Anima Mundi Retreat Center

Barcelona, Spain

At Anima Mundi we are working on our personal development, offering several activities to work on our body and mind health.

Reviews 29

  • Heidi Van Haeften France

    December 2017, BookCulinaryVacations

    Ik ben/was geen vegetariër, doordat ik dit dagelijks 3x dit te eten kreeg ben ik het gaan waarderen. Ben van plan dit door te zetten.

    Ben zeer tevreden en ontzettend dankbaar voor mijn yogalessen die door een vrijwilligster werd aangeboden. Amy; afgestudeerd lerares in India, ontzettend bedankt hiervoor!

    David en Nuria, bedankt voor jullie gastvrijheid!

    Het programma was niet zoals op internet vermeld stond, dit had ik al eerder aangegeven.

    Doordat ik een langere periode hier was kwamen veel maaltijden opnieuw voorbij en ging me dit tegenstaan.

    Mijn yoga lerares werd vlak voor het einde van mijn periode weggestuurd, dit was een vervelende ervaring. Hierdoor wilde en kon ik niet meer blijven..

  • Silvia Ortiz Spanish State

    November 2017, BookCulinaryVacations

    Me encantaron las clases de yoga de Amy, una profesora inglesa instruída en la India y que practica un yoga muy espiritual. También excelente la comida vegetariana, David cocina con mucho cariño y los platos son deliciosos. Núria es un encanto, te facilita todo lo que necesitas para sentirte como en casa. Se puede dar bonitos paseos entre viñas y tomar el sol junto a una ermita cercana con muy buena energía, leer un buen libro en el chill out o junto a la llar de foc o meditar en una estancia de la casa muy especial. La Masía es maravillosa, con velitas y un olor a incienso muy agradable.

    Si lo que buscas es relax, conectar contigo mismo y descansar, este es tu lugar.

    Ideal para estar un par de días, si tu estancia es más larga, quizás faltaría algún taller de jardinería, manualidades o terapias alternativas. Creo que en verano los hacen, pero este fin de semana estábamos pocos clientes en la casa.

  • Shona Fletcher Great Britain

    October 2017, BookCulinaryVacations

    The location was fantastic, just an hour from Barcelona and gloriously rural. Veronica's food was delicious and plentiful. The hospitality was wonderful - everyone aimed for us to have a relaxing and peaceful stay and that's exactly what we got. Amy's yoga was the right level of practice for us and the rooms it took place in were inspiring. Massage was good and there was even an unexpected sauna and hot tub in a beautiful old wine cellar. The location of the house enabled us to walk, run and simply rest and relax. Just perfect for what we required.


  • Pamela Ventura Bassotti Republic of Italy

    September 2017, BookCulinaryVacations

    Great experience. Beautiful people, magic place. Highly suggested. I would for sure come back.

  • Elisabeth Schmid France

    April 2017, BookCulinaryVacations

    I could have stayed longer at this lovely and peaceful area. We only stayed 3 full days but we got spoiled from our lovely cooker Louis and her excellent vegan dishes. All meals were served fresh from the garden and we didn't have to worry about everything! Together with our Yoga teacher Dave we had two private sessions a day (morning before BF and evening before dinner), which was an honor to experience that! The retreat gives so many opportunities to forget the everyday life and escape with a book reading under the spring spain sun :-). We felt so welcomed and I would love to come again! Thank you again!

    As we arrived with the public transportation from Barcelona it was not that easy to find the retreat, because our Google Map was also a bit confused ;-). If you walk from the bus station to the retreat you have to reckon with 15 mins walk (not suitable for suitcases!). It would be great to have a better description at the internet page. ;-)

