Jade Lizzie

Sharing the yoga love

Tag: vegetarian

Why Yoga Lovers Should Visit Cascais

After finding life in Morocco a little challenging, it was with some relief that I found myself in the beautiful town of Cascais, Lisbon. Although I’ve spent quite a bit of time in Portugal, I had never managed to visit Cascais, and this was a mistake. However, in March 2016 I rectified this, with a stint teaching yoga at Perfect Spot Lisbon.

Cascais is a gem of a beach town. It’s bustling and popular, without being too touristy (ok, it is super-touristy, but not in an obnoxious way). The beaches are beautiful, and there are plenty of them. The town itself is quaint and sweet, full of quirky cafes and shops.

One of the gorgeous sandy beaches in Cascais

Visit Cascais For Yoga

I took a class at Yoga Cascais, where they offer yoga classes twice per week in English (always helpful, as my Portuguese is limited to being able to order wine…) These classes are great if you want to explore yoga beyond the postures – pranayama, mantras and meditation.

For Ashtanga lovers, this place looks wonderful. Unfortunately I didn’t get to visit last time I was there, but it’s on my list to visit as soon as I can return.

Visit Cascais for Food

The Portuguese really know how to cook (and eat!). An afternoon trip that I went on involved not one, but two picnics in the space of three hours. Amazing.

And for eating out, perhaps because of the bohemian surfer-y vibe in this part of Portugal, there are unexpectedly good veggie and vegan options in the cafes and restaurants. The supermarkets also had veggie choices to rival those in the UK – a real bonus after my time in Spain (where I was told the Spanish word for vegan translates as “crazy vegetarian”) If you’re a fan of fresh fish or seafood though, Cascais is the place to be.

Visit Cascais to Explore

Lisbon and Sintra are both less than 45 minutes from Cascais by public transport. Lisbon is amazing – creative, cosmopolitan and colourful. I’m a little bit in love with it. You can easily spend hours wandering the cobbled streets, and without even intending to, every corner seems to lead to another panoramic vista point. The bonus of all the walking is that you work up an appetite for the gourmet food market Mercado da Ribeira (I know – more food…).

Sintra is another magical place. It has it all – castle ruins, grand palatial houses and stunning natural scenery.

Visit Cascais for Surfing

Surfing and yoga complement each other perfectly, or so they say. If you’re already a yogi, your core strength, flexibility and body awareness  will help you to find your feet quicker on the board, and for surfers, yoga is the perfect way to warm and release your body before and after surfing.

Now, I’m editing here for honesty, because as much as I’ve tried, I haven’t fallen in love with surfing. For me there is too much getting hit in the face, and saltwater up my nose has never been my idea of a good time.

However, if you’re more of a surf baby than me, then the surf is another thing to love about Cascais. I felt duty-bound to mention it here as the waves are a highlight for many tourists. You can get up, practise yoga before breakfast, then head to the beach to catch some waves, before chilling later in the day. If you’re not, fear not, there are alternatives. I absolutely loved the free (yes, free!) bicycle hire on offer in Cascais. You can hire a bike from the council and cycle all the way along stunning coastal paths to Guincho Beach.

Visit Cascais To Chill

I’ll be completely honest, my time in Cascais wasn’t nearly as action-packed as this blog makes it sound. I basically practised yoga in the garden, caught up with writing, walked along the beach and ate delicious local food. It was such a great opportunity to take a step back and lead a simpler life in a beautiful place. So if that’s what you’re looking for (and really, who isn’t?) visit Cascais – it’s dreamy.

12 Things To Do At Suryalila

Things to do at SuryalilaWhether you visit Suryalila Retreat Centre as a guest, a yoga teacher trainee or a volunteer, this is the definitive list of things to do at Suryalila…

  1. Gorge yourself on the delicious food and tell yourself it’s fine because it’s all so damned healthy. Vow to eat more lightly the next meal, then go back for seconds. And thirds.
  2. Do yoga at 8am and feel virtuous and smug all day. Make sure everyone knows about it.
  3. Conversely, miss one early morning yoga class to lie in. Even hardcore yogis deserve a day off. And it’s cool to be a yoga rebel. Fact.
  4. Borrow a deeply spiritual book from the bookshelf in the hall and convince yourself that it will change your life.
  5. Laze by the pool pretending to read said deeply spiritual book, then doze and hope it enters your consciousness via some miracle of osmotic transference instead.
  6. Take photos of yourself doing the fanciest looking yoga postures you can think of in the Om Dome then immediately post them on Instagram. #Suryalila. It’d be a waste not to.
  7. Walk to the ruins wearing inappropriate footwear. Who brings hiking boots to a yoga retreat anyway?
  8. Tear yourself away from Suryalila for the day to visit Prado Del Rey and enjoy the ridiculously cheap vino and tapas at Carmen’s.
  9. Speak Spanish, even just a little. You are in Spain after all. Practise on the donkey if you’re too nervous to try the staff.
  10. Eat the vegan rice milk ice cream. Just trust me on this one.
  11. Promise to transform your lifestyle when you go home. Daily yoga, meditation, reading and clean, fresh organic vegetarian food cooked from scratch can’t be so hard to keep up, right?
  12. Book a return trip before you even leave so you know it’s not goodbye forever.

Fellow Suryalila fans, let me know what I’ve missed!

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