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How taking time out to heal led to this new business...

Please tell us a bit about the nature of your business...

Ibiza Retreats is an island-based retreats organisation, established for over a decade, offering both deep healing and transformational retreats and inspiring yoga and holistic wellness escapes. Our mission is to empower our guests to develop real-time techniques for understanding their needs to live healthy, happy and fulfilling lives through connecting to their body's innate intelligence, learning how to tap into their intuitive guidance system and to come out of the fear-driven “heads” to embrace the wisdom of their hearts. We offer Vinyasa, Yin, Hatha and Intelligent Mindful-flow yoga alongside practical leading-edge Coaching, workshops in Integrative Quantum Medicine (Energy healing), Yoga Therapy, Meditation, Mindfulness, Naturopathic Nutritional Guidance, Restorative Yoga, Sound Healing, Rebirthing Breathwork and many other life-enriching techniques. Each guest receives a 1:1 Holistic Wellness Coaching session at the beginning of the retreat, to define their current needs and wellbeing goals – physically, emotionally and spiritually. Offering a carefully curated menu of both traditional / classical massages and more profound complementary treatments and therapies, our dream-team of world-class practitioners are all dedicated to their paths, pioneering trauma-release, stress-relief, root-cause healing and profound, positive change through touch, energy healing, sound, cognitive sessions and multi-dimensional healing. Whether guests want to join us to “do the work on the mat” in our uplifting and more physically challenging “Glow” retreats, or feel ready to dive deeper “within” through the layers of who you really are, we begin with more yin flow and restorative yoga to nourish our guests' nervous systems, before evolving the morning practices responsively, to engage and empower our clients to surpass limitations, strengthen, nourish their whole being, calm their minds and cultivate their inner-connection. We equip our guests with a kit of practical and powerful tools the gives them the possibility to reduce stress, heal themselves of anxiety and other functional illnesses at the root cause - and for navigating life's challenges with purpose, passion and greater ease. Connecting back to mother nature – and her natural healing frequencies, we encourage bare-foot silent walks on our magical mountain-top and swimming in the turquoise waters of our equilibrium-restoring sparkling seas. We ensure our yogis and retreat clients feel ready to return to reality with back-to-life Coaching and personalised “self-practice” plans, and follow-up group Skype sessions enable our groups to be each others’ life mentors, creating a global kula of compassionate and courageous inner-peace warriors. We especially love to welcome guests who feel ready to take full responsibility for their lives and KNOW that with the right tools – and inner and outer-care – we can all be free to live a life of true wellness – in harmony with ourselves, each other, and our beautiful mother nature who surrounds.

What inspired you to start your business?

I was inspired to begin Ibiza Retreats as I was myself looking for a truly holistic retreat experience in Ibiza, in which I could feel held, supported along my path to heal myself after a painful break-up, on which I would encounter and be inspired by teachers, therapists, healers and other like-minded guests. There were fantastic detox and fasting retreats at that time (2006/2007) but no-one yet was offering a truly holistic retreat at the level of comfort that I, at that time, with a burnt our nervous system and many traumas to heal, most needed.

What was the most challenging aspect of building your business in the beginning?

Spanish tax systems and financial accounting here are far more complex than the UK! It took a while to get the right "money people" in place and now, with them carefully guiding our financial flow, I feel far more free to go out, develop the business and "consciously create" from a firm financial place.

If you were to launch your business again, would you do anything differently?

YES! I would have SLOWED DOWN at the beginning and savoured each step of the initial foundation-creation with TRUE recognition that as we explore in creating our dreams, each relationship we create requires ongoing cultivation and will yield flowers that the mind cannot see at the beginning! I felt I had "so much to do" to get things "going" when actually, I am now aware just how much spirit has created a divine sense of timing for all things, from team members, to retreat locations, to development of concepts, to evolve organically and with ease. I would have more fully embraced the Yogic "Law of Least Effort" - to keep listening to my visceral responses when making certain choices - my inner-guidance, speaks through my body (which softens and relaxes when something is GOOD and feels stressed and tight when it is not - or when I am making a fear-based decision). And my inner-voice, intuition, has ALWAYS been totally right!

What keeps you motivated?

