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Suzy Walgate is a highly experience practitioner of most things ‘health & wellbeing’ including  Yoga, Nutrition, Advanced EFT, Aromatherapy, Reflexology, Shamanic Healing, Personal Development and Spiritual Awareness… So when I was asked by Suzy if I’d like to attend one of her brand new ‘Retreat Taster Days’, I knew I was going to be in good hands. The venue Suzy has chosen to launch her retreats is the beautifully tranquil Maris Barn in Thorganby, a quiet location in the heart of North Lincolnshire, which from Nottingham seemed to take a couple of hours commute. On arrival the barn conversion was as pretty as a picture externally and mum and I were delighted to be spending the day there and excited to see what the day was going to bring. Suzy greeted us at the door with a smile and welcomed us (and our many bags) inside (it turned out we didn’t need quite so much as we had taken with us, but better to be safe than sorry!). Once inside we were given a tour of the stylishly kitted out venue, very homely, rustic decor, reclaimed wooden furniture, traditional beams and a beautiful farmhouse kitchen.

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The facilities were more than expected with a large indoor swimming pool, sauna and outdoor hot tub on the terrace and various ‘chill-out’ areas encouraging relaxation. Suzy firstly offered us all an arrival drink of fresh rosemary picked from the garden  in hot water, which we learnt is fantastic brain food and good for the memory (something I have taken to drinking ever since the retreat!) Suzy then gave an introduction and welcomed the group, whereby we each described the reasons we were there and what we wanted to get out of the day (there were eight of us in total plus Suzy and her two assistants).  The Itinerary of the day was then explained and we then went straight into the first lifestyle and nutrition based talk.

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Afterwards we moved into the pool area where we chose a mat and began our yoga session. As someone who has done yoga for a couple of years, I found it to be one of my most enjoyable parts of the retreats as Suzy is an extremely knowledgeable yoga teacher and I learnt a few new poses and found it to be rather advanced a session compared to my usual yoga class at my local gym- this pushed me further and allowed me to see my potential and as a result I felt very relaxed and satisfied after the one and a half hour intense session.

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We had all certainly worked up an appetite during our yoga session and were delighted to hear the words ‘lunch is served’.  Lunch consisted of an array of amazingly colourful fresh dishes, all homemade and lovingly prepared by Suzy’s assistants and included many superfoods: dishes included courgette and carrot spaghetti (the courgettes and carrots were ‘spiralized’ using a clever contraption) with olives and cherry tomatoes and pesto., A quinoa salad with roasted aubergine and squash, fresh coriander, and a cumin, olive oil and lime dressing. Another salad of mixed leaves and fresh herbs, with beetroot, peppers, avacado, all topped with tasty sunflower seeds toasted in coconut oil and soya sauce. Lastly – homemade sweet potato falafel’s. To drink we enjoyed coconut water combined with sparkling water and fresh lime – again a recipe I have taken home with me and used again and again since, as it is such a refreshing healthy alternative to plain water.

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After lunch the second wellbeing/lifestyle talk took place round the table and we were given a little project to complete- ‘the wheel of life’, which was a sheet given to each of us to be completed with areas of our life that we felt needed improvement such as careers, health, personal development etc.. these were then rated 1-10 and we were then asked to look at ways in which we could take small steps to improve each of those aspects, it was a very liberating exercise, which got those cogs turning!

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After the exercise, it was treatment time- I was first to be offered a choice of three treatments (massage/facial or manicure), of course I opted for the back and shoulder massage in-keeping with a day of relaxation and Katie was a fantastic therapist and I enjoyed my treatment immensely, so much so that I feel asleep for a good forty minutes afterwards in the snooze area.  (This was free time to do what we wanted, so we also enjoyed the hot tub outside in the rain and the sauna in this time). When I awoke we were given homemade bright purple ‘power smoothies’, containing  Juice Plus+ Complete (a powerful blend of plant nutrients), mixed with Vitacoco Coconut water and mixed  berries- delicious and clearlyfull of goodness.

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To finish off the day we all gathered in the living area of the barn and took part in some meditation and visualisation – the first time I have had ever done it as part of a group and it was certainly interesting to learn a new way to relax- Suzy clearly knows many ways to endorse relaxation and I really believe that you can take something personal from all of them, however they are personal preference and whilst some people respond well to something like yoga, others may respond better to meditation and vice versa, though often these techniques go hand in hand and it really is about finding what works for you and fits within your lifestyle. This is why the’ Suzy Walgate Retreat Taster Day’ is perfect for all, as it offers a real taste and feel for what is out there by way of health, wellbeing and relaxation, paving the way for you to incorporate what works for you within your lifestyle going forward. I certainly took a lot from the day as it inspired me to re-start my yoga classes, I drink rosemary tea and coconut water regularly now and have gone organic with most of my foods- Thank you Suzy!

Fiona Duncan, RSViP

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