New Zealand Yoga Scene Magazine

A feature article and interview with Kate and Seriya in Yoga Scene Magazine about the New Zealand Yoga Safari women's wellness weekend at Lake Wanaka.

 

Yoga Safari Lakeside at Wanaka

A glamping retreat for women on the shores of Lake Wanaka with luxury tents, nature activities and delicious food. Take in the spectacular scenery of the snowy mountains and crystal lakes. Camping in glamorous style amongst a pure natural wonderland. 

 

Women’s Wellness Weekend at Lake Wanaka

You wake up to the sound of the lake lapping gently on the shore. You open your eyes to the stunning views beyond the canvas of your tent. You step out onto the grass to salute the morning sun.

You are on a New Zealand Yoga Safari, for three days of glamping bliss.

Glamorous Camping

Glamping means glamorous camping and you are staying in a luxury safari tent decked out for complete comfort by Tussock Country.

Set on a private sheep station on the pristine shores of Lake Hawea, there is the lake for swimming, trees for shady picnics and grass for walking barefoot. You are served nourishing food throughout the retreat under a canopy or as a lakeside picnic.

Finding Calm

You will enjoy a range of yoga styles and meditation to suit all levels of ability and experience. Whether you prefer nourishing Yin and Restorative, or an invigorating Vinyasa flow, there is a blend of classes to create the perfect balance.

The day starts and ends with yoga and meditation, with a range of blissful workshops in between, from a meditation journey through your chakras, to music of the plants, and how to use crystals for healing. 

Lakeside Adventures

Getting out into nature is restorative in so many ways and improves your mind and body connection. Go for a refreshing dip in the lake, walk through the grassy surroundings and float across the lake on a stand-up paddleboard.

Give yourself some time before or after the retreat to explore the lake by kayak or go hiking in Mt Aspiring National Park.

Stunning Scenery

The spectacular setting of Lake Wanaka lies right at the foot of your safari tent with views from the sky to the lakeshore. The lake is crystal-clear and surrounded by draping willows and majestic mountains.

This is a place where you can take time to breathe it all in, fill yourself up and realise that it will stay with you long after you leave.

Passionate Presenters

This March, the beautiful and inspiring retreat leaders Seriya Cutbush and Kate Westberg of Yogafari, are holding a New Zealand Yoga Safari. They are based in the yoga capital of Australia, Byron Bay, and teach women’s retreats all over the world.

Seriya and Kate are Byron yoginis with a passion for the healing power of retreats. Read on to learn who they are and how you can join the yoga safari at Lake Wanaka to relax and rejuvenate.

What is a yogini?

Seriya: A yogini is a female yogi. A yogi is someone who has dedicated themselves to living the yogic lifestyle by practicing yoga on all levels, not just the physical.

Kate: A yogini is a woman who embraces all that yoga stands for. She listens to her heart and body and makes yoga a moving meditation, and a natural part of her life.

What do you believe is special about a women’s retreat?

Seriya: Women’s retreats allow women looking for a bit of time for themselves to connect with nature and use this opportunity to get away from their everyday lives.

Kate: It gives women the space to deeply connect to themselves and to other women, to be all that they can be and find peace within their hearts, all in a place where they are truly held.

What is your life philosophy, put simply?

Seriya: The more we can discover stillness within ourselves we can really appreciate all the beautiful aspects of life.

Kate: Live from your heart and listen to your mind, body and soul and everything will unfold beautifully just as it is meant to.

How did you find yourself on the yoga path?

Seriya: I grew up in Byron Bay with my parents practicing meditation, yoga and chanting at home and living in ashrams in India.

I rebelled against it all in my teenage years, then came back onto the spiritual path. I kept opening up more and more, studying with different teachers, different traditions and most importantly, unleashing more of my own practice.

Kate: My mother, Jane, took me to a meditation when I was 10-years-old and it became a natural part of my life. I started practicing yoga at 15 and as I worked and travelled across the world I always had my mat with me.

It is where I go to find a still place, where my home is where my heart is, and where my breath connects me to what is really important.

Who has been your greatest influence and why? 

Seriya: I have been blessed to have so many incredible teachers in my life. Sometimes the most powerful teachers for me are the people who just come into my life for the shortest moment and share such profound wisdom in a simple action or word.

Spending so many years travelling the world taught me that we are all teachers and all students in every moment of our lives. We just need to be open to listening to the wisdom.

Kate: My teachers along the path of my life have given me so much wisdom, and my students remind me to be humble, to laugh and to grow.

If there was a yoga pose or meditation practice that described you – what would it be and why? 

Seriya: Pigeon pose is a deep stretch into the gallbladder and liver meridian, which stores lots of stagnant emotion. Being in this pose continues to teach me that by pushing myself, I can be too much in the masculine and cause injury. By allowing space to fully surrender into the breath, we can go so much deeper in a pose and in ourselves.

