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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 in the retreat. The most recommended is in a beautifully restored traditional mountain cabin situated above a small mountain meadow and chestnut forests 200 meters away from the shala. ¨The cabin has great views overlooking unspoiled mountains, forest and meadow. It has a kitchen, a bathroom, and a stone built 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 if you desire.
Born in 1971, Simon’s fascination with yoga began in 2000 upon completing a solo journey on a bicycle from his native Ireland to India. After exploring various styles and traditions, he found Ashtanga to be what he was most inspired to practice and teach, initially due to its obvious benefits for surfing, biking, and rock climbing, and subsequently due to understanding it as a path to meditation. He has published a novel based on yoga philosophy, In Darkness the Seed of Light.
Alysia Simeone (1990 WA State) is an Ashtanga yoga teacher (500-Hour Yoga Alliance) and Ayurvedic practitioner. As part of her degree in Ethnomedicine, she spent 2011 to 2012 in Nepal and India, learning primarily under the tutorship of Ayurvedic Doctor and OBGYN Sarita Shrestha. She is a member of the American Herbalists Guild and prepares various medicines in the house. She is also a phenomenal cook and can prepare feasts foraged from the surrounding mountain meadows and forests.
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.
During the retreat, you will be provided with organic, vegetarian food that mainly arrives direct from Asturias Yoga’s garden or is foraged from the surrounding meadows and forests.
Thai and Sweedish massage and certain Ayurvedic treatments are available upon request