A Weekend Away
Yoga, massage, good food and adventure come together at Nourished Retreats in Ocean Isle Beach.
As Brittany Stanley and Jennifer Murphy greet their guests one by one at the luxurious oceanfront home along the west end of Ocean Isle Beach, the scene is set for the most rejuvenating and relaxing three-day experience to come.
The two women developed the idea for hosting a wellness retreat several years ago when they met in a running club. They agreed their skills would be a perfect match for such a venture — Murphy could lead yoga, and Stanley could head up the massages.
A Brunswick County native, Stanley is a licensed massage therapist and owner of Mindful Body Wellness in Supply. Murphy, a native of Cary, is a certified yoga instructor and owner of OIB Yoga. She offers personal training and fitness classes as well as group and private yoga classes.
two tossed the idea of retreats back and forth for a bit, until 2022 when Stanley said, “Let’s do it.”
“Nourished Retreats was born,” Murphy says.
Their inaugural retreat on the first weekend of October 2022 included 11 guests and was a resounding success.
“We had a few requests that weekend that helped us to adjust and improve our offerings,” Stanley shares. The two began planning their spring retreat right away.
Nourished Retreats is designed to be a very personalized experience from arrival on Thursday evening to departure on Sunday morning. It includes accommodations, meals, snacks and beverages for the whole weekend, rejuvenating yoga and massage sessions, and add-ons like standup paddleboard yoga, kayaking and surf lessons. Guests sign up for their optional yoga sessions and personal massage along with any add-ons at registration.
A personalized schedule is then planned for each person.
“When checking in, each guest receives their personalized schedule and a gift bag packed with local goodies including a t-shirt, a beach towel, spa oils, coupons for local businesses and a few surprises,” Murphy says.
As the semi-annual Nourished Retreat commences, participants enjoy a session of Restoration Yoga and a sumptuous meal catered by a local restaurant After dinner, the group settles into the first evening Wine Down to make new friends, renew old friendships and review the upcoming schedule.
Guests are treated to one personal massage, Therapeutic or Thai, with the option to add on more, as the schedule provides.
“We want everyone to have the best possible experience,” Stanley says.
The Nourished Retreat schedule is the same for both Friday and Saturday and includes an early Mindful Morning meditation session followed by Stretch Yoga. Next up is breakfast, after which guests enjoy two hours of local adventures, shopping, a private massage or beach time. Lunch is at 12:30 followed by Power Yoga, two more hours of adventure or personal time and dinner at 6 pm. At 7:30, it is time for one more Restorative Yoga session and the very popular Wine Down and review of the day.
The final dinner on Saturday evening is an extra special event, catered by Chef Gringo Ninja.
“Everyone really enjoys this delightful dining experience,” Stanley says.
On Sunday morning, guests wake to their final Mindful Morning and Stretch Yoga followed by brunch. The closing experience is one last group reflection before guests depart.
Both Murphy and Stanley are excited about their new venture as well as the relationships they are creating with local businesses.
“We want to showcase the local and original offerings right here at Ocean Isle,” Stanley says.
“We really want to introduce our guests to the variety of our area, so we partner with Summertide Adventure Tours for a kayak trip and sunset cruise,” Murphy says. “We have bicycles from Scooter’s Surf Garage so our guests can take in the local shops, and our meals are catered from the best in the area, including Amelia’s, the Beach House Cafe, Causeway Gourmet and 59 Causeway right here on the Island.”
One of the retreat’s most popular add-ons is the group surf lesson with local Marty Mencer of OIB Surf Camp. The class is focused on water safety and catching a good wave.
The two women love getting to know their guests and watching them relax, unwind and enjoy all the best parts of OIB. As the retreat closes and the guests depart for home, the hosts remind each one to continue to “nourish the body to flourish the soul.”