Rita Rizk is a Sydney-based journalist. She’s curious about the world, the biggest foodie alive, enjoys the outdoors, and loves music. She’s forever exploring the world. Find her on Instagram at @sydneytastebudz
Published February 17th 2020
It's not often that we can disconnect with technology and reconnect with ourselves. Too often we look after others and neglect ourselves. Thankfully, there are healing retreats all over Sydney to help you head to a happier place, somewhere to de-stress and focus on the positive.
Happy Buddha Retreat at Wentworth Falls in NSW's Blue Mountains does just that. It's the perfect mix of meditation, yoga, fresh vegetarian food and like-minded people all looking to heal their inner self.
My husband Shaun and I spent the weekend there to get out of our comfort zone and simply enjoy being back in nature. It was definitely an experience we would do again and again.
There were 25 others at the retreat, some simply to enjoy the yoga; others to escape the stress of everyday life, or even just wanting to be surrounded in nature. It's a 3-day getaway essentially to take time out and go offline. I guess a chance to focus on our mental well-being while making some life-long friends.
The tranquil bushland setting is enough to immediately relax you into a good mood. The air in the Blue Mountains can't compare to the city only 90 minutes away. At Happy Buddha, it's all about centring yourself and indulging in the fresh air and slower pace. As soon as we got there, our mindset had changed almost instantly and forgot about the petty worries of the rest of the world.
The retreat is built around a swimming pool, and the rooms are all quite spacious en suite rooms. All rooms have a stunning view of the mountains, you can wake up and watch the sunrise from the comfort of your bed.
No day is the same. There's an itinerary set out for you once you arrive, but nothing is compulsory. We tried to make the most out of all classes, especially the early morning yoga classes to really start our morning with gentle stretches targeting connective tissues and relaxing muscles.
The meditation was the highlight for me, learning to find my zen and being grateful for the small things in life. Another one that we really enjoyed was the retreat drum circle where you let loose on your bongos, in a carefree environment. It's true when they say music heals the soul.
And most importantly, the food. Breakfast, lunch and dinner we were served nourishing vegetarian meals which not only left you feeling great, but also pretty full.
The weekends are what you make of them. This retreat bought us back in contact with nature. We experienced beautiful sunrises, dynamic yoga, bush walks to waterfalls and delicious vegetarian buffets.
What Happy Buddha aims to achieve is serenity and inner peace and just knowing your worth. What better place to reconnect than in a modern retreat in Australian bushland.