The main reason why I went to Sri Lanka (and not to Jamaica, Cuba, Mexico etc like I originally intended) was a retreat I had found and booked: it was one week of yoga and surfing, and working intuitively, with meditation etc. Learning to surf had been on my bucket list for ages, so there I went.
We were a group of girls in a stunning villa in Madiha, right by the beach. I shared a room with a girl from Norway, and we had a lush outdoor bathroom. Most of the girls had their own boards with them and had been surfing for years, which I hadn't expected. Luckily there were tw other girls who had never surfed before, so we took lessons together in Weligama, another village by the beach with the best conditions for beginners.
We got an introduction from soem cheerful Sri Lankan surf instructors, and then we headed out with our board and one of the guys, who helped us pushing us out on the waves. It was good fun but I swallowed so much sea water at my first lesson! The waves are sometimes quite strong, and the worst part is getting back out there after a surf.
In the mornings we had meditation and yoga classes (at 6 am, so we could go surfing straight after breakfast without it being too hot). Then in the late afternoons there was either yin yoga, or restorative yoga, or yoga nidra, and meditation. The mosquitoes were eating us alive - try relaxing in sivasana when you itch all over! No amount of mosquito spray seemed to help, so we just covered up in towels. But that was the only downside.
The food was great, with lots of curries. Very little spice though, everytng was tame for us Westerners. I missed me a good chilli!
One day we went to an Ayurvedic doctor, where we all got diagnosed with too much Pita (fire) in our bodies. Maybe it was just the tropical heat or the sunburns of some of the girls? After that we drove to a tea plantation, where we go a great tour around and could try all the teas they produce. The machines they are using are over 140 years old! Very cool to see.
Another day we drove to Hikkaduwa beach which was stunning.
We also visited a temple nearby which was so beautiful. The paintings were super old, and there was a pre-school on the property where a group of little kids just arrived to practise some traditional dancing. They were thrilled to see us foreigners and picked us tons of flowers and wanted to take photos with us and let us watch them dance - very cute.
It was a short but very relaxed week.
I will stay another week now in Mirissa and try to do a bit more surfing.