Today I want to take you back in time to the days when Chicken Soup for the Soul was all the rage (yes, I’m totally showing my age!) I’m sure you remember those books – we spent ages pouring over every feel-good story, thinking of ways to apply the lessons to our own lives. But why am I reminding you of these oft-forgotten books that are now probably gathering dust on your bookshelves at home? Because, ladies I have found the real life version of Chicken Soup for the Soul (without the cheese factor) and it’s right here in Cape Town! thebody&mindspace Sacred Destiny weekend is probably one of the most rewarding things I have ever had the opportunity to experience as part of my job. I left feeling like I was walking on a cloud – my mind, body, and stomach all at complete peace – and I cannot impress enough how much I want everyone I know and every who reads this to book a spot at their next event!
I’m a bit of a worry wort and spend every day living deep inside my head – stressing about things that are often beyond my control. My brain never stops bugging me and I rarely get the chance to shut off and just be. So, when Su-yen and Warren, the minds behind thebody&mindspace invited me along to their regular Sacred Destiny Weekend I jumped at the chance to see what it was all about. The Cape Town weekends are held in a rather breathtaking beach house, with beyond amazing views in Kommetjie and see like-minded people come together for a weekend of movement, meditation, massage and great food. The weekends offer the fit, and not so fit a place to come together to exercise their bodies (through yoga, beach workouts, hikes, and more) and their minds (through meditation, life coaching exercises and group sessions) in a safe and peaceful space.
But, what really makes the weekend incredible is the two special people who host it. Su-yen is a self-taught chef (of note!) and after starting out life as a medical microbiologist and museum exhibition developer she is now on her own path of self-discovery. Su-yen will qualify as a life coach in December and is somewhat of a fitness fanatic who loves to be out and about in nature and tackle any crazy endurance race out there. Her partner, Warren has had over 25 years of personal training, massage therapy and meta-coaching experience and has been meditating for as long. The idea for thebody&mindspace was born over a coffee where the pair decided that they wanted to put together an incredible life-changing weekend, with great food, massage and workouts thrown into one memorable mix. The result is something incredibly special that you absolutely have to experience at least once. Su-yen explained that the weekends are all about helping people to exercise their potential and to honour their ‘self’ whatever shape or mental space they are in so that they can reignite their passions and pursue goals from a place of peace.
The weekends usually run from Thursday afternoon to Sunday after breakfast and guests are invited to book their spot for the whole weekend or pop in as a day guest. I popped in for a full Friday experience and got to see what a day at Sacred Destiny was all about. I rocked up at the house, bright and early at 8am, just in time for a beach workout with Warren. We grabbed our towels and headed to the beach for a rather intense but refreshing 30-minute workout and I was amazed at how much the sea breeze and beautiful scenery helped to motivate me to keep going. Warren was also an excellent trainer and made sure that everyone was coping at their own pace and level throughout the workout. After our sweat session it was time for a well-deserved breakfast prepared by Su-yen. The delicious spread included everything from fresh fruit, muesli, yoghurt, boiled eggs, health bread, coffee and more and we left the table feeling ready to take on the rest of the day.
And, what a day it was! We did yoga on the deck while listening to the waves crash on the shore nearby, we scrubbed ourselves with a homemade coffee scrub and made a mad dash into the sea, we endured a planking session while marvelling at the view of Kommetjie in front of us, we took an inspiring walk on the beach and found peace in our minds during a group chat and meditation session led by Warren. And, in between all that we tucked into the most delicious, healthy grub lovingly prepared by Su-yen. The food was absolutely incredible and there was a real family vibe in the house when Su-yen was cooking and serving up meals. The day seemed to go on forever (in a good way) and by the time I left at 6pm, I felt like nothing could kill my happy vibes. I cannot begin to explain how stress free and relaxed I felt but I can say that no spa day has ever made me feel quite as zen as one day spent at the Sacred Destiny weekend so I can only imagine what a full weekend must do for you – it really is Chicken Soup for the Soul, Body and Mind!
My favourite part of the day was definitely the group meditation session and ‘body scan’ – it felt like such a safe space and the time was a great way to connect with your mind and body and let go of any negative feelings or issues you were experiencing. I was also lucky enough to experience a massage and individual meditation and body scan with Warren which was absolutely sublime. I felt like a new person after my session with him and he helped me deal with some concerns and stress I was harbouring because of a sports injury I had picked up a little while back. I cannot wait to go back for another Sacred Destiny weekend and was excited to hear that each weekend is different in terms of the activities they do. Su-yen explained that one weekend they went to Scarborough and foraged for mussels and cooked them fresh, other times they hiked the dam in Scarborough or went for a hike up the mountain – it all depends on the group’s fitness level and what they are keen to do.
The next Sacred Destiny weekend is taking place from 12 – 15 November 2015 and they can accommodate up to 12 guests at a time. Full weekend guests are looking at R5500 per person sharing (from Thursday afternoon to Sunday after breakfast) which includes all your meals, a full body massage, yoga and beach workouts, life coaching exercises, the body scan, coffee scrub, accommodation, a cooking demo for lunch on Saturday, and any other activities they arrange. If you just want to pop in for the day, like I did then you’re looking at R1 200 per person (including activities and meals) or R1350 (including activities, meals and a massage). They are also flexible if you want to sleep over for fewer nights and will quote you based on your request.
If you’re in Joburg and can’t fly down for the weekend then the pair also run Present Awareness workshops in Joburg which involve a yoga practice, body scan, meditation and breakfast.