Holistic hedonsim and the rewards of pleasure

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Q&A with Vicki Veranese at Retreats Byron Bay

Can you tell us a little about what people can expect from Retreats Byron Bay?

At our property CasaVeras, nestled in the hinterland between Byron Bay and Mullumbimby, we have created a space where you can enjoy platters of amazing food and delicious drinks, while you indulge in a filtered rainwater outdoor bath or soak just your feet. You can relax in the far infrared colour therapy sauna, have a tarot or tea leaf reading, draw a picture, play a game or take a walk.

You may start with a morning yoga class, stay for the day and enjoy the facilities, or overnight in the self contained accommodation. We are in the process of setting up ‘glamping’ as an option for small groups to stay.

The idea is to get away from the ‘screen’, reconnect with what inspires you, bust a routine, be awed by nature, awaken a jaded palate and breathe again (how many times do you catch yourself ‘holding your breath?’).

What inspired you to do this?

Over the years, people visiting CasaVeras experienced the profound magic that exists in the property. The land seemed to nurture them and deliver the ‘medicine’ they needed.

Inspired by watching Chef’s Table and destination experiences with food and environment, we wanted to offer something as unique as each individual and it seemed obvious that this land had to be part of the alchemy.

We look at the concept of ‘retreat’ as a time out, to withdraw, regroup or go within. It is an opportunity to get off the treadmill of what you are eating, drinking, thinking, and reset – be it for an hour or a few days. It was from this that Retreats Byron Bay emerged.

What benefits do your clients get from the process and therapy you practice?

People who come to Retreat Byron Bay have the chance to tune into their spirit, turn their body to their health and healing, and to drop out. This gives the mind the opportunity for a rest and reboot. 

We don’t do the latest fad or trend, we share what has worked for us and it evolves as we do. We have worked in the health and wellness industry for over 30 years as both practitioners and consciousness explorers. Alive and Wild is behind the food we prepare and has a reputation for amazing plant based cuisine, so it’s a culmination of our all our experience wisdom, knowledge and skills.

We want people to leave with renewed trust in themselves and their innate ability to know what is right for them. Embodying this sense of Self is a place of empowerment and effectiveness, sometimes all that is needed is that time out to remember.

Are there different approaches to your therapy of holistic hedonism?

Holistic Hedonism is the pursuit of pleasure that is good for you!

Hedonism: The pursuit of pleasure as an ethical theory; that pleasure in the sense of satisfaction of desires is the highest good and proper aim of human life!

Holistic: Taking into account the whole mind, body, and spirit in the context of health and healing.

Why can’t health and healing be an enjoyable, delicious experience?

We have found that working with inspiration rather than conflict as the impetus for change creates a positive mindset to move forward and maintain the juju, rekindling and celebrating the magic of everyday and be turned on about yourself again – confident, embodied and inspired. 

What advice would you give to someone who hasn’t tried this before?

Come alone or bring someone you want to create a memory with; have no expectations or projections, just a sense of adventure – ready to enjoy the moment and let the magic happen.

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