5 days on a fantastic wellness retreat in the Maldives

5 days on a fantastic wellness retreat in the Maldives

Written by: the editorial staff of goop

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Published on: September 22, 2022

This summer, TISSUE founders and goop podcast co-host Erica Chidi spent five days on the sun-kissed, palm-dotted island of Bodufushi in the Maldives. She was on a stint at Joali Being, a secluded (and extremely beautiful) wellness retreat – which meant living a relaxed schedule of excellent food, regenerating treatments and total tranquility.

Chidi shared her Joali Being travel diary. It goes like this: You arrive at Raa Atoll by seaplane. You settle down in your villa. (It’s a jewel box of blush, teal, and pebble gray.) And then you take it slow, however long you’re there: A massage here. A sound bath there. And a dip in the crystal clear sea when it calls to you.

Day 1

After arriving by seaplane, my first stop was Aktar: the sprawling spa nestled inside a palm grove, where I received a gentle, “four-pillar” anchoring massage to help me soften into the island. (These four pillars are mind, skin, microbiome, and energy.)

I followed the massage with a freshly steeped soothing tea. Joali Being’s Sai Tea Center has over 100 loose leaf teas from around the world to choose from.

  • massage room
    Mauna Lani hotel

  • massage room
    spa room

    Day 2

    Started early. I meditated while watching the ocean. And then I cycled over to Flow, the open-plan restaurant with three signature cuisines – vegan, vegetarian and farm-to-table. I had what became my daily breakfast: a chia and spinach smoothie plus poached egg with salmon roe, avocado and sweet potato.

    A few hours later I zipped back to the spa for a visceral manipulation session focusing on my abdomen, followed by some craniosacral therapy. Both treatments helped me feel more aligned and less tight, which is something I’ve been working on since my fibroid surgery earlier this year.

    After that, I spent most of the day recovering, floating between the outdoor hot tub, the Himalayan salt room, the ice room, and the wet sauna.

  • outdoor jacuzzi
    breakfast

  • outdoor jacuzzi
    breakfast

    Day 3

    I gave myself permission to sleep in, first. When it was time to get up, I started my day by walking a few kilometers on the beach, then took a book of short stories with me into the massive stone tub in my room. (With my “Martini” soakedof course.)

    In the afternoon I did some functional training followed by a restorative Pilates session and a quick dip in the sea. Dinner was very bland: I had an oxtail broth. I can’t say enough wonderful things about the food. Everything I ate on the trip was comforting and clean.

    Erica Chidi

    Day 4

    I had a hammam body treatment which was so soothing. Afterwards I went to a two-hour sound-healing session. It was one of my favorite moments on the island. Lying on a vibrating table, surrounded by human-sized gongs, chimes and other instruments, I was able to release a lot of energy and really let go.

    I followed it up with masala chai, handcrafted by Joali Being’s tea sommelier.

    massage room

    Day 5

    To help me get ready to return to the mainland, I took a walk through the discovery sound trail, where some of the instruments from my sound healing session were scattered in the jungle. (I’ll play them myself this time.)

    With what time I had back on the island, I did some Pilates and floated in the ocean for a while. And I finished things off with an integration session – it featured slow yin yoga and a loving kindness meditation.

  • Erica sets up instruments
    Erica plays instruments

  • Erica sets up instruments
    Erica plays instruments

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