Set back from the beach in the lush, green forests of Sri Lanka’s Southern Province lies a small oasis of tranquillity. Far removed from the crowds of Mirissa and Weligama, the small village of Ahangama is a place you can really relax. It is for this reason that pro skateboarder, Ed Templeton and his wife chose to open Soul & Surf here after establishing their first surf and yoga camp in Kerala, India, in 2010.
To call Soul & Surf a ‘camp’ would be unfair. The guest house is beautifully designed with traditional Sri Lankan details but an overall minimalist feel. When you walk through the front door, you are met with the sound of relaxing world music and the sweet smell of incense. The living area has been beautifully curated with bespoke furniture and socialising in mind. Carry on through the living area and you’ll enter the garden which features a large communal dining area and a pool which looks out onto the river and sprawling jungle beyond. The creative eye of the team behind Soul & Surf is evident throughout the whole space with every element complimenting each other.
The ethos of Soul & surf goes against the “pile ’em high, sell ’em cheap” surf camps, of which there are many. Not only is the decor and interior beautiful, but the yoga teaching and surf coaching are personalised depending on your ability level.
We joined Soul & Surf for a yoga session (our first, in fact!) and Em and I instantly felt at ease. Any preconceptions I had about yoga were instantly disbarred and Sarah- the teacher- guided us through an 80-minute Vinyasa Flow session.
The yoga space is incredible- a distressed, open-beam ceiling and stark white walls offset with minimalist pastel artwork. The balcony, which runs along the length of the room, allows tonnes of natural light in and gives you fantastic views over the palm trees in the garden. One of the nicest spaces I’ve seen in Sri Lanka and according to the yoga teacher, the nicest yoga space she’s worked in.
Having never practised Yoga before I was unsure what to expect. Thankfully, the session began slowly with some easy positions to loosen our tightly strung muscles after a week of surfing. Gradually, through different combinations, the routines became more strenuous and after about 20 minutes sweat was dripping from my head! The session wasn’t just about the positions though; allowing myself to consciously relax and focus on nothing but breathing was exhilarating.
After 80-minutes of flow exercises and meditation, guests are treated to herbal tea and protein balls from the cafe. Other fresh juices and smoothies are available for the ultimate detox. For staying guests, an afternoon of relaxation is followed by a sunset surf at the local Ahangama beach. There is a small boutique shop on site as well as plenty of great reading material to pass the afternoon.
For more information about Soul & Surf Sri Lanka, click here.
Thank you to the guys at Soul & Surf for having us! The yoga session and breakfast were provided by Soul & Surf but all opinions are our own.