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Byron Bay Yoga Retreat

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by Amy B (subscribe)
Amy Basha is a senior award winning Weekend Notes writer with close to 60,000 article views. She is passionate about life and loves to write about the many amazing experiences in our world.
Published July 1st 2013
Yoga retreat that's good for the soul and the pocketbook
Byron Bay would have to be one of my most favorite places on Planet Earth. With vibrant turquoise beaches, whales and dolphins frolicking at Cape Byron, and the lush hinterland - it's a tropical paradise at its best.

Cape Byron

When I saw Byron Beach Resort was offering a yoga retreat by Vitale Yoga I knew it would be a special experience.

When we arrived at the Byron Beach Resort, set a about a 5 minute drive or 20 minute walk outside of the centre of Byron Bay I was struck by how cute the turquoise painted buildings were. The staff was incredibly friendly and helpful, which was another plus.

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The resort has been newly renovated and offers a communal kitchen and lounge area. I was shocked, in a good way, by how clean and orderly the kitchen was. We made a couple of breakfasts there, and it was so clean and easy to use.

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Outside was a lush garden, complete with relaxing hammocks to sway in the wind to.

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I stayed with 2 friends, and we booked a 4 person dorm with a private bathroom. The room was tidy, clean and awesome for the price we paid.

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I loved the location of the resort, which was set across the street from Belongil Beach. What a breathtaking experience to get up in the morning and walk down to the beach, a real treat.

Stunning Sunrise at Belongil Beach

Which brings us to the yoga, which was held at the back of the resort in a special yoga tent Russelle Vitale had commissioned in India and brought over. It's a beautiful circular white tent, light and airy, and you can feel all your stress leave as you enter the sacred space.

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With the retreat package we got, a 3 night 4 day stay, and 3 yoga classes. I was very impressed that Russell emailed us before the retreat began to give him a call, and discuss our health and yoga history so he could best match us to a yoga class.

There were 3 classes on offer each day , two morning classes and one evening class. The variety was great because you could choose the level of intensity and the time that worked best for your schedule. I liked that there was only one class a day, so you could fit in sight seeing and touring around Byron as well.
The classes are open to the community in Byron Bay as well, which is nice as you got a great mix of locals and guests at the class.

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Russell is an excellent teacher who takes yoga very seriously. He makes a pilgrimage to Mysore, India every year to study and assist his teacher Bharath Shetty, who comes from the yoga lineage of Guru of Ashtanga B.K.S. Iyengar.

His classes are good and thoughtful, and he takes care with each student to make sure they are practising the poses properly. The only suggestion I would have is to add an additional heat lamp in the winter, as we were there in June and the room got quite chilly.

Russell said in the summer they open the tent up and the lush nature energy around Byron pours in as you practice yoga. I must return if only to experience that!

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After the yoga class, we hit the lovely Belongil Bistro, which is known to have the best coffee in Byron and is right next to the resort.

On the other side of the resort is the Treehouse on Belongil, which has awesome live music at night and delicious pizzas. The resort is set a bit outside of Byron and I loved having these local cafes to try and being out of the hub of Byron Bay.

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It was a truly a relaxing retreat, one that I would recommend everyone who wants to get out of the hustle and bustle of Sydney to try. You will come back grounded and recharged, and ready to go back to Byron soon. I know I am.

Beautiful Aboriginal designs outside our room
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Why? Yoga and the Beach, what could be better?
When: Ongoing
Phone: 61 (0) 2 66 857868
Where: Byron Bay
Cost: Prices vary
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