Posted by The SoleSisters on -
"May you be at the right place at the right time."
So goes the mantra that yogi Clayton Horton taught us during an early morning yoga session.
And that prayer was answered.
Last weekend, I was invited by the Flow girls Noelle, Denise and Monica to join them for a weekend of surfing, yoga and samba. I had always wanted to join this retreat because I was naturally intrigued by the combination of the 3 activities. It all sounds very sexy, don't you agree? And to do it all in one weekend while enjoying healthy food- too perfect!
PLUS they were doing it for the first time in my favorite surf spot- Haller Baler! Everyone knows I'm crazy about that place right? Little did I know that I was going to enjoy much more than that! Here's a preview of our weekend and why I love Flow's Surf Yoga Samba retreat.
#1 Delicious, Healthy Food
On the bus ride to Baler, we were already eating healthy, We got to enjoy a packed breakfast of tofu scramble and banana chia muffins from Pipino Vegetarian and Rawlicious super green smoothies and juices. I've (secretly) been making efforts to turn vegetarian. It's not easy! So I welcomed the colorful, well-prepared, fresh vegetarian meals they prepared for us. And for the meat-eaters (okay, non-veg) don't fret. You get the option of eating healthy stuff too, meat included. To top it off, we also had a yummy raw food workshop with Moringana.
It wasn't just the food that was healthy, we also had an unlimited supply of Vitamin Boost and Lightwater. As a surfer, I really appreciated all this good stuff! It's so easy to get dehydrated especially after catching waves for a few hours.
#2 Early Morning Yoga
I've never seriously done yoga except for a few classes at the gym. But I've been forced to reconsider this lately when I met some surfers who swear they surf better because they practice yoga on a regular basis. It must have something to do with flexibility and balance. I was excited to try it out. We were invited to early morning yoga sessions and with Monica and her teacher. None other than global yoga guru Clayton Horton of Greenpath Yoga.
#3 Surfing Stoke
My main motivation to come to Baler was to get on the board and ride some waves. It was amazing to share the stoke with a few beginner surfers from the group. I loved seeing the look of triumph on their faces when they caught their first wave. After a few sessions, I swear a bunch of them were already hooked on the sport!
It also helped a lot that Noelle was a surfer herself and did a great job of coordinating the surf lessons. Plus the surf boys of Aliya Surf Camp were great instructors.
#4 Samba at Sunset
To be honest, I was not too keen on this part. Everyone knows I'm deathly afraid of dancing. Regardless of what this video might tell you.
But we all had a blast!
We all danced to the beat of samba music that Denise patiently taught us. Toni Bernardo of Escola de Samba de Manila and her crew of talented musicians jammed until sundown.
What a great way to end the day's events- with dancing, music, laughter and an enchanting sunset!
#5 Lighting Up Thai Lanterns
But the night was not over yet, we had another delicious dinner. Then it was time to light up the sky! The Flow team prepared some Thai lanterns that we cast out into the night sky. We all made a wish and it was time for drinks and conversation.
#6 Relaxing Stay at Aliya
Aliya Surf Camp Baler is one of my favorite places to stay. And I was happy they chose this place to have their first retreat outside of La Union where they usually have it. The view is amazing, the place has a friendly, chillout vibe and the rooms are always clean and well-decorated.
#7 Stunning Side Trips
After 2 days of surf yoga samba, there was still time to explore Baler. We got a chance to hike to Dimatubo Falls, see the other, prettier side of Baler at Dicasalarin Cove and take a peek at the Artist Village.
#8 Flow Goodie Bags and Prizes
Are you ready for this? All of us got a bag filled with goodies that we all loved! To start with, we got a beach tote bag that was handcrafted with love, reusable and earth-friendly from Luntian Bags. It was filled to the brim with stylish tees from Bench, face and body sunscreen from Belo Essentials SunExpert, the latest issue of Maven magazine, free yoga passes, discounts to Paez shows and a lot of other good stuff.
We also got some extra prizes on our last night like swimwear from Brown Belly, products from Indigo Manila, and beach-friendly, sand-saving beach blankets from Lagu.
#9 Bonding over Secrets
Speaking of our last night, the conversations turned intimate. We were serenaded Clayton as strummed his guitar to Across the Universe. Then all got to share what we loved about the weekend and one special secret. I learned a lot about the participants that night. And finally memorized everyone names- almost 20 of them!
#10 Awesome New Friends
I've made so many wonderful friend in that weekend. A lot of women, kids and surprise surprise, a few guys! I loved how I was able to connect with almost everyone on different commonalities. We bonded over talks of surfing, travel, food and of course- relationships!
On the Flow Feedback Form I received a few days ago, they asked this question: Would you recommend the FLOW weekend to others and would you join again?
Would I ever! I'm recommending it to all my friends and for people who want to enjoy a refreshing weekend retreat, to get healthy and active.
My wish for you is to always be at the right place at the right time.
Going with the FLOW,
Sole Sister Lois
*All photos courtesy of Noelle Hilario of Flow
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