RECIPE // Simple Jaffa Chocolate

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Vegan. Gluten Free. Dairy Free. SIMPLE. What’s not to love about this easy-as chocolate recipe? Exactly the kind of thing you need to have handy when cocoa cravings hit – all the goodness without the fillers. Winner!

 

BASE INGREDIENTS

1 cup cocoa butter, melted

1 cup cocoa powder

1/4 to 1/2 cup honey (err on less over more)

 

ADDITIONAL EXTRAS

10 drops Doterra Wild Orange essential oil

Grated lemon, lime or orange zest of one fruit

handful nuts – sunflower seeds, brazil nuts, almonds or cashews

dried fruit for extra sweetness

 

On a very low heat, allow cocoa butter to melt, then stir in cocoa and honey. Add any additional extras you’d like to throw into your chocolate mix, then pour into a baking-paper lined tray and place in fridge for at least half an hour.

Cut with a knife to allow to break into bite-size pieces. Store in a mason jar or sealed container and enjoy with freshly brewed coffee, or as a little treat after dinner.

 

 

A day in… Noosa (part 1)

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Our A Day In… series gives you a sampling of our favourite destinations, across some of the most-loved locations in the world. You can let our itinerary take the lead and enjoy your very own carefully curated one-day retreat, or choose your own adventure by picking out a few special stops along the way. 

Having just returned from a recent holiday to Noosa (which also happens to be my hometown), I’m so excited to share with you some of my favourite things to do, see, eat and experience…! I’ve split this post into two just so I can feature ALL my favourites (of which there are many), but don’t be surprised if part 3 gets published in a matter of months…!

With love, Vic xx


A DAY IN… NOOSA

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8.00AM: Eumundi Markets + bookstore, breakfast at Bohemian Bungalow

No visit to the Sunshine Coast is complete without a trip to the Eumundi Markets. Held every Wednesday and Saturday morning, it offers everything and anything by our locals, from farm-fresh produce to fashion and jewellery, artists and artisans and massage and music.

Allow at least an hour to enjoy a meandering walk around the markets, sampling local treats and finding little gems to take home with you. Make a point of seeking out one of the wonderful reiki and massage therapists, and book in for a 30 minute session in a private tent to set your day with the right intention.

Afterwards, duck across to the Berkeleow Bookstore across the road which offers a wonderful range of new and second-hand books for you to peruse, as well as beautiful gifts and homewares. You can then take a short walk two blocks up to the Bohemian Bungalow for a coffee and breakfast, drinking in the gorgeous eclectic decor whilst enjoying your new reads.

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11.00AM: Noosa Flow for Pilates + Green Juice at Jimmy Fox

Claire and her wonderful team at Noosa Flow have created something truly special in the heart of Noosaville. Having transformed an old accounting firm into a pristine-white, greenery-filled Pilates studio, with magical views out to Noosa River and the world below, you can’t help but feel hit by a wave of calm each time you step through its glass doors.

Claire’s classes are nurturing, all-inviting and geared towards to mindfulness, kindness and self-care, but don’t be fooled by her sweet intonations – she makes sure you feel it work in all the right places.

Allow 50 minutes for all of the classes on their schedule, and if you feel the need for refreshment afterwards, Jimmy Fox downstairs do a mean green juice.

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12.30PM: Pack a picnic at Belmondos, then lunch at Cafe Le Monde

Before making a visit to the beach, head to Belmondos Organics just around the corner in Noosaville to curate a picnic for your afternoon hike to Mount Tinbeerwah. They have a beautiful and diverse selection of fresh organic produce as well as delicious savoury and sweet treats made by their sister cafe VanillaFood in Noosaville. Bring a cooler bag and stock up!

One of the classic institutions of Noosa, Cafe Le Monde is the perfect spot to stop for lunch – although better known for its burgers and cocktails, it has changed its menu in recent years to accommodate the health-conscious and those with dietary concerns. They have a great range of gluten-free and vegetarian options, as well as a bountiful stock of fresh Noosa Pressed Juices. It’s a great spot for people-watching, and quick access to the Main Beach only metres away.

