Ramblings & recipes from around the billabong


The Science of Sound

“IF YOU WANT TO FIND THE SECRETS OF THE UNIVERSE, THINK IN TERMS OF ENERGY, FREQUENCY AND VIBRATION.” – NIKOLA TESLA We need silence in order to hear sound and we need to experience sound in order to appreciate silence. The dualities of this world that for whatever... read more

New Year Reflections

… and just like that, our five night New Year Retreat is over. It was a whirlwind time full of laughter, tears, dancing, insights and connection. We started off the retreat with an opening circle with the intention of getting to know a little bit about each... read more

Slowing down in a busy world

Many of our guests at Billabong Retreat come to escape the busy-ness of life and restore more balance into their world. Often guests ask something along the lines of ‘how can I slow down when everything around me is so busy?’ First of all it’s important to acknowledge... read more

Tips for staying cool this summer

With our beautiful country being ravaged by fires and drought it looks like we are going to be in for a hot summer. We asked around the retreat and here are some tips from our team to help keep you cool, calm and collected. Simon – Executive Chef The food we eat... read more

Cultivating self compassion with Larissa

When we are compassionate towards ourselves we are more likely to keep trying and keep moving forward. The opposite is also true when we are hard or more critical towards ourselves, we are more likely to want to give up in despair and stop trying. Over the years of... read more

Why do we find it so hard to do things that we know are good for us?

“There is no teacher that can teach us anything new, they can only help to remind us what we already knew.” Why is it we know many things that are beneficial to our wellbeing, however, for whatever reason we find it hard or challenging to do so? We know many of the... read more

Feeling scattered and unstable? Try this!

You probably learnt about the five elements growing up but have you ever considered how they affect us? Our current society rewards doing, achieving and succeeding and all of that physical and mental movement can mean we spend a lot of time with fire and air running... read more

Don’t search for happiness, create it!

I remember a few years ago walking past a colourfully painted mural of a rainbow sitting in a blue sky with a quote saying, “Don’t search for happiness, create it!” and I just stood in front of that mural thinking about what happiness means to me and whether I was... read more

Moving from “Health” to “Wellness”

As human beings, we have always been aware that it is important to be healthy but it is only in recent times that we have had such a big focus on wellness. So what does that actually mean? Personally, I think that when people think of being healthy they think more of... read more

Five reasons why parents should go on retreat, without the kids!

I am not going to lie, I don’t have kids. So perhaps I am not the best person to be writing this article. But, I have supported many students who are parents and I feel like I have a pretty good understanding of what it means to be a parent. You know: the guilt,... read more

How to Surrender to Uncomfortable Feelings

Feeling our emotions can be scary. Many of us are not afraid of our emotions themselves, but of experiencing them. We may have a resistance to the vulnerability that accompanies emotional expression especially when, during our most influential years of life, we were... read more

The Ethics of Yoga: The Yamas

Although yoga has been around for thousands of years, it has evolved in the West to often be nothing more than a form of exercise that incorporates breath. Although this is great for some and is the reason why most people come to the practice, we are missing some of... read more

What are Whole Foods and why should you care?

Eating healthy can be tricky.  For most of us, the discourse around nutrition and diet has come a long way since we zoned out whilst being fed the importance of the food pyramid or meat and two veg.  Yet somewhat lucky and unlucky for us, many people are now zoning... read more

Watch your Words

I mean really watch them. What are you saying to yourself over and over again on a regular basis? Notice if we say I don’t have this or this always happens to me. I can’t do this or perhaps I can do that. What happens?  Does it ironically always happen to you? If we... read more

Self-Abdominal Massage: Why and How?

Self-abdominal massage can encourage digestion and ease stomach discomfort. Essential oils such as peppermint, ginger, lavender and fennel are great for digestive issues. Combine a few drops of essential oil to some warm carrier oil. Massage the belly in a circular... read more

Book Review: Lost Connections

If you haven’t already heard of Lost Connections: Uncovering the Real Causes of Depression – and the Unexpected Solutions, you should have. For me, it has been one of the most insightful books that I have read for a long time. Written by Johann Hari, this book... read more

Self Love with Larissa

So many are constantly looking outside themselves for love. In the next relationship, chocolate bar, cigarette, drugs, sex, what ever it might be, take your pick. There is a feeling you are seeking whether you realise it or not in everything we do or purchase. Love... read more

Three Easy Breathing Techniques to Calm Your Mind

Breathing techniques (also known as pranayama in traditional texts) have been around for thousands of years. The breath is such a powerful tool because it can be both automatic and controlled. See “Pranayama: What is it and why should you include it in your... read more

Pranayama: what is it and why should it be in your daily practice?

