In a little slice of heaven on Bali’s Canggu beach, Rachel Fearnley founded Pineapple House Bali: a unique surf and yoga retreat focusing on health, wellness and revitalisation of the body and mind. A qualified yoga instructor, Rachel practices what she preaches, sharing her outlook and perspective on a balanced, healthy lifestyle and eliminating the stress-inducing factors of modern living. She chats with us about life before yoga, and how she founded the resort.
What was your first healthy holiday experience? My first healthy holiday experience was a few days in a stunning health spa on the island of Sardinia. I was working 24/7 on a superyacht and was really burnt out. Having a plethora of stress related health issues, my partner at the time and I took ourselves off to a spa for a few days. I had the most phenomenal experience with Shiatsu which was quite a game changer for me and how I deal with stress–or more to the point, how I don’t let myself get to a point where I get that stressed anymore.
How do you reboot after a hectic week? Well, I try not to have too hectic a life – it’s seriously overrated. But, if I were to have a busier week than usual, I make sure I really take my weekends; though often, in this line of work, the lines are quite blurred. I do all the things that make me smile on the inside: hang out with my friends and my pups, go for a surf, take a yoga class, do pilates, train, have a massage, sleep, read a book, eat good food. Living in Bali means that all these things are so accessible.
Tell us a little bit about your lifestyle before you founded this resort. Before I became a yoga teacher and started on this part of my journey, I worked on superyachts. Although it gave me an amazing life of travel and adventure, my lifestyle left a lot to be desired: I had numerous bad habits which were not conducive to healthy living. Getting out of yachting and into yoga teaching was a way to separate myself from an industry that was for me, self-destructive.
Who are your role-models and why? I don’t have particular role models, I see everyone I come across as a teacher.
What was the incentive behind opening this resort? I had a real urge to be autonomous and have my own thing so I could truly create the life I wanted. I also wanted to offer up a style of retreat that was something I personally would want to go on, as I feel this is integral to running your own business with integrity and authenticity. I wanted to empower people as they travel to offer up something a little more independent, and to show people that even if you are a first-time solo traveller or are new to Bali you can safely step out of your comfort zone.
Who would this healthy holiday destination suit? We attract both men and women, solo travellers, friends and couples travelling together. It appeals to the more independent traveller who likes their creature comforts. We avoid heavy scheduling of activities to allow people more freedom within their retreat experience.
What do you hope guests will take away from their stay? My hope is that they walk away with a sense of fulfilment, having taken some real downtime in order to satisfy their own happiness. They should leave with a sense of feeling empowered, some new skills or even passions, and some awesome, wholehearted connections with other like-minded souls.
Describe an ideal retreat experience here in five words. Authentic, soulful, fun, challenging, heart opening.
What sets this resort and the retreats you offer apart from the rest? Our ability to really mould each guest’s experience depending on their wants and needs, and the freedom to really do as much or as little as you want.
What are the crucial factors involved in implementing a successful healthy lifestyle change? Surround yourself with like-minded folk and people who inspire you. Be curious and inquisitive about what feels right for you, don’t just do it because you read about it somewhere. Little and often: more solid changes are created with small consistent steps rather than occasional, huge steps.