  • Anima Mundi Travels Admin Response

    BookYogaRetreats website

    Dear Fredrik, we are very sorry that your experience was not satisfactory, as we also told you in person and by email. We understand that the level of service was not as it was supposed to be, in particular during the first days of your stay. As we explained, this was caused by an unfortunate coincidence: we had a change of our team at the Retreat Center just before your retreat started. We are happy to see though that you have no complaints about the main content of the retreat: your private room with en-suite bathroom, the yoga classes, the Ayurveda courses and the meditation. To compensate for the service level the first few days, we have offered you our apologies and a refund, namely a transferable voucher with two days + two nights for free. Besides this, we have provided you a trip to Montserrat (paid by us) during the retreat. We are actually quite surprised that you do not mention this refund and complementary trip. In fact, there are a few more things that we would like set straight. Regarding the site: with all due respect, but referring to the Retreat Center as a "big stone building" does absolutely no justice to the place (see also the pictures on our website). It was built in the Middle Ages by nobility (around the year 1100 by the family Jaumandreu to be exact), has a tower with a spiraling staircase and elements of fortification. So this is pretty close to the definition of a castle according to Wikipedia. The exact location is indicated on our website: it's a one hour drive from Barcelona and half an hour from Montserrat. The house is not at all shared with a farmer's family, but indeed there are farming activities around the site: serene, grazing cows and beautiful vineyards. There are occasional tractors passing by. As for the flock of cows, they are moved around all the time, going to fresh grasslands every few days. Regarding the teachers: our retreats are aimed at helping you relax, to experience a different way of living, more conscious, perhaps to change your own way of living; and an integral part of this is formed by our volunteer staff, who are there to show you their example of such a way of living. Please realize that these are fully qualified and professional teachers that are there to share this experience with you. You might not know this, but many volunteers are more professional than paid personnel and they deserve a lot of respect! Also the fact that they are volunteers does not mean that they work for free. Finally we would like to point out that you were offered the option to stop your retreat and get a full refund for the remaining days and you chose to stay and finish the retreat. Best wishes, Anima Mundi Team.

  • Fredrik Öhman

    BookYogaRetreats website

    We visited Anima Mundi for a one week yoga and Ayurveda retreat. On the website we were promised very experienced yoga and Ayurveda teachers who had been there for a long time. The site was supposed to be a small castle near the mountain of Montserrat in the fresh mountain air. For this we paid a little more than 2000 euro, and we were asked to pay the full amount one week in advance. Arriving to the site we quickly realized that it was not a castle but just a big stone building. It was also nowhere near the mountain of Montserrat (we later discovered that a taxi there and back cost more than 100 euros). It was situated in the country side surrounded by farms, also sharing the house with a farmer's family and their farming equipment caused a constant background noise. Just outside the door was a big flock of beef cows waiting for slaughter (they were picked up after a few days). There were also no experienced teachers - in fact everyone there were volunteers who had just arrived the day before or during our stay. No one representing the anima mundi team was there to help or guide them. Everyone participating in the retreat were very unhappy and there were a few meetings to try to set things right. Together we asked for a refund but this was refused. I don't think Anima mundi is a serious company and I feel that the whole thing was actually a scam. I also feel really sorry for the volunteers working there who were all trying their best to give us a good experience.

  • Jasper Netherlands

    BookYogaRetreats website

    I had a good retreat in Anima Mundi. The beautiful building is located at a tranquil spot, just with some farming activity around it. The staff and teacher were excellent, interesting, willing to share knowledge and very hospitable. There's good wholesome food and always tea around. This was my first encounter with Tibetan Yoga, which is quite something. It was hard work and had a very strong emphasis on the breath. You should try it one time.

  • Julia Moreni

    BookYogaRetreats website

    I found Anima Mundi by chance looking for a restorative yoga holiday. I had high hopes, but never in my wildest dreams have I imagined that the people who keep it so beautiful and vibrant would so far exceed my expectations. From before my arrival, I felt well taken cared of by Elisabeth, Shelly, Johanna, Katja, Emily, Mat and Mike. There was a gut feeling of having to come back home. Perhaps it is because they treat their visitors like a family. The kitchen and food are full of spirit and heart and deliciousness. I would like to thank Johanna for her wonderful teachings. I hope you take the opportunity to visit this special place. It's a home away from home!

  • Anima Mundi Travels Admin Response

    BookYogaRetreats website

    Dear Wanda, thank you for your review. We would like to point out that our retreats are about inner transformation and about getting in touch with yourself and with nature. Therefore they take place in an isolated, natural place, with indeed the occasional smell of cows. This is in some countries regarded as a sacred and purifying thing. We definitely believe so. The Retreat Center is surrounded by vineyards and plenty of green grazing lands for the cows, although our garden was under construction the week that you were there since you already know we are preparing the permaculture orchard for this summer. We do apologize for the inconvenience. However, it's important to note that all pictures that are now on the BookYogaRetreat website fully correspond to the Anima Mundi Retreat Center. Regarding the food, we have been working with the same cook for a long time now and she has always received only compliments on the taste and the healthiness of her creations. The vast majority of fruits and vegetables come from local producers and will soon also come from our own garden. Inner transformations revoke different reactions and sometimes the body or the mind resists. By opening up and embracing the transformation you can find true happiness! Namaste!

