Finding Clarity & Connection in Portugal: RYME’s Wellness Retreat

In this powerful RYME wellness retreat, I discovered the importance of making space for joy, embracing change, and prioritizing well-being.

There’s a distinct feeling when you realize you’re ready for something new–a new chapter, a new experience, something to broaden your perspective.  

When my good friend Jennifer Mayerle brought up the idea of a yoga retreat, and in Portugal no less, I couldn’t hide my excitement. I’d never set foot in that country, let alone been on a yoga retreat before! Ask anyone who knows me well, and they’ll tell you I’m not a big fan of exercise, and I was no yogi by any means. However, everything just seemed to fall into place timing-wise, and the idea of sharing this adventure with her? That was the clincher for me.

A Much-Needed Reset

Portugal retreat with nothing but blue skies and green treesLittle did I know, the retreat was more than just yoga. RYME incorporates multiple wellness modalities–yoga, meditation, acupuncture, energy awareness, and hypnotherapy–all to provide that much-needed reset.

RYME was founded by two remarkable women–each specializing in a unique wellness area. Hanna is the medicinal movement facilitator, and Loes focuses on mindfulness and other healing modalities. They work together with each one individually–meeting you where you are in life, at any level of practice. Although I was new to yoga, I enjoyed the yoga practice since it was tailored to each person’s comfort level. Each session included discussion and insights from Yung Pueblo’s book, Clarity and Connection, further facilitating that deep inner work.

This truly was a holistic experience, and they made every little detail count.

Lifelong Connections

There was plenty of downtime to relax, nourish, eat yummy healthy food and bond with the other women on the trip. I loved how we were all from different corners of the world and of all ages, too. Our fun group of women traveled from Costa Rica, Switzerland, South Africa, the Netherlands, and the US. We had the best time swapping stories, sharing insights, and learning from each other’s distinct life experiences. We still have a WhatsApp text chain going all these months later.

I not only had many aha moments but continue to work on implementing many of the learnings in my day-to-day life. Here are a few eye-opening truths I recognized while on the retreat.

Women at a wellness retreat on the beach in PortugalMaking Space for Wellness

Our week began with a powerful lesson about making space in our lives. In the hustle and bustle of daily life, creating room for rest, reflection, and self-care often takes a backseat. But at RYME, the week was dedicated to feeling good and tapping into other healing modalities like acupuncture, massage and even a sound bath.  I was reminded of the importance of dedicating time to things that bring joy and energy into my life. Making new connections with like-minded women added an extra layer of richness to the experience, too.

The “New Dish” Analogy

One of the most impactful concepts introduced at the wellness retreat was the “New Dish” analogy. It encouraged us to embrace personal change, reminding us that it’s perfectly okay to present a new version of ourselves to the world. Even if others are accustomed to the “old” us, evolving and growing is a natural part of life. It became a mantra for the entire wellness retreat, fostering an environment of acceptance and encouragement to explore our authentic selves.

Prioritize Well-Being

In the whirlwind of life, the concept of prioritizing well-being often gets overshadowed by the constant pursuit of tasks and long to-do lists. Our RYME “gurus” as we called them, emphasized the necessity of putting our well-being first, much like putting on an oxygen mask before assisting others on an airplane.

This lovely moment was captured by the talented Felipe Sanchez @granoysal

Healing as Prevention

Perhaps one of the most profound lessons learned was the idea that healing ourselves can prevent unintentional harm to others. By addressing and healing our emotional wounds, we break generational cycles and foster healthier relationships. Through an exercise they called family constellation, I was able to gain a new perspective and shift some outdated limiting beliefs I had been holding on to.

As funny as it sounds, breathing has also become a focal point for me. In moments of stress, I didn’t realize how often I would hold my breath unconsciously.  Now, I focus on consciously taking deep breaths, acting as a reset button for my mental state. It’s a small yet powerful practice that has made a significant difference in managing daily pressures. As for yoga??  Let’s just say I’m warming up to it!  I do integrate stretches and yoga moves into my day that make me feel good.

A Worthwhile Retreat

If you’re looking for an opportunity to reset and nourish yourself, RYME is definitely worth considering. Never mind that they host their retreats in some incredible destinations: Costa Rica, Portugal, Morocco, etc. If you join, don’t worry about being a yoga guru; beginners are more than welcome. The key to truly benefiting from this retreat is to arrive with an open mind and an open heart. Embrace the moment, let yourself flow with the program, and cherish the opportunity—it’s a truly transformative gift.

Visit the RYME website to learn more about their retreats and services. Or, follow them on Instagram to see more behind-the-scenes photos and videos of their amazing retreat experiences. You’ll be glad you did.

Thank you for reading!

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Danielle Cullivan

Career Insight Studio

Danielle Cullivan is a seasoned leader in tech with over 20 years of experience in Fortune 500 companies. She is also the creator of Career Insight Studio, a career and lifestyle blog dedicated to providing insights and new perspectives for working women. Danielle lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and high-school-aged son, and visits her college-age daughter as often as possible! 

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