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Expert tip: This is one of the most popular yoga retreats offered in South Africa.
Calm your mind, free your body, and nourish your soul in this rejuvenating yoga retreat held in the forest of Hogsback, South Africa. As your life speed up, it becomes necessary to disconnect, to take a moment to breathe, evaluate, and contemplate. Practicing yoga through asana, pranayama, and relaxation gives you the perfect tools to restore and nurture yourself. Come and reset your being in this retreat!
King's Lodge Hotel is a sanctuary nestled in a beautiful park-like garden in the Hogs back Mountain Village. The rooms are clean, cozy, and comfortable. They have en-suite single rooms, double rooms, and twin rooms. The room amenities are double or twin beds, TV in six of the rooms, en-suite bathrooms with bath and hand shower, coffee and tea facilities, laundry service, babysitting service on request, electric blankets, duck-down duvets, pillow-top beds and percale linen, hollow silicone fiber pillows and Belfiore blankets as well as towels.
During the retreat, you will practice asana, pranayama, and relaxation that will act as the tools to restore and nurture your soul. You need to make an appointment with yourselves from time to time, to reconnect with who you are, to maintain balance, and to re-charge exhausted batteries. So take a weekend off and join this yoga retreat!
The Iyengar yoga retreats are suitable for all levels of yoga experience and are also a great introduction if you have not done any yoga before. Everyone will work within their own capability with attentive instruction and correction. One will discover the time-honored techniques that help people take better care of themselves.
One guided hike in the forest is included in the price.
Monique Weschta was born in the Netherlands and moved to South Africa at the age of 22. She has practiced Iyengar yoga since 1997 and became a certified Iyengar Yoga teacher in 2009. In 2010, she practiced at the Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Yoga Institute (RIMYI) in Pune, India for a month and was blessed to receive yoga tuition from members of the Iyengar family.
Situated in the heart of the Hogsback, King's Lodge Hotel is the ideal base to take in all that Hogsback has to offer. Indulge in scenic mountain walks, explore the galleries and craft shops or visit the area's justly famous gardens with their stunning displays of Rhododendrons and Azaleas. Hogsback is famous for its forests, waterfalls, clear mountain streams, gentle forest walks, and mists. A wonderful getaway for all ages, Hogsback is both a rejuvenating and relaxing escape from the hum-drum of city life.
Two dinner, breakfast, lunch, and mid-morning tea are included in the price.
Hogsback offers much for nature, art and craft lovers and those who like to get away to a place with a fascinating history and heritage spots. The indigenous mountain forests above the Tyumie Valley are criss-crossed by well maintained, clearly marked paths to scenic spots and waterfalls, from easy strolls to adventurous day-long hikes.
The trails to the Madonna and Child, Swallow Tail, and Kettle Spout waterfalls have delighted walkers for generations - and justly so - and bird watchers will be pleased by sightings of the rare endangered Cape parrot. Sadly, there are only about 500 of these left in the wild. Hogsback also offers guided horse-riding tours if you want to rest weary feet.
Hogsback has attracted artists for many years and there are artists' studios, craft shops and tea gardens to explore, including the Starways Pottery studio of award-winning potter Anton van der Merwe, who has exhibited in the UK, Europe and in many collections in South Africa.
If you're after a bit of quiet contemplation, you can visit the Labyrinth at The Edge, an eleven-circuit labyrinth similar in design to the one in Chartres Cathedral in France, and the Voice of the Earth Eco-shrine built by artist Diana Graham.
For those interested in the unique history of the area, Alice is a mere 40km away, where the University of Fort Hare houses one of the world's largest collections of contemporary African art and the African National Congress' archive.
There are three heritage routes in the area that will give you an insight into the 19th century Xhosa king, Sandile; the 19th-century prophet and warrior, Makana; and the Wesleyan mission schools, Lovedale and Healdtown, that produced generations of African intellectuals and struggle leaders such as Nelson Mandela.
Well worth a visit in Hogsback itself is one of the country's smallest churches, St Patrick's on the Hill, which was built in 1935. Although officially part of the Anglican Diocese of Grahamstown, today services are shared by Presbyterians, Methodists, the NG Kerk, and Anglicans.
Hogsback often gets snow in the winter by virtue of it being 1200 meters above sea level, the Christmas in July festival is a perfect time to visit to try to catch some snow action. The festival has grown over the years and boasts great music, arts and crafts, food, sporting activities and farming workshops plus the annual "switching on of the Christmas tree lights".
September hosts the annual Hogsback Arts Spring Festival. In addition to the arts, music, and craft, the members of the Hogsback Garden Club open their gardens to the public at this time, when the azaleas and rhododendrons are on full display.
From Port Elizabeth follow the N2 to Grahamstown. Take the R 67 to Fort Beaufort then to Alice. 10 kilometers after Alice take the left turn (R 345) to Hogsback.
From East London follow the N2 to King Williams Town. Take the R 63 to Alice. 10 kilometers before Alice take a right turn (R 345) to Hogsback.
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