Interview with Version Femina

La Corse Terre de Yoga 

Corsica offers a lot, it is highly adapted to Yoga

Stress, not having enough time for one self, diets that leave a lot to be desired for, winter is usually rough on the body and spirit. With the arrival of better weather, it is high time to take these things in hand and to consider our well-being.

Lara Boshoff created Destination Namaste, the first agency in Corsica to organise getaways and retreats related to yoga and more…. Meeting with Lara Boshoff who is full of positive energy, this young entrepreneur from South Africa, has been living in Corsica for the last seven years.

What do your yoga retreats consist of ?

Since 2016 I have been organising well-being retreats with a team of wellness experts; getaways in Corsica that are either turn-key or tailored. With yoga being the guiding principle, daily classes amongst the vineyards, in a cosy villa, on the beach, these retreats include various other activities such as hiking in Corsica’s wild nature, visiting remarkable sights (Ospedale forest, the ancient city of Bonifacio etc.) and discovering local artisans and produce. There are jewels to discover on the island throughout the year. Each retreat is different, with participants fully taken care of in order to be completely immersed in the experience.

 Who do you work with?

Each facilitator is carefully selected on many different levels. I personally know all the instructors and teachers. They are highly experienced and each one has their speciality including sound meditation, voice activation techniques, stand up paddle, Buddhist philosophy, self-massage workshops and more.

There is always something for everybody. For example, Kirsty Ka lived with many different tribes across the globe. She has a lot of knowledge related to connecting with our ancestor’s wisdom and uses this to help participants to better express themselves and to reconnect with Nature in a meditative way.

You organise retreats specifically in Corsica, Is there a certain serenity here?

At the moment the retreats are offered only in Corsica although I am creating links between Mexico and South Africa, where I am from. I spent a lot of time working in the luxury tourism industry and it’s also during this time that I got to see Corsica for the very first time and fell in love with the island. It is an extraordinary place. It’s a place where I can take some time to relax and be creative; there is something very special about the energy here.

Corsica provides a lot and is well adapted for yoga as there is still a very strong connection to nature. It is a pristine island and is still very authentic compared to the other built-up and commercialised sectors in the Mediterranean. It’s a place I feel that enables one to create space to refocus and take time for ourselves. Our retreats also allow you to appreciate the island outside of the peak season, to discover it from new angles and to support eco-friendly tourism, we make use of car pooling and limit our use of plastic as much as possible.

 From a personal perspective, what do these retreats bring you?

It’s a field that I love as I have been involved in it for a few years now, and there is something very beautiful about it and in the transformation it can facilitate for people.

I have worked with highly stressed people in the yachting industry, clients and crew alike, who look for ways to gain new perspectives in their daily lives. On a more personal level it has changed my life in many ways.

 What do participants look for in your retreats?

Everything is taken care of for you to take some time out. I think it is an opportunity to look after yourself, where you can take a step back from your daily life. Some people look for more active, dynamic retreats with stand up paddle for example, Vinyasa or Ashtanga while others prefer calmer and more meditative retreats. We all let go in different ways. Everybody lives differently and the retreats are varied so that there is something for everyone yet always keeping quality and authenticity in mind.

 Is competition strenuous?

The wellness market is growing a lot and there is so much on offer yet there is no real quality control, Destination Namaste would like to be seen as such an element within the field. My idea is most certainly to offer yoga and other techniques to people who might still be a bit sceptical. To those who are still apprehensive and think the activities consist only of fasting or being vegetarian, experienced yogis or staying in a seated position for hours, I have witnessed the benefits of yoga in prisons and today we can speak about these things more freely than before. Competition is a good thing and shows that the activity is becoming more universally accessible.

 How do you set yourself apart?

My way of doing things won’t necessarily suit everyone, but I offer quality retreats with my background in the luxury hospitality industry by giving great attention to detail such as the reception of participants, the atmosphere created, the accommodation and the food. Also, by selecting confident, experienced instructors with a certain state of mind and who are highly professional; being a good yoga teacher in group classes, and having a retreat host and a facilitator living with participants for the entire retreat, makes a rather big difference. We don’t just offer yoga classes and meals; each retreat is a heart crafted experience with lots of extra activities. I stand out by giving all of myself and putting my heart into everything I do. It is not only about yoga but equally important is the communication and creating connections between people.

  The benefits of Yoga

According to Lara, “Taking a step back is something incredibly important in our daily lives. A day of yoga allows us to reconnect with our bodies. Daily life is put on hold and participants are able to reflect on that which they really want. It is difficult to progress while being focused on work; a day of yoga, meditation, nature walks can help to change our habits. Everybody’s experience is different; for some old patterns are changed, for others an idea takes root. The most important thing is maybe to gain new perspectives on the same situations.

Article published in the Version Femina on the 12/05/18 by Anne-Sophie Passalboni

Translated by Kate Hall-Martin








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