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3.00PM: swim at Little Cove + gelato at Massimos

If you’re keen for a little sunshine and some stunning views, then it’s time for a short walk up the hill to Little Cove, the first sandy beach past the main strip. It’s an ideal spot to relax, watch the surfers take on the waves around the point, and enjoy a completely protected swim with minimal waves.

Some of my favourite memories have been made at this spot, and I am at my happiest dreaming of swimming in these turquoise waters, looking up at the endless blue skies and the lush green gums lining the shore. If you happen to travel there in April, you may be graced with the annual migration of blue butterflies that come in their thousands, fluttering overhead and out to sea – a breathtaking sight.

Once you’re ready to hit the road, double-back and make a quick pit-stop at Massimos. Their gelati defined my teenage trips to the beach, and their Ferrero Rocher gelato and Mango sorbet are life-long favourites. Don’t miss it!

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5.00PM: Mt Tinbeerwah sunset + packed picnic

Mount Tinbeerwah is the nearest mountain to where I grew up, and cuts a striking silhouette, even in comparison to the unusual mountains that define the ranges of the Sunshine Coast. It offers 360* views from the gazebo that sits at its pinnacle, from the coast (Noosa, Coolum and beyond) to the hills (Eumundi, Cooroy, Pomona).

The best time to visit is around 5pm just before the sun sets, but keep an eye on the time – the sun dips quickly and although the path up and down the hill is short and beginner-friendly (allow for a twenty-minute round trip to the gazebo and back), we recommend taking a torch and wearing sensible walking shoes.

If you get there a bit earlier, it’s a lovely spot for a picnic with the delicious treats you collected earlier in the day from Belmondos Organics, either in the gazebo or on the rock escarpment surrounding – the breathtaking panoramic views are so worthy of a linger.

 

Stay tuned for our Part 2 of this story in the new few weeks! If there is a particular suburb you’d like to have featured on our blog, please drop us a line at hello@holistichq.com.au – we’d love to hear from you! xx

Holistic HQ Presents // Yoga + Sound Alchemy

HHQ Presents | Yoga + Sound Alchemy | 10th June 2017-3

HOLISTIC HQ PRESENTS | YOGA + SOUND ALCHEMY
Breathe Wellbeing | 289 Little Collins St, Melbourne
2 – 5pm, Saturday 10th June

Each celestial body, in fact each and every atom, produces a particular sound on account of its movement, its rhythm or vibration. All these sounds and vibrations form a universal harmony in which each element, while having it’s own function and character, contributes to the whole.”
– Pythagoras (569-475 BC)

We are so delighted to host this special gathering, featuring the wonderful Janelle Kingsley Yoga and Nicole Betts of Pursuit of Wellness, who will be leading a transformative afternoon filled with healing sounds, yin yoga and meditation.

Join us on Saturday 10th June from 2-5pm at a gorgeous urban oasis – Breathe Wellbeing, at the heart of Melbourne on Little Collins Street. For three blissful hours, you will be absorbed and enriched in euphoric and energising sounds. Your guides will take you on a journey of relaxation, regeneration and harmonic healing by exploring the interplay of both sound and silence.

Mats, bolsters and blankets will be provided, as well as time to socialise over snacks, tea and fresh juices supplied by our friends at Pressed Juices.

Visit the link below to register now. Tickets are only $40 early bird (until Sunday 4th June), or $45 last minute. We would love to see you there!

REGISTER NOW


YOUR HOSTS

NICOLE BETTS | SOUND MEDITATION

Nicole Lee is an internationally accredited Qigong Teacher, Mindfulness & Sound Practitioner and Natural Health Consultant. She offers classes, sessions and programs that develop mindfulness through conscious movement and stillness utilising the practice of Integrative Qigong.

Nicole also facilitates Sound Meditation events in collaboration with different musicians and sound practitioners that incorporate mindfulness, rest and meditation, as well as working with people to increase their wellbeing and vitality through natural and traditional medicine.

JANELLE KINGSLEY | YIN YOGA

Janelle Kingsley is a spirited yoga and meditation teacher and writer based in Melbourne. Her exploration of yoga began more than ten years ago whilst studying philosophy at university.

