escape to the ATLAS MOUNTAINS – MOROCCO | NOVEMBER 20th-24th, 2019
The first edition of our luxury yoga and fitness escapes to Morocco’s Atlas Mountains has landed – this is their journey. Will you be joining in 2020?
It’s been a long, hard year. And as it draws to a close with dark cold mornings and a general election looming on the horizon, the urge to Escape is undeniable. Which is exactly what a select few have done.
With the collective aim of revitalising body and mind, the Third Space Escape travellers journeyed to Kasbah Bab Ourika, high up in the Atlas Mountains with 360 panoramic views providing the backdrop to its five-star accommodation.
Here they learned that true escapism is about more than switching off spreadsheets – it’s an active pursuit. Over five days in new inspiring environments Third Space members were taken through sunrise runs and HIIT sessions, afforded the time and space to develop advanced yoga flows, find the headspace to try authentic meditation, and hike through the Ourika valley. All of which was done under the watchful, expert eyes of Third Space Master Trainers, Luke Barnsley and Clare Walters.
In short, this is no ordinary retreat. It is a luxurious opportunity to progress and press reset away from the grind of daily routine.
Is it time you gave yourself extra space to grow? Register for our 2020 Escapes here.
Settle in to the stunning Kasbah Bab Ourika Hotel
Once unpacked we kicked things off with a partner based workout lead by Master Trainer Luke Barnsley. Working in pairs our Third Space members were put through their paces in a challenging circuit, culminating in a race.
Before dinner we unwound with a restorative yin yoga session lead by Master Trainer Clare Walters. Poses were held for long durations to ease stiff muscles from the day of travelling.
Guests then enjoyed a three course meal comprising of Morocco’s traditional cuisines and locally grown produce.
To close a long and busy day, Clare led a guided meditation by firelight. In this cosy environment it was easy to switch off and prepare the body for a restful night’s sleep.
To start the day a number of guests joined Luke on an early morning run, through the beautiful hills of the Ourika Valley. Watching the sun rise over the hills was definitely worth getting out of bed for.
Those seeking a more mindful start to our escape joined Clare for some morning meditation. Clare led a variety of different techniques throughout the week to allow guests to find a form that suited them best. These included mindfulness, Vedic, breath focused mantra and chakra visualisation.
Breakfast was then served and featured a buffet of fresh fruits, yogurt, eggs, savoury Moroccan pancakes and orange juice squeezed from organic oranges grown in the gardens.
Today’s main event was a challenging hike through the Ourika Valley. Breath taking views and tours through local Berber villages and salt fields. Lunch was prepared in a Berber home and included freshly prepared Moroccan mint tea and various tagines, cous cous and salads.
In our myofascial release and recovery masterclass with Luke, guests were taught how to stretch and recover weary muscles. The session ended with demonstrations on how to use the famous Theragun, with each room getting a gun to keep for the duration of trip.
We started day 3 with a unique take on our signature class Extreme. Working through blocks of exercises including kettlebells and body weight movements out in the open air.
For lunch the group drove to the outskirts of Marrakech for a traditional Moroccan cookery class, set in a beautiful garden with acres of farmland, where organic fruits, vegetables and olive trees are grown.
In the afternoon Luke took the group through a dynamic flow of animal movements, teaching them skills outside of their normal training regime.
Guests then visited the Hammam spa where they experienced a mixture of deep tissue massage with aromatic oils and traditional Moroccan Hammam scrub. A relaxing few hours leaving everyone revitalised.
To round off the most relaxing of days and to continue the recovery, Clare offered another stretching yin yoga session by candlelight.
Following a very relaxing day the group set off on a more challenging hike going up the steep slopes of the mountains. Although the weather took a turn in the afternoon, the spirit of the group couldn’t have been higher. The fresh mountain air gave everyone a new lease of life.
Early evening Clare led a more technical arm balance workshop featuring poses such as crow, headstand and handstand. From beginner to advanced, all guests accomplished successful inversions and left feeling inspired to continue their practice outside the trip.
For those that still wanted more, Luke led a pre-dinner HIIT class using techniques and movements learnt in the animal flow workshop, this medium intensity session focused on mastering the kettlebell.
What better way to end the trip than a morning vinyasa flow set against the incredible sunrise, followed by a meditation focusing on new intentions for the end of the trip.