The co-founder of MADE fashion week on Boxerina workouts, mindfulness and making lasting memories at the Experience Esencia x Dannijo Travels retreat.
By Tamara Abraham
Jenné Lombardo is the first to admit that she’s a health fanatic. “I do a lot of weight training and pretty high energy cardio,” she tells us. So when the co-founder of MADE fashion week and founder of The Terminal Presents was offered the chance to join the inaugural Experience Esencia x Dannijo Travels retreat, she jumped at the chance. “I quickly booked,” she said.
The four-day retreat, at Hotel Esencia on Mexico’s idyllic Riviera Maya, is a partnership between the acclaimed hotel and Dannijo founders Danielle Snyder and Jodie Snyder-Morel. The program marries mindfulness and a variety of yoga practices including Yoga Nidra and Vinyasa with Danielle and Jodie’s signature Boxerina™ workout, a unique hybrid of ballet and boxing disciplines.
“Boxerina utilizes movement as a means to recenter yourself, sweat, feel and shed anything weighing on you, " Danielle explains. "The method’s unique choreography celebrates and examines the paradox of women — our strength and sensitivity; power and elegance. The fitness concept stemmed from both our love for boxing and also our friendship with the ABT ballerinas — we collaborated with them in 2014 on our popular 'Boxerina' collection." If you haven't seen the show, take a minute to watch it here.
A typical day of the retreat would start with a delivery of hot water with lemon and ginger, followed by a sunrise yoga session overlooking the ocean. “They had us up pretty early!” Jenné admits.
After a late breakfast, guests were free to take advantage of activities including paddle boarding and snorkelling, as well as the hotel’s legendary spa, but for Jenné, the hotel’s white sand beach proved too tempting to ignore. “A lot of us just opted to sit on the beach and read and just enjoy each other’s company,” she said.
The day would conclude with a drum and dance ceremony on the beach, an opportunity to “reconnect with the here and now”, before dinner.
“Esencia, just in itself, is really magical,” Jenné says of the hotel, which was originally built as the private home of an Italian duchess. Located on an undeveloped stretch of coastline between Playa del Carmen and Tulum, its generously sized suites and exacting service have won it awards from Mr & Mrs Smith, Conde Nast Traveler and Tripadvisor.
While she knew Danielle and Jodie, as well Bambi Northwood-Blyth who joined as her guest, Jenné developed a connection with others on the retreat too. “The highlight was really just seeing how much all of us opened up to each other,” she said. “[We] really became vulnerable and supportive with our weaknesses and used each other’s strength to lift people up.”
Indeed, while the workouts were the initial draw for Jenné, it was an emotional reset that was the most lasting memory. “It was just very different,” she says. “It wasn’t even so much about Boxerina, which was amazing, and the yoga, which was also phenomenal, it was really just an overall wellness where I felt we were really exercising our minds a lot, and connecting on such a human, spiritual level.”
Experience Esencia x Dannijo Travels is the result of a curated partnership between Hotel Esencia’s wellness and fitness experts and Dannijo co-founders Danielle and Jodie Snyder. The next retreat is April 22-26 2018. For details and bookings email firstname.lastname@example.org.