Yoga retreats with a twist where you can enjoy views of Sussex or a safari

Picture: Kevin Meredith
Picture: Kevin Meredith

Imagine doing yoga 162 metres above the ground, with views of the sea one side and the countryside on the other.

And you don’t have to go aboard to do it as My Escape holds yoga sessions up the British Airways i360 in Brighton.

Picture: Kevin Meredith

Picture: Kevin Meredith

But it wasn’t a partnership that happened overnight.
“I can remember that Holly was pregnant with her three-year-old when we started the process of putting the proposal together,” explains Ellie Priest, who is a director and co-founder of My Escape yoga and pilates retreats with Holly Cooper.

The pair worked with Cat Duval at Nine Lives Yoga to launch and run the event which sees yogis take to the skies.
“We have about 40 to 44 people and each quarter has their own instructor but we say to them to look at the view,” says Holly.
“It is beautiful as we do it in the morning so you see the sunrise,” adds Ellie.
“We a have a moment where they can enjoy the view and take it in so they aren’t distracted by it,” says Cat.

The next yoga in the sky takes place on Saturday, February 6.

My Escape provides yoga and pilates retreats both here in the UK and aboard.
Ellie and Holly went to the same yoga centre and knew each other to say hi to.
“One day I just asked Ellie if she would do a retreat with me and she said yes, so we went to Morocco.
“We got the bookings but when we got there, there was a heat wave and sandstorm so we were a little worried but it was great, thankfully as we didn’t really know each other,” she laughs.

Picture: Kevin Meredith

Picture: Kevin Meredith

The pair still offer retreats to Morocco but have added Ibiza, a South African safari and some a bit closer to home only 30 minutes outside of Brighton, with groups no larger than 14.
“We want people to not just do the yoga but also experience the place,” explains Holly.
“They can go out and do surfing, experience the food and culture in somewhere like Morocco.
“In South Africa we do the safari which is lots of fun.
“If they want to they can stay by the pool but if not they can go and explore.”

Ellie and Holly have been practicing for 12 years, Ellie in pilates and Holly in yoga, and it seems since joining forces they have learnt a lot about the others disciplines.
“When I started the retreats as I am trained in pilates I just thought it was Ashtanga yoga,” reveals Ellie.
“But after our first retreat I was really surprised at how much there is out there it is a real education.
“We combine yoga and pilates for a more integrated approach.”

Since starting the business the pairs lives have changed as both Ellie and Holly now have children, Holly an 18 month and a three-year-old; Ellie a 10-month-old.
“The business has changed a little bit because we are mums,” explains Holly, “we decided that we would focus more on the UK retreats and the day retreats.”
It seems that the pair have also found people’s perceptions of yoga have changed and it isn’t just for people who can put their feet behind their ears or in a yurt in the middle of nowhere.
“I think yoga is more accessible now,” Holly says. “You see it everywhere, loads of gyms now do it which I think shows its wider appeal.”

And when the locations for the sessions are up in the air over Brighton or beautiful outdoor deck overlooking the sea in Ibiza, you can see the appeal even more.

Next time you need some r&r what better way than with a pilates and yoga retreat - sun, sea, sand and serenity - perfection.

For more information and to view what events are coming up, visit www.pilatesandyoga
holidays.com

Pictures: Kevin Meredith

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