  • Wanda Europe

    BookYogaRetreats website

    The retreat takes place in a beautiful old house with a very simple equipment, fully isolated. The next shop or cafe is 15 kilometers away. The house is in the center of a farm complex with many agriculture activities, industrial buildings and the typical dung smell around. One is forced to accept that many yoga sessions will be accompanied by the tractor noise just behind the window. On the first day there were also 5 small children running and screaming behind our heads during the yoga and relaxation practice. The court yard is unpleasantly messy. Any "garden" area is practically not existent. There are piles of country dirt, grass and old branches around. A bee nest on the roof of the terrace made it impossible to use the terrace at all. Nowhere around the place can one find a green area that is depicted on the photos. The WIFI, sometimes very slow and is available practically only in the bedrooms; not in the living room and certainly not on the terrace. The food was a disappointment. I expected a healthy and organic approach, but instead the retreat offers mass products from Danone and Kelloggs. Some vegetables come form the supermarket freezer. The meals are sometimes warmed up and served again the next day. The general impression that I got was that everything is improvised and careless towards the guests. One day a huge dirt pile in the court yard was put on fire. The whole day it was impossible to stay outside the house or open the window due to an intensive smoke around. Another day the personnel left and the guests stayed over night alone, without any paid personnel member in the premises. Next morning we have prepared the breakfast ourselves. At some point the kitchen ran out of the mineral water and the tea (both included in the price). The hotel manager gets some extra minus points for false information she gave me on few occasions. On the energetic side, I always got a headache when she was around, fortunately she was generally absent. My overall rating takes into consideration the price of the retreat which is higher than other comparable places. Therefore I would expect a more suitable value for the money.

  • Anima Mundi Travels Admin Response

    BookYogaRetreats website

    Dear Eve, we are very happy to hear that you went home feeling good and that you enjoyed what our team offers at the Retreat Center! We also appreciate very much your constructive feedback: life is all about learning and improving - both ourselves and our actions/enterprises. Concerning the issue of expectations: we are updating the information and pictures on the BookYogaRetreats and the AnimaMundiRetreats websites, so the medieval castle, the modern rooms and the natural surroundings are all the real deal. We further note that our retreats are about spiritual transformation and we believe that a simple, serene, yet comfortable environment is essential to this, as well as some voluntary karma yoga and tidying your own room. Nevertheless, most of the time we do have people at the Center who take care of the housekeeping, but due to unfortunate circumstances this was not the case for your retreat and this was also the reason that the house was not yet warm when you arrived. We sincerely apologize for this inconvenience. Thanks again for your feedback and keep up the raised vibration!

