"Where shall I begin? Perhaps I should begin with the sun salutation on the terrace over looking the Spioenkop mountain in the South African, winter, morning sun. That is where my beautiful experience of the yoga retreat begun – there saluting the sun. After which my senses felt gently scrubbed, and I could see, feel, touch, taste, smell – experience – everything with a patience and sensitivity that I hadn't experienced for some time.
Perhaps calling it a 'yoga retreat' is slightly misleading. I think a 'yoga retreat' assumes a sort of silent, ascetic, solitary experience with yoga, which this retreat was not. Yoga was the attraction, for sure, it brought all of us there, but it wasn't the central or only experience. There was the food –sumptuous and home made; the wine – plenty of it; the landscape – austere and beautiful; the accommodation – inviting and comfortable; there were the long walks; the long horse rides; the engaging conversations; and the diverse, interesting novice and experienced yogis… and then there was the yoga, which enabled me to relax into all of these experiences and truly, truly enjoy them.
Congratulations Clara for such a well-planned, well thought-out 'retreat' It is one that I would love to go on again and again … and again."
View testimonials & imagery from previous Three Trees retreats in 2009, 2008 & 2006
In August, in the midst of aloe season, Yoga Warrior returns again to Three Trees Lodge in the Drakensberg for another winter warming retreat. Just for the weekend, from August 23rd - 25th 2013, Yoga Warrior will be hosting an intimate restorative retreat in this lovely homestead and historic setting. Surrounded by the backdrop of the spectacular Drakensberg mountains, Three Trees Lodge overlooks the battlefield of Spioenkop and the abundant flora and fauna of Spioenkop Nature Reserve (game includes white rhino, giraffe, zebra, eland, kudu and a host of birdlife).
The lodgings at Three Tree Hill are in one of only six identical, airy and spacious cottages or in one double cottage-style villa. The aloe leaf green cottages have been authentically constructed based on the housing kits brought out from Britain in the 19th century, complete with tin roof and wooden construction. Each cottage has its own verandah with wonderful views of Spioenkop Reserve and this is a real bonus to be able to rise in the morning and step on to the verandah facing the sunrise and spy with the naked eye rhinos in the reserve below. The comfortable cottages are refined with an elegant feel; beds have hand-embroidered sheets and duvet covers with lovely aloe motifs. Period writing desks and historical touches complete the stylish yet uncluttered décor. The en-suite bathrooms (in fact, bathtubs) enjoy the same magnificent views as the balcony and very importantly large soft towels!
The weekend will begin late afternoon on Friday 23rd with people arriving when they can, settling in and relaxing before we all sit down for dinner. The weekends can be social and a wonderful environment for making new friends. However if you're coming to download and unwind, the retreat can be quiet and peaceful with lots of time for resting.
On Saturday and Sunday we will plan to enjoy yoga with Clara not too early but before breakfast outside on the deck in the glorious winter sun. This is when you know you've really left the city behind, breathing in fresh mountain air while you practice your salutes to the sun. After breakfast which is often enjoyed al fresco on the verandah of the main lodge, you can individually choose how to spend the rest of your days. You could enjoy a battlefield tour learning about the Anglo-Boer War and in particular the most famous Battle of Spioenkop. There are numerous walks available right from the lodge to see the fauna and flora surrounding the property, even game-viewing on foot also. On horseback or mountain bikes it is possible to go further afield, taking in the panoramic views of the Drakensberg, Spioenkop Battlefield and the game reserve.
Lunch will be provided at the lodge, and let us not miss mentioning how fantastic the food is here. All the ingredients are sourced locally, there is a small vegetable and herb garden on the property, and vegetarians will be more than taken care of in the cuisine department (they even recycle organic waste through their own earthworm farm). The afternoons are also completely at your leisure. In the late afternoon on Saturday, restorative yoga with Clara will be available so you can experience what it is like to truly relax. Again in the evening we will congregate around the open log fire in the main lounge before enjoying another fine dinner.
The weekend is full board including 3 yoga classes, 3 meals each day and guided walks. The rooms on this retreat are only available for sharing and will cost R3240 per person. Beverages, horseriding and battlefield tours are charged for separately. The non-refundable deposit for the weekend is R1620 per person. Email us to reserve your space on this lovely weekend.
The lodge is approximately 4 hours from Joburg and 3 hours from Durban.