November 9, 2015
Feel Great Breaks is celebrating their 4th anniversary and I have Nikki, one of the founders, here with me tell us a little more about what they have to offer at their retreat destination.
Retreat Discounter: So, tell us a little bit about how you and the other founder Jess met and, also, how you came up with the idea for Feel Great Breaks.
Feel Great Breaks: Funnily enough we met dancing one summers day at a funky beach bar called Oli Ba Ba’s in a town called Oliva.
Unbeknownst to us at the time, we’d actually spoken to each other on the phone that very same day. We’d got chatting and then Jess said she was going to a yoga class the next day after speaking to someone called Nikki. I said that’s me you called. We couldn’t believe it. It was synchronicity.
We built a friendship first and then after a while we talked about working together. Jess was working at a very posh spa at the time so she had some great ideas. We started looking for a venue, developing our schedule, our roles, etc and eventually came up with the name, Feel Great Breaks.
RD: And both of you are yoga teachers?
FGB: Yes. I teach yoga to adults and Jess is a kids, fertility, and pregnancy yoga teacher
RD: Can you tell us more about your yoga teaching background?
FGB: I started teaching over ten years ago. I suffered terrible back pain and tried everything to help relieve it. I saw an advert for yoga classes in a local paper and after just the first class I felt better. My teacher encouraged me to do a teacher training, which I did, and the rest is history as they say.
I teach ten classes a week, sometimes more, mainly to groups but I have some private clients too. My style is very alignment orientated and very focused on slow and controlled movements.
An advanced practice has nothing to do with tying yourself in knots. To me it’s the ability to focus the mind and feel your way around your body. To really get in touch with yourself, to observe yourself, your habits and how you react.”
I teach mainly in Castellano, which was a challenge in the beginning, or in English and Spanish, if English speakers attend.
RD: Do you typically teach every yoga retreat that you offer, or do you have a group of yoga teachers that you use?
FGB: I teach all the classes for Feel Great Breaks except on the last night when Jess and I join forces for some partner work and a little bit of acro yoga.
FGB: With a lot of preparation. We’ve been in operation for four years now so we’re used to it and we run like a well oiled and finely tuned machine.
RD: And each of these retreats include a yoga practice, correct?
FGB: Yes, every morning and evening. We have some amazing spaces in which to practice, from roof terraces with sea views, to in front of the fire if it’s chilly. The hotels we use are simply gorgeous and we are very lucky.
RD: What if I’m just beginning my yoga practice. Will I be able to participate in these daily yoga classes?
FGB: Yes. There are lots of variations of asana. As I’ve already touched on, yoga posture practice to me is about feeling, about observing, and inquiring into your body and mind and learning about how you tick.
Just laying in savasana, or in final relaxation, you can learn a whole lot about yourself. It’s about going inwards and it doesn’t matter if you can or if you can’t wrap your leg around your head.
RD: What kind of yoga do you typically teach?
FGB: It’s all Hatha yoga but with different emphases. I teach a style of flowing yoga. You can call it vinyasa if you like, plus static poses, and some yin yoga too towards the end of the yoga weekend when maybe muscles are a little achy.
Some people only manage one class of yoga a week, if that, so doing three hours a day, makes the body really feel it, but in a good way.
RD: What else is there to do at the Feel Great Breaks retreat center?
FGB: Depending on the weekend or the month we do lots of different kinds of activities, workshops, chats, water sports, cycling, walking, Spanish lessons, wine tasting, flamenco, and tapas nights. Lots of fun stuff.
Plus you can have treatments like facials and massages, or maybe a reiki treatment, for example. Or you can just chill by the pool or plonk yourself in the jacuzzi. Everything’s optional and you can join in as much as you’d like.
RD: Can you tell us more about Denia, Spain?
FGB: It’s just lovely. It appeared last year on the list of the top five Spanish towns to visit. The climate is wonderful and the beaches are great. It’s got lots of character and history too and it’s between both Alicante and Valencia airports.
RD: Your retreats are all-inclusive. Besides paying for airfare, are there other things I might need to pay for?
FGB: Just your airport transfer and the rest is paid for. All your meals are included, gorgeous breakfasts with cava if you’re feeling cheeky, healthy lunches, dinners with wine, plus unlimited water, teas, daily snacks, and smoothies. Plus we make gifts for guests which we deliver to their rooms every morning. Plus lots more but we don’t want to give it all away!
RD: We love your 5 Key Ingredients to feel great about ourselves. Can you explain to us what those are? Who came up with them?
FGB: They are based on sivananda yoga’s, five principles of a healthy lifestyle. We just jiggled them around a little.
We believe that life’s for living and for laughing. You have to try to be relatively healthy but not at the expense of having fun, which is why we include wine, why we have wine and chocolate tasting weekends, and I think that’s part of why we’re successful.
We’re normal. We’re just two women who love yoga, and we love having fun, and we love where we live, and we want to share it with everyone. We want to befriend the world. We are two hippies at heart.”
RD: Is there anything else you would like to add?
FGB: Just thanks to you for your great questions and for helping us celebrate our 4th birthday. We’re super honored and humbled to have met so many simply amazing people from all over the world. We couldn’t have done it without our partners like you guys, so thanks and namaste.