  • Eve Livaditis United Kingdom

    BookYogaRetreats website

    This retreat is worth going on for 3 things: Hari’s knowledge, charisma and personality, and Ratha’s cooking. Third – the Avurvedic Massage (4 hands). This was such a unique experience and one I will not forget. It really danced between the boundaries of pleasure and pain but was so memorable for that reason. Certain pressure points were kneaded into and instead of finding it horrific it was oddly soothing due to their chanting whilst holding the point. There was also a case of ‘false advertising’ I would say, as the description and photos of the retreat were not reflective of the place at all. It stated that there would be a free Avurvedic massage included in this retreat, however I was told that it did not apply to the winter retreat and the summer retreat details were still on the website. The manager claimed that she had emailed this website with the new information and they had not done it so the old information was still on there. Whether this is true or not, I do not know, however the manager was gracious enough to allow me the free massage because that is what was on the website and what I thought I was getting. So I was very grateful and happy about that. However, I do wonder whether the new ‘winter retreat’ information would have had any different pictures or simply the same ones they used for the summer one. The summer one is a completely different house and location, and I was drawn in by the pictures – still knowing that obviously in March the sun may not be shining so much nor would it be warm enough to go outside for massages etc. However, I thought at least the pictures I was seeing were the location I was going to – i.e. lush greenery surrounding the house and lots of grassy areas to sit on outside. However, upon arriving it was soon clear that this was not the same place so that was a little disappointing. I would have liked pictures that represented the real place so then I could have decided whether to go or not. Obviously, once I was there and settled in, I came to like it, but it’s the expectation not being met – and that’s what photos do, trigger expectations. Furthermore, upon arriving the house had not been heated up at all and it was freezing cold. I left London to escape the cold so this was not something I was overly happy about, but once the heating cranked up it was much more bearable. And without going into too many details that will come across too nit picky and negative, the place was simply not ready yet for retreaters. As I was leaving, some things were getting sorted out and I could see that this place was essentially a work-in-progress. I understand they want to continue making money whilst setting up a new place, but personally I think they should set it up properly first before opening it up to people. They also have this concept of ‘Karma yoga’ which is essentially to help out around the house and do something for others or for the group rather than just ourselves. I totally understand the idea and I think it’s great – however part of me wondered if this is a way for them to get away with not hiring a housekeeper (which this place REALLY needed), especially as ‘karma yoga’ was put on the timetable every day when there was free time. Also many people go to a retreat to escape chores and to just be with themselves and contemplate during the rest/free time period, and may not wish to do house chores whilst they are on a retreat to escape their stressful lives (I have been to many retreats and this was the first that had this set-up). Again if it had been said on the website that cleaning up your own room and not having sheets changed etc was something that was to be expected, then at least I could have made a more informed choice about whether to pick this retreat or go with another, and not be somewhat surprised when I was told. I may have still picked the retreat and I certainly do not regret going, I just think that being more truthful on the website about what is entailed would be a much better way to go (on the website the timetable never mentioned ‘karma yoga’, only ‘free time’). All in all, this retreat brought me many laughs (I was giggling so much out of bliss), much more than grumbles, and even the grumbling in itself was amusing because myself and other retreater bonded over it. Obviously these are only ‘first-world’ complaints and so we weren’t taking it too seriously, especially as the whole purpose of going is to chill out and develop a new perspective. Hari is a larger-than-life character and really worth going for, also if you want to learn more about Ayurveda. Again, the long list shown on the website of what gets covered in the workshops didn’t really get covered – I thought it was going to be a more formal class-type setting where you see slides/whiteboard etc (due to the list of information shown on the website), however it was much more an informal question-and-answer type setting, which was charming in itself and much more intimate. But it just brought up the issue again in my mind that how the retreat was described was quite different to how it actually was. Hari’s lovely wife and cook made the most yummy vegetarian food, she is really talented. The chanting and meditations were very nourishing, not necessarily the type of meditation I would like to do (I do a different kind which seems a lot simpler as it is just repeating a mantra), but it was good to try something else, even though after 7 days I felt it was a little tedious doing the same one over and over. The yoga was intense in a way I wasn’t expecting, the evening classes were more ‘standard’ yoga (though a little repetitive at times with endless sun salutations), however the morning classes were more ‘warming up’ yoga exercises and were quite difficult! These also could have been a little more varied but I guess the teacher wanted us to get used to doing them. The surrounding areas were nice for walks near vineyards and it’s hard not to leave something like this and NOT feel good; however I would just say that there needs to be a change in how the retreat is ‘sold’ on the website and be more reflective of what it actually is and what the place looks like. All in all worth it, the nourishing activities and daily chanting certainly raised my vibration.

  • Junaidah Abdullah Germany

    BookYogaRetreats website

    My weekend retreat was perfect. Elena and her team made me feel at home. We had yoga and meditation sessions in a castle with a wonderful view every morning and evening. We also had super delicious home cooked meals the whole weekend. On the last day, I also did Ayurvedic massage which was not planned, but it was so good to complete my retreat before going back home.

  • Sophie England

    BookYogaRetreats website

    I have had such a brilliant weekend here! Beautiful place, gorgeous scenery, and most important, helpful and caring people.

    Thank you for the restful educational time. I will remember this weekend fondly!

