Last week I had the absolute pleasure of jetting off on a plane with my boys to stay at the Holy Mama Sanctuary in Ibiza. Being my first holiday as a single mama with two boys I was really apprehensive about it as I’ve always been used to having another pair of hands to help out, and on an emotional level I felt like it may have been quite sad seeing lots of happy families holidaying together; so choosing Holy Mama for our first trip as a three was the best decision I could have made.
Holy Mama is a yoga retreat just for mamas and their little ones and is ‘a combination of incredible yoga, delicious food, beautiful accommodation, loving childcare, an attentive team, magnificent countryside and nurturing treatments’.
Founded by Holy Mama Claudia Spahr, author of Right Time Baby, this alternative yoga retreat is focused on nourishing both mother and child and let me tell you it was just what the three of us needed!
The retreat runs on a weekly basis (arriving on Sunday and departing the following Saturday) throughout September, October and May in Ibiza. Despite it’s party reputation, the island has incredible awakening spirituality and is known for it’s health and wellness … plus the weather is pretty incredible!
There are also some other dates in fab locations including Bali, Morocco and Andalusia which I’m already looking into booking for next year!
The package is all inclusive so aside from your flights and transfers you don’t need to worry about a thing. The price is based on which room you opt for, mainly focused on size but they are all beautiful!
The Holy Mama Retreat is hosted at the Ibiza Sanctuary, a boutique mansion in the heart of Ibiza about a 20 minute walk from the village of Santa Gertrudis. It’s set beside the edge of a mountain and between the Ibicencan campo and the pine forest.
There are two villas, Haven and Sanctuary which are a short 2 minute walk from each other and each has 8 rooms, some perfect for one mama and one baby and others large enough for a couple of mamas and their little ones to share. Each room has stunning views; ours was of the forest while other mamas had pool and mountain views; and while some are situated in the main villa there are also pool cabanas for a bit more privacy.
The rooms have large comfortable beds, AC, lots of storage space and are cleaned regularly giving you fresh bedding and towels when needed. We opted for a travel cot for Jenson which was an extra but it made it so much easier than bringing my own! Most of the rooms have en-suites with either baths or showers, ours was one of the ones that didn’t so we used a shower room downstairs which was reserved for us and one other mama. I was a bit apprehensive about this at first as I worried how I’d go to the bathroom or shower leaving the boys upstairs but we ended up all showering together most days which they loved and I just had to make sure that they were occupied or with someone else when I needed the bathroom.
Both villas have living areas, large kitchens, gardens, swimming pools and while our one had the main outdoor yoga deck the other had an indoor yoga studio. The villas are really homely and have lots of toys, baby equipment and supplies to make you feel at ease … oh and there was really good wifi!
All meals were included in the package and prepared by the in-house chefs. The menus are all vegetarian with plenty of vegan options and I left feeling like my body had had the most amazing detox (even though I ate A LOT).
Here’s a typical daily menu:
(mamas and kids) Breakfast – a light spread of cereals, toast, fruit, avocados, yoghurt etc
(kids) Mid-morning snack – fruit, veggie sticks, rye bread, purees
(mamas) Mid-morning smoothie – different every day and oh so delicious
(mamas) Brunch – salads, dips, roasted vegetables, couscous
(kids) Lunch – a rainbow of veggies, purees, pastas etc
(mamas and kids) Afternoon snack – usually a cacao energy ball or homemade vegan cake
(mamas and kids) Dinner – Vegetarian lasagna, vegetable Thai curry, tofu curry etc
There was also unlimited drinking water, teas, coffees, fruit and milk for the babies which was amazing as Jenson decided to have at least one bottle throughout the night each night! The chefs were incredible and have really inspired me to get more creative in the kitchen!
For the kids
Each morning the children had 3.5 hours of childcare while the mamas did yoga and brunched. The carers are Montissouri style and are assigned to the children on a 1:2 ratio for the whole week so the children got to really build up a bond over the course of the stay.
The boys were paired up with children of the same age so Jasper and his little buddy Harry had one lady the whole time and Jenson and his little friend Ethan had theirs. The 1:2 ratio made me feel so at ease as I knew that the ladies would get to know the boys quickly and not have to worry about lots of different children’s schedules.
The ladies were fab and did everything you’d expect including nappies, bottles and rocking them off to sleep plus there were so many indoor and outdoor activities in the sunshine and the shade. Jasper spent his time on forest walks, feeding the chickens and climbing trees while Jenson did arts and crafts and explored.
There were then three activities for the kids throughout the week which were typically after the kids had their dinner, meaning that us mamas could sit and watch them whilst eating our own! The first was a yoga circle where the little ones got to make wishes with glitter; the second was puppet yoga which Jasper loved helping to set up and then the last was a singing class. Aside from the set childcare and activities the villa had so much for the kids to do including a huge trampoline, swimming pool, plenty of toys and books and of course the beautiful grounds to explore.
For the Mamas
Now for the most important part … the mamas (I joke … but I’m kind of serious haha), Holy Mama was created with mamas in mind; mamas who live a busy lifestyle, working, cleaning, tidying, nurturing everyone but themselves and leaving little time to just zen. So with an aim to give us mamas a space to reconnect, relax and recharge there was of course the most amazing program laid on.
Every morning, after breakfast was done and the children were safe and happy with their childminders, us mamas were given our homemade, healthy and delicious smoothies to give us a morning boost. It was then time for 2 hours of yoga on the yoga deck set amongst the forest which was just all kinds of zen. The setting is beautiful with a late morning glow and all you can hear is the soft buzz of nature.
Our instructor for the week was just amazing! We did a combination of meditation and yoga and rather than pushing us to twist like pretzels she really took the time to focus on getting each move correct, understanding our bodies and turning our dried prunes into soft peaches (don’t ask). The classes were catered to all abilities; from newbies to instructors and pregnant mamas to mamas with older children and all we were reminded to do was breathe, smile and if all else fails – get into child pose and relax.
We were also given one of the greatest gifts a mother could ask for – uninterrupted brunches! Before we collected the children we had brunch just us mumas and as mentioned earlier some evenings the children were kept occupied while we had uninterrupted dinners too!
Two nights a week there were also muma focused activities; the first of which was a women’s circle whereby the childcarers were brought in to listen out for the babies while they slept and we had an evening of empowerment with our fellow mamas.
The second of which was a talk about raising our children simply with nature and it really inspired me to keep going with my minimalism journey and put less pressure on such a busy lifestyle.
The package also included a spa treatment of our choice from a manicure, pedicure, massage or facial and I opted for the facial. It was held on the balcony so whilst my face was massaged and cleansed with gloriously fresh products all I could hear was the birds singing and the gentle breeze against my skin!
The Holy Mama retreat really was an unforgettable experience. Not only did I take the time to reflect on myself and where I want to be but I got to reconnect with my boys. Our minds and bodies were nurtured and I actually felt quite sad to be leaving the safe cocoon of support and empowerment.
It really did feel like living in a commune with likeminded mamas; mamas from different walks of life but all with a passion to live simply and support each other. The boys and I made such wonderful friends who I cannot wait to be reunited with and it’s given me a real boost to focus on friendships and those that influence our lives positively.
If you’d like to know more about the Holy Mama retreats then head over to their website to look at next years dates; I may even se you on one of them!
Have you ever been on a yoga retreat with your little ones? I’d love to know about your experiences!
Thanks for reading,
*We were invited to stay at Holy Mama for the purpose of a review; all opinions are my own.