Woke culture, wellness retreats, magic medicines and more – seeking spirituality in Ibiza can be a minefield of woo-woo if you don’t know where to look. Seek and ye shall find however, specifically in the peaceful and picturesque countryside of Santa Agnes this season, where a new series of grounding yoga retreats uses a practical approach to inspire, empower and transform those seeking greater meaning from life. Hosted by experienced international yoga teachers (and island residents) Blair Hughes and Malvina Kang Hughes, the Journey into Consciousness retreats at Es Cucons are based around a powerful-yet accessible vinyasa yoga practice, pranayama and mediation – tools you can take back into everyday life and live your true purpose.
“Journey Into Consciousness is a yoga retreat for people who are willing to explore their true nature,” explains Blair. “We’re capable of so much more than we are often doing, and we want to empower people to uncover, unfold and transform – to really get to know themselves, to question the narrative and to live consciously without being afraid.” It’s a retreat where you’ll delve deep into the physical, emotional and mental foundations of yoga in order to experience the spiritual benefits of observing the mind, the body and the breath. “I’m often mindful about using the word spirituality as it can make people feel un-grounded, when in fact, we use a very practical approach,” he continues. “But there’s still a lot of magic and insight in it as well.”
Highly accomplished yoga teachers Malvina Kang Hughes and Blair Hughes host a series of six-day immersive Ibiza yoga retreats at Es Cucons.
The intention behind Journey Into Consciousness is pure love and dedication – both Blair and Malvina are living, breathing examples of the benefits of their practice and lifestyle. They’ve long dreamt of sharing their experiences, expertise and knowledge with like-minded yogis in a special location like Es Cucons. It took just one gloomy, rainy yet joyous winter weekend to inspire the couple to relocate their young family to Ibiza in 2022 – originally the trip was meant to be a quick island hop from their former base in Mallorca to check out the neighbouring Balearic Island. From the minute they drove off the ferry however, there was no question that they’d found a new home. “I turned to Blair and said: ‘Can you feel that?’ We both agreed there was a beautiful energy here,” Malvina recalls. “It’s so still, grounding and centring, full of light and clarity. There’s no hype in winter – we saw it for its true nature.”
From that moment on, integration into island life was serendipitous – the dream house on thriving farmland appeared at the right time, usually hard-to-secure spaces at the right school opened up immediately for the kids, and they discovered the ideal location to host their dream yoga retreats just a few minutes away from their new home in Santa Agnes. “Running retreats has been in our field of consciousness for the last five years or so,” says Blair. “We knew when the time was right, we’d do it. And when we got to Ibiza, everything fell naturally into place.” Journey Into Consciousness found its home at Es Cucons, a gorgeous family-run Agroturismo hotel exuding a down-home luxury with a penchant for wellness that resonated perfectly.
Unlike other wellness retreats, there are no distractions like hikes, massages, beach trips or late-night cocktails throughout Journey Into Consciousness. “We’re going to practice, and we’re going to go deep with it – it’s very powerful,” says Blair. Groups are limited to a maximum of 20 guests to ensure personalised experiences. A typical day starts at sunrise with meditation and pranayama (breathwork), with two vinyasa yoga classes, workshops on yogic philosophy, holistic health, herbal medicine, hydration, sleep, soul guidance and much more taking place over the course of the day. An evening Satsang (a reflection circle) brings the night to a close before students retire to their beautiful single or double dwellings to reflect on the day’s learnings and observations.
The signature vinyasa classes at Journey Into Consciousness are described as dynamic, strong and transitional but also very accessible – you don’t need to be the most bendy or flexy student to get the most out of it, but you do need to have a determined mindset to give your best, along with the willingness to get to know yourself better. “The way we teach can challenge someone advanced, but can also encourage a beginner,” explains Blair. “We always make our vinyasa classes very inclusive, which comes from our many years of teaching experience.” Between them, Blair and Malvina (both E-RYT 500-hour certified yoga teacher trainers) have over three decades of practical teaching experience, crossing continents from Australia and Asia to Europe.
The spring and autumn retreats are designed to deepen your practice, connect you with your true self and uncover your unique gifts and talents.
Born into a family of healers, Malvina spent much of her life surrounded by ancient yogic practices (she began practicing herself at the age of 12), natural medicines and a general holistic way of living. She is the founder of the renowned Hom Yoga studios in Singapore and is also a certified herbalist, with natural supplementation, herbal medicine, flower essences and kinesiology all coming into play within her teachings. Her deep knowledge and understanding of her practices help her to connect with students on a soul level, helping identify their own purpose and meaning. “Malvina has a very impactful, influential and direct voice when teaching,” says Blair. “She’s a very, very clear and strong communicator and can command positions with clarity, whereas I bring a little more philosophy and feeling into the room.” Students at her trainings and classes are always very empowered by her – she really lives it.”
When asked to describe Blair’s teaching style, Malvina almost echoes his words – it’s clear their methods are complementary on the Journey Into Consciousness retreats. “Blair is very intuitive and impactful,” she says. “He weaves in this potent yoga philosophy into a very powerful, dynamic and rhythmic session—his classes are very influential. He gives people the space to grow and trust in themselves, to follow him as they transform and evolve.” Blair’s gentle nature and Scottish lilt create a commanding yet gentle presence – one honed over several decades of practicing sports visualisation, meditation and his true passion, yoga – that guides his students beyond the physical space and into the realm of transformational.
To keep guests fuelled up for each day’s practices, organic meals are provided three times a day by the beautiful in-house restaurant at Es Cucons – holistically curated by Blair and Malvina – with much of the produce used coming fresh from the fertile land of Ibiza. Expect cleansing, nourishing dishes filled with colour and real authentic flavours. “We see Journey Into Consciousness retreats as an extension of our lifestyle,” says Malvina of the menu, and additionally, the alcohol-free experience. “We’re sharing the way we live.” There’s plenty of me-time available plus the opportunity to spend one-on-one time with Blair and Malvina, alongside the fluid, organically led group sessions. “No retreat is ever the same,” says Blair. “Of course, we work from an outline but the flow is dependant on the dynamic and energy of each group.”
The first Journey Into Consciousness retreat at Es Cucons takes place from May 07 to 12, 2023 – coinciding with the beautiful warm spring weather in Ibiza, with further retreats slated for the autumn season. Immersed in the countryside, beneath Balearic blue skies and golden glow of the sun, it’s the perfect time to tap into your potential through the power of yoga, meditation and breathwork. You’ll emerge from your week in Ibiza filled with positivity, confidence, a settled mind and a strong sense of self-awareness. “We want people to leave the retreat feeling empowered,” says Blair. “And to have the tools to really implement a daily meditation and movement practice into their lives – it’s a compelling ritual they can bring into their day, wherever they are.” Your Journey Into Consciousness starts here…