Stretch for body heat and drum to the beat at Happy Buddha Retreats

Whether it’s a full agenda of yoga you want, or meditation, a digital detox, alcohol detox,  kickstart veganism or or simply a relaxing few nights away from the hustle and bustle, Happy Buddha Retreats is a hidden gem that will bring back the shine in you. 

Nestled in the Blue Mountains, Happy Buddha Retreats is situated on a stunning block with outdoor spaces to roam amongst the trees and bask in the tranquility, a pool for a cold plunge (for those who go in winter)  backing onto bushwalks to waterfalls. 

Inside the stunning brick buildings, that might remind you of a small British school, there are multiple rooms – for couples with King beds or friends looking to share with single beds, each with private en-suite. These are not glamorous rooms, but they are clean and functional. No TV, which is quite a shock for the regular traveler, but of course TV doesn’t help with being zen, and it’s quite delightful to not have any unnecessary noise filling the room and the halls. 

The rest of internal the space is designed with community, harmony and relaxation in mind. The magic happens behind the bookcase with a yoga studio stocked with mats, blocks, straps, bolsters and blankets. 

A communal kitchen where the team from Happy Buddha serve you deliciously hearty vegan food, from dhal, to pumpkin soup to roast vegetables and salad, home made muesli  and fruit. Gluten free options are available at every meal. This is a beautiful act of service catering to your needs, in the moment. There is no shortage of food (a true panic for us before we went – but all good as we were full the entire time).

Downstairs is a chill out room for meditation, knitting, reading or just contemplation. No phones are allowed in public areas, adding to more zen vibes. So even though the place is filled with people, there is enough space to feel alone, or connected – as you need.

For the vegan meat in the sandwich, there’s yoga classes on Friday, Saturday and Sunday along with meditation and a drumming circle. All sessions are optional and it’s very much a weekend of listening to yourself on what type of nurturing your body, mind and soul needs. All up there’s 6 hours of yoga in this, Inner Joy retreat.

Yoga sessions cover Slow Flow, Dynamic Flow, Gentle Flow and Yin. The teacher’s are all incredible at teaching, gentle correction and creating a relaxing environment. And you don’t have to be a bendable yogi to attend, first timers, lapsed practitioners and regulars are all made to feel welcome.

A real highlight is the drumming circle where the rhythmically challenged are welcomed to feel the vibration of the tribal beat in your body. The idea of a drumming circle may seem foreign – it did for us after a long week of work, chained to the keyboard, however – any frustrations can be beat into the drum and at the least is cathartic. Overall a beautiful and different way to spend an hour, filled with laughter and the ability, if you can, to learn a new skill.

At the end of the two night stay – from Friday afternoon to Sunday lunch – you’ll feel completely stretched (not stressed) out, with a new lens on life. That’s not hyperbole, there is something to be said for yoga amongst the stunning backdrop of the Blue Mountains.

Happy Buddha Retreats offers a variety of ways to spend your weekends, or weeks, with inner joy yoga, above, silent meditation retreat, African drumming retreat and bushwalking retreats.  

Happy Buddha Retreats: Inner Joy Retreat are from $549pp, including all activities, food and accomodation.

About the author

Michelle hails from the UK – but grew up with big flavours and spices thanks to her Singaporean Mum. International cuisine has always been part of Michelle’s life as she explored the world in the pursuit of delicious food and wine – along with a castle or two. Michelle now lives in Sydney after a lengthy stint in Brisbane (a city dear to her heart, which she visits frequently). She is letting her nose and palette be her guide as she discovers and shares exciting and delicious dining experiences. Michelle also loves, in equal measure, fashion, sunshine and puppies.


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