Last September I had the (extremely) enviable job of reviewing a high-end yoga retreat in Spain for Conde Nast Traveller magazine and the Queen of Retreats website. Masterminded by yoga luminary Jane Kersel, it was a full system overhaul like no other.
You can read my personal account of the experience at Queen of Retreats now. The review for Conde Nast Traveller will be in the April edition, in shops on 3rd March.
One of the most extraordinary things that happened was “live blood analysis” with a super naturopath/nutritionist called Katrin Hempel. I have no idea how this technique sits with conventional medical science, but it had me convinced.
Here’s a picture of my blood cells at the beginning of the week: uneven shapes, clumped together, lots of squished elliptical ones.
And here’s a picture taken six days later, after my body had been carpet-bombed with green juices, massage, acupuncture, yoga and lots and lots of quinoa.
It was utterly fascinating to be able to look inside my body in this way. I felt very much in tune with the microscopic teeming of my blood, and while I wish I could say I kept up the quinoa and nettle tea regime for more than a week on return, I think it did shift my mindset by a small but significant degree. It often saddens me when I think of how much time and effort we spend on a war of attrition against our own bodies. And when I saw how nicely my little red atoms cooperated with me on my week-long truth and reconciliation mission, I realised it doesn’t have to be that way. The peace process is a long and winding one, but for the moment my body and I have declared a truce.