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Please Note: Due to the current travel restrictions due to the coronavirus and COVID-19, Nature & Nurture Retreat has been postponed until February 27th, 2021. We are pleased to announce that we have opened more places so that you can begin your new year with a focus on wellbeing. 


You are invited to join MINDFUL TRIBES and The Psychology of It’s Dr Jodie Fleming for a unique wellbeing holiday on the beautiful Indian Ocean island of Sri Lanka.

Jodie is a highly respected and experienced clinical and health psychologist, writer, retreat leader and enthusiast for experiential living. Jodie chooses to live a conscious and balanced way of life, through her relationships, self care practices and passion for embracing every moment. Following the highly successful Conscious Living Retreat in Bali, Jodie is excited to step out of the clinic once again and into nature for a new way of sharing her knowledge and personal experiences of nature therapy.

Mindful Tribes is a bespoke retreat travel specialist, based in New Zealand, founded by Jo Duffy. Jo and her team have earned an enviable worldwide reputation as creating highly polished, hand crafted, wellbeing retreat holidays for the everyday person. A Mindful Tribes retreat holiday infuses boutique wellness workshops, stunning food experiences and once in a lifetime experiential moments, all in the most breathtaking destinations.

The Nature & Nurture Retreat is designed with Jodie’s knowledge of the powers of nature and hydrotherapy at its core. As an ocean swimmer for several years, Jodie has lived with and relied on the healing properties of ‘Vitamin Sea’ for her own health, wellbeing and vitality.

Join Jodie and Mindful Tribes for a retreat centred on mindful grounding practices on Victoria Lake, within the highland forests, amongst tea plantations and guided meditations within ancient Buddhist Meditation Caves in the heart of Sri Lanka.

You will savour every moment of the mindfulness based experiential workshops, yoga and meditation, immersed in the tranquillity and elegance of what Marco Polo once described as ‘the most beautiful island in the world’.

Nature versus nurture is a thousands of years old debate among philosophers and scientists alike. Are our human traits predestined products of our genetics, or are they shaped by environments? Through the lens of modern neuroscience we know there are no extreme answers to this debate. Instead, we view them as blended, as one. We need both.

On the Nature & Nurture Retreat nature is nurture.

Embracing the traditions of shinrin yoku, Japanese for forest bathing, our retreat will adopt all that nature therapy has to offer.

The idea is simple yet elegant. By staying at the base of the Knuckles Mountain Range, we will enjoy the healing properties of this stunnning National Park, local lake and breathtaking waterfalls located in the tea plantations. You will have the option to kayak and paddleboard in the lake (subject to water levels).

Messages of balance, self care, self nurturing and nourishment will entwine your subconscious mind. Joined with the nourishing traditional cuisine, we immerse ourselves into a rich culture in a little known part of Sri Lanka with restful swims or massages, you will flourish with the conscious acts of living each experience, mindfully.

During your week you will have a once in a lifetime opportunity to experience a wild elephant 4WD safari in one of Sri Lanka’s National Parks at extra cost. We are keen to give our guests opportunities to explore this stunning island but we appreciate some guests will be happy to just relax at the retreat. Details of our two additional excursions (extra cost) will be released at a later date.

Embarking on this breathtaking retreat, you have the opportunity to experience a personal journey of self exploration, empowerment and cultural diversity, meanwhile finding deep relaxation and peace in the timeless beauty of Sri Lanka.

Regardless of whether you are at the beginning of your wellness journey or you are a dedicated wellbeing lover, this retreat will be a transformative journey led by our amazing MINDFUL TRIBES team.

Come retreat with us.


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Our 7 Day / 7 Night escorted retreat holiday is hosted at the heavenly Rukgala Retreat.

This beautiful retreat home is located in the central province of Sri Lanka at the base of the stunning Knuckles Mountain Range. Rukgala was conceived from a passion and enthusiasm for this very beautiful and still pretty unknown part of Sri Lanka. Out of a crumbly, empty old house they have fashioned an ideal sanctuary, for those wanting a space to retreat. The goal has been to offer spaces where people can enjoy time together, experience a very honest and open side of Sri Lanka, and from which they can take something not so often found in the tourist guides. With truly some of the best Sri Lankan wellness food in the country, along with active, occasionally even adventurous days and relaxing beginner’s yoga and meditation, this is the perfect wellbeing holiday for the wellness novice.

Upon arrival at Colombo airport, you will be met by our driver and guide and transferred Rukgala Retreat where you will be welcomed by our Mindful Tribes community, Jodie and Jo. Return airport transfers are included.



In addition to the group experiential workshops there will be the opportunity to also book a private personally tailored one hour session with Jodie at an additional cost. Where appropriate, these sessions may attract a Medicare rebate of $148.00.


Though a great spot for non yogis too, Rukgala was born of wanting to create a space for large and small groups, practicing yoga in a beautiful, remote and peaceful location. Alongside a lovely Shala join Rukgala’s Yoga teachers, Emma Sheridan and Jasmine Brand-Williamson for a set of enriching, enlightening, and restorative yoga & meditation classes.

