Lara is a beautiful young woman with a luminous aura, whose enthusiasm is contagious. Originally from Cape Town in South-Africa, which she left to go traveling for many years, before she decided to put down her traveling bags in Corsica. An entrepreneur at heart, she would like to host the first luxury Yoga retreat in the South of Corsica. With the desire to introduce people to the wild and authentic beauty of the island through well-being and relaxation. Meeting with this adventurer, as she tells us her story and where she comes from around a warm cup of green tea.
Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
Yes my name is Lara Boshoff and I come from Cape Town in South-Africa where I was born and raised. I would describe myself as an adventurer, traveler and a seeker for as long as I can remember. I would define a seeker as someone that is always looking for new experiences and challenges to learn and grow. Which has led me down many different paths professionally and geographically speaking. This has always been the guiding thread in all my life choices and still is today.
For you, Corsica is…
Corsica is very dear to my heart, as it gave me the space and time to grow after many years of traveling, which enabled me to address certain parts of my life that were in need of attention.
I am grateful to this Island.
And it’s kind and authentic people for giving me this gift, at a time in my life when I needed it and enabled me to make it better in many ways. I have become very attached to this island. There is a part of me that wants to share it with my friends all over the world. Yet, at the same time I also feel the need to preserve Corsica and to keep its purity for myself.
What’s your background?
After I completed high school, at Rhenish Girls High, in the vineyards of Stellenbosch. I moved to Paris where I obtained a BA in literature and languages French/English from La Sorbonne. After that I spent some time in Paris as an English teacher, translator and in the communication field for a Start-up project.
Yet the desire to travel never left me.
I decided to join the Yachting and Hospitality industry. This combined my passion for traveling, food, the ocean and people. It was a very rich and memorable time. It also led me to discover Corsica where I began yet another chapter of my life. It was here in Corsica that I started studying again to complete a CAP in beauty therapy, Holistic Nutrition and Life Coaching while I still continue to work as an English trainer and translator.
How would you describe life in South-Africa?
When I think of South-Africa the first words that come to mind are positivity, multi-cultural, bursting with creativity, diversity and immense natural beauty. People tend to be entrepreneurial and positive by nature, which encourages new creative projects to pop-up all the time.
South-Africans have a very positive outlook on life.
And a desire to get things done which is very stimulating on a daily basis.There is still a lot of socio-economical inequality in South-Africa causing people from different racial and social backgrounds to find a way to live together and to understand each other better. Obliging people in a way to stay positive and open-minded in order to move forward towards a brighter future, together. So yes, I would say life in the Rainbow Nation (another name for South-Africa) is colourful and cool to say the least.
Do you find any similarities between Corsica and Cape Town where you come from?
Yes for sure! Firstly there is the “fynbos” a kind fauna and flora in the Western Cape that looks so much like the “maquis” in Corsica. Both can only be found in their specific region. I am a big lover of nature and the outdoors so I would also say that both places have the same wild, breathtaking landscapes. There is still something untouched and untamed about the nature here and in the Cape, which I absolutely love. There is also something special about the brightness of the natural light that is very similar between the two places. It is not without reason that photographers and advertising companies share their time between Corsica and Cape Town to shoot different campaigns. As the seasons are inverted they have the best conditions all year round in regards to the natural lighting and diversity of different landscapes.
For South-Africans and Corsicans their land is very important to them.
They both have a special relationship to their land, with a desire to take care of it, as in both cases they fought hard to keep it and to preserve it. This proximity to the earth still remains in the hearts of both populations.
What do South African people know about Corsica?
Napoleon is a classic! But other than that, unfortunately not much. This is why I would love to promote Corsica through the upcoming retreat and other projects I have in mind. I hope that the retreat will create awareness and to share a little bit more about Corsica with people from all walks of life.
What is your Luxury Yoga Retreat about in the south of the Island?
It is a five day and four night, all inclusive, Yoga and Well being retreat for more information you can check our website: www.destinationnamaste.com. We have two options available at the moment in April and May, yet place are limited.
To give people a pure moment of relaxation and rejuvenation.
The retreat includes daily morning Vinyasa Flow yoga classes, evening Restorative Yoga classes, daily hikes, holistic beauty treatments, healthy delicious food and workshops with topics such as an: ‘Introduction to the Philosophy of Yoga’ and ‘How to take what the retreat has shown you back to your daily routines.’ We all know how easy it is to make time for ourselves while on holiday or removed from the usual day to day pressures, but how can you maintain making the same good decisions once you are back home. So that when you leave this magical island you are ready to go back with a different outlook on your same life.
Who are you working with?
Theresa Moodie a dear friend of mine from South-Africa that went to school with me and without her this project would not be possible, as she is the Yoga instructor! She is also a qualified a Wellness coach and Personal Trainer. Theresa is based in Johannesburg, South Africa. She has worked in the health and wellness industry for more than ten years. She has experience with private clients, small groups and large group classes. A qualified as a RYS 200hr Yoga instructor with Yoga London.
What is Yoga?
Yoga means so many different things to many people. For some it is a way of life, a spiritual practice, for others it is merely a way to stay fit and healthy. Yoga is a practice that has been around for thousands of years. For myslef and Theresa, Yoga is a tool to connect the mind and body. An active way to build awareness around your inner dialogue. A safe space on the mat to retreat away from the modern day hustle and bussle. A practice that allows you time to focus and prioritize your own well being.
How did you come to decide on creating such a unique project?
Theresa and I are both very passionate about healthy lifestyle habits, sharing more conscious minded ways of living, mind body connections and not too mention our sense of adventure. Together we have the perfect skill set to offer this once in a lifetime combination of healthy nutritious meals, Yoga practice, meditation and healthy living.
Why is Corsica a good spot for a yoga retreat?
What better place than Corsica for yoga, it works together perfectly! Magnificent beaches, fresh water pools, flora and fauna, hiking. Yoga is all about creating a mind, body connection via movement and breath. Corsica is the perfect destination to remove yourself from modern day distractions and to reconnect with your inner self. Plus an amazing opportunity for me to promote Corsica in a very conscious minded way by respecting and admiring its natural beauty.
Can anyone attend the Yoga classes and activities?
Absolutely, the yoga classes are suitable for beginners to intermediates. There will also be daily hikes/walks in the mornings/afternoons but these are voluntary and again suitable for varying fitness levels. Preferably you will need a good understanding of English as Theresa is still working on her French! The Yoga classes will be in English.
What are your projects for the future?
As for the Yoga Retreats we would like to host an annual retreat in Corsica and gradually introduce other locations. We hope to get Corsicans to come to one of our future retreats in Cape Town. For myself I also have other projects that I am working on but will tell you more about them once they are done.
What would be your advice to young entrepreneurs?
Chose your partner well, work with someone who has the same work ethic, enthusiasm and drive. Find a fellow entrepreneur who compliments or adds value to your existing skill set. Keep it real, authentic and honest. And most of all go for it, the answers will come as you move forward.
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Interview by : Chloe Nury