I’ve been wanting to visit Spain for years now, but I’ve been looking for the perfect opportunity to plan a trip. This summer I met the fabulous Karl Straub here in my home town at the Telluride Yoga Festival. He taught a number of classes at the festival and I loved his unique style and fun filled personality. I practice yoga regularly and had been thrown off the wagon a bit with some classes that didn’t fit my lifestyle.
I had a yogic rebirth when I took Karl’s class and immediately hopped online to look at his retreat offerings. As luck would have he was holding a retreat on the island of Mallorca, Spain in November. That fit in perfectly with when I was looking to book a European adventure.
Mallorca for yoga
I’m usually a solo traveler. I look for an event and book a trip surrounding that event. The goal is to have a focus to write about and to learn new things about beautiful places. In this case a yoga retreat was the impetus to spend a week in Barcelona. A quick hop over the Mediterranean Sea would bring me to this postcard of an island. I’d often read about Mallorca (Majorca) and gazed on the beautiful photos of this Balearic Island on Instagram and in magazines.
This journey beckoned me on so many levels. To practice yoga with like minded folks, to explore a place I had never been to and to delight in the most fresh, delicious cuisine. There were no stones left unturned and I got everything I possible could have dreamed of.
A short drive from where we stayed was the gorgeous Playa S’Amarador Beach, which you must visit if in the region. The color of the water was absolutely mesmerizing!!
If you want more a urban vibe then visit the resort city of Palma de Mallorca, where you can do all kinds of luxury shopping, cafe hopping, site seeing and of course, lounging on the beach. Take time also to meander through and drive around the small country roads. I saw the most adorable lambs grazing in beautiful green pastures.
This island is the perfect place to escape it all. It’s where you can focus on you new or well seasoned meditation and asana practice. It’s a place where you can dive into the sea and float in the sunshine. It’s a place I will go back to again. I fell in love with Mallorca and can see why so many swoon over it. I met so many lovely people on the retreat, a few who I will certainly stay in touch with. I look forward to seeing them at future Karl Straub classes, gatherings and retreats.
If you are curious to join in on one of Karl’s adventurous retreats I promise you will create memories of a lifetime. He chooses every location with full attention to every detail. He wants everyone to feel swept away by the environment, all levels are welcome and encouraged to practice with him. Whether you are a solo practitioner or you gravitate to the group vibe…you will feel at home and so welcome in Karl’s classes. He makes sure yoga is accessible to all. His smile, wit and charm will keep you well entertained. Along with being an exceptionally smart teacher…Karl is humble and absolutely hilarious. I was belly laughing often throughout the retreat.
One of the questions we most often have on yoga and life is the search for labels. We want to know what style, brand or theme we are being introduced to. Karl has a history with the Jivamukti Yoga School, but I love how he says yoga is the“invisible infrastructure of all spiritual traditions. …the name of a style of religion or style of yoga is not so important. The essential theme is the same: how to get to heaven, how to be happy, fulfilled, joyful, complete, included, unified with God.”
He impresses this on us throughout the retreat. Karl is open, honest and sympathietic to everyone. He wants to learn and loves to teach. Just when you think you know what he will do next he will surprise you. One day he wanted to get us pumped up so he played James Brown before the yoga class. We all danced around our mats and laughed like little kids. He is a special teacher and I’m so grateful to know him. There were two classes per day during the retreat and Karl made sure to make himself available to all the participants for any extra conversation and learning throughout the day.
We stayed at the spectacular paradise Cal Reiet, located on the southeast corner of the island in the quiet rural village of Santanyi. This village attracts international artists and has a friendly local community. Everyone that I spoke to that lives there absolutely loves it. There’s just enough of everything to keep your palate satisfied and a healthy quest for the great outdoors quenched. In just minutes you can walk to town from Cal Reiet and shop at lovely locally owned boutiques and dine at family run restaurants. Only a few miles away is the turquoise blue Mediterranean Sea.
There are many places to find your own quiet sanctuary within this holistic estate and outside on the rest of the island. Karl thoughtfully structures the retreat so you have plenty of yoga, but also lots of time to explore. I don’t like to feel trapped, so the free time was a great blessing for me.
The accomodations at this holistic retreat are clean and beautiful. My room was spacious, bright and inviting. My en suite bathroom was stunning. The shower had sea green tiles on the walls. It was paradise! You are destined to enjoy an ultimate relaxing holiday at the boutique Cal Reiet. Holistic living for them is a lifestyle and they tend to each aspect of it.
Included in our stay was their delicious, consciousness based cuisine. We enjoyed 2 meals per day while there. After our morning yoga/meditation practice we would head to the dining room and feast on a full on sensory packed vegetarian meal. The hotel uses only fresh, locally-sourced organic ingredients, partly sourced from their own garden. The freshness and vitality of the ingredients is sustainable and so healthy. You can heal from the inside out with their “food as medicine” approach. Karl gave us the opportunity to meet with our new friends or to enjoy brunch quietly in the sunshine or under the shade of the beautiful old trees.
Dinner was a time to gather and reflect on the day. It was a nice social experience, we all enjoyed the colorful, nourishing elegantly laid out buffet. If you are a wine drinker like me, you will be happy to know that plenty of people enjoyed a libation at dinner. Wine was flowing if you want it. If you don’t want to imbibe that’s great too. It’s your call, no one is there to judge you. Again, this trip is all about fulfilling your needs. Everything on this trip is suggested, but not preached. Preachy yoga or diets are not for me.
Karl offers a retreat at this property twice per year. You can go with friends, as a couple or as a solo like I did. You will never feel alone!
For more info please visit these websites:
- Karl Straub
- Cal Reiet
- ABC Mallorca
- See Mallorca
- Lonely Planet
- Telluride Yoga Festival