Testimonial from Tuscany Detox retreat, Autumn 2014

I have been going to see Carolyne Ji at a high-grade gym in London for a Deep Tissue massage for a few months, for me she was one of the very few people who understood what I wanted from a massage and when she mentioned she is starting a company which will focus on retreats and detox, I was instantly interested.

Over the course of the following weeks, I read all the information regarding the upcoming retreat in Tuscany, and despite the strict schedule, after seeing the pictures of the beautiful villa and surroundings, I knew I had to experience it. I quickly sent the info around my circle of friends and gained a partner who would come on this amazing journey with me within a few days, after all it was too good to pass on. After booking the retreat, I had a strict diet to stick to for 2 weeks, referred to as Pre-detox diet which was a little tough at first, but I soon understood that all the obstacles are in my mind, and managed to thoroughly enjoy it.

What attracted me to this detox retreat specifically were a small group and the details, such as yoga sessions, daily inspirational talks and an array of therapies to choose from. It sounded like a truly incredible getaway with breath-taking views on the Tuscan mountains. And it was exactly that. Upon arrival, we were greeted by Carolyne and her team of experienced professionals. It felt comfortable and easy. As group of us were explained the schedule for the upcoming week, what to expect and how to manage our spare time ( I slept most of my spare time ). Sitting by the fire, we were all wondering if we are ready for such an experience, as it is deep & spiritual one, one that requires you to give it your all in order to cleanse and improve. For me, the very essence of this was to cleanse off past experiences, shake off bad dietary habits and engage in therapies which better your health and state of mind.

Carolyne and her team are an absolute dream- from our great cook Stacey to a wonderfully healing and kind Purnima, we all bonded daily, experiencing new feelings together, and connecting. In between yoga sessions, therapies and daily chats, we had some spare time, which we could use however we wanted.  I mostly slept for the first few days, as my energy levels were low, however by day 4 I was enjoying hikes, swimming and outdoor games. Yoga sessions were exceptional, Nadya the instructor is a great teacher who understands the complexity of each person and she was able to create sessions which were suitable for everyone, by the end of the retreat I felt much rested and could do a headstand and hold it for 1 min, for me this was a personal progress. The not eating aspect of the retreat was a little difficult, however being in a group who are supporting each other, we often forgot we haven’t eaten ( I am referring to the 2 day juice cleanse). I remember begging Carolyne for a banana, and to my disappointment she handed me another juice, that moment I understood the strictness that comes, rightly so, with a detox.

In all honesty, I took this trip in order to rest from life in London, and gain some perspective; however it ended up being quite a life-changing event. After coming home, I made serious decisions without any hesitation, and improved my habits dramatically. I enrolled in training for AYM Massage, one of the therapies I received in the retreat. The course was run by the lovely Purnima who introduced me to the art of healing through AyurvedicYoga Massage, and one year later I am about to enrol in Level 2, hoping to provide this service to people soon. I also made a huge decision to go back to college, and am now studying Naturopathic Nutrition, my course will last 3 years, however I am determined to become a practitioner and change my career into Health & Well-Being. Too often we get caught up in hectic schedules, and out lifestyle becomes toxic, unfortunately we only notice this if we are 1. Starving for a day and have nothing else to think about but life (and food) or 2. We get sick. I am happy that I realised I needed to make some changes at the time that I did, and I feel much happier for it. I saw life from a different perspective, and personally I came head to head with my dream career, and little did I know it was different to the industry I am in now.

I would recommend this detox to anybody who is looking to make a change in their lifestyle, relax, rest from daily routines, or simply cleanse. Along the way, I promise you will make friends, trusted mentors and enjoy each day to the full. I speak to our group and all say this was a great experience which gave them something new, perhaps not as life-changing as me, but life-style changing for sure.

Thanks to Carolyne and her team for this wonderful experience.