FEATURES,  Features

All about… Yoga and wild swimming retreats

A yoga and wild swimming retreat? Not at the same time surely?

Don’t be silly. Yoga and paddleboarding is definitely a thing, but so far as we are aware no one has successfully done an Astavakrasana while wild swimming and lived to tell the tale. We are talking about a wild swimming holiday with yoga thrown in (or a yoga holiday where you get thrown in). Zest Life offer retreats in Wales and the Lake District.

A retreat? Is it all hair shirts and hand-woven yoghurt?

Quite the opposite. The Lake District retreat is based in the luxurious Silverholme Manor on the shore of Windermere (with handy direct lake access for morning dips). The eco-friendly Georgian manor house boasts eight en-suite bedrooms with lakeland or woodland views. The Anglesey retreat is based at Plas Cadnant, a stylish, secluded country house nestled in 21 acres of private parkland with views over Snowdon. You can leave your hairshirt at home.

All meals are plant-based and prepared (not woven) by a private chef.

Tell me about the swimming.

Guided swims explore the best that the regions have to offer. The Anglesey trip offers breathtaking coastal swims, to floating in the spectacular lakes of Snowdonia, to taking a dip in stunning Welsh waterfalls. The Lake District offers daily guided swims in Windermere, adventure swims in Coniston Water and coaching in technique and the power of cold-water swimming. All swims are tailored to each group’s requirements and abilities.

I am not the most flexible. Will the yoga be suitable for me?

Yoga retreats are designed to be suitable for everyone – even if you are as flexible as a plank. Be as active or relaxed as you like. All yoga equipment is provided and each retreat has a dedicated yoga space and instructor.

All that wild swimming and yoga sounds a bit taxing. How can I relax?

Each retreat offers body treatments by in-house therapists. Indulge in a range of massage treatments, from Swedish full body to Tui Na (a Chinese massage similar to Shiatsu).

Isn’t that a small dog?

That’s a Shih Tzu. They aren’t noted for their massage skills.

What do guests say?

“The Zest Life lakes retreat is a magical fusion of wonderful yoga, exciting swims in stunning locations, exquisite food beautifully presented and glorious accommodation on the shore of Lake Windermere. There can be no higher recommendation than the fact I booked to return before I even got home.” Lynn Michael

How do I book?

Three, four and five day Anglesey retreats take place from May to September.

Four and five day Lake District retreats take place in September – limited availability.

Find out more: thezestlife.co.uk

Images: Jumpy James

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Outdoor Swimmer is the magazine for outdoor swimmers by outdoor swimmers. We write about fabulous wild swimming locations, amazing swim challenges, swim training advice and swimming gear reviews.