DE HOORNEBOEG HILVERSUM
Creative sanctuary on the Hei
Monique Jansse wrote about yoga for magazines such as Yoga Magazine and Happinez and launched Happy Soul Travel ten years ago. On this website, you can book the best yoga retreats. She visits all the locations herself so you know for sure that the atmosphere is good, as well as the teacher. When De Hoorneboeg was looking for people with fresh ideas for the estate, a group of passionate people, some of them already friends of Monique, with all kinds of backgrounds, came together, renovated the place and turned it into a creative sanctuary on the Hei. There’s space to organize a brainstorm in nature, there’s a restaurant with a glass house and there’s the renovated farm where they now host yoga retreats almost every weekend. Sometimes organized my Monique herself, but often by inspiring teachers from outside just like Erica. All with their own program, but they all embrace the beautiful location where you’ll quiet down immediately and feel supported by nature – and the many singing birds – around you.
Close to Hilversum
De Hoorneboeg is close to Hilversum, a medium-sized city in The Netherlands known as the capital of television. Programs like the news and The Voice of Holland are all filmed here. It all feels far away when I turn my car unto the long road surrounded by trees that leads up to De Hoorneboeg. If I look to my left I see the forest, if I look to my right I see the heath. After I parked my car it takes a five-minute walk to reach the retreat center.
A stunning place designed to relax with beautiful flower arrangements, long communal tables, and comfy sofas. There’s a living room, a spa with sauna and massage room and of course, there’s this spacious light-filled yoga room overlooking the nature. The sun comes in beautifully. The room turns pink when the sun sets on the heath during one of the yoga classes. Everywhere in the house, you’ll notice the link with nature.
The rooms are small but have a private bathroom with a fantastic shower. You have a single bed, a table and a lounge chair at your disposal (if you book a private room at least, I haven’t seen the shared rooms). After a day full of yoga and meditation you’ll sleep like a baby and wake up to the sound of singing birds. Much better than my standard iPhone ringtone. Which I switched off immediately after arriving. The first five minutes I was a little restless. I thought: should I check the photo I’ve just posted on Instagram? Maybe readers have questions? Or should I check WhatsApp? But then I let it go: everyone who is dear to me knows that I’m here. If it’s urgent, they know where to find me.
Yoga Retreat by Erica Jago
A yoga retreat is very personal. And every retreat is also different, certainly at the Hoorneboeg. While one retreat focuses purely on yoga exercises, another retreat can combine yoga with, for example, Ayurveda, a detox, learning more about your chakras or going silent for a weekend. Erica’s retreat at Mandali in Italy was so inspiring because of her way of combining yoga and meditation with a deeper spiritual practice. She lets you think about different aspects of your life during the retreat, but also when you’re at home again, you will notice things changing. As a gift to myself, I’ve booked another one – closer to home this time – with Reset and Renew as the overall theme.
A poem from Rupi Kaur
I follow Erica on Instagram and she shared the book she was working with: ‘The Sun and her Flowers’ by Rupi Kaur. I bought the book, opened a random page and this was the poem I found:
If I am the longest relationship
Of my life
Is it not time to
With the person
I lie in bed with each night
I’ve randomly opened the book, but I do believe my subconscious picked out this poem and in this weekend the message will work through me in every meditation, yoga class or another assignment we have to do. We’ve talked about the balance of the masculine (focusing, getting your work done, being ambitious, not giving up) and the feminine (listening to your heart, being kind to yourself) inside yourself. I know the masculine part brought me here. I’ve worked so very hard in the last couple of years. And I still do as I have lots of dreams I’d like to turn into a reality. That’s why I discipline myself to get things done.
It’s good, but there’s this other power inside of everyone. But her voice is not screaming that loud. You hear her when you let go, plug out, meditate. Then she brings the most wonderful insights – call that person, read that book, stop working for today, buy something nice for yourself. But to switch from that to-do-list state of mind to the let it all go and just be is the hardest part. I now use reminders throughout the day to sit down during lunch and after my work day to meditate for a few minutes just to let go of all the things I think I have to do and see what my inner voice comes up with.
Let the inner voice speak
My inner voice now says: you’ve written enough words on this article. This retreat was a present for yourself, not even meant to be shared, but since I loved it so much I really like to recommend it to you too. I hope you like reading it and overall I hope you find some inspiration to listen to your heart too! Buy that gift you’ve been dreaming about, book the trip, take a walk in nature, go do something crazy. And tell me all about it! Love these kinds of stories!