After a thorough cleanse, one can awaken to the natural beauty of their life.
By Judy Chapman
Fresh air, pristine water, and the oldest rainforests in the world make Australia an exquisite location for cleansing the soul. Now you can cleanse your body and mind at Gwinganna Lifestyle Retreat —Australia’s only 100 percent organic health destination.
I’ve booked Gwinganna’s popular seven-day detox to not only cleanse but to find my center. The girl sitting opposite me, a former banker, is here because she woke up one morning three years ago and was not able to get out of bed. A middle-aged man at the retreat, who is a high profile property developer, has checked in to relax and get away from his wife (who he says is going through menopause).
“Stress is the very reason places like [this] exist,” confirms Sharon Kolkka, general manager of Gwinganna. She explains that stress creates an environment in the body that is more susceptible to disease and a major contributor to degenerative diseases—two circumstances that can benefit from detoxing.
The retreat begins with a series of health and fitness diagnostics and unfolds from there. Understandably, the menu is dairy-, sugar-, and alcohol-free. However, as a dedicated coffee drinker, adjusting to life without caffeine poses the biggest challenge during the first forty-eight hours. Unfortunately, it’s during this same period that the emotional ‘stuff’ also rises to the surface. Throughout the week though, as my body regenerates itself and returns to balance, more inspired thoughts emerge.
The facilitators talk frequently of the health benefits of living in the moment, so perhaps this is why every day feels completely new. There are a variety of activities to sample; however, most of us are in a fairly gentle place and are consequently drawn to the slow-movement exercises. Fortu-nately, Activities Manager Karl Ostrowski explains that yoga and Pilates have as much health benefits as a visit to the gym or jogging.
“Resistance training [from yoga or Pilates] improves muscle mass, strength, bone density, glucose metabolism, insulin sensitivity, posture, cardiovascular condition, and hormone functions,” Ostrowski says.
Keeping the mind clear of clutter is integral to the detox journey, so every afternoon Gwinganna’s guests are scheduled for ‘Dreamtime,’ during which they drift between an array of organic holistic treatments or float in one of the retreat’s spring-fed swimming pools. In addition, there are daily bushwalks with John, the quirky bushman who only eats from the forest. Between yoga, light and organic foods, spa treatments, and plenty of time communing with nature, the seven-day retreat quickly revives my tired body and soul. And I’m not the only one. As I depart, I overhear the property developer booking his wife for the upcoming ‘Women’s Discovery Retreat’. I smile. It seems that when we are fully cleansed and balanced we are able to reach beyond ourselves and do something for others.
For more information call 1800 219 272 or visit www.gwinganna.com.au