I would like to know what "it was on a yoga retreat in Ibiza" means in the following sentences:

‘Now,’ Will says, palm on my back as a gentle steer, warm through my dress, ‘let me introduce you to some people. This is Georgina.’

Georgina, thin and chic in a column of fuchsia silk, gives me a wintry smile. She can’t move her face much and I try hard not to stare – I’m not sure I’ve ever seen Botox in real life. ‘Were you on the hen do?’ she asks. ‘I can’t remember.’

‘I had to give it a miss,’ I say. ‘The kids . . .’ Partly true. But there’s also the fact that it was on a yoga retreat in Ibiza and I could never in a million years have afforded it.

  • Lucy Foley, The Guest List, Chapter 12

This is a thriller novel published in 2020 in the United Kingdom. One hundred and fifty guests would be gathering at some remote and deserted fictional islet called Inis an Amplóra off the coast of the island of Ireland to celebrate the wedding between Jules (a self-made woman running an online magazine called The Download) and Will (a celebrity appearing in a TV show program called Survive the Night). The day before the actual wedding day, Hannah, the wife of Charlie (Jules' friend), arrived at the island and is now at the dinner party for the rehearsal dinner with only some selected guests. And during the party, Hannah meets Georgina, and remembers how she had to miss the hen do.

In this part, I am wondering what "it was on a yoga retreat in Ibiza" means. I am especially confused as to why the narrator chose to write "the hen do was on a yoga retreat" rather than "the hen do was a yoga retreat" directly. Would "on" add a special meaning, or provide some grammatical function here...?

I guess probably that would be because I am finding it difficult to understand what exactly "yoga retreat" is... I googled it and some say it is a period of time devoted for yoga holiday and others say it is just a yoga trip, so I am confused.

1 Answer 1


A yoga retreat is a holiday where you get away from the busy world (ie you retreat from your stressful life) and do yoga somewhere peaceful. But it is also a resort that provides this kind of holiday.

I don't see any special meaning of "on", I think the author could have used "at" with the same meaning. Using "on" perhaps suggests the retreat is a large area, and the hen party was only taking a small part of the resort.

The main point you should get from this is that the hen party was on a very expensive holiday resort.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .