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Relaxation, Sun, & Savasana in Sitges

Although Sitges is well-known as a beach town in Spain, it’s also an excellent option for a weekend getaway or an easy day-trip from Barcelona (a 30-minute ride from the main train station). As Sitges is a micro-climate, the weather is pleasant, sunny, and comfortable nearly year-round, except in the summer (similar to most areas in southern/central Spain). The beach is quite nice and you can’t beat the view of the old cathedral right on the coast. The town center is compact and walkable, with many decent lodging, meal, and cute shopping options. Leave your car outside the city, or don’t bring a car at all, as driving and parking in the town center is challenging. Though my friends and I were there for a yoga retreat (more on that below), we spent the first and last afternoon leisurely exploring historic Sitges and found it quite scenic, intriguing, and compelling. It’s definitely one of the prettiest beach towns I’ve seen in Spain.

Boost & Refill: that was the name of the weekend yoga retreat I recently attended. And boy, did I need both! I’d been feeling quite burnt out from navigating more recent frustrations with our housing situation, parenting after a fun but long summer of travel with few childcare breaks, overwhelmed with all the back-to-school β€œto-do’s,” and really missing my Dad around the season of the Jewish holidays and our birthdays coming up this fall.

Fortunately, several months ago I’d decided to book this two-night yoga retreat in Sitges as two friends from Valencia were also planning to attend. The Ashram Villa Sunshine @ashramvillasunshine was perched up in the hills overlooking the coast in a quiet, residential neighborhood. As soon as we arrived and were warmly welcomed by hosts Mikael and Tamara, I felt a sense of calm. 

I’ve been to my share of wonderful yoga retreats over the nearly 20 years of my practice, with many inspiring and excellent teachers. This retreat was focused less on the physical poses (asanas) and more on a Kundalini-style yoga integrated with other restorative practices, which was actually exactly I needed at this particular moment in time and was so glad to receive. We did a variety of different types of meditations, breath work, chanting mantras, sound bath, mindful group sharing and listening, and gentle yoga with seven women of all ages and abilities. And the lovingly prepared and delicious vegan meals (including an amazing vegan paella!), and time to just relax, read, journal, and rest by the pool, were just as nourishing for the soul as the yoga.

Even with just two nights away, I left Sitges feeling restored, in a shifted mindset, equipped with more tools and resources to incorporate into daily life, with deepened friendships and fresh perspectives, and appreciative for this time away for myself.