Bliss & Stars Wilderness Retreat: A Fusion of Spirituality and Science

Words Laura Field
Date

Tucked away in South Africa’s spectacular and ancient Cederberg Mountain Range is Bliss & Stars: an antidote to a hectic, noisy, overwhelming and demanding lifestyle.

Here, the luxury of space and stillness provides an opportunity to press pause, slow down and disconnect before reconnecting with our inner self, nature and the universe. Restoration and regeneration of the body, mind and heart, and appreciation for the natural world around us are at the forefront of Bliss & Stars’ dogma-free “down to earth” ethos.

“Come as you are because all you need is already within you,” say Bliss & Stars’ founders Daria and Heine Rasmussen, who have a holistic approach to wellness in all forms: physical, mental, emotional and social. “We invite you to experience awe as you slow down, simplify complexity and soften separation from the natural world. Come harmonize with the natural rhythms of the universe and simply be.”

Fusing Science and Spirituality to Better Connect to Nature

If we look around us, we can see that signs of the cosmos are everywhere, embodied in everything from vast galaxies to tiny snails. The cosmos is deeply embedded in our DNA. Daria and Heine believe that spirituality and science are deeply interconnected, and that the fusion of the two offers a unique perspective on the nature of reality and our place in the universe, leading to greater inner peace and connection to the world around us.

Daria is a certified Mindfulness Teacher and Breathwork Coach with an MA in Sociology, and Heine is an Astronomer and Astro-photography pro. “We are science and spirituality. We use nature, the night sky, movement, and mindfulness to help people discover their inner self and how it connects to the energy provided by nature.”

(Re)Treat Yourself to Guided Star Meditations

“Our first experience of the night sky in the Cederberg cemented our decision to move to South Africa and create Bliss & Stars,” say Daria and Heine, who are both familiar with the burnout that can be experienced from a high-paced corporate career. “The smell of the bush, the sound of the crickets and the absence of human sound, together with the star-studded sky and billions of light points wrapping us in a blanket was a profound sensory experience. We were blissed out.”

It is this power of the senses that is central to Bliss & Stars, where a variety of retreats are offered. Built on two foundations – mind and body, and nature – the immersive retreats combine the benefits of mindfulness practices, breathwork, nature-based activities, astronomy and food.

One such retreat is Star Bathing, a journey of cosmic and personal discovery, where inner space meets deep outer space. Guided star meditations and relaxation sessions help you let go of the distractions of daily life while being immersed in the astounding beauty of the natural world.

Heine shares that, “By making astrophysics more relatable, we can help people appreciate the beauty and mystery of the universe. One can’t help but feel a sense of awe and connection to the cosmos while gazing up at the starry skies. What if you could deepen that connection to the celestial objects above and your inner self?”

Other Bliss & Stars experiences include the following retreats: Silent, Couples, Breath of Life, Bloom and Self-Compassion. They have recently launched the Eat & Thrive Cooking Retreat and will soon launch a cookbook: Eat & Thrive.

From Astronomy to Gastronomy: Connecting With the Natural World Through Food

Food is a key component when it comes to balancing our nervous system. It heightens our senses, grounds us in our body, and connects us to the Earth. Food is an integral part of the Bliss & Stars experience, where delicious plant-based cuisine is inspired by nature and designed to nourish every guest from the inside out.

“Although the majority of our guests don’t typically follow plant-based diets, we manage to surprise and inspire people with the beauty and depth of vegetables and grains,” says Daria. 

The Eat & Thrive cookbook is a collection of recipes and a guide to living a more regenerative and sustainable life. It is about the joy of food – what we eat but more importantly, how we eat and how we feel about food. 

“We’re not preaching a vegan lifestyle, we’re just showing you how tasty and satisfying plant-based food can be,” says Daria. “We focus on regenerative cooking, which is cooking in a way that benefits ourselves and the planet while using locally-sourced and organic ingredients, reducing food waste, and cooking in a way that supports sustainable food systems.”

It’s Not Just a Place, It’s a Feeling

Bliss & Stars is not your typical retreat. It’s a space where guests are treated as friends. It’s a feeling of home, and a space to transcend. It’s here that we are invited to absorb the soul-nourishing luxury of stillness, space, clean air, unparalleled views and star-infused skies while practicing mindfulness, cultivating compassion, and building community connections. With Daria and Heine as trusted guides, Bliss & Stars awakens us to the magic and profound simplicity of life and the essence of who we are.

Become a RegenerativeTravel+ member to receive $99 travel credit towards a 3-night minimum stay at Bliss & Stars and embark on your own regenerative journey.

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