  • Tricia Rothberg United States

    BookYogaRetreats website

    My daughter Calli and I went on this week-long yoga and Ayurveda retreat. It took place about two hours outside of Barcelona. Calli and I flew to Barcelona from NYC. At 3pm we met Elena, the Anima Mundi organizer, in front of the Hard Rock Cafe without a hitch and she took us on a two-hour ride to a beautiful castle in the middle of a vineyard. Elena is a delight. We were in her company for our drive to and from the castle at the start and end of the retreat and a few meals over the week. Despite the limited time we had with Elena we enjoyed her company very much and would love to spend more time with her whenever and however possible in the future.For the next eight days we lived as a family in the castle. The days were full from 6:30am to 10 or 11pm. The Ayurveda teaching was new to us but fascinating. Harry is extremely knowledgable and loves to share. The yoga was phenomenal - Vasu Dev is a true yogi and his classes were fantastic and perfectly catered to our ability and desires. Radha's meals were vegetarian comfort food that was delicious.This was my first ever yoga retreat and it surpassed my expectations in every category. The group delivered exactly what was promised in the retreat description with so much love and attention, much more than I ever dreamed possible and all for a very reasonable price. And, as we were the first to experience the retreat in the castle, a few glitches did come up over the course of the week but the group quickly resolved them and got back to taking awesome care of us. A sincere and heartfelt thank you to the entire Anima Mundi team. I am writing this review more than a month after my return to NY and my heart is full. I love you all.

  • Reena England

    BookYogaRetreats website

    Thank you for a wonderful, relaxing weekend. I really enjoyed the yoga, the teacher was brilliant and adapted to the class. The meditation, Ayurveda and pranayama was also great. Thank you so much. I can't wait to come soon.

  • Mathiew Spain

    BookYogaRetreats website

    What great energy is in this space! The people, the masia and the surroundings are all lovely. I felt very strong and calm leaving the restorative weekend of yoga, meditation, pranayama, wholesome food and learning. The teachers are powerful role models, leaving me inspired to continue my path with yoga and wellness with fresh motivation and new insight. I'm excited to return!""I spent a memorable weekend at the retreat center. Great teachers, devoted organizers and amazing location: an old masia nested in the Pyrenees and surrounded by vineyards. Thanks Lena!

  • Jenny Canada

    BookYogaRetreats website

    We came here for a Yoga and Ayurveda Retreat, for a weekend. Loved the house and really enjoyed exploring all it offers. The yoga instruction was first grade quality and the Ayurveda really opened our minds and inspired a deeper understanding in the future with further learning. We can't wait to see this space grow and expand! Thank you for a lovely weekend!

  • Sharon Ireland

    BookYogaRetreats website

    I really enjoyed my stay here. A real privilege to be taught by a real yoga teacher. Wonderful food and very friendly atmosphere. Thank you for a very special time, just what I needed.

  • a traveler

    BookYogaRetreats website

    I got so much out of the Anima Mundi retreat. I made new friends, improved on my fitness level, developed a greater sense of inner calm and spirituality, and gained an understanding of how to maintain this in my day to day life.The accommodation was perfect - a vila in isolated and very beautiful surroundings in the mountains with no disturbances. I was glad to have a private room with my own bathroom, but also to have a communal space to share with the other attendees.The food was top class. The two vegetarian meals a day (brunch and dinner) were always delicious, fresh and wholesome and including a variety of dishes with high quality ingredients. There was always fruit and tea available whenever we wanted it. I had specific dietary requirements and Elena was very understanding and always made sure there was sufficient and varied food for me. It was surprisingly easy to manage on two meals a day, and my body really felt the benefits. I found the mindful eating approach to meals very beneficial, and it is something which I have since taken away and implemented with my family.The instructors were inspiring and had a lot of wisdom to offer. I especially appreciated that Vasu, the fabulous yoga and meditation instructor, came from an Indian background and was able to provide us with such a holistic programme with deep insights on how the different aspects of yoga, meditation and mantras fitted together. The programme was quite intense in terms of the hours dedicated to yoga and meditation, so I really felt profound benefits in a short space of time, and it was great value taking into account the teaching hours. I had such a great time I would have stayed for another week if it was possible. I cant recommend it enough, and I will definitely be repeating the experience with Anima Mundi again.

  • Magali France

    BookYogaRetreats website

    The retreat was amazing. The accommodations: very nice an clean. The house was very calm, surrounded only by trees and horses with a beautiful view on the Pyrenees. I even had a single room even if I didn't ask for it.The food: very good healthy veggie food twice a day cooked with love by Elena.The yoga class: more than 3-hours Asana, 2 hours of meditation a day .We had such a great teacher (Vasu). It was intense but we were free to follow our own rhythm. I felt I've progressed a lot and I come back from it fully relaxed and with a feeling of inner peace. I fully recommend this retreat. Elena from Anima Mundi and her big heart are just wonderful hosts.

  • Niels Netherlands

    BookYogaRetreats website

    This summer I was part of a lovely retreat from Anima Mundi and I was overwhelmed by the completeness of the program, but even more so I had my breath taken away by the host, Elena Mundi, who made the whole experience a life changing and life enhancing event, just by being her lovely, enchanting self, igniting me with her relentless energy and positivist spiritualism. I would have loved to stay longer and will book a new retreat with her very soon. I recommend everyone to do the same!

