Wellness Retreats for 2018

Retreats at Chilston Park, Kent

How’s everyone’s New Year’s Resolutions going? Reasonably well? And everyone else’s? Mmm. Yep, thought so. Same here. Actually, this year they’re going great because I don’t have any.

Last January in a yoga class, I learnt about a different kind of New Year’s resolution – it’s called “sankalpa”. A sankalpa is an affirmation specific to you. It’s worded carefully and by its positive nature, encourages self-confidence, with the idea being that you’re more motivated whilst you reach your goal.

I won’t share my sankalpa here because it stays private to you and it’s suggested that you don’t share this with anybody. Sometimes other people’s thoughts can add debate to our ideas, which in turn can lose their full potential and power.

You basically keep hold of your sankalpa, write it on a piece of paper and keep it under your pillow or somewhere safe and repeat it to yourself. A good time to do this is at bedtime before sleep or when you wake up, which is when your subconscious is most susceptible. Guard your sankalpa until your goal has been realised and then simply create a new one!

I found some good examples online:

Rather than saying, “I want to be more compassionate,” your sankalpa might be, “Compassion is my true nature” or “I am compassion itself.” Rather than setting the intention, “I will not eat meat,” your specific sankalpa might be, “With compassion for my body and for other beings, I eat a vegetarian diet.

Retreats at Chilston Park Hotel

In addition to creating a sankalpa, I’ve also made a few gentle ‘commitments’, positive things I’d like to do. This year one of my commitments is to reignite my mindfulness practise and try to carve more time where I switch off completely from the busyness of life.

A few years ago I had a regular mindfulness, meditation and yoga practice and life as a result was pretty balanced and calm by and large! As a result, I only occasionaly suffered from anxiety and depression and any symptoms that did arise, were for relatively small periods of time. Striking that balance has been harder since becoming a parent and for a while I’ve felt as though I’ve needed something to help me reignite my practice.

I’m always on the look out for retreats and courses that promote wellbeing so I was pretty excited when I discovered Handpicked Hotels, who have recently launched a series of new mindfulness and wellbeing retreats. There’s a long list of different retreats on offer for beginners, couples, friends and individuals like me seeking a refresher.

I’m really stoked because in February I’ve been invited along to review one of their retreats: An Introduction to Meditation and Mindfulness at the country house hotel. Chilston Park in Kent.

Chilston Park Retreats (4)

What’s so special about these retreats?

Handpicked Hotels has created a series two-day/two-night retreats in conjunction with local meditation and yoga experts, Liberty Wellbeing.

Instead of being held in a retreat centre or hired space, these retreats are being held in stunning surroundings of Chilston Park in Kent.

Unlike a typical visit for most people who stay at this hotel, the hosts are inviting retreat guests to abandon technology (if only for a short time!) to embrace creativity, escape the hustle and bustle of daily life and be present in the moment to ‘just be.’


Chilston Park Retreats (2)

More about Chilston Park Retreats

The hotel has retreats running from February throughout the year, which combine practices such as Smooth Yoga, Rise and Shine Yoga, Qi-gong, Tai Chi and silent meditation with sessions on mindfulness, embracing a more balanced lifestyle and how to live the Ayurvedic way.


Retreat Food

Now, this I’m excited about. To complement the programme, a planned menu of healthy and nutritious food, snacks and drinks are included, such as Quinoa and Berry Porridge, Chickpea Pancakes with Tomato Salsa and the ‘Green Monster’ Detox Smoothie for breakfast and snacks including Coconut Bites with Lemon, Fresh Fruits, Green Teas and Kiwi & Banana Almond Milk Smoothies served throughout the day. Doesn’t that sound amazing? My insides feel cleansed after just reading this.

Evening meals involve dishes such as Kale & Beetroot Salad with Tahini & Tamari dressing, Potato and Pea Curry with Tomato & Coriander and Green Beans with Spring Onion, Garlic Tofu and a Soya & Chili dressing, all designed to cleanse and rejuvenate from the inside out.

The Cost

Priced at just £375 per person based on two people sharing a room, accommodation is also provided in one of the hotels individually designed and quirky bedrooms.

Chilston Park Retreats (3)

Retreats Coming Up

  • 2nd February 2018 – Introduction to Yoga and Mindfulness
  • 11th March 2018 – Mother & Daughter Retreat
  • 6th April – Step into Spring


To find out how I get on check out my blog towards the end of February for the inside scoop!

Chilston Park Retreats (1)

More about the venue:

The 17th century Chilston Park Hotel, part of the UK’s leading independent country house hotel group, Hand Picked Hotels, is located in the picturesque village of Lenham in Kent and features 53 individually styled bedrooms, a 2 AA Rosette restaurant, Culpepers, and 22 acres of parkland, gardens and woodland. The hotel is located within easy access to the M20 and M25 and has an onsite complimentary car park for guest use.

There are also retreats running throughout the year, visit www.handpickedhotels/chilstonpark for more information and to book a place.


Chilston Park Hotel, Sandway, Lenham, Kent ME17 2BE

T: 0845 072 7426 or 01622 859803
E: enquiries.chilston@handpicked.co.uk

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