If you’ve ever felt you needed to unwind, settle, or reset, I’ve found a place where you can have that peace. A meditation & yoga retreat in Jamaica rooted in the idea of healthy living for the mind and body. Go Natural Jamaica’s day visits and overnight stays are centred on deliciously-filling vegan meals, healing yoga and meditation sessions, and fascinating workshops. I was overly excited to experience yet another wellness-focused Portland getaway.
Overnight guests stay in vibrant single occupant or shared rooms, and can have the pleasure of experiencing a full moon bonfire celebration and live music from local artistes while there. Spa massage treatment is also available to overnight guests or at additional cost to day guests. My 6-hour visit was enough to provide a sense of tranquility.
Upon arrival a pleasant personnel, proudly wearing a shirt bearing the retreat’s logo, opened the wooden gate and introduced us to Ernesto, an international instructor staying on property at the time. Ernesto had been there all of 3 days, not that you’d know it from the full tour he provided and his enthusiasm while presenting each aspect. Being close to lunch time, moments were spent enjoying the view of the sea waves crashing against the cliff side until signaled that food was ready.
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- Go Natural: Meditation & Yoga Retreat Jamaica
- Go Natural Jamaica’s Vegan Lunch
Go Natural: Meditation & Yoga Retreat Jamaica
Find your Centre
With a sunbathing cabana bed facing the beach, an open-air hut of hammocks, and an elevated patio decorated with hand-painted murals, Go Natural Jamaica isn’t short of places to relax between activities. Inside the living area is a collection of art, natural body products, crafts for sale, a purified water dispenser, and a couch and small table surrounded by a wad of conscious books. WiFi is also available (with good signal!) untill you venture to the beach.
Cool Off in the Caribbean Sea at Go Natural Jamaica
If you want to cool off, take a quick stroll through the lawns to the beach. A small natural pool bordered by coral rocks is an ideal spot to let your hair down in the water, just be mindful not to disrupt any of the tiny inhabitants.
Go Natural Jamaica’s Vegan Lunch
As I said above, Go Natural Jamaica specializes in vegan food; as a certified meat eater I can still praise the satisfaction of the taste and substance of the meals! For lunch that day, appetites were opened with a split peas soup cooked with coconut milk and an array of vegetables, and topped with callaloo chips (yes, chips!). An extra bowl of crunchy callaloo leaves (ie. chips) rested on the table if anyone desired more, which we all did.
Beside the cupped bowl of soup was a meticulously-crafted plate of coconut pieces and dehydrated tomatoes bordering a hill of carrot pasta with an almond peak that sat on a lagoon of cashew cheese sauce. I had to take a break from the soup and chip serving to ensure I had more than enough room to finish the main course; thankfully I did, and waxed off both dishes with a smile. In addition to another Portland getaway and an elegent vegetarian restaurant in Kingston, I can’t recall any other time I’ve enjoyed vegan food nearly this much!
Chakras and Meditation Sessions in Jamaica
Each day presents a new learning experience here in the form of a workshop, which are mostly food or cosmetic-oriented. On this visit, a typically 2-day lesson was condensed into 1 and guests were introduced to Chakras – the 7 centres of spiritual power in the human body. Ernesto and his partner, Olga, created a triangle of pillowed seatings within the flower circle painted on the ground. This bordered a collection of cards, books, icons, colourful stones and chart focused on the practice. The approximately 1.5hour introduction included the locations of the 7 chakras in the body, their respective energy and stones, how to balance each, a series of mantras, and silent points for meditation.
For this lesson, your mind has to be open to learning and participating in order to receive its value. The feeling of cliché may arise from the crossed-leg sitting, hand positioning, and mantra chanting portrayed in the media, but if done with openmindedness can sense a positive change in personal energy.
Other than related workshops, a great environment and time for meditation are provided; I mean, what better place to find peace than perched on a cliff hearing nothing but the waves?! That’s actually my favourite way to fall asleep (like on a beach in St. Mary and on the cliffs of Negril). The on-site meditation pyramid is built to channel your focus towards the sea, blocking viewing access of everything else behind you. With scheduled activities ceasing after about 7pm, early rises and slumbers will have you enjoying a “full” day in less time, with more than enough for self-reflection.
Go Natural Jamaica’s Gourmet Healthy Snacks
All visits provide at least 1 full meal and 1 healthy snack. I enjoyed a chilled crunchy almond, raisin, and coconut base topped with mango cream and a warm drink of ‘golden milk’. The golden milk was a mix of coconut milk, turmeric, and a hint of ginger. Me not being a lover of overly-sugared tastes, the pastry was a surprised delight of muted sweetness! My taste buds got a slight shock switching between the chilled and warm indulgences but overall the combination was enjoyable (and health-conscious)! My companion’s sweet tooth was accommodated when offered a serving of honey to further satisfy the taste buds’ craving for sugar.
Healing Yoga Sessions in Jamaica
The visit concluded with a sunset yoga session overlooking the sea cliffs. Based on guests, yoga levels practised can range from beginner to advanced, with comfort for everyone being the priority. Before this, my only yoga classes were YouTube videos, which do actually raise positive energy, so I was excited to be a part of an in-person session!
I was pleased that Olga started by asking if anyone had preferences in poses or body focal points instead of jumping into a general regime. She gladly demonstrated and informed of healing poses for requested body regions to aid any injuries or regular discomfort. During each pose, she walked around participants and adjusted their body to correct if necessary while sharing general tips and encouragement. With this being the last scheduled activity on a usual day, the calmness felt allows me to understand how easy it can be to say good night by 9pm, especially if you also start like this around sunrise.
So, by show of hands (comments), does this not look like a WELL-needed meditation & yoga retreat?
In Portland parish between Boston Bay and Fair Prospect lies Long Bay. A double-sided sign marking the start of Long Bay as well as the end of Fair Prospect acts as a landmark. This sign is adjacent to a painted (blue-green) wooden building and a gate on a slight decline. That gate is the entrance to Go Natural Jamaica.
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