Long ago, in the last dying decades of the past Millennium, when free spirits flowered into what would be termed hippies, a young and devoted artist mother took her even younger daughter to India to live in a spiritual community “Auroville.” This is where and how Tara Esther Kleij was initiated in to the joys of Yoga and Meditation, a joy and inspiration that has never left her since.
A lot of water flowed under the bridge during those turbulent years, during which yoga spread far and wide over the world and found many new forms, (re)- combining with other fields of personal and spiritual growth and well being. As Esther studied over the years the disciplines of Asthanga and Iyengar yoga among other traditions, she enrolled in a school of natural medicine, learned classical massage, rebalancing and Shiatsu, then furthered her studies in Thailand, learning Thai-Yoga massage and later trained in Ayurvedic-Yoga massage in India. She started practicing different ways of fasting, doing colon-cleanses and a variety of healthy diets until one day she hit upon the obviousness of living foods, sun-food, raw food.. This led to organizing yoga retreats combined with raw food, where visitors are guided through the heavenly practices of Pranayama and Yoga and feeding it with all kinds of “as-fresh- as-can-be” uncooked food, full of vitality. Esther moved to the Alpujarras, an all-through-the year green oasis in the otherwise dusty brown-grayish half dessert of Southern Spain, thanks to the amazing irrigation systems created by the Moors many centuries earlier. In such an inspirational setting, some 1000 meters high up in the Alpujarra mountains, Sun-Food-Yoga retreats was created in 2006 out of a vision to create a space where people could unwind from their daily life and tune into mother nature.
Through yoga, pranayama, meditation and mantra, the inner journey is deepened and enhanced by making the body and mind lighter by eating sun-foods. The body is alkalised with lots of green juices and given an extra boost with different kinds of superfoods. People are shown how to prepare popular raw foods and why raw and super foods provide the best nutrition for body, brain and spirit. After spending the winter in Goa continuing the classes and retreats, the Sun-Food-Yoga retreats now have two bases, one in India and the other in Andalucía working with different guest teachers to bring new inspiration, but keeping to the same simple formula: sun, living food and lots of yoga and meditation.
by Tara Esther Kleij
May 5 – 12: Sun-food-yoga retreat
This post is also available in: Spanish