Janelle has taught diverse groups of people, ranging from the Department of Defence, students at La Trobe University, and managers for Lush Cosmetics. Having previously worked at The Yoga Social in Melbourne’s CBD, she can now be found teaching regular classes at White Dog Studio in Footscray. She teaches Hatha and Yin styles of yoga, pranayama, meditation and Yoga Nidra.

With her bubbling energy and downright infectious laugh, it’s hard not to see the brighter side of life when in Janelle’s company.

VICTORIA BROCKFIELD | MC + MEDITATION

Victoria is a qualified Pilates and Barre instructor, and holds the Breathe Certificate IV in Pilates, as well as a Certificate IV in Fitness. She is also the Co-Director of Holistic HQ, a wellness community running retreats and workshops in Melbourne.

Fifteen years of personal yoga practice has also greatly influenced the atmosphere she creates in classes, emphasising mindfulness, breath patterns and finding the calm amidst the challenge.

There are only a limited amount of tickets available for this intimate event.
Don’t miss out!

Or just drop us a line at hello@holistichq.com.au – we’d so love for you to join us! x

 

REGISTER NOW

HQ MUSE // Annette Ruzicka, Photographer and Filmmaker

Our HQ Muses are people in the Holistic HQ community who are brave, creative, big-hearted and inspiring. They are ambassadors for what we strive to achieve – a thriving and joyful wellness community, supporting you on the path to good health, a sustainable lifestyle and spirited, happy wellbeing.

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Annette Ruzicka is a documentary and portrait photographer based in Melbourne, Australia. A love of the natural environment and the unseen or unlikely people who fight for its protection has been the initial focus of her work both in Australia and abroad.

Annette runs a portrait and corporate/lifestyle photography business including videography for individuals, small or large businesses. Annette was also a finalist for the coveted 2016 National Portraiture Prize.

 

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1. The focus of your work via Annette Ruzicka Photography is very much on the unseen or unlikely heroes of the conservation movement, both here and abroad. How do you seek out the subject of your photography, and how do they inspire you?

As a photographer, you’re looking for the real people – the brains, brawn (for lack of a better word) or champion of the work or project – whatever the case may be. This is not always the most obvious or boisterous person, it could be the person in the background just getting on with it. The key is spending time with them, getting to know their story and quite simply, to observe.

The story often unfolds right before you. As my work has incorporated a strong focus on environmental issues, they inspire me by simply doing what they do – either off the smell of an oily rag, or in less than ideal conditions and doing it to address a major environmental problem – and for that alone they inspire me.

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2. You recently were named a finalist for the 2016 National Photographic Portrait Prize – congratulations! What did this accolade mean to you?  

It meant a great deal indeed. At the risk of boasting, it’s a highly coveted prize of national recognition. It’s been extremely valuable for my career and to have one your images selected, framed and in an exhibition is a wonderful feeling in the competitive world of photography. One thing photographers are is very sensitive of their work – so to have this acknowledgment was extremely gratifying.

 

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3. Your volunteer work in Costa Rica was a pivotal experience in your life. What was so remarkable about your first trip there?

Gosh, where do I start? The natural values of the area, the amazing mass turtle nesting events (which only happen 7 places in the world), the locals who kept the work going – amidst poor socio-economic factors, and the complexities and politics of a small community, it was both fascinating and a privilege.

 

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4. Where do you find your happy moments when your work hats are off?

Taking photos! There’s nothing more satisfying than creating an amazing image, or learning something new or finishing that mini-documentary. Being out in nature, looking up the stars until your neck hurts, bush walking and sometimes, just sitting on the couch with the husband with a big bag of popcorn watching The Walking Dead!

 

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5. If you could travel to one special place you haven’t yet been, what would be your dream destination? Why does it capture your imagination?

I want to spend a good 6 months in both Central and Southern Latin America. After my eight weeks in Costa Rica I have developed a visceral yearning to go back. The magnificent natural values of the continent speak for themselves – the Amazon being the most obvious, and its ancient history including Machu Picchu. But it’s the wonderful people of the region, I believe, that I will above all continue to love – culturally, I feel of all the countries I have visited it’s the most aligned to who I am.

