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Murray Edwards College
University of Cambridge

Lauren Dolby: Yoga retreat to Sicily

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    10 Dec

    My Gateway funding allowed me to travel to Palermo, Sicily to attend a yoga retreat which had a focus on mindfulness. The experience was insightful and encompassed various elements which allowed me to build my confidence in self exploration and understanding of different cultures.

    Each day began with a breakfast which included various fruits and was entirely vegan. The diet on the retreat was focused on detoxing foods, including green smoothies being provided at meals as well as all food being wholefood. This diet aimed to boost our energy throughout the day and optimize our experience.

    We would then have some time to relax and enjoy the morning scenery. In this time I would often go for a run before we started our first yoga class of the day. Each day we had morning and evening classes as well as various optional activities continuing throughout the day. There were various instructors for these sessions, each with different specialities which gave us a mix of skills when being taught. There was a particular focus on mindfulness throughout the sessions with great practice taken in meditation. Before coming on this retreat, I had practiced mindfulness on various occasions, however the guidance of the teachers really enhanced this experience.

    During my time in Sicily I also undertook a couple of day visits to different areas including Cefalu and Balestrante. In these towns we explored some local shops and ate our lunch at the cafes overlooking the sea! On other days I explored the various parts of Palermo including the cathedral churche of Monreale, the Ballarò Market and the Teatro Massimo. 

    Overall this experience enhanced my independence as well as allowing me to develop my skills and understanding in an area of real interest for me. Having learnt about the positive effect of mindfulness before coming and previously having great interest in natural remedies, I feel this trip has allowed my passion to develop further, which may aid me in the future with its health benefits.

    Lauren Dolby
    Humanities, Social and Political Sciences