Sri Lankan paradise We explore the lush surrounds

Sri Lanka... well what can I say? Relaxed vibes, yoga, surfing and a whole lot of sunset picnics. Most of our trips are jam packed with one adventure after another, so this trip was a bit different it was like a real holiday, 10 days in the magical land of Sri Lanka.

It was quite the hike to get there, 3 planes later and a mad dash to pick up our new Sony Alpha camera in Singapore airport (because the whole of Australia had sold out).  After arriving in early hours we woke up in Jasper House, Hiriketiya to the view of white shutters that opened up onto palm trees swaying in the breeze, monkeys playing in the treetops and the call of wild peacocks in the distance, it truly felt like paradise.

Wandering up to the roof top to meet up with the rest of the gang, for a spread of Fruit, fresh juice, coconuts and pancakes, its safe to say we over ate every morning while pondering over what to do for the rest of the day.

Most mornings we loaded up the tuk tuks (tukkies as the locals call them) and off we went chasing waves at the hidden breaks, surfing with it all to ourselves, just us and the turtles. The rest of our days were spent lazing around with friends in the sun plotting how we can live here full time.

 Shot by - Alexander Knorr
Hiriketiya is a small bay with a few little local restaurants scattered along it, there’s also some amazing cafe’s just back from the beach that offer yummy taco’s, falafel plates and acai bowls along with cocktails at night. Jasper House is just a short palm tree filled stroll from the beach, we spent most of our afternoons picnicking till sunset with the gang in the bay then wandering back to Jasper house for a candle light feast on the roof top.
Next stop was Talalla Retreat, a lot bigger than the boutique style of Jasper house, Talalla is set on a huge block of land with huts and villas that spread from the jungle to the beach. Monkeys run wild in the tree’s as you wander up into their magical day spa, where I had the best massage of my life. The local people sure make you feel special here, with their big smiles and warmed hearted welcome, it truly was a place to you wanted to be.
On our last morning we sat in silence as the sun rose over the ocean watching the local fisherman paddle out in their hand carved boats to bring home their daily catch. It makes you think twice about our busy lives and how simple life can be, as you watch the local people chat and laugh amongst themselves while pulling the fish out of their nets.

We were lucky enough to have the local expertise of my sister, Marley who is living this Island life full time as a yoga teacher for Talalla surf Retreat. One of the days Marlz took us to her favouite place, a little island that is connected to the main land by a sand bank. The Island is covered in Palm trees and Pandanus palms, it felt like something out of "Life of Pei" shell beaches with hundreds of tiny hermit crabs, rich brown coloured rocks with mesmerizing patterns and waves crashing all around you. It was quite the spot for a quick picnic snack, yep never without a rug.

It was easy to adapt to the slow pace life of Sri Lanka, Yoga, surfing, lazing, and more yoga. Surrounded by good friends and the awesome people that make up the Talalla team, this place left us feeling refresh, inspired and wanting more. It truly was paradise filled with untouched coastlines, secret surf breaks and slow living, we can’t wait to come back.

Three questions with Marley, the yoga teacher for Talalla Surf Retreat

1. Tell us a little bit about yourself...
My childhood was spent swimming in the ocean, climbing trees, dancing, exploring rock pools and reading fairy tales.
I have always been a girl who loves to express herself. Through movement, words, connection, and creativity.
Now my life is a fairy tale. Living in Sri Lanka teaching yoga surrounded by peacocks and surfing under palm trees. 
2. What has your journey been like becoming a yoga teacher? 
I started dancing when I was 4 years old and fell in love. I felt I could share a little piece of my heart with those around me just through movement. Dancing helped shape me into an open, expressive woman with a deep connection to my heart and body. 
After years of dancing and pushing myself to my absolute limit physically and mentally I decided to step back and take time to heal.
This is when I found yoga or yoga found me. 
I decided to step away from dancing to dedicate an entire year to self-love. For me Yoga is not just a physical practice, it is a mindset, a way of life. A practice of healing and devotion.  Yoga has taught me to be kind, not only to those around me but most importantly to myself. It has taught me patience, it has taught me trust. Through these teachings, my entire life has evolved after completing my 200hr cert in Australia and a 300hr in India, I now teach from a place of deep knowing that yoga can truly change your life. Yoga gives us the tools to heal. Whether its physical, mental or emotional, yoga will shift anything that no longer serves you.  It will create space in the body and mind. It will create an opportunity to transform into the best version of yourself.
I feel honored and blessed to share this beautiful practice.
3. What is the best thing about living at Talalla? 
The beautiful people, the amazing food, the ocean at our doorstep and being able to share yoga each and every day.
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