 

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6. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

When I am stressing out about something, or letting my imagination get carried away with things, it’s easy to assume the worst. I was once asked, “what evidence do you have to believe this will happen?” and the answer 9 times out of 10 is none! You can always let your insecurities and fears eat away at you,  but nowadays I simply ask myself this question – I find it always stops me in my tracks and lets me just get on with it.

 

Instagram: @annettruzickaphotography

Facebook: www.facebook.com.au/annettruzickaphotography

Website: www.annetteruzicka.com.au

 

 

Love from HQ // Last Minute Christmas Ideas

Hi lovelies!

Are you still umm-ing and ahh-ing over what to give your special ones this festive season? If you want to give them the gift of beautiful memories, a focused mindset, a rested and fit body, or simply peace of mind, we’ve got you covered! Read on below for some awesome last-minute ideas, delivered with love from our HQ team.

Wishing you much peace this festive season,

Vic + Abs xx

11BRING THE MASSAGE TO THEM

Our wonderful masseuse Stacey Irving of Stacey Leanne Massage provides deeply nourishing relaxation and remedial massages at her home in Brunswick, Melbourne and also offers mobile massage across the inner city suburbs. She’s available for evening and weekend appointments, and can even do pregnancy massage as well as lymphatic drainage.

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Her aim is to provide affordable and accessible massages so that feeling balanced, relaxed, taking care of pesky niggles or managing acute injuries is easy.

Stacey has some totally gorgeous gift e-vouchers available, if you’d like to buy one in the lead up to Christmas for a loved one or maybe as a treat for yourself, vouchers are only $50 for an hour treatment if purchased in December.

For more info, visit her website or contact Stacey directly at staceyleannemassage@gmail.com x

2LET THEM GET AWAY

Is your beloved dreaming of a little getaway…?

Our next HQ Getaway is coming up in early 2017 (Fri 20th – Sun 22nd January), and offers a beautiful way for them to start their new year. Located in the Yarra Valley, surrounded by lush green forest, Amarant Retreat is an eco-friendly sanctuary for reflection and immersion.

We’ll help the gorgeous women in your life to start their 2017 refreshed, renewed and rejuvenated, as they reflect on their goals and get clear on their intentions for the year ahead.

After 3 days and 2 nights of healthy food, fresh air, yoga, pilates, meditation, 1:1 nutrition, life and career coaching, rainforest walks, uplifting and supportive female company, nature, sleep, exploring your dreams and taking time to ‘be’, they’ll feel reconnected with how they truly want to feel, everyday.

HQ Getaway July 2015

We still have a limited number of spots available on the retreat for you or a loved one – perfect for spoiling your best friend, your sister, your wife or girlfriend with the best possible start to their 2017!

You can download our retreat e-brochure with all the details here: HQ Getaway – Retreat Brochure – Summer 2017

Want more deets? Click here or drop us a line at hello@holistichq.com.au with any questions you may have! xx

3 SHAKE UP THEIR CAREER

If you’ve got someone you know that is like “Gah… dreading going back to work already and the holidays haven’t even started” — well, this is just the thing they might be looking for.

Give them a 1.5 hour “Career shake up” strategy session with our girl Alice Chien from Intent Mind, tied up in a pretty red bow. They’ll walk away breathing easier, having a rock solid handle on the choices they have early on in 2017 for a fulfilling year of work, and a 90 day plan to take meaningful action on. 

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If this sounds like a present you want to give to someone (or yourself even), drop Alice an email at alice@intentmind.com.au.

She’s even got a festive price for people who purchase before Christmas and will send you a printable gift certificate to skip postage delays.

42KICK SOME FITNESS GOALS

Maybe they’re feeling ‘meh’ about their health, have a nuisance injury that’s limiting their exercise routine, or are just ready to get their 2017 started with a new challenge – let’s shake things up for them!

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Our fitness guru Victoria Brockfield can come to the rescue with some private PT sessions at the gym, park, beach or at your home across the inner city suburbs of Melbourne. Consults include a fitness assessment, goal setting and nutrition advice via our resident nutritionist Abby.

