India is a country which infuses the senses and shifts our perspectives along the way. It's ancient and vast history, raw culture and diverse terrain create a powerful backdrop for 1.2 billion residents and millions of travelers each year.
After graduating from University I became one of those travelers: eager to experience all things foreign, yet unaware of the impact and connection I would find along the way. Traveling into the unknown, I became smaller than an ant as I left behind familiar faces, daily routine and comforts.
I had read about a small slice of heaven amidst the chaos. A place rich with South Indian tradition and charming fishing villages. A state lined with sandy beaches, dotted with coconut palm trees, and abundant with hippies of all ages basking in the golden sunshine and relaxed vibes. Goa: a place with the wildness of India yet infused with international flavour boasting unique and vibrant energy. A natural sun goddess and an increasing enthusiast of holistic health I decided to start my Indian adventure working at a small yoga retreat, Lotus Yoga in South Goa.
Lotus was created by a lovely, international couple (Rama & Claudia) and soon after the retreat was born from their love for one another, yoga and South Goa.
Life at Lotus was surreal and simple. I immediately fell in love with the daily pleasures (and lack of material pleasures) of living more naturally. Resting and rising with the tides of the earth and ocean, eating tropical fruits and wholesome meals, practicing yoga, and feeling a deep sense of connection. It was if everything seemed to make sense for the first time...my mind was inspired, my body strong and my heart was opened more each day through awareness and gratitude. I felt fulfilled and knew I was in the exact place I needed to be.
Those months spent at Lotus will forever have an impact on my life. I listened to my intuition and continued working at Lotus and traveling to India. I discovered a passion for yoga and rediscovered a love for people. It was a natural shift to teach yoga and share with others the nourishment and inspiration yoga gave me.
Lotus creates a beautiful space with nurturing yoga, healthy cuisine, like-minded people and most important, is surrounded by lush nature. These elements allow for deep healing, inspiration and relaxation. With the popularity, growth and support of continual return guests to Lotus, the retreat will be moving to an eco jungle village a few kilometers off the beach which will offer new opportunities for holistic health and wellness. The new space will use bio-construction which transforms nature into housing (imagine: palm leaves for shower heads, rotating bamboo walls for privacy, candlelit chill outs admits tropical plants) allowing the retreat to harmoniously blend with the natural surroundings. Lotus Yoga Retreat will essentially enhance the relationship with prithvi or earth, the element which offers us a deep sense of vitality, stability, and devotion. Amongst our busy modern day lives, the simple act of surrounding yourself with nature can give you inner stillness, roots and a profound sense of connection.
Despite the new location, Lotus will continue to place emphasis on well-being with international yoga teachers and massage therapists, high quality local farm grown meals and a diverse and welcoming community of staff who share their love for health and happiness.
I am blessed to return to this magical place and extremely excited to announce I will be leading retreats throughout the season at Lotus. I would encourage everyone to give themselves time out to retreat & reconnect - log off and let go of daily responsibilities, immerse yourself in nature and travel to this exotic part of the world which will feel like home the moment you arrive.
The entire community at Lotus Yoga Retreat looks forward to welcoming you with open arms and a cup of masala chai at their new retreat destination in South Goa!
LAUREN LEE is passionate about holistic health, exploring the world and empowering others to live vibrant and happy lives. Founder of Raise Your Beat, dedicated yogini and sun seeker, she lives for creating connection and enjoying simple pleasures. Read more about her here