  • Augustina Paris

    BookYogaRetreats website

    An amazing journey!!! I was pleasantly surprised with what I saw, felt and lived there! It was the first time to be on a retreat. But now I know I will repeat it every year.Life-changing experience! I gain peace and love.Yoga classes were great- more than I expected. Food was splendid.The team are the best people I have ever met! All the conversations all the meditations and the level of behavior taught me how to be a better person!Thank you guys! We will see each other again. You are now like my family :)

Testimonials 4

  • Leigh England

    Anima Mundi Travels website

    This magical and peaceful retreat stands proud and strong within the interestingly secure grounds of a medieval castle. Located within the heart of the central province, Catalonia is not as the locals would say “Español” these locals speak their own language “Catalan” which I soon found out when the taxi driver did not understand my not too advanced Spanish. As our host with her warming and beautiful smile, bright white teeth and clear air blue eyes, a picture of health walking proud and upright, Miss Mack Besch from Florida passionately guides her guests around the castles museum. She also doubles up as one of the yoga and mindfulness instructors. In the cellar it is believed to be where the farm animals may have stayed, and it did make sense considering it is the coolest room in the house. When I arrived to the retreat center I notice everyone takes their shoes off upon entry and to be honest I did not have a problem walking around barefoot the stone or tile floors as they did feel cool on the feet, which is better than the steel toe cap boots I wear for 10 hours a day. My castle room was made from sand stone castle bricks and had a small castle battle window that a guard would fire his bow and arrow out of. My bedroom, or should I say bed chamber, had a very well presented and bespoke sustainable bed frame made from pallets, a modern and impressive power shower, toilet and electrics, well done whoever designed the room, it was an aesthetically pleasing a mix between the original and the modern in a way that makes the bed chamber feel like antiques are not old. In total the castle can accommodate 15 people of which 6 of these rooms have their very own modern on-suit bathrooms just like my room. Besides your private room, we have access to a number of common rooms, as well as the courtyard, terraces and gardens. The evenings meal was delicious, like all the meals, a young and attractive German girl named Katja cooked the vast majority of the meals and throughout the week they got better and better from oats, seeds, fruit, smoothies and herbal teas for breakfast. The main meal is mid-day and Katja, AKA “Cordon bleu Kat” is a volunteer and she did a fantastic job cooking up the most scrumptious vegetarian cuisines, whether it was a spinach soup or a chick pea curry even the cous cous that Katja conjured up would not have been out of place in a top Paris or London restaurant. Before we eat every meal we stand around the table and hold hands, all for one and one for all like Musketeers. We are reminded that we mindfully give with our right hand, while we receive with our left hand. In Buddhism as well as Hinduism hand positions, what is known as mudras, were formed around the word manus which is the Latin word for hand. Katja gives a wonderful break down of the recipes; you have to admire her cooking the smell, the many different colours. We then, as a family within the safety of the castle, take a deep breath and chant Om (Aum). I knew at this point that this is the time for me to depart from my busy life and start my inner transformation. I am certainly in the right place with the gorgeous Mediterranean food at its finest cooked to perfection. After food we move into the main room or is it a Boudoir? The sun has gone down and we all get to know each other further. We talk about what we will be doing during our stay over the next five days. The positive energy is enhanced and Mack asks us all to think about a reason or what we intend to get out of our stay at Anima Mundi. At this point we are asked to write this thought on a small piece of paper and put it somewhere safe, we can tell everyone if we would like or we can just keep it to ourselves. While we think a thin white length of cotton is put around our wrists and tied tight this is to symbolise our intention. This cotton thread is known as ‘sai sin‘. The sai sin is supposed to provide protection and good health to the person wearing it. The colour of the thread is white because it represents purity in Buddhism. My intention this week was to clear my state of mind. Over the last few months or longer it was getting quite negative and I my thoughts were quite aggressive. I wanted to understand and fight any addictions, and more than anything just relax. We are asked to collect our mats, blocks and blankets and lie on our backs. We sit in the cross leg position where we take a few deep breaths and go through some yoga pranayama breaths. Shelly explains that Pranayama is the formal practice of controlling the breath, which is the source of our prana, or vital life force. This was followed by some light yoga postures and boy my body is tight I am not kidding every single posture hurt. Shelly has presence she holds the room’s awareness from her confidence and looks. Like a true professional teacher, she slowly works her magic upon you. I attended five morning sessions with Shelly and on my last day neither she nor I could believe the transformation, I actually could pounce straight into the warrior posture and I could balance in the tree pose without wobbling like spoon of jelly. At the end of each practise we relax in Yoga Nidra which involves laying on your back, legs and arms slightly apart and dropped to the sides and eyes closed. As Shelly works the attention around your body, this healing practise can help alleviate stress, depression and anxiety, something that I know I suffer from. Nidra repairs and restores the body it activates the nervous system that controls rest and digestion allowing the practitioner to enter into an ultimate state of total relaxation. I could feel it when I had come around, wow it was powerful and you do feel really good. I had forgotten about the old stressful working conditions and I just remember thinking how much I am going to enjoy the week. Each day as part of the retreat we are requested to do what is called Karma yoga, which kind of involves working on something worthwhile for the benefit of others, like a gift to all. Some people worked in the garden, some cleaning or sweeping. Me I decided to make a compost bin out of old pallets. We worked well together on Project Compost and finally it was finished on the morning that I had to leave, I cut the ribbon and we called the compost bin “Karma Kompo”. In the evenings while many people are getting plastered in Benidorm or Ibiza, we are having a stroll on a mindfulness walk meaning its slow, we are not going to talk and we are going to notice the smells, the colours, the animals. We are going to concentrate on the nature, take in the most amazing views as the sun slowly goes down and as we step we listen to the noise of the step. We take deep breaths in counting to 10 and slow breaths out counting to 10, a total relaxed and aware state. As a fox runs by we climb the hills overlooking the vine yards. We see a wild boar not fazed by our presence, which is definitely a rarity because these pigs do not hang around when they hear humans talk. The cows and the rabbits carrying on as normal. The birds flying past and chirping in the trees. What have learned from this alternative holiday? Well I am chilled, I am focused, I am going to make a difference however little that may be. I am going to just simply try be myself, be nice and spread the love, feel the love and not wait for what is perfect. I am here to create and attract that what is perfect. I know I am not addicted which is good and I can live a clean and healthy yoga lifestyle when I am ready. Soon someone will come into my life and that person will be special. We will live together in perfect peace and love will be in the air every day.