Gift e-vouchers are available for one, three or five sessions, and are charged at only $50 per 1-hour session. For more info, contact Victoria at victoria@holistichq.com.au xx

5 GIVE THEM TIME

Our last suggestion is a freebie, for both you and them! Life is so precious, and every moment that you spend fully immersed in the company of your loves will form your most treasured memories in years to come.

Why not pledge to give them the gift of your time in 2017? We’ve created this free downloadable voucher for you to print and cheekily include under the tree this year.

The Gift of Time

We think they’ll love this one the most. xx

Best Moments at HQ in 2016

We’re nearing the end of our biggest year yet at Holistic HQ and we thought we would share our favorite retreat moments captured by our talented team of photographers.

 Join us in 2017 for even more retreats and workshops around Melbourne with our incredible community of coaches, teachers, photographers, chefs and of course, you guys!

ACT NOW FOR $100 OFF OUR JANUARY 2017 HQ GETAWAY PACKAGES IF YOU AND A FRIEND BOOK IN TOGETHER!

USE CODE: LOVE2017


HQ GETAWAY, JANUARY 2016

Our HQ Getaway Summer 2016 at Amarant Retreat was so incredibly special – three jam-packed days filled with Pilates, yoga, meditation, massage, vegetarian food, life, career and nutrition coaching, rainforest walks and so, so much more.

“I was ready for movement, relaxation and nice surroundings. I got all of that and more. I thought I’d be the “odd one out” in amongst a group of yogis and serious health nuts but I loved that I was an equal amongst a group of vibrant women all tackling big things in life and all very “real”. I laughed a lot more than I thought I would!” – Tresna

Photos by Annette Ruzicka Photography.


Are you drooling over these photos? Join us in January! Get in quick sticks before it sells out – visit HQ Getaway Summer 2017 for all the deets xx


 

HQ WORKSHOP, APRIL 2016

Our Autumn HQ Workshop was held at the beautiful Allpress Studios in Collingwood, and featured a day full of Pilates, yoga, meditation, DIY salt scrubs, flower crowns and nutrition/sustainable living talks.

“When I think about last Sunday’s workshop I just keep smiling and the one thing that captures it is : GOOD VIBES 🙂 I left that workshop better then I arrived to it…. Thank you… Can’t wait for another one :)” – Aiste

“The entire day was fantastic. From the moment I arrived I was surrounded by positive energy, great people and a day full of recharging my batteries. I loved it. Can’t wait for the next one.” – Rebecca

 

We’re so excited to let you in on a little secret — we are working on some special collaborations for 2017, meaning more workshops in more beautiful locations!

We can’t wait to announce these early in the new year… keep an eye on our social media for more xx

WITH SPECIAL THANKS TO OUR WONDERFUL EVENT PARTNERS – WE LOVE YOU!

Sarah Churcher Photography | Lululemon Athletica | The Aromatic Salt Company | Matcha Maiden | Intent Mind | Stacey Leanne Massage | Annette Ruzicka Photography | Clean Slate Skin Care | Pomp and Splendour | MiGoals | Allpress Studios | Amarant Retreat

RECIPE // Summer Burrito Bowl

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Doesn’t Summer food seem to translate as fresh, simple, and flavoursome?! We think so. Get ready for a flavour hit with this super-quick and simple burrito bowl (it was so good we actually forgot to add the Aji sauce! Oops.)

[SERVES 2]

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups cooked quinoa (approx. 1 cup uncooked)
  • handful chopped cherry tomatoes
  • 2 stalks spring onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 bulb fennel, diced
  • 1/2 cup kale, chopped
  • 1/2 cup coriander, chopped
  • 1 cheek mango, scored
  • 1/2 pomegranate
  • 1/2 avocado, scored
  • OPTIONAL: 2 chicken breasts, cubed
  • OPTIONAL: tbsp peri peri powder
  • OPTIONAL: 1 tbsp Chilian Aji sauce (or similar chilli salsa)

 

METHOD

  1. In a serving bowl, add all vegetable ingredients and mix. We recommend scoring then scooping mango and avocado with a spoon, and the pomegranate will loosen its seeds after vigorous tapping on the bench whilst uncut, and a scoring across its midline and careful prying apart will release the seeds and juice with ease. Check out Youtube if you’re not too sure – once you know how to work with a pomegranate, you’ll never live in fear of it’s juice again!
  2. If you’re going the meat-eater route, add cubed chicken to a tsp olive oil in a hot pan, dust with peri peri powder and cook for 4-5 minutes until browned and cooked through.
  3. Serve cooked quinoa alongside salad and chicken. Add Aji salsa for an extra chilli hit!

