Shot by Zoe
A lone yogini in Sri Lanka for 2 weeks - what could be more awesome? A lone yogini with not too many plans and a desire for some adventure.
Here's my photo diary of my trip in Sri Lanka - with my favourite spots to stay, eat, heal and practice.
Best Yoga Retreat in Sri Lanka - Ulpotha
For yoga, look no further than Ulpotha
, located in a tiny mountain village. This place was magic - with wattle and daub huts, no electricity or hot water, no windows or doors on your hut, it truly delivered a sense of times gone by.
I fell in love with Ulpotha quickly. With no internet, and no social media, a small group of other fellow travellers, and a traditional Sri Lankan village running the retreat, I sunk quickly into the rhythm of the sun and moon.
The food? Absolutely incredible. It was by far the best food I ate on my trip. All of it locally grown in the gardens run by the villagers, and cooked freshly each day. The kitchen was going non-stop with no electricity and fresh organic ingredients.
The yoga retreat component at Ulpotha is bar-none. The teachers that come to this place are top notch. I had the pleasure of practicing under Stephen Ewashkiw
who teaches Adventure Yoga (he stems from Anusara training). We practiced twice a day, in between relaxing by the lake, taking Ayurvedic treatments or eating. Check out Ulpotha's full list of teachers and retreat programs on their website
I spent a great many hours hanging under this tree reading my books. I can't begin to explain how low the shoulders began to go after only a few days at this magical place.
Below are the rice fields and one of my natural beauty essentials while on the road: Ursa Major's Essential Face Wipes. With a base of aloe vera and witch hazel, it was very toning, and perfect for taking off the sun screen at the end of the days, naturally. The cloth is made with bamboo fibre too!
My other cannot live without was this natural neem sunscreen from Pratima. I ran out half way in my trip and had a tough time trying to replace this wonderful sunscreen. You can now shop it for both face and body.
Following my stay at Ulpotha, I was ready to experience a little something off traditional "yogi" path that I tend to follow on my trips. I headed to a famous Sri Lankan artists boutique hotel, tucked away in the Sri Lankan jungle, Diyabubula.
I met so many beautiful souls during my trip, but Laki was certainly one to be remembered. When I arrived at his hideaway, I met him smoking and drinking, laughing and joking. His energy was beautiful.
He created a boutique hotel (he's an architect, visual artist, sculpture, painter, photographer, and I'd even argue philosopher too), surrounded by his art - which come in the form of the rooms and his sculptures, which are lit up around the lake at night, but also how the nature blends into his art - everything from the spider webs and dew that sparkle off the sculptures.
I had some of the best advice, while sitting and bird watching with Laki (one of his favourite past times). His secret to being so alive and vibrant at 80 -- (he can still bend down at touch his toes)? Drinking whisky, not eating too much, smoking, taking naps, opposing work and feeling lucky. When you stay, be sure to pay a visit to this amazing man.
The little hideaway is tucked away from the busy city, so be prepared for jungle sounds at night (it was a fantastic way to fall asleep), and the monkeys who visit you in the mornings and evenings around your Lake House.
The farm around Diyabubula is where most of the villagers work - it was wonderful to see how the entire community came together around a tiny little boutique hotel, created by an amazing artist.
I spent my morning practicing yoga on my lake house balcony with monkeys scurrying about, before heading down for a fresh fruit breakfast. It was a little bit of magic.
On my way from Diyabubula in the mountains, I decided to head south for some Ayurvedic love and healing.
During my trip I was also jaunting for some healing - the natural way of course. I spent some time down at the Ayurvedic resort, Barberyn, to experience their treatments and watch how things were run. I learned about my Dosha (Kapha Vata) and a great deal about how to balance my body optimally. Yoga and other activities were planned for the guests, but we also had access to the beach and pools outside, so you could relax as you wished (outside of your treatment sessions).
The doctors picked the herbs and harvested them on site. There was a large pharmacy and ayurvedic kitchen where all of the guests' treatments were made.
A nurse prepares supplements and herbs for a patient
At meal times, a nurse would help you select your meal from a massive buffet of fresh foods. Again, the food, was as great experience at Barberyn.
I had a few treatments, including oil massage treatments and herbal patch treatments and a herbal bath. It was quite the full service experience, and I wish I could have stayed a few more days to feel the results.
From my Ayurvedic treatment session, I ended up at my last stop: Ebb & Flow in Midigama, in south west Sri Lanka.
Arriving at Ebb & Flow
was lovely. The beautiful private villas are across the street from the beach, where you can watch the surf come in. High season is in the fall, so plan accordingly.
For fellow, yoginis, year round works - and Verity (pictured) can direct you via tuk tuk to a wonderful little yoga stop in Midigama: Villa My Way
If you're feeling like a little soul searching while you're already in Lanka, you can take a page from my book and do a session with Verity, who also runs Evolve in Sri Lanka
- a workshop in which she helps you tap into your holiday mindset to dig into your blockages, declutter the mind and gain more clairity on how to reach your goals or simply live a life you love to live.
Fresh fruits in the morning over looking the sea from my balcony
Coconuts at Poonie's Kitchen
Ebb & Flow also stocked natural amenities in the bathroom, and had a chef on site who prepared some seriously delicious Sri Lankan specialities. I was in such good hands at the Jungalows. The staff was super helpful and caring.
Around Sri Lanka - LPN Loves
In addition to these beautiful stays, I also had the pleasure of spending some time around the country sight seeing.
The highlights? A turtle sanctuary, elephants at Minneryia National Park, munching on rambutan, climbing up the famous Sigiriya Rock, riding in tuk tuks, drinking too many coconuts and eating at what became my favourite restaurant in Sri Lanka - Poonie's Kitchen
My favourite salad from Poonie's Kitchen
The turtle sanctuary near Barberyn Beach Resort
My favourite roadside stop snack: rambutan
Hanging out with the wild elephants at Minneriya National Park
From the top of Sigiriya
Post yoga coconut in a tuk tuk love
Picking up some local veg on the roadside.
What did I miss in Sri Lanka? Would love to hear about your favourite spots that you found along your travels.
Lots of love and light.