Cala Estellencs, members of the first retreat | Hotel Maristel

What an excellent idea” I thought when my friend pitched the idea some months ago. “Escape for 24 hours but stay on the island. A mini retreat with Sarah Elfvin, a very experienced Yogini teacher who takes you on a tour of meditation and different kinds of yoga classes.

A new concept in Hotel Maristel surrounded by mountains and sea, with the horizon a little beyond the highways, where the sunset is amazing. Rest from all the impressions of everyday life and relax with amazing home cooked food, a pool area with sea views, hiking routes and enjoy a refreshing swim in one of the cutest calas on the island. Come as you are and just be. Energize and feel better”.

As I am a salesperson my first thoughts were that I could sell this concept to my own clients, but then life hit me hard.

The yoga class area at the hotel Maristel

When life is getting too challenging and you are so stressed that you do not know where to turn next, one of the things that is recommended is to step out of your life, if only for a short while and try to get another perspective on what is happening. Anyone remember the classic “Dead Poets Society”? Step up on the bench instead of sitting down on the chair like you do every day. See the world from another angle.

If you do everything the same way nothing will change. I think everyone has had new experiences during this last year, extreme challenges, uncertainty, and a lot of stress. Stress is also bad for the immune system, and we all need to boost it as much as possible in these challenging times.

It is known that prolonged stress affects the body and mind in a negative way and to get out of a negative spin you need to do something different. But with busy lives, families to take care of, job or no job, not everyone can allow themselves to go away for a month or even a week to find themselves. I am one of those people. I have never been on a retreat or walked the Camino de Compostela, but yes, I have been wanting to do so for a long time.

The other week I was in a serious down spiral again, the second one in a month. Things happened in my family environment that I could do nothing about except be there and hang on to the emotional roller coaster. I was angry, frustrated and very sad when my friend called me.

Hotel Maristel new concept breakfast

“Jessika, come with me. We are launching the first retreat, and I think it would be good for you.”

Being me, I started to make up excuses like I always do, but to be honest they sounded a bit lame even to my ears, and no matter how fantastic I am as a person, mother, friend, daughter and girlfriend, the world does not stop just because I disconnect myself for 24 hours, so I said yes, I am in!

I had to dig out one of my suitcases from the garage and felt somewhat out of practice to prepare the stuff I needed for 24 hours away. I realised I even needed my passport and managed to find it and shake off the dust before I hit the road.

I must admit as I drove over the Tramuntana mountains on Friday afternoon, I even felt something positive was going on in my body and by the time I passed Banyabulfar village I think I smiled for the first time that week.

I arrived at Maristel hotel and was checked in by the receptionist. It felt fantastic as I have not stayed in a hotel for over a year. I got water, a quick tour of the hotel and saw some smiley faces up by the pool who waved at me.

As it turned out we had 9 people in the group including the new hotel manager who also enjoyed yoga and meditation with us in the group. Some Scandinavians, a lovely German lady who lives in the village, a Spaniard and a Mallorcan. Some with yoga experience, and others who had never ever attended a class before.

The chiringiuito of Cala Estellencs

We breathed, stretched, had lovely food, hiked, swam in the sea, talked, relaxed and by Saturday afternoon I felt so much better and was happy to return home again. Two of the girls called their husbands and said they decided to stay one more night, they were not ready to give up the magic just yet.

I am going back there very soon this time with my partner because it was amazing experience!