A Week at Cloona
This was my fifth visit to Cloona, which I quess speaks for itself! This time, I opted to do the Green Programme, which was for the most part a juice only detox, though I shared the same lunch as the others who were on the standard fruit and veg programme.
Lunch in Cloona is a real treat: delicious organic, freshly homemade soups, from a chunky seasonal vegetable soup to the most delicious spinach soup I've ever had, and two salads that make you wonder how your own never turn out that good (it's all in the dressing).
A Cloona retreat is not just a detox for the body: it is in every sense a retreat from the hustle and bustle of our daily lives. The lack of a TV, radio, newspaper, internet and even the ubiquitous mobile phone offers a chance to completely switch-off and recharge depleted batteries. The gentle pace of the day, starting with nearly two hours of yoga with the wonderful Catriona and an invigorating walk each afternoon with Dhara, the owner, on quiet country roads, or forest tracks, or beach, allows for plenty of quiet time, to catch up on reading, sleep or just simply being. After the evening meal, there is the nightly sauna and back massage, and an early night.
It is also possible to book extra treatments, such as massage, seiki (something resembling a gentler version of Shiatsu), reflexology, or a facial.
Without exception, the therapists are all first class. I usually crawl into Cloona on my first day, and at the end of the programme, bounce out of there like Tigger. Most times, the physical benefits last for a couple of months until finally my bad habits lure me back to the dark side. This time, it was more like 10 Tiggers, so here's hoping I keep temptation at bay for a while longer. That being said, I gain much more than just physical well-being from a week in Cloona: it really is a boost to head and heart as well. I will definitely do the Green Programme again.
This was my first time to visit Cloona and I have to say it really ticked all the boxes. I have never had a week away that I felt so completely rested & rejuvinated on the way home like I did leaving Cloona.
Cloona is everything that a person needs to completely switch off, no radio, tv and lack of of mobile phones really added to the experience.
The food & treatments were first class. I had reflexology for the first time with Ger and was amazed by the results. Catriona's yoga sessions were so chilled, looked forward to it every day.
Over all, Cloona is something very special & Dhara and the team should keep doing what they are doing because its a perfect getaway to recharge the batteries. I will definately be back!
A Brilliant Place to Find Yourself!
I booked a five-day stay at Cloona for early March. It turned out to be an unforgettable experience.
Before I went my hope was to kick start a more healthy eating regime, something that was proving very difficult in my hurried, busy and fairly stressful life.
Far from feeling hungry and deprived as I was expecting, I was very impressed with the food. Lunch was always a delicious surprise of heartwarming soups and varied and tasty salads. The evening meal was a combination of various fruits and nuts that I really enjoyed. I learned how to spot the difference between real hunger and the need for comfort in food, as well as the importance of water for a healthy body.
What I gained from my time there far outpassed all my expectations. The fine Spring weather combined with the gorgeous Mayo countryside and the calm congenial atmosphere of Cloona made relaxation and contentment a given. As part of a 10 member group of like-minded people, we gelled from the start as we chatted and shared and laughed a lot. The morning yoga sessions with the lovely Galway girl Caitriona brought body and mind together. What a gem she is! With information gleaned from Dhara on body awareness we explored the beautiful Mayo countryside each afternoon for a bracing and uplifting walk.
I could not praise Cloona highly enough. Dhara and his team have put together a straightforward and highly motivating programme that looks after the basic health needs while also catering to body, mind and spirit. Accommodation is being improved year by year with new ensuite rooms just added that are comfortable, warm and cosy. Each evening ends with a relaxing and skillfully administered massage that leaves you feeling totally indulged.
All in all, Cloona is a brilliant place to find yourself- literally!!
Cloona - The perfect place to unwind
I visited Cloona for the first time in early March 2010, and the experience of the 5-day program made quite an impression on me. Surrounded by the breathtaking scenery of Co. Mayo, it is the perfect place to retreat to if you wish to get real rest and relaxation.
The program, run so carefully and personally by Dhara, is a lovely balance of activities and relaxation. Each day falls into an easy rhythm, and I found myself slipping into a more relaxed mood and truly leaving behind the outside world (helped by the lack of radio, tv, internet, mobiles – which was surprisingly wonderful).
The food is fresh, tasty and surprisingly filling. If only I could re-create those yummy soups and salads at home! The daily wheatgrass shot is an acquired taste, but worth the effort.
