The Legacy Retreat’s holidays are aimed at couples and take place at locations such as Nihiwatu Resort, Indonesia, and five-star hotels in Bhutan. Billionaire.com spoke to co-founder Crystal Lim Leahy to find out more behind the concept.
How did the idea of the Legacy Retreat come about?
Crystal Lim Leahy: My husband and I both have a background in investment banking and finance. Together we had worked for around a combined 22 years in that sector. We were leading very stressful lives in Singapore and we never saw our children due to pressures of work. As we were coming up to our seventh year of marriage, I realised we were in a bit of a crisis. At that time, one of my friends had just come back from a retreat in Byron Bay [Australia] called the Hoffman Process, which was all about pure therapy. The slogan is ‘when you’re serious about change’. Although we were sceptical, my husband and I went and came back, and were changed, because it gave me so much emotional stability and strength.
That said, it’s not enough to just work on your emotional state of mind. I believe that we need to work on our bodies, our spirit, our mind and emotions. None of these four aspects can be ignored — which was how the Legacy Retreat was born. We wanted a retreat that allowed individuals to work on all four aspects. My aim was to have the first holistic retreat in the world and to really de-stigmatise the idea of talking about your emotions.
What exactly does
Body, mind, emotions and spirit — we call it the four aspects of self. Actually, all of these are inter-related. We have a therapy team, which specialises in experiential psychology and does emotional intelligence workshops. Too many people these days focus on the ‘mind’ aspect of their self. Their heads are stuck in the past, regretting mistakes made or, in time-travelling to future, anxiously making plans and strategising about the future. Ultimately they are missing out on the real life in the present moment right under their nose.
But the only state that the body is capable of existing in is the present moment so when we focus on meditation and the body, we bring people back to their actual reality, awaken their self-awareness and clear away all the noise of the modern world so that they have a sense of clarity and well-being.
The really interesting thing is that when you tell people that you are going on a yoga retreat it’s quite accepted; but if you tell your boss you’re going on an emotional or spiritual retreat, they’ll think there’s something wrong with you. That said, to be truly holistic, the body work really helps. For body, we have Mark Phillips, who teaches Jin Jing Gong — a Chinese version of energy yoga — tantric breathing and offers acupuncture services. Body work allows our retreat goers to really drop everything and get into a deep state of relaxation. People want to be nurtured and pampered; they have such little time off from their busy lives that they don’t want to be kept in an ascetic environment.
Is that why the Legacy
Retreat always takes place in a beautiful resort?
Yes, so people feel safe and nurtured. We have a lot of couples that come to the retreat together. For these things one person often does it on their own. In our retreats, it’s different. Our clients don’t feel it’s in the same bucket at all — because it’s in a beautiful resort, they can feel like they can commit to their relationship by taking this break every year.
What are some of the
post-retreat reactions you’ve heard from previous participants?
We had a lady who joined us and, upon her return, emailed everyone and said this was the best thing she had ever done. She also got a tattoo and it was a little scribble that said ‘it can’t wait’ because after being at Legacy, she realised she was putting things off but that she shouldn’t because life is about the now and the present. Many of our clients have made significant progress in their jobs and relationships through a newfound sense of direction and taking ownership and control of their lives.
What are your clients
We have a whole range of people. Individuals are getting more and more stressed, and yet we can’t change the world we live in. We can, however, change ourselves. So a lot of our customers lead very stressful lives but it’s not always career-related. Some are wives, who don’t see their husbands very often, or individuals who have been retrenched, or even yoga teachers and entrepreneurs.
What do you say to
potential customers who think that the Legacy Retreat is too expensive?
To be honest, it only covers the cost. You just pay the retreat fee upfront once and it includes accommodation at five- or six-star resorts, meals, tea breaks, beverages, activities, and all the therapy and treatments. It even includes an after-care programme where you get your own customised meditation and access to support calls. When you consider all of that it’s not that much. You’ve got to think about the price you put on your wellbeing. How much do you value your relationships?
You’ve mentioned that
the Legacy Retreat is not about making money, so what keeps you going?
Because I’m working for something I believe in. Not for some company, not for someone else, but rather helping people to feel good about themselves, which is infinitely more fulfilling.