Guest post by Andi Bennett
When a mutual yogi friend connected me to Kelly Smith for a yoga photoshoot, I had no idea what blessings she’d soon bring to my life. During our shoot, she mentioned Adzenture Retreats and her upcoming yoga and meditation retreat in Iceland. When she asked me to join and document the trip, my jaw hit the floor. I was going to Iceland, to practice yoga and meditation, and shoot the entire experience? Did my dreams just come true?
Aside from being ecstatic to document our trip, I was really looking forward to practicing meditation. It’s something I’ve wanted to incorporate more into my life, but could never get it to stick. There was no better opportunity, than to learn from Kelly everyday in the most peaceful country in the world!
We stayed at Héraðsskólinn Hostel at Laugarvatn which blew my expectations from the moment we walked in. It was the cleanest, most relaxing place. They setup a private yoga room for our group and prepared all of our uniquely delicious meals each day. I can’t say enough about the pre-planning that must have gone in to making this trip so perfect, but it was so nice to just relax and have everything run on a smooth schedule every single day.
We started every morning with a mindful yoga practice. We woke just in time to catch the beautiful sunrise, grab a coffee and warm pastry, then head to the yoga room. We’d start at 8am, with the windows cracked open and the cool morning breeze hitting our faces in shavasana. Kelly led our group through various yoga practices where we laughed, cried, and smiled through her flows. Breakfast always followed in the dining area that looked out toward a field of horses. This sounds like a dream I know, it was such a peaceful setting.
It didn’t take our group long to connect - big thanks to the night we saw the Northern Lights together! It was the most magical dancing light show I have ever seen. We hugged and screamed like hyenas, we were so caught up in the moment.
Our daytime activities included workshops and bucket list to-do’s in Iceland! Kelly’s workshops taught us how to build an at-home meditation practice, how to build your own yoga flow at home, and how to remove energy blocks through meditation. Her workshops were teaching us how to live a more JoyFULL life, and it was the perfect description. I left feeling immensely full, and so much joy from all I learned.
In between the daily workshops, Adzenture Retreats planned the ultimate excursions for our group! We’d end our days with evening talks and meditation. It was the perfect unwinding night cap to our eventful days together.
To highlight a few of the most iconic sites: we visited the Blue Lagoon, went through the Golden Circle Tour starting with Thingvellir National Park, Iceland and then made our way to Kerið Crater. After that we hit Gullfoss Waterfall & Geysir, Arnessysla, Iceland.
Did I also mention the people are exceptionally nice there? We loved our tour guides! We went to Seljalandsfoss Waterfall where it was sunny, rainy, and then hailing within 30 minutes. Then we hiked Solheimajökull Glacier and even drank some glacier water. We ended the tour with my most anticipated destination, Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach.
Our last tour, The Cave People (Laugarvatn Adventure) was so unique, and I learned so much general information about Iceland here. We ended our night at Laugarvatn Fontana where we all jumped in the freezing lake then sprinted into the hot baths.
So many “first time for everything” moments throughout this trip! I was so happy to experience it with such an open minded group of people. I’ve never experienced a trip like this in my life, and it exceeded all of my expectations - and then some. Whether you are new to yoga, or if you practice daily... if you like to travel, or you are intimidated to travel internationally... if you want to meet new people and experience once in a lifetime opportunities along the way - book a retreat with Adzenture Retreats!
A special thanks to Daniela and Kelly whom I owe my experience to. Thanks for making this a trip of a lifetime and a great introduction into my photography business!
Andi (www.andibphoto.com) was born and raised in Michigan, and has a passion for visual storytelling and connecting with people to document their most monumental moments in life. She is always seeking out of the box opportunities, and the friends she’ll meet along her journey.