  • Lois

    Anima Mundi Travels website

    If you are looking at yoga retreats and deciding which one to come with, pick this one! It is so so amazing. I would describe my visit as magical. The yoga was fantastic, it was well organised and clean, the food was vegan and delicious. I am pretty much a veggie at home now and before I came I was a meat eater. This is because you have shown me that veggie food can be delicious! I really miss being there in Spain at this beautiful castle. I will one day return to see the lovely people, and hopefully the cats too!

  • Taj

    Anima Mundi Travels website

    Thanks for a very memorable stay at the new retreat just outside of Barcelona. My friend and I booked the weekend yoga retreat at Anima Mundi so we could combine it with some days in Barcelona before and after. The access from Barcelona was easy by train to Manresa, and the train ride in a beautiful scenery made it a great beginning and ending of the trip. Located in a small village with lots of green hills and vineyards, we were welcomed by the lovely people that were in-charge of the place at the time we spent there. I have never eaten so much lovely vegetarian food, prepared by Ellie, who was really a sweetheart. The great American yoga teachers, Mack and Shelly, were the kind of people who opened their heart and embraced you into their life with their love and wisdom. They all really inspired me to evolve my yoga and meditation practice.

    You should be prepared to surrender yourself to the complete silence and wonderful scenery and focus on the perks of being away form the loud noise most of us are living through daily. A stay at Anima Mundi will be a perfect stay if you are curious about yoga and meditation and if you stay open and heartful you will get a great experience. We all give a little in the days we stayed there. Since I left, I have enjoyed the aftermath and cherished the impressions these three people gave me. A stay at Anima Mundi this summer has given me tools to stay balanced in my daily life. For me, it was a experience I would repeat.

  • Morgan Palmer Hubbard Spain

    Anima Mundi Travels Facebook page

    Beautiful, peaceful retreat up in the Pyrenees Mountains. I felt a gentle simplicity in the time there, and real passion and depth of understanding in the teachers. We had a lot of fun spending time as a group, helping create a cosy atmosphere, and sharing in the teachings and practices!

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