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Lola Berry's Review of Aro Ha

Author, TV Host and leading nutritionist Lola Berry visited Aro Ha in New Zealand and was inspired to write her first ever blog post about her amazing adventure and wanted to share the love for one of the most amazing places she has ever visited. Lola returned to Aro Ha as Special Guest Teacher. Read on to find out why this retreat has a special place in Lola's heart!


Author, TV Host and leading nutritionist Lola Berry visited Aro Ha in New Zealand and was inspired to write her first ever blog post about her amazing adventure and wanted to share the love for one of the most amazing places she has ever visited. Lola returned to Aro Ha as Special Guest Teacher. Read on to find out why this retreat has a special place in Lola's heart!

Aro Ha Mountains

Lola Berry and the view of the snowy southern alps in Aro Hã
 

Aro Ha is really really really like stepping into another world. I sometimes get funny about going to retreats as I think I can cook healthier at home, and some retreats are more like a fancy day spa where you can still have your organic wine and gluten free chocolate cake for dessert, and that's so awesome but for me if I'm going on a retreat I really want to cleanse, I want to walk away having felt like I've given myself a gift. And that's exactly how a felt after visiting Aro Ha, here's a bit about my journey.

From the moment you step of the plane at Queenstown you can see (and feel the energy of the mountains). You just know this place is special and you ask yourself why you’ve not visited sooner.

When I was greeted by Bruce (one of the staff at Aro – who also lead hikes and just so happens to be an amazing massage therapist) and he hands you a water bottle with a native NZ animal on it, mine was the Orca (which is my favourite animal in the entire world so I knew this would be an amazing trip (hippie I know but I love to trust signs).

Then you all jump in a van and head to Aro Ha – the drive is pretty spectacular, I’ve never been to New Zealand let alone Queenstown before so I felt like a kid in a candy store, I didn't know where to look because everything was so pretty. When you arrive you are guided into the main building where you can smell a toasty fire burning, there’s a chia seed, strawberry and stinging nettle smoothie waiting for you, along with nori crackers spread with beetroot and maca butter and micro herbs. I was already in heaven.

You then meet everyone, and there’s tears, smiles, nerves, you can feel the anticipation in the room. For me I knew what I wanted to achieve. I’d just gone through a break up and wanted to start doing things that made me happy and this retreat was the first thing that was a gift I was giving myself. I had recently decided that I was only going to do things that made me happy. So here I was.

Then you head to your room, which is next level, I mean the view alone is snowy mountains right off the set of Lord of the Rings. Then you feel the warmth of the room and it’s all heated by hot water pipes that run underneath. The air feels clean. Did I mention that this whole retreat is sustainable and even our food, 35% of it was grown on site!

Then this is where the magic happens – you meet down in the Aro Ha yoga room, now I’m a bit of a yoga nerd, and I travel heaps so I’m always trying out new studios and classes. The second I stepped into this room it took my breath away. I mean you are literally doing yoges (that’s my word for yoga) and the view is the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen. So I mean you just know you’re going to be healing being around all that nature alone. Biophilia is my favourite word in the entire world and it refers to the healing power of mother nature, not this place is nature, on top of nature, on top of nature. You get a vibe from the get-go that you really don’t have to think about a thing, everything has been sorted and all you really have to do is be willing to experience what Aro Ha has to offer. And what I’ve just described to you is just the tip of the iceberg.

Yoga at Aro Ha

Lola Berry practising acroyoga in Aro Hã's yoga studio


The food is better than anything I’ve ever had at some of the best restaurants and from a health perspective, it really doesn’t get too much better that this; the best way to describe the menu is creative, vibrant, nutrient dense, vegetarian but paleo at the same time, oh and did I mention it’s so delicious. I often don’t get too excited about food at health retreats because I know I can make it super healthy and tasty at home. But the food at Aro Ha trumps the stuff I create at home. It feels like you’re eating art. And not to give too much away but if you’re into mindful eating then this is right up your ally.

Aro Ha Yoga Studio  Aro Ha Food

Yoga Studio at Aro Hã Retreat (left) Vegetarian cuisine (right)


I couldn’t write about this experience and not talk about nature, think Game of Thrones forests meets Lord of the Rings mountains. And the best bit is you are pretty much hiking alone due to the small group, you get to do mindful hiking, so you walk on your own and just take in the smells, sounds, the views. It really feels like you’re in some kind of ethereal magical land.

There’s so much more I could talk about like the hot tub, literally out in the mountains, so you’re just looking out into the wilderness. Then there’s the infrared saunas, the amazing massages, the yin yoga, the Pilates, functional training, the permaculture classes, un-cooking classes where you can learn how to ferment your own kim chi, there’s wellness classes, writing, and movies. There’s honestly so much to experience. My only advice would be to leave the laptop at home and really soak up as much as humanly possible of this experience because it truly is life changing and I cannot wait to get back there.

Finally, If you get the chance to visit Aro Ha, know this, that it will change your life and the experience will stay in your heart forever.

Big love, 
Lols X

 

You can connect with Lola on her Facebook, check out her on Instagram or visit her website at http://lolaberry.com

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