Hi. I’m Rachel Bonkink and for many years I asked the question,
“What ingredients make up the perfect yoga retreat?”
For years, while endlessly running on the corporate treadmill, I would ask myself this question while eagerly awaiting my next retreat…
I asked the question while on a retreat, when I realised it would have been so much better if they had only done just one or two small things… Have you ever experienced that?
In fact, I kept on asking that question until one day I decided I needed to stop asking the question, and start doing it!
So I did…
Rachel Bonkink – Revealing Vajra Yoga Retreats – My Story
Hi and welcome to my website. I’m Rachel Bonkink (it’s Dutch!) and I’m the founder of Revealing Vajra yoga retreats.
After 4 wonderful years in Morocco and a short stay in Dubai, I now live in Portugal. As you might have guessed my goal is to put on the best yoga retreats I can that will leave you happy in body, mind and soul.
The reason I’m so passionate about this is because for 7 years while I worked very hard as an operational director for a medical market research company, yoga retreats were the only way I could recharge my batteries. So you could say I took them seriously …
By the way, I’m guessing you’re familiar with this scenario … workaholic manager, hugely committed to her job finds it hard to find a work life balance. Working late most nights, working on weekends, not much time for family and friends (let alone self!), feeling increasingly burnt out…
Yes, that was me and I know it’s also so many of you…
As I mentioned, at that time, my yoga retreats were the only way I could find some relief and I would try and go on at least 2 per year. They were my way to reconnect with myself, to rediscover what was important and rejuvenate my inner soul…
So it was a disappointment to me when a retreat fell short… when it left me with a slight feeling of dissatisfaction, and not relaxation.
Of course there were some wonderful retreats, but so many of them had something missing, an essential component lacking, that could have turned what had been a good retreat into a great and unforgettable one instead.
And that was a shame.
One Day It Came To A Head, And My Path Was Set…
While I enjoyed my work it was getting more and more demanding, and for a while I was even acting CEO.
At some point, during a very intense silent retreat in Jordan, I started wondering if there would be more to my life than working these crazy hours, having lots of stress, making more money or getting a bigger house… for what?
So one day, without planning for it, I quit.
And like so many before, I went to India to volunteer and learn yoga in an ashram for 1 month.
I took the training to deepen my own practice because though I had been doing yoga for years my practice never developed because I was too busy to make it to most classes… the studios wouldn’t stay open till 9PM- when I was done working (I’m guessing some of you can relate to that lol)…
I spent the next few months doing yoga, going on retreats and trying to decide what I wanted to do with my life… and then it came to me.
I loved retreats, and I always asked how the retreats I went on could be made even better.
So why not run my own retreats, and do everything I thought would make a perfect yoga retreat?
And so Revealing Vajra was born…
“Leave Your Wallet At Home”… Or Why My Yoga Retreats Are So Different!
When I set up this company, I knew there were certain fundamental things I had to do. I am so proud to have so many repeat bookings! 1 in 4 people comes back! I am convinced this is because of the approach I have adopted.
This is my promise to you if you decide to come on one of my retreats:
This is your time
So many retreats make you almost feel pressurised into doing things… not us though! No need to dress to impress, wear what you want.
No need to worry about skipping a class because you’d rather sit in the sun reading a book, please do!
Don’t feel like being social and would rather spend some of your time alone? Be our guest! Really, my retreats are about how you can rediscover and rejuvenate yourself…
We will not ask you to pay anything extra
This is different and it’s why I say you can leave your wallet at home. I went on too many retreats that seemed cheap but you then had to pay for literally everything which all added up.
With us you’ll find that everything is covered in the fee – airport transfers, excursions, massages, meditation and pranayama training, coaching – all the little things that make you feel special and pampered… just like you deserve…
Unique skill set
By having a deep understanding of corporate life and the corporate ladder, alongside a vast experience of mind-body trainings and many personal retreats, plus the expertise of organising over 100(!) of my own yoga retreats – I can create yoga holidays and meditation retreats that have a very POWERFUL edge.
I will help you to focus on enjoying your practice and gaining new insights into your body, mind and the yoga philosophy.
To me, these holidays are so much more than just a getaway. These retreats can be truly life changing and empower you to become a more healthy and happy person.
I choose our locations carefully to ensure they are silent, remote and keep you in a ‘yoga bubble’ for at least a week!
The owners give a lot of attention to the small details and they have experience with yoga retreats so have nice yoga shalas.
No Yoga “Snobbery”
This is a big one. On some retreats, I teach along with another teacher but there is always a strict “No ego” zone on show.
You won’t find teachers showing off how flexible and strong they are or insisting you only do one style. Our retreats give you a chance to sample from a number of different styles – Hatha, Kundalini, Vinyasa,… we give you an authentic flavour of each…
We’ll never push you to do something you aren’t comfortable with and above all, no one will judge your yoga performance. This is very important for me.
Grateful for the teachers I have met
Sometimes you just want to know who trained and influenced your teacher.
In the past ten years, I have followed loads of teacher trainings and (silence) retreats, usually 2 to 3 per year. My very first training was in India, in Rishikesh, a simple standard 200 hours on Hatha and Ashtanga Yoga.
Here are some of my trainings and retreats, not mentioning the workshops along the way as that would make it a very long list:
- International Coaching Federation Training
- Michael Lobsang Tenpa Meditation Retreat, Metta, UK
- Alan Wallace Meditation Retreat, The way of Shamatha, Germany
- Alan Wallace Silence and Meditation Retreat, 4 Applications of Mindfulness, UK
- Paul Grilley, Yin Yoga Teacher Training, San Francisco, USA
- Alan Wallace Silence and Meditation Retreat, 7 Point Mind Training, UK
- Tony Robbins, San Jose, USA
- Bernie Clark, Yin Yoga Teacher Training, Vancouver, Canada
- Vipassana 10 Days Silence and Meditation Retreat, Canada
- John Stirk, Scaravelli Inspired Yoga Retreat, Italy
- Sarah Powers Yin Yoga Level 2, Teacher Training, London, UK
- Sarah Powers Yin Yoga Level 1, Teacher Training, Thailand
- Sarah Powers Silence and Meditation Retreat, UK
- Astrid Van Dam, Yoga Teacher Training, the Netherlands
- Association for Yoga & Meditation Teacher Training, Rishikesh, India
- Practitioner and Master NLP, Arcturus, Belgium
- Traditional Chinese Medecine, the Netherlands
- Young Management Program, Vlerick Business School, Belgium
- Economical Sciences Master Degree, Belgium
What To Do Next
When I look for a retreat it is always important for me to find out as much as I can about the people and place. That is why I wanted to share some of my story with you, to help make your decisions easier.
Upcoming Retreats 2023
October 22nd till October 29th, we will be in Morocco again for a glorious retreat, combining yoga, relaxation and exploration.
December 22nd till December 29th, we have our very special Christmas Retreat in Morocco.
If you want to escape the Christmas madness and fully recharge and getaway from it all? This is the perfect retreat!
I have launched several online experiences.
The 30 Day Meditation Challenge is something that spontaneously morphed from the 2020 online retreats. I have been wanting to organise a meditation course for the past years but never knew how. And now, grateful for the opportunity that it has revealed itself. Our next challenge starts in September 2023!
If you want to read about the retreats, please click here…
For any and all questions, please use the contact page on this site.
And proud to introduce my book on the yama and niyama. The 10 principles of Yoga that have profoundly changed my life.
This book is endorsed by Paul Grilley, founder of Yin Yoga. You can order it here.
Thanks for taking the time to read this; I hope it helps you find the retreat that is right for you.