Experience a boutique one-day wellbeing retreat
Photography courtesy of Jess Porter Photography & Erin Brooks Photographer
Are you consistently tired, stressed, and on the verge of burnout? Do you ever feel the need to get away from it all and hit the reset button? You might just need the one-day wellbeing retreat brought to you by Vital Means to kickstart your mental health journey.
Located within the leafy suburb of Ourimbah on the Central Coast, Vital Means is a boutique one-day wellbeing retreat offering individuals the ability to reconnect, reset, recalibrate, and refresh their mindset utilising the organisers tools, knowledge, and experience to help you deal with life’s challenges.
Brought to you by the calming energy of couple Katia and Iain, Vital Means is run from their 70s mid-century designed home surrounded by lush leafy landscapes. The pair, Katia having emigrated from Russia over 11 years ago, and Iain originally from Newcastle have spent their years exploring the globe both individually and together, before settling on the Central Coast to explore and offer like-minded individuals this boutique wellbeing booster retreat.
With the next retreat quickly approaching on the 17th of September, we sat down with the pair to talk all things Vital Means to give you the ultimate teaser of what to expect from this truly life-altering experience.
Katia, a Sustainability Consultant, was finding her work, whilst incredibly rewarding was leaving her stressed, anxious, and burnt out. It was in 2018 when she experienced her first meditation where the path she’s now walking started to form before her.
“My main passion was to help combat climate change, but I found myself quite stressed. Even though my corporate career was in Sustainability, I realised that what I was doing wasn’t sustainable for me. I completed a meditation course and it changed me and my life in profound ways. I decided to share the knowledge and experience I acquired on my growth journey with others to help them live their best lives. Meditation was guiding me towards something, which was eventually this concept of Vital Means,” Katia said.
The pair had signed the documents to purchase 70s-styled Central Coast property in early 2020, quite literally weeks before lockdowns came into place.
“The property wasn’t as beautiful as it is now when we first bought it. When we first started looking for places, we started by saying we definitely didn’t want to move anywhere that needed work. Then we ended up going for something that needed a lot of work. It’s been a huge project, but it’s been really nice getting to make something our own and getting to work with my hands,” Iain shared.
The property and the business plan behind Vital Means ended up kind of shaping one another. From the location that the property offers, the mid-century design, paired with Katia and Iain’s life experience and passion for creating healthy mindsets, the concept for Vital Means came to life.
“Being on this beautiful property made us want to share it with others in a meaningful way. We decided to offer a 1-day wellness retreat, as a mental wellbeing booster - a preventative measure for those who prioritise their mental health. Just like you brush your teeth, buy clothes and take care of your body, you have to take care of your mind.”
Having launched with their first retreat in October last year, Vital Means have been offering their workshops monthly, gathering love from both locals, Sydneysiders, Novocastrians, and people even further afar.
“It’s perfect for busy people to come and experience nature, community, and well-being”
Starting with a meet and greet morning tea out on the lawn from 10am, you’ll meet the group, enjoying herbal organic teas and plant-based snacks whilst you bask in the beauty of native palms and ferns.
“Following, we move into the lounge area where we have a knowledge talk. Usually, it’s either myself or a guest speaker, who will share something on a topic related to wellbeing. It might be focussed on meditation or psychology; something which you will be able to take away and implement into your daily life.”
Come noon, you’ll join the group in the kitchen and main space to prepare and enjoy a plant-based lunch together. Creating the perfect opportunity for guests to share life stories, socialise, and build relationships.
“We buy all the food mostly organic from local suppliers. We love supporting our local communities.”
Following lunch, you’ll move outdoors for a Forest Bathing session. Heading towards a nearby rainforest or down the quiet local roads, you’ll walk slowly in silence, connecting and submerging your mind, body, and spirit in the natural environment.
“Rest your attention, de-stress, and connect with your surroundings. It’s a perfect time to absorb the forest and let go of things you don’t need to hold onto. We do this in any type of weather, and in the rain, it’s almost more beautiful and magical.”
Group meditation follows, where guests will work together to gradually let go. Relax, de-excite your nervous system, quiet our thoughts, and gently surrender to the relaxing, rejuvenating energy of stillness and oneness.
“After the group meditation, we come back into the dining area for evening tea. The participants enjoy organic chocolate and fruit alongside herbal teas and it is a great social time. While the participants are having some quality time together, the musicians are setting up in the main lounge and in the colder months, we have the fire going.”
Closing the day-long experience out will be a live music session to lift your spirit, open your heart, and leave you feeling inspired, fulfilled, and invigorated.
The boutique intimate retreats are limited to ten people per session and are created for those looking to focus on their mental health.
With plans to expand their offering as time goes on, the pair hope to one-day offer overnight stays, and potentially look to offer overseas experiences shall the local offering continue to receive interest.
The couple are also working with Newcastle-based architect firm, Curious Practice, and landscape architect Michael Cooke to continue to renovate their Central Coast property to elevate the overall Vital Means experience.
Participating in the retreat will bring an understanding of how important it is to take care of your own wellbeing. If we don’t, no one will get to experience the best version of ourselves.”
The next Vital Means retreat is taking place on Saturday, 17th of September 2022, with artist Baran Yildiz playing his deeply touching melodies on the Handpan Drum. To get your tickets, click here, or to stay up-to-date with the Vital Means journey, follow along on Instagram or sign-up for their e-newsletter here.