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Claire Finlay introduces Vamizi’s new yoga retreats

Next year, Vamizi Island launches its first ever spa retreats led by renowned yoga practitioner and health consultant, Claire Finlay.

Here, Claire tells us a little more about Vamizi Island and what guests can expect from this new breath-taking retreat, that takes its inspiration from nature.

Claire Finlay, Health & Fitness Consultant

With its resplendent azure sea, stunning reefs and abundant wildlife, I was spellbound when I first discovered Vamizi Island. Having been approached to put together the perfect barefoot escape, I couldn’t conceive of a more idyllic location. A tranquil refuge from the hectic pace of modern life, what better place to relax, unwind and find yourself than one of the world’s most remote and exclusive private islands.

My ultimate aim is for the retreat to feel both magical and memorable from beginning to end.

Indeed, the adventure starts from the minute guests set off on one of the private flights from Dar es Salaam in Tanzania. The low-flying plane gives the perfect vantage point from which to take in the full extent of the island’s magnificent reefscape.

Keen-eyed nature enthusiasts will see a vast expanse of cobalt blue sea that’s teeming with aquatic life – from big game fish and turtles to dolphins and hump-backed whales. The sudden realisation that the slow-moving shadowy mass you’re looking at is in fact one of the world’s largest – not to mention most reticent – mammals is pretty hard to beat.

Everything we offer, from the luxury accommodation to the wide-ranging activities, is designed to sit harmoniously alongside the island and its surroundings. Our Private Villas, while making the most of the stunning sea views, are all set back from the beach so as not to disturb nesting turtles.

Inside, they offer sprawling beds draped with billowing white muslin curtains and feature latticed wooden shutters that provide shimmering views of the turquoise sea. You’ll also find organic products, holistic beauty treatments and private sun decks to help you relax and unwind.

I encourage guests to do as little or as much as they like –  your one to one consultation will discover exactly what you need. The best advice I think I can give is simply to go with the rhythm of island life. So if they feel like a sunrise yoga session on a secluded part of the beach, they’re in the perfect spot. Or if they want to indulge in some diving then Neptune’s Arm provides one of the world’s most acclaimed dive spots.

From kayaking to big game fishing, sun worshipping to beach combing, the island offers the best of everything. To make sure our guests get the most from their time here, we have a series of activity specialists on-hand to provide one-to-one guidance and advice. My specialist area is yoga, health, fitness and wellbeing. Whether a complete yoga beginner or a lifelong devotee, my daily sessions are designed to rejuvenate and realign your sense of emotional and physical wellbeing. And what better place to do so than in the company of scurrying turtles and gently lapping waves. By combining dynamic, flowing sequences with moments of meditative stillness, I aim to bring about a deeper understanding of breath, movement and inner awareness.

Meals on the island are an experience in themselves and we offer a daily menu that’s specifically designed to suit the needs of people on the retreat. Prepared by our top chef and nutritionist, guests enjoy locally sourced organic ingredients that are wholesome, unprocessed and bursting with natural flavor. There’s plenty of variety on offer and everything is kept fresh and unfussy. As well as antioxidant-rich smoothies and juices that are specially blended to address individual conditions, guests can expect lobster, sirloin steaks, yellowfin tuna, kingfish and a plethora of crisp, fresh salads. Plus, with our chefs all keen to use the day’s catch, what can be more rewarding than seeing the results of your marine fishing experience ending up on the grill.

I could extol the virtues of Vamizi Island forever but in reality no words or pictures can ever properly do it justice. There’s only one way to truly appreciate its beauty, and that’s to come and experience it for yourself.

The new Vamizi Spa Retreats will run from from 21st – 27th January, 10th – 16th March and 10th – 16th November 2012, bookable exclusively with Scott Dunn.

For more information on Claire Finlay Health and Fitness Consultancy, visit www.claire-finlay.com

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