 

FINDING YOUR BLISS IN THE YARRA VALLEY – THE HQ GETAWAY RETREAT DIARIES

HQ Getaway July 2015

Rainforest walks. Beautiful vegetarian meals. Roaring fireplaces. Pilates, yoga, massage + meditation. Life-changing conversations. Seriously – it doesn’t get much better than this.

DAY ONE // An hour’s drive outside of Melbourne can quickly feel like you’ve been whisked a million miles away. After a short pitstop in Healesville, dropping in at the Healesville Organic Farmers Markets and the very lovely Harvest Cafe, we arrived at our home for the weekend – the beautiful Amarant Retreat, set in the lush temperate rainforests of the Yarra Valley.

The three-level building, nestled into the hills amidst dewy ferns, towering gums and mossy rocks, provided the ultimate haven from the chilly Winter mists (it also happened to be the coldest weekend on record this Winter!). Our hearts and bodies were warmed the moment we stepped inside – toasty warm fireplaces, orange and lemongrass essential oils burning, and heated floorboards greeted our frozen feet.

After settling in, we got cozy by the fireplace and set our intentions for the weekend under the guidance of Alice of Intent Mind, and got to know our little company of bliss-seekers. Friends firmed up fast as we completed our first Pilates class and a sunset bushwalk, and were cemented around the beautiful vegetarian dinner provided by our master Chef, Laura.

We completed our first day with a Yin Yoga session in the Celestial Room, and start to wind down peacefully with some guided meditation, before finally curling up in our cozy rooms upstairs and letting the blissful feelings settle in.

Porridge

DAY TWO // The melodic sounds of the Tibetan singing bowl awakens those who haven’t already risen early for morning meditation and yoga downstairs. A truly lush breakfast is served up – Sunday porridge cooked with fresh dates, oats, cinnamon, lemon peel, almond milk and coconut cream. Topped with pecans, local berries, flax oil and vanilla bean honey, we have to just about stop ourselves from licking the bowl.

After a vigorous Pilates session with Victoria, we break off to start our sessions – full body Swedish relaxation massage with Stacey, or one-on-one life coaching with Alice. Those waiting their turn enjoy a leisurely afternoon of creating vision boards, flicking through pages of inspiration to find the images that resonate with their heartfelt dreams.

Dinner in the evening is a hearty winter forest mushroom risotto, served with walnut and green leaf salad and truffle oil. The dessert blows minds – chocolate avocado mousse topped with fresh local berries, cacao nibs and maple syrup.

We roll into the yoga room for a restful and restorative Yin Yoga session, resting our legs against the wall in a supported shoulder stand and feeling the worries of the world float away. In the quiet cocoon of darkness, by the flicker of candlelight, we finish our session with a collective resounding OM, sharing an unspoken connection that will live on well beyond these three days.

DAY THREE // We rise early before the sun and wander down to the Celestial Room, where we gather our bolsters and blankets, and sit peacefully in lotus pose, finding our breath and stillness in the moment. Gently, we are guided through a morning meditation, awakening to the senses of our body and mind before opening our eyes to a brand new day.

Laura has already been busily cooking in the kitchen, and has prepared us yet another delicious breakfast. The recipe cards in our goody bags come in use for the Bliss Ball making demonstration led by Abby, who shows us how to make decadent chocolate orange bliss balls from scratch. As the girls squeeze in their final massage and coaching sessions, we take in the cool mountain air on the verandah and thank our lucky stars for finding this truly special place. It feels like home.

The dates for our next HQ Getaway are already booked in at Amarant Retreat! If you’d like to join us for our next HQ Getaway (Friday 20th – Sunday 22nd January 2017), please drop us an email at hello@holistichq.com.au or visit our HQ GETAWAY info page for all the details xx 

With love,

V & A xx