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After taking a flight from Cairo to Barcelona with my cousin, we were off to a flat where I would stay the night in Castelldefals, then head downtown Barcelona to a flat for one night, and then off to my first Yoga Retreat: Yoga Weeks Yeah!

Quite an interesting time to be in Spain, with the referendum going on (Oct.1). If I were to go by the media, I would be very nervous, but I’m right off Las Ramblas, and it seems calm for the most part. I only saw people gathered but no violence, thank goodness.

Since we arrived so early (11am) and didn’t sleep much, a nap was certainly in order. Once that happened, we were off to a Beach Bar to have some Sangria (when in Spain!). We were staying at a flat right on the Sea, which is heaven to me. From the balcony, the beach and Mediterranean welcomed me with open arms.

We went for dinner and had some great seafood at a local restaurant and some gelato for dessert – if you’re going to induldge, enjoy every moment, that’s my motto hehe

The next morning we had breakfast and headed to the flat downtown Barcelona. I went and got myself a SIM card from a local mall. Travel Tip: Getting a SIM card is pretty easy and cheap, and offers peace of mind. I purchased one from Orange, a local provider – 7GB of data and 80 minutes of calls to Spanish numbers only for 20 euro. International Incoming calls are free, but you can’t make international calls. Roaming is free across EU countries, which is new this year – bonus!

We explored the area that evening going for drinks at a local bar before heading out to La Terrrazza for some dancing, music and drinks. It was a pretty interesting area – you buy a ticket to get in, go through security and then you’re in a bit of a maze of shops and restaurants. It took us a bit to find the place, but smooth sailing once we got there. It reminded me a little of Sunnyside Pavilion in Toronto because it was open air. The music wasn’t bad – still danced the night away 🙂

The next day, I checked in to the Yoga Retreat. The location was right off Las Ramblas, so super central to everything and the schedule left things flexible to explore. There were 7 of us, so it was a nice sized group from all over the world – 2 Canadians, 1 Kenyan, 1 South Korean, and 1 German, with an Englishwoman joining us on the Tuesday. Vegetarian brunch served on the daily after the 2 hour morning Yoga session, with fresh juice and coffee (tea available as well)

I can’t tell you how great I feel after just a few days – taller, more flexible and stronger. I’m getting a deeper understanding of Hatha Yoga, Vinyasa, and the shakras, connecting body, mind and soul. A practice that I will certainly continue and develop further. Today we practiced going into the headstand pose (sirsasana) and also the bridge pose (setu bandha sarvangasana), which I haven’t attempted since I was a teenager I’m sure. I was super scared to try the headstand, but low and behold it was just my fear holding me back. With the right teaching and coaching, I was able to do it easily (yeah!) – now I just need to practice more.

Now off to La Boqueria for some seafood!

Lessons Learned:

  • You can do anything so long as you do your best and if you need to, start slow.
  • Be good to your body and it will be good to you
  • Stay hydrated! Water is your best friend

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Natalia Edelmann

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