We were in Ibiza for 6 days before we saw the sea. It’s true. Who does that? People lucky enough to visit Yoga Rosa, that’s who. We didn’t even care. Who needs beaches when you have two inviting and tranquil pools, a delicious personal chef, gorgeous plush suites, daily open air yoga and meditation with all the sights and sounds of Ibiza’s more peaceful side, and even a pig named Lola. And that’s just the beginning.
When our dear friend Carolyn told us about Yoga Rosa, we were admittedly intrigued, but also a little overwhelmed. A whole week? 90 minutes of yoga every morning? An hour of meditation each evening? That sounds delightful for those spiritual types who are into that sort of thing, but what about the rest of us? Won’t we be overwhelmed? Not fit enough? Bored?
We soon found out our concerns were ridiculous. Going to Yoga Rosa is the secret remedy to whatever ails you and no matter your physical and mental state, you will leave a week later feeling like the most capable and freshest version of yourself.
After a 30-minute winding taxi ride from the airport, we arrived at the main gates to Yoga Rosa and were welcomed by the glowing Rosa herself (as well as her posse of rescued dogs). No matter how tired or stressed you are, these sights will put a smile on your face. How could they not? Tail-wagging mutts of varied shapes and sizes surrounding the statuesque, stunning Rosa, whose face emanates peace and kindness. What a welcome.
After a perfect night sleep in a bed made from reclaimed wood from the Ibiza beaches and atop divine, handmade linen sheets, we headed to the fresh-air platform for morning yoga.
Surrounded by trees, the breezes blowing their leaves, and hearing the various birdsongs and catching glimpses of their authors, admittedly makes it difficult at first to focus on the work at hand, but all else falls away as Rosa picks up her crystal bowl and we begin our breathing. The surroundings and sounds all come together to create the perfect blend of harmony both inner and outer.
Rosa, who was seriously injured in a car accident 14 years ago, credits yoga and meditation as her healers and considers sharing her daily practices with others her gift. Rosa’s therapeutic yoga, which is particularly effective for those living with or recovering from injury or illness, is rooted in Indian culture and encourages you to delve deeper into your spiritual being and as a result, achieve a clearer more present mind, not to mention all the physical benefits of practicing yoga.
If you want to show off your fancy duds and your superior moves, please go elsewhere. Yoga Rosa is about moving and growing at your own pace, with the love and support of those around you. It’s a non-competitive atmosphere where Rosa takes the time to adjust poses for those of varying levels and will assist if you’re dying to try that headstand you’ve been secretly wanting to do sans wall.
In our class, we ranged from beginner-ish to daily practicers and we became like children, rooting one another on when one tried and maintained the tree pose with closed eyes, a bridge or handstand. Each day we improved and gained both strength and confidence. It was truly magical.
While getting used to not eating breakfast as soon as you wake up might be tough, it’s more than worth the wait and you feel as though you’ve doubly earned it when you stand up again after your 90 minutes of yoga. Wander to the farmer’s table next to the pool and you’ll find the most perfect vegan/vegetarian brunch spread you can possibly imagine. Amazing. Four kinds of tea served in pretty pastel teapots along side the most delicious porridge we’ve ever tasted. (Perhaps we should not have had two to three bowls a day, but we couldn’t help ourselves!)
Fresh, seasonal and local fruits and vegetables, breads and spreads – everything so aesthetically pleasing and lovingly displayed on gorgeous pottery – perfect but not overwrought. Where to begin? … Take as long as you like. Graze. There will not be another meal until after evening meditation at 6. You won’t starve, not to worry. There are never-ending fruits and nuts in your rooms and all the tea your little heart could ever desire.
And when dinner does come – after an hour of Pranayama meditation and breathing and the most heavenly relaxation you can imagine – you will not be disappointed. Philipp Gandler, the Austrian chef, has trained in some of the best restaurants in the German-speaking world and in our opinion, creates Michelin- star worthy dishes. How can the best pasta we’ve ever eaten be made of courgettes and not pasta? The servings are just right, though Philipp generously places serving dishes on the table before you containing just a bit more of what’s on your plate. Our souls appreciated this gesture of sharing bounty and love and our bodies appreciated the extra goodness. And it didn’t end there. Dessert! The most delectable mousses and sorbets and cakes. We went to bed each night with a sated palate, a full belly and a thankful spirit.
This is not a boot camp. It’s an opportunity to establish or renew a practice and to take care of yourself. It may seem as though you have all this extra time on your hands between brunch and meditation, but trust us, you won’t have a problem filling it. Take a nap. Curl up with a good book on the massive covered lounge, pillows supporting your every limb. Engage in conversations with the fascinating people at the resort – not just the other guests. Take a dip in the pool. Walk around the grounds, the garden, the sculpture, stopping for a swing in one of the colorful and plentiful hammocks strewn around the property. Visit to the ducks and chickens and Lola the pig. (Rosa just informed us that Lola now has a new pig friend called Sugo and she’s also now got two horses!).
And that’s not even touching upon all the goodness that awaits you under the Olive tree outside your villa if you’re wise enough to book a massage. (Do it!)
Rosa has a team of dedicated and highly-knowledgeable practitioners who are available to enhance your experience – Reiki, Bio resonance, body balance, Thai massage and even free diving. We’ll be trying out this one during our next visit.
While Yoga Rosa is open again as of March and you can and should go as soon as you can sneak away, our latest obsession and what we’re saving our allowance for is a special week Rosa has created in June. Yoga and Ayurveda gut healing with guided Hawaiian colon cleanse.
Together with Rosa, German Nutritionist Cornelia Povel has designed an in-depth therapeutic week concentrating on regeneration and prevention and healing mind body and soul through yoga, meditation, sound healing, Ayurvedic colon cleanse, and a balancing 5 element diet. There is surely no way you’ll not come home a healthier you after this week at Yoga Rosa.
It’s only been a few months since we visited Yoga Rosa and there are so many things we miss. The daily practices, of course, and Philipp’s cuisine, but it was the little things that we most remember: the feeling of being in an island on and island, playing fetch with the dogs, sitting with the other guests after dinner and trading life stories, the day of silence, taking a pile of rocks and making a new cairn to add to those already standing on the grounds together, the way Rosa remembered how many pillows and blankets each guest liked at their spot under the tent, the way we we felt hyper aware and hyper alive – the wind in the trees, the songs of the birds, and our own breath.
Contributed by: Zuri Girl Kristen Vermilyea, an American actor, filmmaker, writer and artist who has lived in Zurich for nearly 6 years. She hosts the Zurich Film Festival TV show and is a social media and film consultant. When not watching and writing about film, she keeps busy attempting to learn to play new instruments as her four year old daughter has insisted they start a band.
Personal experience sponsored by Yoga Rosa