We chat with Amanda Bruton, founder and director of The Seventh Seal Luxury Retreat, about the inspiration to create her Bali wellness haven and how she maintains the healthy balance in her life that she teaches to others.
Can you tell us a bit about your early life and how it lead to a love of travel and wellness?
I was born in Malawi in Central Africa to a Malawian mum and English dad. My father was a hotel manager and was posted to a different country every three years: I lived in Nepal, Brussels, the UK, Hong Kong and Bali before moving to Australia when I was 13.
I had my son at 18, and still managed to go to university and study nursing. I have always been fascinated by the human body and how complex and truly amazing it is!
After nursing, I went on to study natural medicine, specialising in naturopathy and homeopathy, and then studied with Deepak Chopra so I could teach his style of meditation. I developed my love of yoga through a deep immersion experience, completing my 500-hour advanced yoga teaching training in Ubud, Bali.
What inspired you to create The Seventh Seal Retreat?
While I was completing my advanced yoga training in Bali, I dreamed up the idea of creating a place of retreat for people who wanted to nurture their mind, body and spirit.
My villa in Bali was being built at the same time. Once it was finished, I wanted to share all the things I had learnt with as many people as possible to inspire their own journey to wellness.
After many years of planning, The Seventh Seal Luxury Retreat was born.
What is the most common reason guests visit your retreat? How can you help them?
I believe all our guests are looking for relaxation and inspiration — they also want clear information to help them live a healthier life. As humans, we all experience some level of feeling stressed, tired and rundown. We also get into unhealthy patterns if they aren’t kept in check.
Our main goal at the retreat is to firstly offer a space where guests can instantly experience rest and relaxation. Then we use this beautiful space to teach simple tools that create a new feeling of wellness while on retreat, and most importantly, that guests can take home with them to increase their vitality and quality of life: gentle yoga, meditation techniques, mindfulness exercises, education on nutrition and health tips to use daily.
We also offer lots of pampering and massages that definitely help the rejuvenation process!
What does a typical day at the retreat involve for you?
A typical day involves waking at sunrise in Bali, having my warm water with apple cider vinegar and floating downstairs to the kitchen to check on breakfast and the menu for the day.
I love sitting at the kitchen bench and talking to our fabulous team about what’s happening throughout the week and to plan new dishes and smoothies.
I then walk to my office that leads past the garden and pool and take a moment to be grateful for what I see and where I am. Gratitude is a big part of my life. Since I started respecting the idea of gratitude throughout my day, I have seen my life change in so many positive ways.
The rest of my day is filled with looking after guests: I might be teaching a healthy living workshop, working with our teachers to develop a new yoga class or cooking class, or organising healing treatments.
A big part of my day is spent listening to and chatting with guests, sharing their favourite parts of the retreat and asking me for recipes ... I love it!
What is your go-to healthy meal?
My go-to healthy meal? Wow, I have so many. When you appreciate clean food and have a love affair with all things vegetable, the options are endless.
But I do love an organic avocado simply cut in half with a poached egg and baby spinach on the side — or perhaps a lemony fennel salad on the side.
As I've learnt to eat more healthily, I notice I need to spend much less time at the stove.
And your indulgent dessert?
I know it may sound a bit virtuous, but I don’t like to eat many sweet things. Sugar in all forms just doesn’t sit well with me.
Having said that, my gorgeous friend and cooking teacher on our Nourish and Nurture retreats, Andrea Ball, makes this to-die-for coconut-cacao rough slice that’s full of whole and healthy ingredients. You only need a little to get your fix! We'll have to share that recipe soon.
What is your work-life balance like and how do you maintain it?
They say that when you're passionate about something, it's no longer work. I've found out for myself that this is true.
I love what I do and I'm constantly touched by guests' feedback about how the retreat has changed their lives for the better.
I’m also fortunate to have the backdrop of Bali and the villa as my office. This gives me great energy to work with.
I draw on meditation, yoga and healthy connections to keep me balanced. Balance is created on the inside and is governed by joy, connection to spirit and in trying to make a difference in this world.
Do you have a mantra or quote that you live by?
My mantra is to every day ‘Honour Wellness, Gratitude and Growth’.
If I’m honouring these three things in my life, then I am keeping my health on track, being grateful for all that I have in the present moment, and setting my intention to grow each day.
© 2017 The Seventh Seal Luxury Retreat
You are welcome to share this recipe with family and friends, acknowledging The Seventh Seal Luxury Retreat as the original source.