Anxiety can lead to stress, can lead to weight gain, which leads to illness; the vicious circle. Life’s treadmill rarely stops, and unless we’re in control of its pace, we inevitability come crashing off, at speed, a bit like Jen.
Just as your manicured finger hovers over the emergency ‘STOP!’ button, the Obsidian Retreat emerges from the Spanish hills. Hailed as the ‘premier European Centre for health restoration through diet and lifestyle’ the family run retreat offers the opportunity to learn about health and fitness as well as put it into to practice.
The retreat is based near the village of Benissa on the Costa Blanca, forty five minutes from Alicante. The surrounding area is calm and serene with a perfect vista over the hills encompassing it, none of this is wasted in the fitness regime, daily walks are taken in the hills and yoga is practiced on the nearby beach.
The retreat is not solely for relaxation. People visit for many reasons, weight loss, diabetes control, heart problems. The common denominator is the feeling of finally having had enough of the travelator of the treadmill of life dragging you screaming along rather cruising at a leisurely pace.
However, do not be fooled. If you mean it, the retreat is not for the faint hearted. If you really want to make the most of your time there and gain the expertise of Andy and Carole West, the owners, then you must knuckle down. There are daily yoga classes, juicing for lunch and breakfast (after a three day all juice detox) followed by a fully vegan diet for dinner. Health classes on cooking and illnesses are taught as well as access to colonic hydrotherapy, massages and mediation.
Thankfully, the retreat is far enough away from the local cuisine and taverns, warding off any lingering temptation; but there are ways and means, Bridget Jones, if the desire becomes too much. Although, you will hear from visitors that they gain so much from their Obsidian experiences, that ruining it with a cheeky vino blanco would serve little purpose.
Obsidian’s five year expansion plan has been compressed to three years to meet a fast growing demand. The team will be moving to new premises close by in Spring 2012, bringing a new tier of upmarket hotel luxury. New activities will add a further dimension to the health routine which enables, visitors, on average, to lose one pound a day at the retreat.
All rooms are ensuite (although some are currently shared between two rooms). You can pay extra to have a room of your own. All of the food, water and classes are included in the price, with extras such as massages not breaking the bank. There is a swimming pool, hot tub and tennis courts for extra entertainment.
Fly to Alicante Airport, Spain.