You may have heard your yoga teacher talking about pranayama but do you actually know what it is? Most people just think of pranayama as ‘breathing exercises’ which is technically true but pranayama is much more interesting than that. What is Pranayama?... read more

Why guys should be going on retreat

Statistically, women are much more likely to go on retreat than men. There seems to be a stereotype that retreats mean eating rabbit food, talking about your feelings and getting pampered. Although you can talk about your feelings if you want and, of course, we can... read more

Spring Rejuvenation Retreat

Sunday 2nd to Wednesday 5th September 2018 Spring is about to arrive and we want to celebrate! Join us for our special Spring Rejuvenation Retreat to welcome the end of winter and the start of spring with open arms. Spring is a time when we awaken from the winter... read more

End of Winter Wellness Ritual

The cold of winter is lingering a little longer than we may have hoped. Once winter sets in it’s easy to let health slide as we indulge in rich foods, slow down our outdoor activities and basically bunker down until the cold passes. Winter is actually a beautiful time... read more

Ten Ways to Practice Self Care in Spring

Spring is almost here! This is very exciting news as it means longer days and more importantly, warmer weather. Spring is traditionally a time of new beginnings and fresh starts. Did you know? In Australia we classify seasons in terms of calendar months which means... read more

Farm Shop with a Heart

Warrah Biodynamic Farm at Dural supplies all of our organic fruit and vegetables and are a registered charity providing services to adults and children with disabilities in Sydney’s North West.  They grow a wide range of certified biodynamic/organic seasonal produce,... read more

Meditation 101: Can You Stop Those Pesky Thoughts by Paul von Bergen?

Introduction to meditation by Billabong Retreat founder Paul von Bergen read more

Forest Bathing is Scientifically Good for You!

We were fascinated by this article about some scientific research in Japan that actually explains why hanging out with trees improves your immune function! The Japanese practice of forest bathing is proven to lower heart rate and blood pressure, reduce stress hormone... read more

What Are Your Wellness Goals?

We just did some great research to find out what bothered people in their lives and we had nearly 5,000 submissions. It really seems that in today’s world many of us want to find a way to calm our busy minds, reduce the effects of stress and improve our energy... read more

Our Food Philosophy

We believe that good nutrition is one of the foundations of good health and longevity and that it should not be complicated. We serve wholefoods, as nature produced them, free from artificial pesticides, chemicals and antibiotics. We serve vegetarian food not because... read more

Our Pillars of Health, Wellness, Longevity & Joy by Paul von Bergen

1. Eat Well Eat the right foods. Look after your gut biome. No processed foods – just eat real food and slowly so it can be digested properly. No antibiotics if at all possible. Lots of natural probiotics. Minimise or avoid alcohol and caffeine. Avoid anything with... read more

Setting Quality Intentions: Top Eight Tips by Paul von Bergen

By Paul von Bergen, Founder, Billabong Retreat Learning how to set high quality intentions rather than poor quality resolutions is an essential skill for anyone who wants to create change in their lives. How many times have you or someone else set a new year... read more

Dear Body

By Charlotte Thaarup-Owen We protect what we fall in love with– fall in love with your dear body. Sometimes I think that the relationship we have with our body is like a veil that stops us from stepping fully into life due to feelings of shame and ‘not good enough’.... read more

How to Make New Year Intentions Stick

It’s that time of the year where new resolutions and intentions are set, but how do we actually make them stick? Here are some quick and easy tips. Limit how many resolutions you have to three (If you accomplish them early, then add more) Work out how you’ll deal with... read more

Big Fat Lies by David Gillespie

By Paul von Bergen There is a lot of confusion out there at the moment about what exactly is causing the high rates of cancer, heart disease, obesity and diabetes that we are seeing particularly in the Western world. Certainly the trend over the past fifty years of... read more

Biology of Belief

By Paul von Bergen We have been fans of Bruce Lipton for a while now and the more we read and absorb, the more obvious and simple his teachings become. His core statement is that our thoughts affect our genes. We think thoughts which create emotional chemicals that... read more

Top Tips Supporting You Through Chemotherapy

Embarking on the road of chemotherapy treatment for cancer can be a difficult and trying time for anyone to endure. Having gone through chemotherapy and radiation for breast cancer just over 5 years ago, here are some tips that I can offer to support you through... read more

Healing from Cancer

My Understanding During the time I was having chemotherapy, I attended a local movie premiere of Sex In The City. The evening was a fundraiser for breast cancer. Given the nature of the movie, the cinema was naturally full of women with the odd token male. As I looked... read more

 Back to our roots.  Wise traditions.

With so much conflicting information around about diet and what to eat or not to eat it is best to try to ignore or not take to seriously information in the media. Simply ask yourself. “Would my ancestors have  eaten this food” If not..leave it where you found it, it... read more

10 helpful hints for gut health and strong winter immunity

  Prebiotics and probiotics (prebiotics feed the probiotics) Fermented foods, kefir and saukraut. Make sure to start with small doses. Gluten free and wheat free diet Try a sugar free diet. Use stevia or Xylitol instead Cook with coconut oil, it is full of... read more

Magnesium, the Miracle Mineral

Tory has just finished reading ‘Magnesium, the Miracle Mineral, by Sandra Cabot Reading this opened my eyes to the incredible healing powers of magnesium. Most of us are aware of magnesium as a mineral to assist with muscle cramps and heart health. I am surprised to... read more

Tory’s Favourite Food Books

Supercharged Food – Lee Holmes A Primitive Diet – Beverley Southam Eating for the Seasons – Janella Purcell read more
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