17th February 2021

Lockdown Wellbeing with Sarah Highfield

How to prioritise self-care and me-time 

Over the last year we’ve all adapted to lockdown life the best way we know how.  At times, it’s easy to feel pressured to be overly productive but what’s most important is that we find those parts of home-life that bring us a little joy.

Looking after your mind and body is so essential.  Saltee dialled into International Yoga Teacher and Fitness Instructor, Sarah Highfield to discover how she uses her time during this slightly slower paced life.  We find out how she has some inspiring tips for plotting yoga retreats when travel is again possible.

How are you keeping going with your practice during lockdown?
My own yoga practice throughout the lockdown has been a great way to keep myself feeling both balanced and energised. I really enjoy practicing yin or restorative yoga in the afternoons, it’s the perfect way for me to relax after teaching my morning classes.
What are some of your new everyday essentials (that you might not have expected)?
Definitely a long walk in nature. Prior to the pandemic I was often rushing around from one place to another, or in the gym. Now that most places are closed and I have to stay at home, I find that I can become quite restless.  A good, long walk helps me with that. I live in St. John’s Wood, so Regent’s Park is a few minutes away from me, and it’s been an absolute saviour in terms of having somewhere to walk around each day.
Do you set time aside to focus on yourself?
Yes, when I practice yoga, that is my ‘me time’. It’s a moment when I can step away from work, or distractions, and simply enjoy stretching out and breathing slowly.
What are some of your ‘pick-me-ups’ – what do you do to stay motivated?
I stay motivated by looking ahead and planning travel & events for later in the year when travel restrictions hopefully relax.
How did it feel to be named Instructor of the Year by Lux Life magazine?
It was very exciting and an honour to be recognised for what I do. 
What plans are you making this year as we start to get back to some kind of normality?
I’m planning lots of travel as that’s something which has really been affected and I have so many family and friends that I want to see. I’m also looking forward to restaurants reopening, I have missed them a lot.
You have had some incredible yoga retreats in the past. Which ones stand out and why?
All the retreats I have worked on have been equally incredible, it’s hard to choose one place that stands out. No matter where the retreats are, there is always something special about each location.
You seem to have a passion for Spain and combining walking with your yoga retreats. What makes this so special?
The mountains in southern Spain are breathtakingly beautiful and a world away from the stresses & fast pace of city life.  Practising yoga while watching the sunrise over the valley followed by a hike around the mountains is a revitalising way to start the day. I love the simplicity of it all and the reminder that happiness doesn’t need to be extravagant.
What tips do you have for people looking for a yoga retreat later this year?
I advise that they are aware of any travel restrictions and look for a retreat which will fulfil them both mentally and physically. When booking a retreat, make sure that you have researched the hosts, the style of yoga being offered, food options, activities and venue. These are all things you will be paying for, so make sure you know what to expect and it’s something you are really looking forward to.
If someone hasn’t been on a retreat before, what advice would you give them?
If it’s your first retreat, remember that it’s your retreat, don’t feel like you always have to be with the retreat group, following the retreat timetable. If you want to take time out for yourself, then feel free to. There’s nothing worse than feeling like you have to do everything that’s on the timetable, some days you may just want to lie by the pool and read a book.
Discover more about Sarah Highfield here.

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