How this new Sri Lankan wellness retreat is changing the health game

Tonic Muse is opening just in time for Eid
How this new Sri Lankan wellness retreat is changing the health game

There’s no denying what a wonderful feeling it is to be comfortable and at ease with life, but we believe it’s imperative to step outside your comfort zone and into new environments to enable personal growth. Fortunately, Tonic Muse founder and long-time Dubai resident Aya Fisher follows our mantra, and is launching a wellness retreat like no other to prove it. 
Calling the city of Matara in the lush landscape of southern Sri Lanka home, Tonic Muse steers clear of strict veganism, juicing or muscle-tearing fitness classes. Instead, you explore nature, sculpt your shape with barre and eat freshly caught fish for lunch. How civilised.
When Grazia meets with Aya, a Marketing Consultant originally from Washington DC, she can’t help but gush about her affectionately named ‘passion project’. “As cliché as it sounds, Sri Lanka is a beautiful, calming and spiritual place, purely because it’s not commercial. When visiting from a busy city like Dubai, the tropical colours and simple, slower way of life is a shock to the system, which is exactly what you want. Tonic Muse is ideal for people looking to recharge, reflect and grow.” 
Each retreat will take place in different locations across the world, but for the first one – perfectly timed for Eid in August – a typical day goes like this: You rise with the sun (you get used to it, night owls) and take part in sunrise yoga on the beach to get energised.

A nutritious breakfast follows (eggs and fruit platters of local pineapple and mango are usually on the menu) before ever-changing fitness activities, from Muay Thai, run by Barry’s Bootcamp instructor and professional Muay Thai fighter Sonja Moses, to barre, surfing and swimming with turtles.

There are plenty of options to keep you busy, let’s put it that way. Detailing her love of barre, Aya reveals, “All the wellness retreats I’ve been to focus solely on yoga or intense HIIT, and don’t have barre, which I think makes the biggest difference to your body in terms of toning and strength.” Interesting. 

After lunch and later dinner – think coconut-milk curry or fresh fish and vegetables cooked by private chefs – you enjoy a mindfulness session, meditation or take part in a workshop on reflection. The retreat has a maximum capacity of 14 to ensure it’s intimate. "I want people get to know each other. I wanted to create a community,” Aya tells us. Then it’s lights out (at your discretion, fear not) in your private villa by the beach. Hello, eight hours, we haven’t seen you in a while.  
The revival packages have been created to enable guests to take a break from hectic city life and focus their mind, body and soul. “The goal isn’t to lose weight,” Aya insists. “The goal is to provide a balanced approach to life and make small changes which add up to life enhancement.” We’ll take that over a week of late nights in Ibiza any day. 
Photos: Supplied