Al Dar Island Health Retreat

Saturday, May 25, 2013

During the Easter weekend Ari and I went away on a health retreat organised by Tribal Fitness. As most of you know, we have been (fairly loosely at times) following the Paleo movement for a few years now. The Paleo lifestyle basically revolves around eating, moving and living as naturally as possible like our ancestors did in the Paleolithic (pre-agricultural) times.

The theory is that the caveman of a few hundred thousand years ago were stronger, faster and by far a superior specimen than what we have become today. Sure they didn't live as long due to the lack of modern medicine or being eaten alive by a saber tooth tiger but research shows they lived a lot more healthier lifestyle.

Paleo flowchart that explains what we can eat (image source: uploaded by Jazz via

We arrived on Al Dar island, a five minute boat ride from the mainland of Bahrain and got straight into our first movement session focused on balance. We walked, crawled, rolled and did a number of animal like movements e.g. a crab, duck and the worst of them all the bear crawl. We went forwards, backwards, with our eyes closed and then repeated them over on a plank of wood. Very challenging especially with your eyes closed going backwards.

Linda and Ari doing animal crawls and balancing on a plank.

Ari helping Linda with a one legged squat.

There was lots of natural and very tasty Paleo foods loving prepared by Craig's pregnant wife Elyse. Mostly based around meats and salads, baking is even possible if you substitute flour for almond meal or coconut flour and sugar for honey or maple syrup. You can be quite creative in the kitchen when you're eating restrictively.

Ari helping cook up our dinner on the coal grill and the group together for a feed.

Linda and Ari with fresh coconuts.

Our other movement sessions were about throwing, catching, climbing and learning how to efficiently run to avoid injury. 

Anyone who knows me well will know I hate running. Running is the worst, not only is it boring my personal philosophy is it's bad for you. Surely that much harsh repetitive impact isn't good for your joints, bones and vital organs. Any way, I tried to avoid running as much as I could growing up, I only ever did the minimum requirement for a passing grade for the stupid beep tests in high school. Bottom line Linda hates to run.

The only thing worse than running is being videoed running and watching yourself run. Oh gosh, what a train wreck! After being critiqued and given pointers of how to run from scratch I felt the relationship between me and running start to mend. I guess the underlying reason I hated running so much was because I wasn't good at it and I wasn't ever any good at it because I was never taught how to do it properly. 

Ari climbing over a wall and bear crawling along the wall.

Group doing perfect sandbag squats and Ari throwing a sandbag thinking that Linda will catch it.

There was some time for relaxation and recreational activities, the weather was just perfect for lounging about in the sun. We had our own private beach away from the day trippers and I tried paddle boarding for the first time ever, kind of like surfing meets kayaking.

Ari convinced me to try it, I agreed on the condition that he swam along side me to catch me if I fell, or make sure I didn't panic and drown myself accidentally in waist deep water.

 Paddle boarding with Ari by my side just in case I fell.

 Linda enjoying the sun with girls on the beach and relaxing in a hammock.

Although it was only a two night trip, it sure was action packed, adventurous and really cleansing for the spirit. It is always good to get away from the daily grind and have time to reflect, even if you have to run and throw a sandbag or two.

Sun rising over Al Dar island.
 Photos courtesy of Janet.

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