Our First Yoga & Pilates Holiday, Warts and All

Gosh where do we begin. Last July myself and Vicky came up with the idea of taking a group abroad for a holiday incorporating yoga, pilates and our massage skills. We originally booked a yoga specific place in the Tuscan Hills it looked stunning on the pictures. 10 clients had booked on and paid their deposits, in September the flights were booked. October being a quieter month, I popped to see the hotel, the transfer from Pisa airport was further than stated. Not to worry only an 1hr 15 minute transfer. I arrived at night, we were shown our room ( I can only say it was very Italian) We went to dinner and this was when I began to think I cant bring anyone here. Lesson number 1!!

After a sleepless night, we found the Borgo di Colleoli resort. The lady who I met was very helpful. Showed us round, the views were to die for. They had never done a Yoga Holiday before, so it was new territory for us both.

Vicky and I decided to travel two days earlier than our guests and this in hindsight was good forward thinking. It allowed us to get acquainted with the area and find extra things for us to do.

We had 10 ladies arriving on the Thursday and we were all departing on the following Tuesday. The weather was mixed over the 5 days, but our apartment, was large enough to do yoga inside. If it was sunny we had a terrace near the pool (which we had to demand they power wash for us).

The ladies arrived and were shown their rooms (more of this later) half an hour later the first yoga session had to take place in our room due to a downpour just as they arrive.

We had half board at the hotel and we soon discovered that Italian’s eat very differently to us. So after some negotiation the head chef came up with a plan that seemed to work for us all. He would tell us what he was planning to feed us and we would say yes or no. Lesson number 2.

We had a full itinerary, yoga every morning at 8am and pilates or different styles of yoga at night. This worked really well and they were all really happy with our teaching. 7 of our ladies booked massages with us so these took place when we had down tim

We had walks scheduled, half the group went to Pisa for trip, whilst the others went on a walk with the essential coffee stop. In the evening, we had fizz and quiz night in our apartment. This was really good fun, up for grabs a bottle of wine from the region.

We had a lovely trip to a winery, which Vicky and I found on one of the days prior to everyone’s arrival. This was great fun, needless to say we all found the afternoon session hard!!!.

The area of Tuscany was beautiful and the views were amazing, the terrace area where we did our sessions was great. I think from the guests point of view some of the accommodation wasn’t up to scratch and this was a learning curve. The food was lovely but probably small portions after all the exercise we were doing.

However we have had some great feedback on what they enjoyed and how we can improve for next year. Which they have said they are all coming back.

It was learning curve for me and Vicky and boy were we tired when we got home. Would we do it again. YES. Will it better YES. We all had so many laughs. We are already looking and hopefully by the end of June, we will have something in the diary. The dates we are looking at are May 1st – 6th.

6 thoughts on “Our First Yoga & Pilates Holiday, Warts and All

  1. Definitely up for this again. I went with my mum (Christine) and we had a blast. Mother and daughter spending quality down time together doing the things we love together, with a bunch of like minded lovely ladies. Pisa was an experience I will never forget. Thank you Hartley heys for putting this great get away together. Xx

  2. I would like to thank Julia & Vicky for inviting me on your first yoga retreat. I absolutely loved it. And I made new friends who are brilliant. And it was nice to spend quality time with my daughter Julie
    Can’t wait till the next one next year. Hope I get invited again .
    Christine Isherwood

  3. I absolutely loved the whole experience! From meeting new friends and spending quality time with old friends what could be better. I’m still practicing my yoga 🧘‍♀️ maybe one day I’ll be as good as Christine 💪🏼❤️ …. thank you Julia & Vicky your hard work & dedication did not go unnoticed 🧘‍♀️and is very much appreciated…. here’s to the next one 🥂

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