Ask people what the most important things in life are and you invariably get these answers: health and happiness. I would argue that one is intrinsically, unavoidably linked to the other. For too long ‘healthy’ has been a word to describe a person's physical wellbeing and although as a society we are beginning to recognise the importance of mental wellbeing, it is certainly not given the same status. And as I found out during a recent bout of flu, even a usually healthy (mind and body!) person can quickly become down and depressed when our bodies aren’t in peak condition.
When we (Helen and Esme, the founders of Zaol) started thinking about organising a retreat, it began with the usual; bit of yoga, nice food etc...etc., nice but nothing ground breaking there, the world of retreats is a well-trodden path. Quickly we began to question what we wanted to achieve through doing this. What were we going to do that would be different to all of the retreats happening all over the world already? How did we want people to feel after attending our event? How can we run events in a way which will really make a lasting positive impact on people's lives?
We wanted everyone to leave our weekend feeling that their wellbeing had improved physically and mentally and that they could easily replicate what they had learnt at home so that this wasn’t a ‘break’ from life but a meaningful addition to it. I even started to go off the word ‘retreat’, why should we spend a weekend retreating? Hiding from life? When we can spend it learning ways to cope with, improve and become excited by life!
Esme and I are bodywork experts, we spend our days working with clients to improve their lives through massage, yoga and Pilates. We are both people who constantly engage our brain, learn new things and love to take on new challenges, we have so much passion for what we do and we recognise and admire that passion in others which is how and why we have ended up collaborating with some really fantastic people. From authors and comedians to artists and musicians, there are no boundaries to the type of workshops and entertainment we will include in our events, the only criteria is that the people we collaborate with share the same passion for health, happiness and wellbeing that we do. And that’s what makes Zaol different. We are not a ‘yoga’ retreat or a ‘raw food’ retreat or a ‘meditation’ retreat. We are a wellbeing event, and that might encompass things which are unexpected, unfamiliar, physical, emotional, exciting, philosophical, because wellbeing isn’t confined to one subject, wellbeing is (or should be!) a part of everything we do. If you leave one of our events a little bit more inspired, empowered, excited by life then we have done our job, and I’m certain you will have had fun getting there.
As we firmly believe that it is important to practice what you preach, we have started this blog where we will regularly try out new things which either claim to, or we believe will, have a positive impact on our lives in some way. We intend to use this blog as a place to explore the world of wellbeing, to step outside of our comfort zones and hopefully make some great personal discoveries along the way. Hopefully we will inspire some of you to do the same, or at least give you some ideas for new things to try out!
Our next blog will be coming soon, so watch this space and don’t forget to follow us so you can see all of the crazy things we get up to!
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Author: Helen Coleman