Strong in Body – Clear in Mind
This is a daily mantra at our award-winning Yeotown health living retreat because (like Buddha) we believe – no, we know – that you can’t have one without the other.
Six years ago, when we opened our doors to our very first clients, we had already decided we would gently introduce the idea that you can only live a whole and healthier life when you give the Mind as much attention as the Body.
This ethos, which still underpins everything we do here, is our unique MindBody formula and it is this core concept that shapes all our retreat activities – from our daily three hour hike in the rolling North Devon countryside to the gluten, wheat and dairy-free and utterly delicious MindBody recipes we cook here for our guests and then share via our new online subscription platform, Yeotown Life.
The truth is, six years ago we were teaching Mindfulness – which is simply making sure that whatever you are doing, you are doing it with awareness – at Yeotown but we were doing it almost surreptitiously. How wonderful then that six years on, we no longer have to feel almost apologetic about using new thinking based on ancient wisdom. We’ve seen for ourselves how our clients, old and new, are increasingly more familiar with the term Mindfulness and for us, what this means is that we can move them forward, really quite quickly, to a healthier version of themselves – healthier in body and healthier in mind.
Mindfulness is still the key that unlocks a deeper understanding of everything we do here at Yeotown and just as importantly why we do it. It explains our core MindBody concept that we think is what makes us so special and – even if they are not always entirely sure why – makes our clients feel they are somewhere authentic and experiencing something (often a feeling of deeper connection) that can be very moving to feel for yourself and, for us, to witness.
A lot of people, of course, do still conjure an image of someone sitting Zen-like in a lotus pose at the top of the mountain when they hear the word ‘Mindfulness’ but as Yeotown founder, Mercedes, and her fellow Mindfulness Mavens, Dan and Molly, will attest, Mindfulness is simply a way of bringing your consciousness fully to whatever activity you are engaged in – from a yoga pose to sitting down for a nourishing and nutritious meal (if you are in a Mindful state of mind you are obviously not going to be grabbing a bowl of cheesey chips!)
Our weekly retreat includes yoga and of course, Mercedes and her fellow teachers, bring Mindfulness through Pranayama (the Sanskrit word for the breathing techniques that are practiced in yoga) but our BodyMind/MindBody ethos does not stop the moment you roll up your yoga mat.
If you do join co founder Simon on one of the exhilarating three hours hikes across the glorious rolling countryside where we are based and you will experience firsthand how Mindfulness – or conscious thinking if you prefer that term – enhances every activity you engage in. You will notice that the bluebells are not actually blue – they are a deep violet colour – and you will actually feel that gentle breeze on your skin when you walk with bare arms. In fact, you will start to feel more engaged, more alive, more connected and more a part of everything you notice, including your own feelings.
Here are Yeotown, we never say the word ‘Body’ without the word ‘Mind’ attached and vice versa. And that’s because we know for certain that good health and wellbeing depends completely on adopting our BodyMind formula and treating both with equal respect.