Barressentials Retreat at Cape Weligama | November 11 – 12, 2017

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle has always been one of my life mantra’s coupled with staying fit.

I have always believed the two go hand-in-hand since my Mother first took me to ballet classes when I was about 5 years old.

She believed that a healthy body was as essential as an active mind and encouraged me to join her in a few simple exercises each morning.

Traditional ballet classes revolve around the barre, that essential tool to help maintain balance and instill poise and graceful movement.

In fact, when I was introduced to the discipline of Pilates, about 10 years ago, I found it much easier due to my early ballet training.

Pilates is a discipline of the mind as much as the body and encouraged me to stretch and relax both my body and mind. As one of the essential techniques of Pilates is breathing, I can’t think of a better place than Cape Weligama due to the amazingly fresh air that rolls in from the ocean.

So it was a particular pleasure to discover Barressentials, which offers Barre classes integrating Barre, and Pilates. Barre is designed to exercise the small muscle groups as well as the large ones in a low impact way. This means there’s little physical impact on the skeleton so there’s no risk of physical damage.

It was opened by a fellow devotee, Nare Bandaranayake, who became involved in Barre 10 years ago and, in fact, she gave up her job as an Investment Banker in London to pursue – and realize – her dream of opening the first Barre studio in Colombo earlier this year.

Nare doesn’t believe that we should all live a minimalist lifestyle. She firmly endorses total wellness and that includes high-quality foods and regular relaxation in a physical and peaceful space that compliments the exercises.

Which is why she’s been inspired to join forces with the beautiful Cape Weligama resort to run the first true weekend of relaxation using Barre and Pilates techniques.

It sounds amazing and I for one shall be winging my way down to Cape Weligama on November 11th and 12th.

I’ve already packed my leggings, t-shirts, and socks in readiness. I’m that excited!

The programme looks relaxation itself and has been carefully crafted to not only give a limited number of participants a full immersion in barreessentials techniques but also an amazing experience of the cuisine and lifestyle of Cape Weligama.

Whilst the surroundings are an essential part of the weekend, the core are the classes.

The one I am anticipating the most is the early morning Pilates class on Sunday that extends over 60 enjoyable minutes followed by 45 minutes of stretching exercises on the outdoor pool deck.

But, of course, THE most important class is the Barre.

Each pure Barre class begins with a warm-up (imagine the surroundings at Cape Weligama!) and then standing with light weights to work your arm muscles. You then move to the barre to work your thighs and your bottom. Following this, you’ll do a series of abdominal exercises, followed by a cool down.

It’s definitely invigorating and the results certainly did wonders for my posture, my body shape and my state of mind. Living in a stressful urban environment as I do, the weekly opportunity to ‘switch off’ completely is something I look forward to with anticipation.

And the best news is that Barre and Pilates can be undertaken by anyone aged between 18-70 and even if you’ve recently given birth (In fact, these classes are ideal for post-natal as they help tighten the abdominal muscles again).

Nare couldn’t have chosen a more restful destination.

Having visited Cape Weligama on a previous occasion I can attest that the views are spectacular, the pure air invigorating and the sense of relaxation powerful.

Cape Weligama is renowned for two things.

Its cuisine and its restfulness.

Each of the dishes on offer has been created in consultation with award-winning chefs to ensure they are light yet highly nutritious.

There will be plenty of fresh fruit and fish and a wide choice of vegetarian dishes for each of the 3 meals during this special weekend. Obviously, there’s also a very wide range of luxurious teas to choose from as well as freshly pressed juices so you’ll have ample time to relax and enjoy the peaceful surroundings on offer both before and after your class.

Imagine dining under the stars listening to the sounds of the ocean and being enveloped in a warm and soothing breeze as you unwind with new-found friends.

Imagine enjoying the super king-sized and super comfortable bed with your choice of pillows before an early morning steam bath in your private sauna.

You will have gathered by now that I’m a total disciple.

My life can be very stressful at times and I am firmly convinced that it’s my devotion to Barreessential classes coupled with a sensible eating regime that has helped me through some challenging times.

I’ve realized there are times when one has to say “stop” and regroup one’s positive feelings.

My November weekend is one such opportunity.

And at Rs100,000/- for the entire weekend, it actually represents very good value for money.

Included is single-occupancy accommodation in a spectacular bungalow, (Rs. 70,000 for double occupancy), transport, 3 wonderful and nutritious meals, an activity of your choice from the extensive range at the Sports centre (Scuba, snorkeling, bicycles and more), 4 movement sessions, pre and post-retreat support AND a small ‘Thank You’ gift from the entire team at Bareessential.


Booking is also terribly easy.

A quick call to Nare Bandaranayake on +94776394040 (Whatsapp or text to arrange callback) or email to arrange everything.


I’m leaving all my issues behind and looking forward to seeing Nare and some new friends; being pampered with delicious food; bathing in the scenery as well as the infinity pool and returning home a changed woman.







Leave a Comment