Offering a spectacular backdrop for yogis who want to combine their practice with sun, sea and a little ‘r & r’, the Balearic Islands have become a well-known destination for wellness-minded visitors looking to escape their routine at home for a little while.
Founded by Charlotte Townend, the Wylder yoga and wellness retreats in Ibiza and Formentera offer exactly that – but with a little extra sprinkling of island magic.
Keen to give her guests a true taste of local life, the private yoga teacher, who splits her time between Ibiza and the UK, has created a network of talented creatives who are contributing to make the experience even more special and immersive.
Charlotte herself says, “Wylder is a collective movement, and these retreats are more than yoga retreats – we dive deep into the heart and soul of each island, its locals, and its organic way of life.
“Expect to spend time with like-minded people, discovering wild places, learning new skills and being present.”
As well as yoga with Charlotte and Wylder retreats’ renowned beauty and wellness treatments, the programmes include a selection of carefully selected classes, sessions and workshops such as sound healing, flower arranging, an introduction to making Mexican cuisine and more. With spaces in hot demand, Charlotte is regularly updating the Wylder calendar and, for 2023, has added an extra retreat in beautiful Formentera in November – see the full details here.
When we meet Charlotte for a taster session, we are instantly impressed when she leads us to a charming ‘secret spot’ on the Santa Eulalia coastline for a private yoga class on the flat roof of a boat shack. Those stretches, twists and inversions don’t feel quite so painful to us deskbound ‘office chair champions’ when catching a glimmer of the Balearic Sea right in front of us!
Charlotte is a powerhouse of a woman and her energy is reflected in her teaching style; a dynamic flow routine that gets the blood pumping and leaves us feeling like we got in a good workout after. Throughout, Charlotte leads with calm but clear instructions, always encouraging us to challenge ourselves a little more while ensuring we do so in a safe manner.
With a post-yoga glow lighting up our faces, we make sure to take the time to quiz her a little bit more about her Balearic offering at Wylder retreats…
How did you get into yoga?
I took my first yoga class in London around six years ago. I used to focus all my energy on high intensity workouts at the gym but there was one yoga teacher who completely changed that. I took my first yoga class and I was hooked, but I think it was solely due to that teacher.
I then went on to qualify in Mallorca, quit my job in property, and I’ve never looked back – the practice has been a big life changer for me.
What are the biggest benefits of yoga for you?
Yoga slows me right down, it opens me up and clears my thoughts. The practice has, honestly, made me the strongest I’ve ever been (even compared to the time I was purely training HIIT and anything high-intensity).
Yoga was extremely valuable when I was pregnant, I could keep up my strength and release any aches and pains right up until I gave birth – it quickened my recovery time post-natal, too.
Yoga has become a treasured skill that I can always come back to at any time, place, or stage of my life – I’m so grateful to yoga!
How would you describe your unique teaching style? We certainly felt like we had a good workout after our session!
My practice is extremely dynamic! I like to include strengthening drills, mobility exercises and repetitive transitions so I guess I could say it’s a form of Power Yoga – but I do like to maintain the traditional aspect with sun salutations, yoga asanas and breathwork. Music is a very important element to my classes, too.
You host Wylder retreats on both Ibiza and Formentera. What is your connection to these two beautiful islands, and why did you decide to move here?
I used to visit Ibiza during the summers in my teens with my parents and it became a yearly thing. I decided to move over from London mostly due to my daughter, who is two. She has more space here, she can be free, she can be wild in nature, it’s a wonderful place for her to grow up and develop. And it’s easier for parents, too. The move just felt right for this phase of my life.
What makes Ibiza such a great place for practising yoga, and especially for retreats?
You can easily be present here as the island embodies such a ‘slow living’ lifestyle. The people of Ibiza are very open minded, too, with no judgement. You can take your time here, it’s relaxed… ‘Tranquilo, tranquilo’, as they say!
Tell us a little bit more about the programme at Wylder retreats…
Wylder (also my daughter’s second name) is a collection of the pure, wild and organic side of Ibiza. The retreats are more than just yoga retreats; I like to include a variety of other classes and experiences guided by the talented creatives of Ibiza.
Examples include Pilates with Pilar, the owner of the Loft Pilates studio, a flower arranging workshop with the Floral Studio at the farm where the flowers are grown, and a Mexican street food masterclass with Chidas Cantina.
Wylder has become renowned for the treatments available, too – massages by longstanding Ibiza local Kim, and facials by Frederika Van Hagen.
You also host a retreat on Formentera – how is the experience different from Ibiza?
The retreat in Formentera will be more relaxed and slow to match the raw, pure and untouched quality of the island. We have the therapists in-house for this retreat, so facials and massages are available at all times.
Where are your favourite places to practise yoga on Ibiza?
I’m not a fan of practising on sand, but I have a few favourite places close to the sea that are on solid surfaces. My number one is on top of a boat shack close to Santa Eulalia – where we had our session – followed by Punta Galera, which is wonderful because you can practise so close to water level. And there is a great, long pontoon on Talamanca beach, which allows you to practise further away from the beach.
Last, but not least, where are your favourite places to relax, eat, shop and dance away from the matt?
In Ibiza Town, I love Chidas Cantina for Mexican food and cocktails or The Standard hotel for a fun evening with friends. The colourful Sluiz fashion and interiors store on the road to Santa Gertrudis is one of my staples for shopping. And when I have time to chill out, Pou d’es Lleo is my favourite to eat and swim – they have the best mojitos at the local beach restaurant!