Kate: Tree Pose always resonates with me because I enjoy that sense of being grounded on the Earth, while at the same time reaching for the sky, keeping an open heart to all of life’s possibilities.

What do you offer women in your workshops?

Seriya: I share what works for me, and if it has helped me along the way then I trust it may also help other women. Crystals, mantra, sound, yoga, chakras and meditation are all part of the retreat.

If you just listen to what your heart resonates with, then that in itself will often crack you open and increase the desire for more.

Kate: My passion for mindful self-compassion comes through in everything that I offer in workshops. I love to empower women by giving them the space to discover their hidden depths, what makes their hearts sing and lifts them up, while not being afraid to be vulnerable.

Who, how often and why should you meditate?

Seriya: I believe everyone benefits from meditation. What I do is offer various techniques and you can then adopt what you like and leave what doesn’t work for you. Meditation nourishes you when times are running smoothly, and supports you in the challenging times.

Kate: Meditation is less a practice than a way of life for me. It is about being present in each moment, becoming aware of your reactions and connecting to that calm place within you.

You start on the cushion, but then you take that out into the supermarket, on the beach, at dinner parties.

How can yoga practice and meditation help women in their everyday?

Seriya: Meditation helps you in understanding your emotions, your ways of being, your patterns and fears. It gives you an opportunity to look deeper at why you might be feeling or acting a certain way.

When you take the time to listen to what your body is communicating to you during yoga, then you can begin to understand your own limitations on and off the mat. When your body is nourished in this way, you naturally support yourself in other areas of your life.

Kate: Meditation reduces stress and anxiety, improves clarity and peace of mind and, ultimately, allows you to be more productive and efficient in all of your daily activities. You open yourself up to a whole new way of experiencing moments that not only benefit yourself but also those around you.

Yoga supports you to sleep better, enjoy new-found vigour and experience an overall sense of calm and happiness.

Other than yoga and meditation what are some of your passions? Will these be explored in the retreat? 

Seriya: My passion is for the healing nature of music. Chanting is one of the most powerful modalities to shift and transcend emotion. It is a potent form of healing, to lift yourself into a higher and brighter place in your life.

Kate: I love being out in nature, and this connection to the wild beauty of the surroundings is what makes glamping so enjoyable, the lake and mountains right at your feet.

What is on your New Zealand bucket list and what are you most excited about?

Seriya: I’ve always wanted to go to Lake Wanaka, as I’ve spent a lot of time in Canada and I understand that the South Island shares an abundance of natural wonders.

Kate: Paddle boarding at Lake Wanaka is a long-time dream of mine and I’m excited about being surrounded by all of that awe-inspiring natural beauty, at a secluded spot just for us.

Is there a saying or quote that really resonates with you and your upcoming retreat?  

Seriya:

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be?” – Marianne Williamson

Kate:

“Let the beauty of what you love, be what you do.” - Rumi

What will you share at the New Zealand Yoga Safari?

Seriya:

·      An empowering Crystal Experience on how to tune into and use crystls, and work consciously with crystals for healing.

·      An insightful Chakra Meditation Journey to discover more about your own energy system and how to keep it in tune.

·      A Chanting session to activate the devotional parts of yourself that are ready to let go, surrender and sing.

·      An uplifting Music of the Plants session to see how plants communicate through sound.

·      A heart-opening Yin yoga class to open you up to love for self and others.

Kate:

·      A nourishing Self-compassion workshop to support you in caring for your mind, body and soul.

·      An invigorating Stand-up Paddleboard(SUP) tour of Lake Wanaka to let your adventurous spirit soar.

·      An energising Vinyasa yoga class to awaken the body and move with your natural flow.

·      A restorative Silent Meditation Walk to walk gently on the Earth and connect deeply to nature.

·      A calming Yoga Nidra before bed to guide you towards a restful and restorative sleep.

What’s Included?

  • 3 nights glamping in Lotus Belle tents
  • All gourmet retreat meals
  • Herbal tea and healthy snacks all day

Plus...

  • Women's circles
  • Morning yoga session to energise for the day
  • Silent nature meditation walk
  • Sound healing
  • Self-compassion workshop
  • Chakra Meditation Journey
  • Music of the Plants
  • Evening Yoga Nidra for restorative sleep

This is an all-inclusive package that also includes a complimentary return transfer from Queenstown or Lake Wanaka to the glampsite.

All About Wanaka

Set amongst the beautiful alps of the South Island, Lake Wanaka is the perfect location for a yoga safari, with its stunning natural beauty. The lakes and mountains surround the glampsite on all sides, a secluded place to take a long weekend to rest, restore and reconnect. Let the serene backdrop of Wanaka restore your body and soul on a yoga safari.

Retreat Details

Where: Dingleburn Station, Lake Wanaka
When: 3 – 6 March 2017
Cost: Glamping with all meals and activities included for $1,345.
Contact: info@yogafari.com.au

 

Published in New Zealand Yoga Scene Magazine