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Wellbeing is at the heart of Sri Lanka culture with centuries old Auryveda medicine used today for medical and holistic treatments alike. Used 30,000 years ago this ancient treasure trove of indigenous knowledge base, natural environment and culture has a worldwide following. We will enjoy luxurious ayurvedic treatments.

We will also enjoy some of the best wellness food that Sri Lanka has to offer. Still an emerging scene, this Sri Lanka inspired, mainly vegetarian,thoughtfully curated menu is light and fresh using organically grown produce where possible. Most dietary requests can be catered for.


Many of our travellers join our wellbeing holidays on their own. If you are travelling solo you can either choose a solo room or we can buddy you up with another traveller of the same gender in a twin share.


You will need to arrange flights to Colombo airport and are free to fly with any airline. It is strongly suggested that you do not book flights until we have reached our minimum guest numbers, when the retreat is confirmed as going ahead. As soon as this happens will be in touch with you immediately. As most flights arrive and depart around midnight, it is important to point out that in order to arrive into Sri Lanka in the early hours of Saturday 27th February, 2021.

You will then depart on Saturday 6th March after dinner. If you need to leave earlier or arrive that is absolutely no problem and we can arrange extra meals for you at extra cost. Please chat with your travel agent about your flights.


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Dr Jodie Fleming is a Kylie-Minogue-loving Staffy owner who does her best to live in the moment. She also cares about people and is deeply interested in the humanness behind all that we do. Jodie came back to psychology as a career after trying a handful of other people centred professions in her twenties, including myotherapy, tertiary teaching and working as a movement therapist based on the Pilates Method. She was always going to be a psychologist though, and now works in her private practice, The Psychology of It, as a school psychologist at Emmanuel College and as a part of the mental health department at St John of God Healthcare.

On the background of her own chronic health issues, Jodie is a motivated exerciser and understands the importance of eating well and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Recently, she has begun practising more 'therapy in action', taking her clients out of their minds and into their lives. Jodie strives to motivate her clients to move their bodies when they are lacking the motivation to do so. Walk and talk therapy has become one of her new favourite ways of working.

After selling out her first retreat, Conscious Living, in Bali 2019, and witnessing the positive and unique benefits that group wellness travel provides, Jodie has permanently added Retreat Leader to her CV and her yearly planner!

Jodie has enjoyed success with her first book, a breast cancer memoir called ‘A Hole in My Genes’ and is also enjoying doing more guest speaking at author talks, within a cancer survivorship program, general community education events, young leaders programs and is also planning a Human Library event #humanlibrary3280. She is already feeling the zen of Nature & Nature and can’t wait to share it with you.

You can find Jodie and her writing at https://drjodiefleming.com.au or https://thepsychologyofit.com.au, on Facebook @drjodiefleming or @thepsychologyofit, Instagram @the_psychology_of_it and Twitter @psychologyofit.


Triple Share Deluxe     $3080.00 2 Places Left
Twin Share   Deluxe     $3350.00 3 Places Left
Solo Share    Superior  FULL
Solo Share    Deluxe     FULL


Rukgala Retreat is a boutique retreat hotel, which by definition means no two rooms are the same! These highly individual rooms vary in size, bedding arrangement and view. Some rooms may have showers and some have showers over baths, so if this is important to you, please detail to us you needs when you book. We will do our absolute best to accommodate your requests where possible and will allocate rooms on a first come, first served basis.

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  • 7 Days / 7 Nights staying at Rugkala Retreat, Kandy, Sri Lanka
  • Hosted by Mindful Tribes Retreat Leader, Dr Jodie Fleming, Clinical & Health Psychologist
  • Delicious and healthy Sri Lankan inspired menu – 7 breakfasts, 7 lunches, 7 dinners
  • Five group self care workshops
  • Gentle beginners yoga and meditation daily
  • Guided walk to the Temple and meditation caves at Bambaragala
  • Tea plantation excursion with lunch at luxury Tea estate
  • One hour full body massage treatment with an Ayurvedic therapist
  • Half day shopping and sightseeing tour of historical town, Kandy
  • Use of kayaks at retreat
  • Arrival and departure Colombo airport transfers
  • Daily filtered water, local teas and brewed coffee
  • Wifi 
  • Mindful Tribes Welcome pack


  • Flights
  • Visas
  • Travel Insurance
  • Immunisations
  • Items of a Personal nature like laundry
  • Soft or Alcoholic Drinks
  • Optional excursion to Kaudualla National Park for a Wild Elephant Safari
  • Optional guided Knuckles Mountain forest trek
  • Local gratuities ( discretionary )


A non-refundable deposit of $500 is required to book your place along with your completed booking form. ( Refundable in the unlikely instance we do not meet minimum numbers for the retreat ). It is a minimum requirement to take out fully comprehensive travel insurance at the same time as paying your deposit.


Visas are the responsibility of the traveller at all times. All travellers require a visa, but please check your own eligibility for applying for an online visa waiver approval called an ETA ( Electronic Travel Authority ) through your travel agent or online at http://www.eta.gov.lk/slvisa/.


