From the Journal

Health and wellness travel with Joëlle Sleebos


Health And Wellness Travel Joelle
Inspiration

Leading yoga practitioner Joëlle Sleebos, Photo credit | Darryl Gouws

Our experience as luxury travel coordinators has long shown us the lasting benefits that travel has on the mind, body and soul of our clients. This inspired us to delve deeper into health and wellness travel by collaborating with experts in the field to craft a female-only luxury yoga retreat to South Africa in October 2020. Renowned yoga practitioner, Joëlle Sleebos, was our first choice in leading a holistic wellness experience for our clients in three iconic destinations namely, Cape Town, the Cape Winelands and the Greater Kruger. Our mission was to invite yogis of all levels to discover South Africa’s beauty while simultaneously taking the time to reconnect with themselves and others. While a strong emphasis was placed on incorporating daily wellness activities, we also hand-selected properties which complement the tone of the retreat - Arambrook Boutique Hotel, Santé Wellness Retreat and Spa and Saseka Tented Camp.  


Cape Town based yoga instructor, Joëlle Sleebos will be a fundamental part of Ker & Downey® Africa 2020 Yoga Retreat. Her passion for and expertise in yoga is undeniable. With over 10 years of teaching experience, Joëlle strives to connect people through yoga and give them the platform to gain a better understanding of themselves. We caught up with her to find out more about yoga, why it is a necessity in our modern-day lives and why she believes a yoga retreat in South Africa is the ultimate escape.

Health And Wellness Travel Joelle Sleebos
Photo credit | Darryl Gouws

My passion is to help people connect through yoga and allow them to gain a better understanding of themselves.

01. 


Ker & Downey® Africa: What inspired you to start yoga and how has your life path altered because of yoga?


Joëlle: My yoga practice started over 20 years ago when I was working a corporate job in Australia. At first, I was skeptical but the practice crept under my skin and I found myself practicing every day. My mat became a sacred place for me to stay grounded and reconnect with myself. Yoga has changed every aspect of my life and has helped me to become the best version of myself, on and off the mat. My passion is to help people connect through yoga and allow them to gain a better understanding of themselves.

Joelle 3
Photo credit | David Vexelman

02.



Ker & Downey® Africa: Why do you think it’s important for the modern-day woman to practice yoga and invest in the wellbeing of her body, mind and soul?


Joëlle: With the frantic pace of our modern-day lives we often feel distracted and do not afford ourselves the time to check-in and connect with ourselves. This is why I think yoga is so important. 


I believe that a healthy body stimulates a healthy mind and improves the overall quality of life. Yoga has given me the opportunity to embrace this philosophy wholeheartedly from the way that I think, eat, speak and every lifestyle choice I make and I hope that I can spread that awareness with my clients.

I ensure that the retreats that I host are always in a serene destination where travelers can discover something new while nourishing their mind, body and soul and form genuine connections with like-minded individuals. 

Joelle Yoga

03.


Ker & Downey® Africa: You run a number of international yoga retreats every year. What makes these retreats different from a traditional travel experience?


Joëlle: Travelers now are seeking more meaningful travel experiences as opposed to the traditional approach of rushing from one place to the next. There is a global need to rest and recover during our time off, but also to grow and reconnect with ourselves in a beautiful destination. 


I ensure that the retreats that I host are always in a serene destination where travelers can discover something new while nourishing their mind, body and soul and form genuine connections with like-minded individuals. Ultimately, I want guests to return home and rejuvenated.

International Day Of Yoga
Cape Town International Yoga Day led by Joëlle

04.



Ker & Downey® Africa: You are the Founder of your own NGO, can you tell us a bit more about The Dharma Project?


Joëlle: I was inspired to give back to the yoga community in 2016 when I completed my level 2 YTT at Radiantly Alive in Bali. The Dharma Project is a non-profit organization that hopes to make yoga more accessible. Our main event is the annual International Day of Yoga. On the 20th of June this year, we will host the 5th International Day of Yoga - an annual celebration of yoga where we come together to practice yoga, partake in workshops and enjoy a market and massages. We hope to raise funds for the Earthchild Project, a non-profit organization that works with children and teachers from disadvantaged schools and develop programmes that focus on the environment, health and life-skills.

Earth Child Project
Photo credit | Earthchild Project

We hope to raise funds for the Earth Child Project, a non-profit organization that works with children and teachers from disadvantaged schools and develop programmes that focus on the environment, health and life-skills.

05.


Ker & Downey® Africa: What types of yoga do you specialize in and where did you receive your training?


Joëlle: I have trained in Europe and India but mostly in Bali at Radiantly Alive in Ubud, where I now facilitate training myself. I teach Vinyasa Yoga, Yin Yoga, Suspension Yoga and Yoga Sculpt. I love breaking down meditation practices and pranayama practices as well.

Luxury Yoga Retreat
Ker & Downey® Africa's Women's Luxury Yoga Retreat in South Africa

06.


Ker & Downey® Africa: Why did you decide to collaborate with Ker & Downey® Africa to curate their Luxury Yoga Retreat?


Joëlle: I was inspired by Ker & Downey® Africa’s commitment to provide quality wellness-focused travel itineraries to their clients. The team is passionate about creating quality experiences for their clients, ensuring that they return home transformed and inspired. The collaboration was well aligned with my beliefs to provide a curated retreat that is customized to the client.

Health And Wellness Travel Joelle 2
Photo credit | Chantelle Horn

I would love for the women that come on the retreat to find the opportunity to disconnect from the stress of their day-to-day lives and truly reconnect with their authentic selves and with others.

07.


Ker & Downey® Africa: What would you like the women to gain from Ker & Downey® Africa’s Luxury Yoga Retreat?


Joëlle: I would love for the women that come on the retreat to find the opportunity to disconnect from the stress of their day-to-day lives and truly reconnect with their authentic selves and with others. I would like to inspire the women to add new yoga-related tools to their life toolbox while discovering the beauty that South Africa has to offer. I hope each woman that attends the retreat will return home recharged and feel radiantly alive. 


Want to join Joëlle on our 2020 Women’s Luxury Yoga Retreat? Get in touch with one of our LuxVenture® Designers to confirm your spot. 

Lindsay Krause
Written by
Lindsay Krause

Lindsay gained her traveling chops from spending 4 years living in and exploring South East Asia. From motorbiking her way through Vietnam, scuba-diving with whale sharks in Thailand, sipping on coconuts in the Philippines and exploring ancient temples in Cambodia, Lindsay's got a case of the travel bug and looks forward to ticking African adventures off her bucket list. 


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