Get into the outside world and be active. Whether it is an epic climbing tour or a gentle stroll – no matter what, as long as you get into the great outdoors. That was the credo of Ordnance Survey, who wanted to motivate one million people to get outdoors on National Get Outside Day, 30th of September 2018.
In a previous article, we were talking about creating little or big adventures for that day (read them here), but obviously, these ideas still stand, even now that the day has passed. Every day could potentially be a Get Outside Day!
Little Yoga Hut Cardiff
What I chose to do for National Get Outside Day was taking part in a Yoga retreat in beautiful Tresaith together with my mother. On a Friday, we sat out from Cardiff towards the Yoga House Wales in Tresaith. We were welcomed by Cath from the little Yoga Hut Cardiff, who hosts these weekend retreats a couple of times per year. When she’s not in the Yoga House Wales, Cath teaches yoga in Cardiff in classes or one-on-one sessions or holds other fun events, like yoga walks or day retreats.
The weekend was a mixture of gentle yoga in the yoga room, walks along the beautiful coastline and some outside yoga flows. Topped off with some wildlife observation attempts which sadly were not crowned by success.
We already made the most of our weekend and the glorious weather on the way to Tresaith. We stopped on the way for a drawn-out lunch break and some seasonal caffeinated hot beverages from a certain coffee shop chain that happen to be very highly valued as soon as autumn hits.
Yoga House Wales
Once in Tresaith, we moved into our wonderful room in the Yoga House. This accommodation really is the bee’s knees. The house is very well maintained and equipped, yet at the same time so charmingly old-fashioned in its decor and style – in my opinion, the dictionary definition of cosy with the nicest staff you can imagine, sprinkled with a cat in the house here and there. My fellow vegans: the plant-based food options they home cook (!) are absolutely fantastic.
The house itself is located minutes from the beach, which we went to inspect first. It comes complete with some nice little paths and a waterfall.
The first group yoga session set the tone for the weekend. It was a lovely and very gentle session with lots of grounding and slow stretches.
Get Outside Day
On the actual Get Outside Day, we met in the yoga room three times; morning, before lunch and in the evening. Each session was a little different and besides the asanas included elements like meditation, breathing techniques, relaxation elements and practising gratitude and affirmations.
In between the sessions, we walked to the beach again to see the waterfall. The sun was out and the weather was lovely, so we felt inspired to do a little yoga flow on the rocks in front of the waterfall.
Having the waterfall running behind us, the ocean waves coming towards us and the unevenly textured rocks as our base not only brought us really into the moment, it also charged us with a lot of energy for the day. Yoga or not, I just love the effects of outside exercise. Yoga in this spot was the perfect activity on National Get Outside Day for me.
Later on, we followed the Wales Coast Path to Aberporth and as we were told some dolphins were spotted nearby we kept our eyes on the endless blue the whole time. No dolphin showed its head (or tail or fin or any other part) but the walk was pleasant. We passed pretty houses, campsites and a multitude of dog walkers and made it back to the Yoga House just in time for our evening session.
My thoughts after the retreat
Each of Cath’s practices was gentle with a lot of attention to detail. Cath made sure she explained the movement and the sentiment and purpose that went with it. She offered modifications and comprehensible corrections and so created a pleasant environment suitable for everyone, no matter where on their yoga- and life journeys they were.
The sessions were definitely on the slower end of things. Everyone who is after a little bit of a physical challenge was able to add in elements in the free time and everyone who was after pure relaxation was able to soak up every last yummy stretch from the joint practices.
The group was small, only eight people spent time together in the house. This group size allowed to get in contact with everyone and also made it possible for Cath to focus on all of the participants. All of that without things ever getting too socially overwhelming, there was enough free time to wander off alone, to read, reflect, journal, run, walk or to just be.
Two of the participants had taken part in this retreat before and chose to come back for a second time. I can absolutely see why. It was a wonderful weekend and for people from the South Wales area looking for a calm and gentle yoga retreat, I would highly recommend checking Cath’s upcoming events.
Looking back on the weekend with Cath and the group I can safely say that I got outside, that I was active and that I enjoyed myself inside and outside in an area of Wales I hadn’t seen before. A National Get Outside Day very well spent!