Although correctly known as the party capital of the Mediterranean, the island of Ibiza is also home to a community of yoga devotees. Those looking for a retreat that combines the rigors of the ancient Hindu discipline with a creature comfort or two should look no further than Yoga Rosa.
Yoga Rosa is no hippie hoo-ha, as I quickly learned on a visit to the hilltop getaway in the village of Santa Eulalia. Yoga Rosa’s founder and instructor, Rosa Klein, focuses on teaching Kriya yoga, a kind of Ayurvedic meditative yoga that’s all about self-healing and mindfulness. Rosa’s therapeutic approach allows the body to release negative energies while restoring health and well-being.
Rosa’s own road to yoga started under tragic circumstances, a near-death car accident some years ago. The inability of Western medicine to adequately deal with the pain and recovery sent her looking for holistic answers. Having never considered yoga before, she traveled to India and consulted with yogi, in the process discovering the capacity of yoga to strengthen and heal the body.
As a result, a sense of peace permeates the intimate retreat, with its pool-facing bungalows holding a max of nine guests. (In fact there are two pools, one freshwater and one saltwater.) At a minimum, guests are asked to take part in two hours of morning yoga and a one-hour guided meditation in the evening. A few days of that and poses that once seemed impossible — particularly the bridge pose, in my case — became a piece of cake.
Which brings us to the matter of meals, which are prepared by renowned Austrian chef and nutritionist Philip Gandler, using organic, vegetarian ingredients sourced from Rosa’s own garden and nearby farmers’ markets. There’s no better way to start the day that with morning yoga, followed by a breakfast of green smoothies and fresh eggs from free-range chickens. (You can hear them occasionally, as well as friendly pigs and even friendlier dogs who’ll occasionally sneak onto the yoga platform in the middle of a session for a bit of play. If you haven’t guessed, Yoga Rosa is also something of an animal sanctuary.) Dinner is a lavish three-course affair in the evening.
There are all sorts of other treatments as well, from Reiki healing and bio-resonance therapy to free-diving and a variety of massages. There are also a range of walks to explore on the island, which you can also do on horseback. Those looking for isolation from the modern world will want to take part in Silent Reflection, a full day free of all conversation, including technology — thus liberating the mind from distraction.
Rosa is now taking her brand of therapeutic yoga on the road with her first retreat in the UK. In the six-day pop-up in the Manor Country House Hotel in Oxfordshire, the program combines meditation, fasting, Pranayama breath-work, sound healing, and colon therapy to. Rosa works with German nutritionist Cornelia Povel to concentrate on regeneration and cleansing. Which is another way of saying only liquid food will be served — no one ever said yoga was easy.
Yoga Rosa, Santa Eularia, Ibiza