The Happy Buddha Retreats Story
A quest for a life less ordinary
Happy Buddha Retreats as we know it, in Wentworth Falls, Blue Mountains has its beginnings back some twenty years ago.
Back then, founder Athil Singh ran his first yoga retreat at a farm-stay near Sydney! At the age of 21, diagnosed with stress and anxiety, Athil decided to try his first yoga class. For him, yoga was a mysterious thing, which promised the excitement of a different kind of life – a life lived with intention. From that first class, he was hooked.
Athil’s first teacher was the well-known Cronulla surfie and yoga teacher Mark Breadner. At the time, Mark was working for international charitable organisations as well as teaching yoga. Athil saw that Mark understood the mind and body in a deeper way than most people, plus he also meditated and ran yoga retreats. This inspired Athil in his quest for ‘a life less ordinary’ and the entrepreneurial seed was planted. Once he had trained as a teacher, Athil saw a way forward for him to host his own retreats.
Athil remembers with a smile some of his first events, hosting retreats at rented beach-side properties. He felt like the main character in the movie, ‘The Marigold Hotel’. Think young guy, running a business on a shoestring but with a great sense of humour, an upbeat attitude and charismatic personality.
Finding a permanent home for Happy Buddha Retreats
Along the way, Athil has been joined by some of the team members who are still with him today. This includes regular facilitators Courtney Louise, Samantha Brett and Himanshu Gour just to name a few and then Jeevi The Laughing Chef who visit us to cook every now and then. Our crew are humble and kind humans and we even have a volunteer exchange program which is open to anyone.
As he hosted more yoga retreats in and around Sydney, Athil saw the need to have a permanent retreat centre. Then one day, the stars aligned! An amazing place appeared on the rental market in Wentworth Falls, Blue Mountains. And in true Happy Budda style, we’ve released additional offerings in Byron and also near Newcastle.
Establishing roots in the community
From these humble beginnings, Athil and his team now run a thriving yoga retreat business. The retreat centre echos his boho and rustic roots in its interiors and furnishings. Formerly a conference centre, the building that is now Happy Buddha Retreats has many unique features. There are inspirational quotes on the floor and walls, a cosy fireplace perfect for a mug of camomile tea, and an amazing lap-sized pool.
Situated in the most beautiful and private Australian bushland setting, Happy Buddha Retreats runs twice weekly retreats, in addition to special events and casual yoga classes for the Blue Mountains community.
Helping guests to restore balance at Happy Buddha Retreats
The Inner Joy Retreat is the perfect first stop for guests feeling stressed and burned out. This 2 night, 3 day retreat allows the perfect opportunity to disconnect from a hectic, technology driven life and find inner joy. Guests leave Happy Buddha Retreats feeling stretched, rested and revitalised.
As you walk to the dining room to feed your body and mind your eyes are drawn to this beautiful floor mosaic that spells out a Happy Buddha mantra of sorts:
“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them”