes and it was always a delight to work with her.
I had not met Tina before, but I found her totally approachable and a great teacher and I very soon felt that I had known her for ages.
On Day 2 we had one of the highlights of the Retreat, a raw food cooking class guided and assisted by Made, the Resort’s Head Chef. In pairs, we prepared three courses which we then sat down and ate. We were very pleased with the outcome of our efforts!
Nicky conducted the workshops which were devoted to nutrition, life goals, strategies meditation and goal setting. I found the workshops informative and thought provoking and more to the point, action provoking. We were all surprised when we attempted meditating for 20 minutes on Day 3 and found that the time seemed to pass in about 5 minutes.
On Day 4 we ventured into Ubud and did some sightseeing and shopping and had lunch. Perhaps it was preparation for returning to the real world after spending 4 days in what seemed to be the Garden of Eden. Strangely, we all thought it felt longer than 4 days. Definitely some time suspension going on there!
Another highlight of the retreat was a surprise arranged by Nicky and Tina on the evening of Day 4. This was attending Agni Hotra, an ancient Hindu fire ceremony conducted by a Hindu priest.
The idea is to literally burn our negative thoughts and promote our positive thoughts and this was done with us dressed in saris and a sacred sash, sitting around a fire which we fed with wood and seeds as offerings to the accompaniment of mantras and gongs delivered by the priest, which rose to a crescendo when we the smashed a coconut representing the removal of our hard shell and the opening up of our pure heart. We then fed the coconut into the fire. We all felt pretty hot and inspired after that I think!
We were a group of 6 people for this first Retreat. We all bonded very well and enjoyed each other’s company. By Day 5 I feel we were all very close, knowing that we had all shared a unique and beautiful time together.
As is usual at the end of a holiday, there were feelings of sadness when we came to the last day, especially as it involved saying goodbye to people we had got to know and like, however, we were all feeling so resilient and happy at the end of the retreat that this seemed to make the parting easier. We all feel that we will meet again at some stage, hopefully, at the next retreat!
By the end of the retreat, we were all looking more relaxed and happier than when we arrived. The smiles gave it away really!
So did I feel that healing had taken place in me? Indeed, I did. Physically, there had been some weight loss and no doubt some improvement with my yoga. But there was also a feeling of inner happiness and mental refreshment as well. I feel more calm and relaxed and, in a strange way, purer in thought and spirit.
I feel I have been shown a better path to follow than I had before and that I have a greater understanding of both myself and others.
I think the healing also gave me a clearer view of my own reality, not all of which I like, but which I need to accept in order to be as happy and fulfilled as I can be. I am feeling more creative and thinking of making plans for a different future than I had in mind when I arrived.
Thank you, Nicky, Tina, Jacinda, Jutta and Sonia for making possible what was an experience of a lifetime and one that will stay with me for the rest of my life.
This is more than just great yoga and beautiful food. It can help you to become a better person.
Finally, I must thank the staff of Fivelements, who were always so friendly, helpful and professional and who’s beautiful, gentle natures always shone through.
With sincere gratitude,
4 September 2014