For the last leg of my Sri Lanka trip, I travelled from the hot and humid plains of Yala national park to the coast. Where sea breezes, salt water, and yoga was waiting to ease all the aches from months of travel. Tallala Surf and Yoga Retreat is perched on a private beach on the Southwest corner of the island. As the name suggests, it offers surf lessons, yoga classes, top quality food and drinks, and staff who bend over backwards to please their guests. It’s a tranquil reprieve from the fast-paced and stressful lives we sometimes become accustomed to – a place to learn how to breath again and live in the present. Every aspect of the resort is integrated into the nature around it – stone showers open to the chirping jungle, open-air rooms with nothing but mosquito nets, simple wood furniture, and an abundance of food and drink showcasing the skills of the local fisherman and the produce from the island.
Morning vinyasa yoga classes are offered, and evening restorative yin classes are the perfect way to end a day in the sun and heat. After several months of travelling to all my favourite European cities, and before that, even more months of big life changes, stress, and tough choices, it felt pretty strange to melt into a sandy little paradise and just breathe. There is nothing quite like the rhythmic sound of waves, each one like the last, but also entirely unique, that make me feel at home and at peace.
After 7:30 am yoga class, I would pad over to breakfast – strong Sri Lankan tea, a plethora of tropical fruit, eggs, and dal. The beach was only steps away, populated by local fisherman and a few surf students. Days passed by in a blissful pattern of yoga – breakfast – reading – walking – lunch – yoga – reading. . . repeat. While the food at the resort was fantastic, I ventured down the beach on several occasions to explore the local haunts – local curry consumed at a picnic table with feet in the water, and a $10 lobster feast with fresh mango juice on the side. The yoga teachers at Tallala are friendly, experienced, and non-judgemental. All levels are welcome – from beginner to expert. Classes were held in one of two open air studios – so by default, being Sri Lanka, all were “hot yoga”.
Set back from the beach in the jungle, the resident spa is awaiting. I had a deep tissue massage, in an open air stone building, with soft wind chimes and trickling water outside. All the aches and stiffness were pushed right out of me, and replaced with a soft stillness that the country and its people seem to exude.
Sri Lanka is the 12 hour sleep you did not realize you needed. A place where simplicity and slowness is at the forefront, where things may take hours but you enjoy the ride. Where an afternoon can be filled with nothing but the sounds of beating waves. Where nature is punching you in the face in every way, beckoning you to push aside technology, and just observe.