Welcome to Wellness Week.
For 5 days, Nimmo Bay turned into an exclusive retreat space for a group of incredible guests and wellness masters to come together. This was a time to relax and unwind in the wilderness, focus on your own inner healing, and come out on the other side, refreshed, and rejuvenated.
Setting Our Intentions
As everyone arrived and introduced themselves, there was an air of anticipation about what the week would bring. The sun was shining as yoga practitioner Tina Pashumati James led us in an opening ceremony.
As we stood in the welcome circle, we all spoke our intentions for the week. It became evident that many of us were there to release the tension that had been building up from our busy city lives. Everyone needed to focus on consciously taking deep breaths and inhaling the fresh ocean air. In that moment, all nervous energy dissipated, as each member of the circle realized they would be supported over the next several days.
THe Morning Routine
The daily offerings consisted of yoga practices, master classes, acupuncture, integrative bodywork and massage, saunas, paddles, hiking, and deep breathing. We were lucky enough to have 5 wellness practitioners on site to help guide us through this journey.
Each morning began with a Jivanmukti class, led by Tina. It was a perfect way to start the day. The mood was set by the fire crackling in the corner of the cozy wooden lodge, warming you up from the cool morning air. To start the class, Tina sat at the front of the room with her harmonium, ready to begin. For most of us, this was the first time experiencing the musical vibrations of this instrument. As the harmonium sounds resonated around us, Tina led us through the chanting of Om.
She helped us set intentions for the day. We focused on mindful breath and movement to help us land in our bodies. She moved us through each practice with a voice of warmth and kindness. During each of these morning practices there was a lighthearted surprise we would look forward to. Tina loved to throw in fun musical tidbits from movie soundtracks to Beatles classics. I’d give anything to be back in Tina’s classes!
New Wellness Teachings
On day 1, Jewel, our specialist in embodiment and the inner self, led us through a group lesson. We sat facing one another in a circle while Jewel stood in front of us, haloed by brilliant sunshine. She walked us through the teachings of each chakra and focused on how we can truly relax and unclench the tensions we’re holding in our bodies. Each person who had the opportunity to do a private CranioSacral Therapy session with Jewel felt a deep sense of softening and a stronger connection to themselves.
The next day, everyone eagerly awaited Tyler Huston’s session on Connecting to Breath. This was an area we all collectively resonated with. We were looking forward to re-connecting with our own breath. He taught us that breathing should be done as 360-degree exercise in the diaphragm, pushing air through all corners of your back, sides, and front. Two hours spent lying in the sun, under the brilliant blue sky, closing our eyes and breathing deeply was invigorating.
In between all these incredible master classes and activities, acupuncturist Lillian Wei was using her expertise of Traditional Chinese Medicine to provide personalized healing to our guests.
Providing Space for Rest
It’s important to note that though there was a full schedule planned for this wellness week, there were moments of rest incorporated into each day. All of the activities and classes were also optional, so each experience could be personalized and flow with your mood and wellness journey.
Intentional moments of repose are just as important as the teachings and practices we were experiencing for the mind, body, and soul. Taking moments to yourself outside of sleeping, increases your mental health, memory, reducing stress, and improving mood.
The type of rest that you get at Nimmo Bay feels special. It’s rest away from screens, the internet, and the persistent noise of the city. You truly feel its impact almost immediately.
Yoga In the Wild
Slow and Contemplative
The variety of yoga classes were welcome, and each one was suited to all skill levels.
Nimmo Bay’s Head of Wellness, Bianca Lorage led us all in an evening Warm Yin class. As we walked into the room, the only light came from the flickering of the candles laid out across the floor. The rhythmic sound of the singing bowls reverberated in the air, setting the tone for an incredible class. This was going to be all about fire, while mixing in some gentle and soothing flows. As we progressed through the movements, we held strong in poses, feeling our connective tissue unravelling. For a bit of relief, Bianca led us through the most satisfying shoulder stretches. We settled into a place of meditation for the hour while the vibrations of the bowls flowed around us, it was the perfect way to end the day.
The last full day of the retreat held a fun twist with Cory Schall’s Synergy Yoga class. He prepped everyone ahead of time that this was a moment to let loose and get ready to laugh. We were going to do an intro to Acro yoga. There were some nerves walking into Anchor Lodge (our yoga studio for the week) that afternoon, unsure of what our body’s would be capable of. Though we quickly realized we were in good hands though, and there was no reason to worry.
Cory had everyone loosen up and stretch by bringing out our inner animals and walking like them across the room. There were bears, leopards, frogs, and so many more critters, wandering all across the floor. The next hour was all about comfort and partnerships as we progressed from balancing together standing up to balancing in the air! There was so much laughter and joy emanating from each person in the room. Laughter is another form of healing that we were able to explore during this retreat.
Nourishing our Bodies
The food was a world-class vegan feast. Each meal had people going back for seconds and sometimes thirds. From a fresh bowl of chia pudding with bee pollen and fruit every morning for breakfast, nourishing and delicious soups at lunch, to the most incredible dhal and palak tofu for dinner. Our bodies were nourished and powered up for yoga, hikes, paddling, and intentional rest. Meals were also a place of connection. Everyone created beautiful bonds over the dinner table, teachers and guests sharing food, stories, and many laughs together.
Connecting with Nature
Exploring the Forest
The wellness retreat also provided so many opportunities to connect with the natural world around Nimmo Bay. There is something truly grounding about extended time spent in the rainforest, far away from any city noise and pollution. Everyone decided to go for a hike one afternoon, a Nimmo classic called the Waterfall Loop. It’s a stunning trail that follows the path of the waterfall that flows through the heart of the resort.
The mood was so high. The whole group was traipsing through the forest together, surrounded by enormous trees, chatting, and embracing the wild. Irvin came along with us, and he stopped to teach us about traditional uses of balsam bark and harvested some pieces to be used in tea later on in the week. Each one of us spent individual time connecting in the forest. Whether it was taking time to touch the growing moss on a tree, smelling the sap of the balsam firs, or picking up the tiny pinecones dropped by the hemlocks. We opened up all of our senses and felt refreshed as we emerged from the forest.
Floating on the Water
The 7:00 am paddles were a daily favourite. The water is like glass and the most picturesque morning fog dances amongst the trees. We learned about the land around Nimmo Bay, while taking deep breaths of ocean air. It’s been scientifically proven that the sounds of water boost feelings of calm. We sat back in the stillness and listened to the water lapping at the shores and the occasional splash of a fish or bird. Even on a cloudy morning the gentle, pitter patter of rain lifted, and we were carried by the tides. You could look down and see clear to the bottom in some spots, and we experienced pure joy spotting sea stars from our kayaks. Getting out on the ocean and feeling the rhythm of the paddle was truly meditative and mind clearing.
The closing ceremony on the last morning was a beautiful wrap up to the entire week. We all found ourselves where we started 5 days earlier, seated in a circle around a fire on the dock. However, we’d let go of all the weights and pressures that we stepped off the plane with. The sun pushed its way through the clouds to shower us in light, while we honoured the community that we’d built.
Create Your Own Wellness Experience
If you’re looking to have the ultimate wellness experience, focusing holistically on mind, body, and spirit, you can create your own wellness retreat at any point during the season.
Choose from our thoughtfully designed treatments in our Wellness Menu, to weave healing into your trip. Or, select the Wellness Within the Wild enhancement, where our Wellness Team excitedly curates an entirely personalized experience for you over several days. Set intentions for your stay and leave feeling rejuvenated.
Photos by Alexandra Janes