Singing Dancing Practicing Yoga Riding my horse and doing the things that keep my inner-child excited, happy and feeling free! Doing NEW and challenging things - workshops - travel - stepping UP my game to teach, guide, speak and lead in new ways!

How do you balance work and family life?

With humour and with grace! I work with mind-maps to plan my days and weeks ahead - rather than "tick lists" which over-stress and over-stimulate the mind. My husband and I plan the week together - school runs and key "time and energy" needs each week - as well as creating coloured in HFT (Holy Family Time) mornings and days where we make NO plans and just go with the flow. I take 5-6 weeks "off island" in the height of summer - so that I can be with my kids in full presence, away from the 40 degree heat, in the UK and in other cooler countries, exploring mountains, lakes and outdoor activities. MOST OF ALL: I prioritise working time in the mornings when kids are at school and am getting a second phone which is JUST for work calls and Whatsapp. Our phones live on a "phone altar" at home so we can be mindful of our usage! And we "check" each other when stressed - and get OUTSIDE to shake it off, sing, dance and play as much as possible.

What’s your proudest business moment?

Every moment that I can see a transformation in a yoga student, yoga therapy or coaching client or retreat guest IS a proud moment. I know that I have reached - and keep reaching - new career pinnacles as i am serving, my purpose, in a way that truly enriches and enhances people's lives. And the VERY proudest so far? When we opened up our MAGICAL MOUNTAIN RETREAT - Can Luminosa.

What’s been your most successful form of marketing and/ or brand awareness?

We have organically been working with the media in many different ways, competitions, reviews, writing articles for key magazines and - most successfully of all, our ongoing and ever-expanding collaborations with the Ibiza Tourist Board with whom we have been pioneering the Ibiza Es Wellness = Ibiza IS Wellness rebranding of our beautiful island (formerly known for late-night partying) - now becoming increasingly well recognised as one of the world's leading wellness travel hubs!

Do you have any positive habits or routines that you feel have attributed to your success?

Yes! I start each day by strengthening my self, my system and all my relationships energetically (using IQM). I have a fresh water with lemon each morning to infuse my system with Vitamin C and my mind with uplifting feelings. I drink no coffee - sometimes a "ceremonial" earl grey tea in a tittle dedicated to down time, tea-time and "me-time". I take 10 mins for a self-yoga-practice and chant every day, the Daimoku - which is the Lotus Sutra, using my Shruti Box to creating delicious heart-opening sounds that shift the feelings and emotions UP for everyone in my family. In the winter, our slower season, I practice yoga every day, take silent walks in nature, ride and spend time with my beautiful horse, and go to yoga and meditation classes and also different inspiring workshops - with other wonderful teaches to prioritise time each week to "receive". It is in this stillness of receiving that everything stills, I can attune my mind to what my heart is asking for and enhance my intuitive guidance. It is in the space and time that I can see and feel the BIGGER PICTURE in a detached, less emotional way. I can see the perfection of everything - the challenges, the "errors" and the learnings these enable - and of course, the inspired actions become clear.

What's your favourite business app/ tool/ book/ podcast etc?

My favourite business tool - HAS to be mind mapping - it is a MUST for all entrepreneurs whose expansive and amazing brains need to have ONE place to overflow all their exciting and enticing thoughts WITHOUT feeling overwhelmed by them! I have also created a DESK STRETCHES you-tube video which is a GO-TO 5 mins of upper-body and chest-openers which releases tension in shoulders, neck and upper back, whilst infusing you with clear fresh energy and clarity of mind.

What advice would you give to new entrepreneurs just starting out?

ENJOY the journey and TRUST that everything is happening in divine and perfect timing. FIND A GOOD MENTOR - this is VITAL for maintaining a detached OVERVIEW of what is going on in the business, so that you can make clear and right choices most easily. INVEST in time for yourself a littler every day and with longer several times a week. Your WELLBEING has to be at the HEART of everything you are creating. as YOU fill your cup you energy will SUSTAIN you - and the business. The positive ideas, inspirations and the right actions can enable your business to grow and flourish in a conscious, organic and sustainable way.

If you want to get in touch or see more of Larah's adventures, head over to her website or social media:

#ibizaretreats on instagram

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