Colourful, vibrant and bustling are the words to describe Bangkok City. And sometimes, some of us just need a little “short-getaway” without taking the next flight out of the country. As I escape the intense city heat in Bangkok, Aleenta drove me to a lovely seaside property at Hua Hin to Pause and Restore.
Upon arrival, I was served a chilled and refreshing shot of pandan and blue butterfly pea flower drink grown organically in their farm and a welcome snack – a delicious canapé of Curry tofu
I was then led to my room for the next 2 nights and the best part is – It is only a couple of footsteps away from the beach. And the room is absolutely gorgeous.
Aleenta Hua Hin set themselves above the rest on eco-sustainability and has even won multiple awards. The decor of the room is a seaside theme and everything was decorated with materials as close to nature.
Yoga & Meditation Session
As I arrived in the evening, my first sunset meditation began shortly with Leila, my personal yoga teacher and also the retreat manager for Aleenta Properties.
Above my room, there is a lovely loft that provides undisturbed view of the sea. We started off with meditation and prayanama (breathing exercises) to ease into the quiet evening.
Being on a retreat means that I have a menu that is designed differently from the rest of the guests. Chef Tom & his team made sure that I was fed with nutritious and healthy meal during my retreat.
The menu for theretreat is vegan and light on the stomach. I have not tried to go on a full vegan diet before, hence having 3 days of vegan food was a mental challenge in the beginning. But after the first meal I had there at Aleenta. I am sold. Most of the vegetables and herbs are harvested from their own organic farm, and for those that they do not grow, they source as locally as possible.
Morning began at 7AM for Leila and I as we prepare our first sunrise yoga and meditation session.
Though it is a 3 days 2 nights retreat, I was given ample time to relax by the beach – read a book and just to pause … and restore.
In the afternoon, Leila introduce me to a deep yogic relaxation exercise- In spain, there is a word called siesta – a short afternoon nap, which usually happens after lunch. In our busy lives, we often rush through our meals and gobble food down without paying attention to the food we intake.
In deep yogic relaxation, we give our body time and complete relaxation in poses that aids in digestion. This was my first trying it, and I felt vastly different. Much lighter, more alert and definitely able to focus better. (Maybe the Spanish are doing it right!)
After the afternoon session, Leila and I rode the bicycle to Aleenta Organic Farm, about 10 mins away from the property. Reaung, the spa manager took us on a mini tour around the farm, enjoying the sweet fresh smell of after rain.
Back at the property, Reaung showed us how to make our own body scrub using organic ingredients like, turmeric, black sesame, rice, pine nuts, yoghurt. I’ve never tried anything like this before, this combination instantly makes my skin softer and supple!
We also attempted our own facial masque made of “worm leaves”. Chlorophyll and vitamins are largely present in this leaf so it definitely helps to revitalise my skin. If only we have this in Singapore, would gladly pound them everyday to get nice and bright looking skin!
Reaung mentioned that they only use fresh herbs for their massage therapy and spa because of its’ medicinal effects whereas most spas around the world only utilises flowers.
We wind down the evening by having a sundown meditation and breathing exercises – It is then my third practice with Leila whom was able to guide me better in my poses as we move into various asanas positions into the setting sun.
The final day was the most beautiful day. I start to feel the after effect of the food, yoga and meditation session – Funnily, I woke before my alarm at 6.15 in the morning. Usually, I would need multiple alarms and snooze before I reluctantly leave my bed, but that morning was different. I woke up with the soothing sound of the sea as I drew my curtains and to witness the sun rising…
That morning session was by far the most memorable one – Leila took some room temperature water and set to boil at the background – A while later after we have done our morning meditation and yoga on the beach, she excused herself and brought a jar of warm water mixed with a small amount of salt and sat in front of me.
She shared with me the importance of nasal cleansing and how it can help people with morning sinus, which also helps to purify the breathing path from the nostril to the throat and also for its effectiveness in preventing colds. This interesting nasal cleansing technique is called Jal Neti.
This cleansing method can be practiced everyday, but for a normal healthy person – Once a week is sufficient.
We also practice a meditation technique called – walking meditation. Instead of sitting still and meditating, I learn how to walk and take each and every step consciously.
I ended the retreat on a high note as I sink into the massage bed for my long awaited spa and massage on the last day.
My personal take on the retreat :
I have always been a person that enjoys endurance sports like marathon running, kayaking and rock climbing. The rhythm of my life is upbeat, groovy and sometimes “heavy metal”. Being able to experience Pause & Restore Retreat brings revelation in my life.
As much as life goes about as quickly, it is important to pause, reconnect yourself to nature and sometimes, it is really okay to just let your mind go and be in the flow.
Haemin Sumin, a monk once said in his book – The things you see only when you slow down.
“ Even when you are awake, we are no different from a sleepwalker.
We do things without the awareness of doing them.
Just because our eyes are open does not mean we are awake.”
With that, let my awakening journey continues in my daily life. Go on a rewarding life journey here at Aleenta Phuket and Hua Hin the next time you feel the need to pause and restore or even when you feel stressed and burn out.
My key takeaway from this retreat is – to live life as rewarding as I can.
Would like to go on such retreat? Find out more about what Aleenta has to offer here
And I look forward to being on a rewarding journey with you in life.