Set in the deep tranquility of the mountain forests of the Picos de Europa, this retreat’s aim is to prepare you to practice the complete Ashtanga primary series. This means five days of intensive practice and study covering the fundamentals of Ashtanga yoga and learning each asana in the series individually. You will leave the retreat with an understanding of the purpose of each asana, its sequence and benefits, what dangers to avoid, and valid modifications.
There are several types of accommodation offered at the retreat. We offer accommodation in two traditionally restored, charming mountain cabins on site, with private and shared room options. Both are situated above a small mountain meadow and chestnut forest, with great views overlooking unspoiled mountains.
It has a kitchen, a bathroom, and a stone built a fireplace with supplied firewood. It accommodates up to four people, in either private or double rooms. The cabin is usually offered on a shared basis, although if available, it can also be reserved for private usage.
You can also choose a more economic camping option in 4m bell tents on a spectacular mountain ridge with views of the Picos de Europa and the Gueña valley. The tents come with comfortable mattresses.
If you are after a little luxury, Asturias Yoga can arrange an accommodation at the Casona de Con, a luxurious rural hotel seven kilometers away from the shala.
Each day begins with a yoga session, followed by a long workshop in which you will focus on specific asanas. In the evenings there will be another yoga session and talks on yoga philosophy.
In this workshop, you will first learn how to breathe correctly during your Ashtanga practice (the Ujjai breath). You will then learn the sun salutation sequences. Next, you will focus on the basic asanas of the primary Ashtanga series; once learned, they will serve as an indispensable foundation from which the more complex asanas to come can flourish.
The foundations workshop includes:
In this workshop, you will learn modifications of the basic asanas introduced on day one, and begin working on spinal twists and inverted postures.
This part of workshop includes:
In this workshop, you will be focusing on the balancing asanas. These particular asanas have the characteristic of providing the practitioner with improved concentration and mental clarity.
The workshop includes:
In this workshop, you will attempt to perform the most challenging asanas of the series, while also learning valid modifications.
This workshop includes:
In this workshop you will be introduced to the practices from the next level of yoga, pranayama, or the art of breathing. Pranayama helps make the mind clearer and more efficient. In yoga, it is considered a preliminary to meditation.
An afternoon will be scheduled for you to visit the spectacular and rarely visited cave of Alda. This cave has magical acoustical effects, which you will appreciate by playing Tibetan Bells inside. Other afternoon possibilities include mountain, forest or canyon walks from the doorstep. An afternoon of rock climbing or visiting the beach is also possible depending on the groups inclination and weather.
This retreat will be held in Asturias, Spain. Known in Spanish as “paraiso natural”, Asturias comprises spectacular geographical features, Europe’s most diverse eco-system, and traditional culture. It is a land of high mountain peaks in juxtaposition with sandy ocean beaches and sea-cliffs; it is famous for verdant mountain forests, green valleys and renowned cave-aged cheeses.
The exact location of the retreat will be on the lower slopes of the Picos de Europa mountains, not so far from the ocean, in a quiet chestnut, hazel and oak forest. There is a vegetable garden and a young orchard with five bee hives.
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Asturias Yoga provides three vegetarian meals per day: breakfast, lunch, and a lite dinner. Asturias Yoga sources their vegetables locally according to the season, uses primarily organic and vegan ingredients, and provides many home-made specialties, such as sourdough breads, spicy chai, nettle pesto, mountain spring water, fresh herbs for infusions, and marmelades from their fruit trees.
Meals are designed for a balanced diet, with foods that are easy to digest, kind to the environment and full of vitality. Asturias Yoga's residential vegan and ayurvedic nutritionists assist with menu design and food preparation and are available for personalized nutrition consultations.
If you have personal dietary needs or prefer various snacks throughout the day, you may also bring your own food/snacks to supplement and use the communal kitchen for storage. The closest large supermarkets are in Cangas de Onis or Posada, both approximately 20 kilometers away. However, there are various smaller shops nearby in Benia (2 kilometers from the yoga center) and at the Campsite Picos de Europa (1 kilometer down hill from the yoga center).
We recommend arriving at the area a couple of days beforehand or staying around this part of Asturias for some days after the retreat. There are various nearby historical villages and sites, such as "Cangas de Onis" and "Covadonga," as well as spectacular high mountain destinations, such as the famous "Naranjo de Bulnes" (world-class rock climbing) and "Los Lagos de Covadonga" (alpine lakes). Only 25 km in the other direction will have you set at beautiful sandy beaches and charming coastal villages. Some of our favorites are "Llanes," a popular and glamorous town on the way to our center from SANTANDER, and "LASTRES," a little-known fishing village on the way to our center from OVIEDO.
Thai and Sweedish massage and certain Ayurvedic treatments are available upon request