A Day of Self-Care and Self-Discovery at the NOURISH Wellness Retreat
Beautiful Weather, Restorative Yoga, Vibrant Pop-Ups and Healthy Eats
By Taylor Tobin
Photos by Holly Cowart
On Sunday, April 16, fans of yoga, relaxation and positive vibes gathered at Hummingbird House in Manchaca for NOURISH.
In its third year, the wellness event featured workshops and seminars led by physical and mental well-being experts and professionals. The day was complemented by bites, invigorating activities and quality time in the crisp spring air.
Natural Beauty and a NOURISH-ing Start
Sunday morning boasted perfect weather for the event — sunny and warm (but not hot) with a gentle breeze — at Hummingbird House, the retreat’s home turf.
Hummingbird House is less than 20 minutes from Austin by car. The property is typically reserved for private gatherings and not open to the public, making NOURISH particularly exceptional.
Hummingbird House is an oasis of natural beauty. Lush lawns are surrounded by perfectly-manicured bushes, vines, flowers and soothing fountains. Beautiful awnings shield stone patios adorned by chic outdoor furniture provided by Design Within Reach.
Mesmerizing music by harpist Sarah Hall and punchy flower arrangements by House of Margot Blair set a serene scene amidst the gardens.
Special additions included a spacious air-conditioned tent dedicated to yoga, panel discussions and guest presentations.
Before the day’s events began, PeoplesRx (an Austin mini-chain of pharmacies and juice bars with a cult following) offered attendees a nutritious and delicious start. Its popular organic cold-pressed juices and breakfast treats, like zucchini muffins and chia pudding with fresh berries, invigorated the group.
Austin Java covered the coffee angle, joining forces with Fronk’s Nut Milk. Fronk’s locally-made, dairy-free milk includes organic almonds, cashews and dates. Its silky texture and a gently-sweet flavor balanced the coffee’s acidity well.
A Morning of Inspiration and Meditation
Fueled by morning bites and beverages, Dr. Nahal Delpassand‘s opening speech officially kicked off NOURISH. Dr. Delpassand is an Austin-based psychologist who works with patients to set goals and approach challenges from an emotionally-sensitive, solution-oriented place.
Dr. Delpassand shared a moving story of her personal experiences with cerebral palsy and a recent injury to her dominant hand.
This experience reinforced her belief in the power of perseverance and self-compassion. Her words boosted the holistic spirit of the NOURISH retreat.
Attendees then moved into a yoga session with Callie Ogden Milbrandt, a local instructor who guides classes at her own Bloom by Callie. Milbrandt placed an inclusive emphasis on leading an all-levels class.
The session was based on a vinyasa flow, but Milbrandt told participants to modify or skip poses as needed. Despite the sizable group, Milbrandt made the practice feel highly individualized.
Milbrandt led the group through a meditation in savasana to conclude the practice.
In a prime state to quiet the mind, attendees relaxed into their bodies for the rest of the day’s events.
Lunching and Learning
The end of meditation seamlessly flowed into a brief and lively cooking demo from Chef Carlos of Farmhouse Delivery.
Farmhouse Delivery is a grocery service that delivers Texas produce, locally-raised meats, and other premium foods made in the Lone Star State.
The chef demonstrated how to make a fresh broccoli salad with red onion, fresh fruit, pumpkin and sunflower seeds. He topped it with a vegan Dijon-mayonnaise dressing.
Attendees took pre-packaged salads and indulgent avocado chocolate pudding as parting gifts for their midday meal.
After lunch, attendees divided into three groups.
One group focused on botanical healing with herbalist Lauren Peterson of Hill Country Herb Garden. The second took part in a sound bath meditation with the Creekhaven Inn & Spa team.
The last group participated in a panel discussion with Dr. Delpassand, registered dietician Sally Bowman and internal medicine doctor and lifestyle consultant Dr. Brooke Stubbs of Rooted Femme.
In the third group, Dr. Delpassand, Dr. Stubbs and Bowman advocated a well-rounded approach to self-care. They encouraged attendees to tune into the body’s messages and take these cues to inform dietary and lifestyle choices.
They also cautioned against the tendency to compare yourself to the versions of others shown on social media.
They spent the latter part of the session fielding questions from the audience. Questions included how to address specific health concerns, creating a nourishing meal plan and their thoughts on wellness trends, like intermittent fasting and “clean” alcohol.
Happy Hour on a High Note
Following the afternoon sessions, participants headed to the lawn for happy hour.
It kicked off with delightful mini scones from Creekhaven Inn and a variety of wine options from BOXT. Moderate pours and a mindful selection process — including detailed tasting notes and consultations with BOXT team members — thoughtfully complemented NOURISH’s ethos.
During happy hour, guests had a chance to browse the various sponsor booths positioned throughout the grounds. NOURISH’s curation provided something for everyone.
Skincare mavens enjoyed a mini-facial by Creekhaven Spa, cryotherapy from Restore Hyper Wellness and mini Xeomin injections and skin consultations from Saving Face. If you craved more physical relaxation, a mini massage from Creekhaven or a spinal wellness check from Mōtus Chiropractic did the trick.
Love Weld offered jewelry enthusiasts the opportunity to get fitted for permanent jewelry. Urban Betty skillfully plaited, wove, and twisted tresses at its braid bar.
At day’s end, NOURISH guests appeared physically refreshed, mentally centered and at peace emotionally. The schedule permitted plenty of free time to explore the beautiful property and absorb the information of the classes and seminars.
Guests went home with goody bags made by Savilino. The bags were filled with delightful items and event partner discounts, intended to keep the retreat experience lingering long after the blissful day.
If you’re curious about wellness and want to spend a day focused on you in a beautiful location, keep an eye out for NOURISH signups in spring 2024.