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Chakras and shopping

The medina of Marrakech is not the first place that comes to mind for a quest for inner peace. With its bustling warren of streets, the explosion of smells, sights and sounds and the relentless swarms of scooters, bikes and donkeys jostling for position on the narrow alleyways, it seems to the virgin visitor to be the very antithesis of calm.
But as the oasis offers refuge in the heat of a desert, peace is often found in the most unlikely of places. And, as I can enthusiastically attest after spending five days on a sublime yoga retreat in the middle of that mayhem, there's plenty of it to be had in the Marrakech medina.

My London life is lived at 100mph - like so many women I attempt to juggle a full-time job and a tiny two-year-old tearaway while attempting to stay fit and have a social life too. I never sit down - if I did, I would fall asleep.
I was on a much-needed personal peace-finding mission  when I signed up for the retreat, hosted by yoga teacher of 20 years Nell Lindsell in a tiled riad - a characterful boutique hotel with traditional inner-courtyard that lay within the medina's ochre walls.
The five-day retreat saw 12 women of varying ages (from a boundlessly energetic 21-year-old student to a feisty 68-year-old retired businesswoman, with a few super-fit high-flying forty-something mothers in the mix) unified on a journey towards yogic calm - or at the very least, some bending and stretching, some sun... and a good deal of shopping. 
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