When Eelke Pollé was working long hours in her 70-hour workweek, she was looking for a detox weekend. But with relaxation instead of rigorous schedules and fun instead of pure fennel* shots. When she couldn’t find it, she did what any woman with a yoga mommy and a business daddy would do: She started her own with her mission “setting up that place where people can come, settle down, and find ‘tools’ to get back into balance and discover their strength.” Eelke and her team of Lighthouse Works set up just that.
Lin and I were invited to Happy Healthy Sunday, which is a lovely Wellness Day that introduces you to a lot of the elements Lighthouse Works incorporates in their detox weekends and yoga holidays. Upon arrival we were greeted by the team, all women dressed in their black and orange Lighthouse Works gear, smiling widely and making me incorrectly guess their ages because they all looked flipping vibrant and youthful. Anyway.
We were supplied with Yogi Tea and chatted a little before Eelke introduced herself, Lighthouse Works and the team behind it and after that we could dive straight unto the yoga mat for our yoga class to start the day with!
Lighthouse Works Yoga Class: Eelke taught the class and did so in a way that everyone could participate and get something from it. She checked for injuries first, then took us through a warm-up, some Sun Salutations (which I love and that are wonderful to do for anyone) as well as other postures. In a lot of the postures she explained what you could possibly do if this was hard for you or what you could try if this was easy for you, making the class great for beginners, intermediates as well as more experienced yogis.
What I loved as well was how it reminded me there is SO much yoga. You can always deepen, extend or change your practice.
And let me tell you what Bikram Yoga gives you: A flexible spine. Some flexibility elsewhere. Inner peace. What Bikram Yoga DOESN’T give you, is the knowledge of all the yoga postures OR the ability to do them. There were several postures where I could not get my ass off the floor if it needed to be — or get my ass on the floor when it needed to be for that matter. I was sore for the next two days, but now feel inspired to maybe try some different classes sometime soon.
Natural Beauty Workshop: After yoga we went straight up to a Natural Beauty workshop. I had no idea what to expect, but Nadine explained a lot about food that’s good for the face as well as show us some easy-to-do facial muscle exercises.
You haven’t seen funny until you’ve seen six women contract their facial muscles as if they’re trying to do an impression of a Pug Jerry Lewis, but honestly: Nadine’s face looks amazing. She told us she faithfully does some of these face-yoga exercises in the morning. Well, okay then If I can look like that, that is WELL worth freaking out my showering boyfriend over.
Juice Tasting: We got to try some of the famous Lighthouse Works juices! One of the juices was a combination of beet and red grape with pomegranate seeds floating in it, which I really liked and recreated at home. Another one was ‘Apple Pie’, a delicious and warming combination of apple, carrot, ginger and cinnamon.
Finally, there was a green one that was really good. They turned it into a game where we had to guess the ingredients and I am ashamed to report I didn’t get a SINGLE one of them right. I mean, WAY off. When the ingredients were revealed (avocado, courgette, lime and orange), I was amazed — and put the ingredients on my grocery list.
At Lighthouse they like to add things to their juices to make them more nutritionally rich or give them a little extra, hence the pomegranate seeds, the spices and the avocado. I like that a lot, I should experiment with that more at home.
Indian Head Massage And Reiki:
An Indian head massage is an Ayurvedic massage of the head, neck and shoulders that combines a lot of beneficial massage techniques and promotes relaxation. It was so nice, you guys. I floated out of there, smelling of almond oil and so relaxed I could have taken a nap.
But I didn’t, because I had actually reached out to one of the Lighthouse Workers who does Reiki. Nicolette, who is a the Reiki Master of the team, had some time in her schedule and I booked an appointment with her. Although the 30 days of yoga helped how I feel on a regular basis, I was still at a point where I could really use someone helping with my energy and general well-being.
Nicolette gave me a 30-minute Reiki treatment (they also have the 60-minute option), but it felt like such a long time. In a good way: I was on that table and it really felt like she had been giving me reiki for over an hour and a half. I could really feel it happening and it made me very emotional. When she was done, and I was ready to get up she looked me in the eye and straight up told me what my energy told her was going on**. It was spot-on.
And I was so open, everything just rushed out all at once, that I just started crying. I mean, Ugly Cry and Pure All The Sadness Type of crying. I’m making jokes, but it was such a moving experience, and Nicolette was so gracious and supportive. She comforted me in such a natural way that I have never, ever experienced from someone I didn’t really know. It was special. Not in the special-needs way, but in the unique-experience way.
I am still reeling, as well as benefiting. This week I have been in touch with my own energy and emotions a lot more than usual. I know I come off as a touchy-feely person, but I actually bury stuff. A lot. When it comes out, I often get sick on top of it, and that’s what happened this week too: Fever & Migraine. It’s my body’s way of saying “HEY DUMBASS”.
Anyway, enough of the emo-talk. I can honestly say that if you’ve never had Reiki and you’re interested in that, you should try it at Lighthouse Works. I have had some great experiences with Reiki, but I’ve never had such an amazing and cleansing experience as those 30 minutes.
Facilities: As you can see in the picture above, the hotel is absolutely gorgeous. I’ve peeked in the rooms, they were very nice too. In between the yoga class, workshop and treatments we had some great zucchini soup in the restaurant and spent some time in the sauna and steambath – which made us all relaxed and rosy (and very unfit for having photographs of ourselves taken).
Practical Stuff: Should you be interested in this, you can find all the information about the detox weekends here and you can click here to make a reservation. Also, add “The Self Help Hipster” to your booking and you’ll get an Indian Head Massage on top of your reservation!
From experience I can say that you can also check out the Happy Healthy Sunday and come out of it all relaxed and recharged. Oh, and bring your BFF for an enriched experience***.
*No disrespect to fennel (fans), it’s actually lovely if you mix it in a green drink – straight up will make you pass out in anise-taste terror.
***Because let’s be serious, except for maybe a colonoscopy or something, bringing your BFF always enriches your experience.