I had wondered how almost 2 hours of yoga each morning would suit me (being a complete yoga novice), but it proved to be one of the best elements of the week for me – challenging, yet relaxing. Caitriona (the instructor) is unique; she has an infectious enthusiasm, she appreciated each of our capabilities and delivered each session in a wonderfully warm and friendly manner.
I really enjoyed the afternoon walks, definitely helped by the beautiful weather. It was refreshing to walk a different route each day, at my own pace.
The other nine people were a joy. It was incredible that 10 strangers could be thrown together for five days and get on so well. I suppose the common purpose of taking time out provided a bond. However, there was never any pressure to stay with the group, and I enjoyed the many opportunities to have time to myself. I''m glad I took the advice from the Cloona website to go to Cloona on my own. It really is the only way…it is one place where bringing a friend would only hinder the rest and relaxation! Don''t even think about bringing a spouse!!
The sauna and massage each evening was the most wonderful way to end each day. Thanks Pauline for the massages and the tips for relaxing my back!!
I returned home feeling totally rested and relaxed, yet energised; more toned and fit than before, and full of good intentions to be fitter and healthier and to only eat when I''m really hungry!! Only time will tell if I succeed!
Challenging and Rewarding
This was my first visit to Cloona though I had thought of going for many years having heard from a friend about it.
I did a 3 day detox and I found it challenging but very rewarding, I feel so very much better after it, my energy levels have soared.
Cloona is another world, it has an enviable and genuine simplicity which is very engaging.
Dhara is helpful and knowledgeable. The yoga was just fantastic and Caitriona is a great teacher, I loved those 2 hour sessions in the morning. Jackie gives a wonderful massage in the evening and Gavin is a very intuitive Shiatsu therapist.
The fruit which is all organic is great and lunch is a real highlight of seriously good and healthy food. The time alone is precious and could be very challenging for those who are addicted to mobile phones and computers because none of these impact on life in Cloona.
There was a lovely group of people there, it was a privilige to meet them, so easy to talk to them or not, it is entirely up to oneself.
I plan to make a visit to Cloona an annual event.
A perfect setting out on the west coast of Southern Ireland for rest, relaxation and time out to focus on just on me which is rare!
I was impressed that amongst the 10 of us, many had been before and returned time and time again. This in itself is a worthy endorsement. It was good to know that over these years, guests had seen positive changes to the programme and the lovely buildings where we slept, ate, did our daily yoga and had treatments as well as a sauna.
Our daily walks took us to quite lanes, woods (heard a cookoo in the woods!) and the beach-quite breath taking and worth a return visit to explore another time. I, myself, enjoyed the wheatgrass, fruit, soup and salad regime. I felt light, less bloated and resolved to continue eating as such on my return with a few adjustments.
It was great to sit at a table, share company and enjoy food rather than at a desk at work, on the hoof or in front of the tv. In fact, the tv, mobile and all other day to day distractions were not missed. Re-connecting with the world again has been hard! There was plenty of literature to read on health and nutrition and at last I had time to read a novel! Our yoga teacher was wonderful as were all the therapists-those deep tissue massages were much needed and the reflexology raised pointers on where to focus self-healing as well as my shiatsu session. Among our group, I was inspired by many and was stuck by the support shown by everyone to one another. In short, I shall return!
I have lost track of the number of times I have been to Cloona. It gets better every time. My first visit gave me a love and appreciation of walking and I still walk every day.
Other visits changed my attitude to caffeine, I rarely drink coffee and cut back on the amount of tea I take. On my most recent trip in March my body was more flexible doing the yoga than when I first went over 20 years ago. This is the result of keeping up the yoga at home. You can buy a yoga DVD at Cloona. This year we had a juice day. All meals were replaced by lovely, tasty juices. I wasn't hungry but felt quite cold, so bring a warm jacket with you.
My only regret was booking too late to get an on suite room. The team plan to make all the rooms on suite in time. The beauty of Cloona is that as well as a chill out week, it is a learning experience that you take home with you. There is nothing you cannot do at home but it gives you the kick start to get a healthy regime going.
I went to Cloona for a 5 day retreat to try and stop smoking. Not only did I stop smoking while there I continue to be a non smoker thanks to Cloona. I met some wonderful people while at the retreat, some were return visitors and one had returned to Cloona every year for 12 years......testimonial indeed!!
The soups and salads were absolutely delicious. The daily yoga, walks, sauna and massage brought about a serenity of mind and body. It's well worth the money and I have booked to go again in Sept.