Testimonials from our CONSCIOUS LIVING Retreat Guests, BALI, June 2019

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"I signed up for the Conscious Living Retreat hoping for the time of my life. I even expected the time of my life. From the time I landed in Bali, it became far more than that. I am not the same man I was when I hopped on the plane from halfway around the world. The experiences changed me for the better.

Jodie's workshops and Peta's yoga and meditation sessions allowed us to connect with our higher selves in ways I had heard about but never experienced. Their knowledge and compassion and connection germinated in all of us. We truly became a tribe, a family.

In a word, the Retreat was magical. Each minute. Each hour. Each day.

Jodie's workshops gave us the tools to move forward in positive ways with our lives, and more. She didn't just tell us about them. She lived those tools each day. We could see her grow right along with us, so that we became a loving community rather than a mere class.

Peta's meditations taking us up the mountain of our chakras to introduce us to our higher selves perfectly blended with the gentle yoga she led us in. She also did more than lead us. She, too, was one of us.

Jodie created what I see as a perfect atmosphere for personal growth and learning. She created a safe haven for us to be vulnerable. Many, if not all of us, were. Each supported the others.

To say that this amazing retreat was life-changing would not do it justice. It caressed my soul. It nurtured it.

Over time, I've been to many retreats and conferences. I've never experienced the level of love and acceptance and camaraderie and growth I experienced here. Each and every person in the retreat became my friend. Though we only knew each other a week, we really knew each other by the end. Because it was safe to do so.

I cannot imagine a Retreat being any better." Rocky, Texas, USA.

"In some ways I don’t really know where to start to tell of my experience of Retreat.

I had booked into the retreat because I had had a very bad few months with anxiety and depression and felt I needed something to shift my thinking. This retreat was recommended to me and I was drawn more to the Conscious Living Retreat after reading about Jodie Fleming and Peta Jolley and their ethos.

As it turned out this was one of the most beneficial things I have ever done for myself. I can’t remember ever putting so much time into myself and it’s been so rewarding.

Our group met for the first time at Desa Seni a village resort which was chosen so beautifully as our first venue. The perfect place for our tribe to get to know each other and to begin our mindful journey.

We went on to have 7 of the most glorious days together. Our leaders Jodie and Peta led us to re-discover ourselves in the most positive and beautiful way. At times we were very vulnerable but everyone of us felt safe and secure in this beautiful environment of Bali.

I’ve been back home and in the real world now for a few weeks and find that retreat has NOT left me. I feel so much gratitude for the people I met and the experience we all went through. I have only to think of that time and a smile comes to my face.

My biggest thanks go to Jodie Fleming and Peta Jolley. I can’t recommend anything more highly than this retreat. If you find you do need to do anything for yourself I would encourage you to go on retreat with these ladies in the future." Pauline, Victoria, Australia.

"The Conscious Living Retreat was my first trip to Bali along with my first retreat. I had no idea what to expect. My experience was unbelievable. Our crew contained a cross section of people who melded together in the most magical way.

Guided by the vulnerability and honesty of Jodie we all peeled back our barriers and went along the journey of self-discovery. Through the workshops Jodie delivered we shone the spotlight on ourselves which was complimented beautifully by Peta’s yoga and mindfulness sessions.

I left Bali a different person with a more positive outlook on life and for that I will be forever grateful. The accommodation was brilliant and there was enough time to relax as well as enjoy the absolutely delicious food we ate everyday. It was the perfect blend of a retreat and holiday. I can not recommend this retreat highly enough, you owe it to yourself to go!" Jodie, Victoria, Australia.

"Bali was a place I never had on my bucket list or to even go on a Yoga Retreat, but it was six days of being with a fantastic group of people. So much love, laughter & great experiences will stay with me forever . Thanks so much to our amazing leaders Jodie & Peta for an unbelievable experience that I was privileged to be apart of." Fiona, Victoria, Australia

"It’s amazing to think that on May 4th I would embark on a very different holiday to Bali with a group of people, most of which I had not ever met. The following seven days provided many laughs, conversations and tears with these people who didn’t even seem like strangers at all. An amazing experience I would recommend to everyone. You owe it to yourself. Heart felt thanks to Jodie, Peta and Jo." Kerrie, Victoria, Australia. 

"Amazing is not a word I use often but that is what the whole week of the Retreat was. Being new to yoga and the whole concept of a retreat, I wasn't sure what to expect and had some doubts. However they were soon put away on the first day when it became obvious that it would be a safe and caring group led by 2 wonderful, warm caring, people. Even though (or because?) some of Jodie's so carefully laid plans went slightly astray, not that I noticed, everything led to that life changing moment awakening. The great locations and food just added the cream to it. Thank you so much to each and everyone involved. Nick xx" Nicholas, Victoria, Australia.

"I’m back into the real world today after the most life changing experience in Bali last week. I was lucky enough to join a group of amazing people at the Conscious Living Retreat.

A heartfelt thank you to Jodie and Peta for organising such a fabulous retreat - you should both be incredibly proud of yourselves. I feel blessed to have had the opportunity to spend a week learning more about mindful living and practicing yoga and meditation daily surrounded by incredible people." Yvonne, Australia.


Rukgala Image Credits: Rukgala Retreat