Healing at a yoga retreat

/ October 16, 2015/ Holistic Nutrition, Recipes, Yoga/ 0 comments

After Positano, I crossed Italy from west to east, from Napoli to Bari to attend a yoga retreat in La Rosa dei 4 venti near Martina Franca organized by Yogaspace.

The bus drive was only a bit more than 3 hours and the landscape was spectacular. From the sights of the modern Napoli, the impressive Vesuvio, through the rolling hills, to the awaited sight of the sea.

The name of the place is partly due to the fact that the 4 winds blow on the property. Needless to say, it was very fresh and kind of cold at night. Quite refreshing after the hot days. The clothes on the line took only a couple of hours to dry.

This place is special. The owner Giulia is a healer. I had the privilege to have a few conversations with her. The things she told me were a revelation to me at the time. What I like to share is that she pours her healing energy into the land so just by staying at La Rosa you benefit from this energy. After knowing this, I try to spent more time on my own in the property rather than sightseeing between yoga classes. It became easier to meditate and connect to this healing energy.

I did enjoy a couple of visits to the sea in good company. One was a small beach in the Adriatic sea near Ostuni. The water was too cold for this warm water wimp… The other was a little local beach club in the Ionian sea. That day was very hot and the water was warm enough to venture in a nice swim. Growing up near the sea, I hold a special connection with it. Floating in the water looking at the sky totally immerse in it feels like a meditation.

The food was quite amazing. I could hardly talk while eating. Felt overwhelmed by the flavors and freshness. At the time, I was eating very little dairy but when I saw the spread of fresh goat cheese made by them… I felt out of my resolve and savor every one of them. The diet is mostly alkaline and vegetarian. Hilaria researches every year what is new and modifies the menu for every season of the year! amazing the work and love they put into their food. Needless to say the food has an incredible healing potential.

Food at La Rosa

The shala to practice yoga is quite inviting. The fresh breeze waltzes in through the doors and windows. The warm walls welcome inner work. The classes led by Hali and Kathryn were inspiring and challenging making it a rewarding and deepening practice. I always learn so much from them. In this place, I recorded the 3 minute breathing practice.

Restorative with Hali

The group healing session with Giulia was an experience like I never had before. The warmth from the healing energy was quite hot. The vibrations from the Kabala words she recited were intense. What I experience felt like a reaffirmation that I was where I was supposed to be and doing what I was supposed to be doing. Quite incredible and unforgettable. Everyone should try it.

I ran into Giulia when she was making mala necklaces. She designs each one with a healing purpose. You choose the mala that calls you and then she explains what the mala is for. You can tell she is intensely focused when she is making them. I actually saw her making the one I got.

The sunrises and sunsets are spectacular. The colors in the sky, the clouds, the stars and the moon at night were quite a site. The pictures are just a faint representation.

The entire staff at La Rosa are devoted to Giulia, healing, and the place itself. They ensure that you make the most of your time there. More than a retreat place, La Rosa is a community of people living a truly holistic and blissful life. I was there only a week. It felt short. I could have certainly spent more time there.

Very grateful to have been part of this retreat, to meet the amazing people that attended the retreat, to learn from my fabulous yoga mentors, to spent time at La Rosa, and to have met Giulia and her family. My only wish is that I get to visit them again!

If you have the opportunity to go to La Rosa, don’t hesitate. It is a unique healing and spiritual experience. My point really is that visiting a place of healing is essential to regain and maintain optimal health. It doesn’t have to be far or expensive. Find something near and let me know where you go…

Apple muffins

Apple Muffins

At La Rosa we were treated with great baking goods made with local ingredients. Using that as inspiration, I came up with a recipe for apple muffins to enjoy our fresh new apples… yum!


  • 1 cup of oat flakes
  • 1 cup of shredded apple (1 organic apple)
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • ½ tbsp nutmeg
  • 1 tbsp of baking soda
  • 1 pinch of himalayan salt
  • ½ cup of apple sauce (see recipe)
  • 1 large flax egg (1 tbsp flax seeds, 3 tbsp water) or banana
  • ¼ cup of melted organic virgin coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp of maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp of vanilla


  • Mix the flax seeds and water in a small bowl and set aside.
  • Blend the oat flakes to make like a flower and mix with shredded apples, cinnamon, nutmeg, backing soda, and salt in a bowl.
  • Put the apple sauce, flax egg, coconut oil, maple syrup and vanilla in blender and mix. For a vegan option, replace the egg with one small banana.
  • Pour the liquid mixture to the dry ingredients in the bowl and stir together into a batter.
  • Grease the muffin mold with organic ghee or coconut oil and fill in with the batter.
  • Bake at 350F for 25 min.
  • Wait until they cool down and eat!
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