It has been a long time since I did a guided yoga class so the invitation from Life Retreat to participate in one was most welcome. This formed part of a media package I was invited to take part in. I arrived at Lourensford Wine Estate at 9h15, 15 minutes before the class was due to start. I had to complete a form, which included a medical waiver. Before the class started I nipped off to the bathroom, which is around the back of the building. Within 5 minutes of the class starting an email was sent to me about my membership.
I was in the very peaceful studio at 9h25 and grabbed a mat and was given blocks and a strap by Tabitha. She didn’t enquire about any injuries or medical issues the participants might have before the class started. We began with pranayama and then moved into a dynamic session. This lasted 46 minutes and ended with savasana. This class is certainly not for beginners or anyone new to yoga. I could not always see what Tabitha was doing but this was not an issue for me as I have been practicing Hatha yoga for decades. I managed to spend a few minutes talking to her after the class. She has been teaching for 2 years and combines Ashtanga with Vinyasa and Yin yoga. There are a variety of classes to choose from and you can attend as many classes as you want at a monthly cost of R600.
Unbeknown to me, the person who wished me a good class was Trish Taylor. She is a director of Life Retreat together with Ryan Edmonds who I bumped into on the stairs. I was in between the yoga class and my spa treatment and this was not planned. Ryan has been teaching yoga since 2011 and his aim is to train yoga instructors in Sir Lowry’s Pass Village. We had an interesting albeit short chat which included some of our common interests. Before I went into the spa I mentioned to him that I would need something to eat before doing wine tasting.
From the choices I was offered I decided to have a full body massage (prices starting from R610). I had another form to complete which made note of my medical issues, as well as enquiring as to the massage pressure I would like. Thankfully, the spa has its own toilets so you needn’t worry about having to go outside if you are in the middle of a treatment! The rooms are at a perfect temperature and the lights kept very dim. The music however does not quite penetrate into the rooms and the ticking clock was therefore quite loud. Gift is one of 4 therapists working at the spa, and has been there for 2 weeks. The massage was pleasant, but not as deep or as hard as I am used to. As she was not feeling 100% I could not ask questions of her during the treatment.
I think my media experience could have been improved by someone from the team joining me after my spa package and before I did the wine tasting. A light lunch at Red Riding Hood Deli would have been perfect. This would have provided me with a much-needed meal. But more importably, I could have learnt more about Life Retreat, which has only been open one year. Instead, I was taken up to the wine tasting and then left to my own devices.
Thobeka guided me through a red wine tasting. I had a sip of each wine, knowing I would have to drive home. My tasting started with the Dome Pinot Noir 2017 which we both agreed should be chilled. It then moved on to The River Garden Classique Merlot 2016 followed by The River Garden Classique Shiraz 2016. These are the new labels for what was the Lourensford Wines. The old River Garden range has been renamed The River Garden Flower Collection. I ended with the Lourensford Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 which is exceptional. Thobeka has convinced me to come back and do a blind tasting with some friends.
Disclosure: I was invited to participate in a media package by Life Retreat. I was not asked to blog about my experience. This post is in line with my blogging policy.