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Constantinos lädt alle Wanderliebhaber dazu ein, mit ihm zusammen zu entdecken, wie die Techniken des Yoga Ihnen dabei helfen können auch Ihre Wandertechnik zu verbessern! Durch das tiefe Verständnis des Körpers, der Haltung und der Bewegungen, welches Sie im Iyengar Yoga gewinnen, lernen Sie wichtige Prinzipien kennen, die Sie dann in drei Wanderungen anwenden können, während Sie die majestätischen Pfade von den steilen Bergen hinunter bis zum türkisfarbenen Meer entdecken!
Accommodation is offered in a lovely traditional stone house. Rooms are designed in a natural combination of old and new and are spacious and comfortable.
Rooms are allocated on a first come first served basis (there is a limited availability of rooms and single rooms in particular). The house is a 5-minute walking distance to the village centre and beach, but also pleasantly secluded. The garden at the front and the private olive grove at the back blend in with the landscape and offer options for places to rest.
The week begins with an introductory yoga session at 18:00 on the day of arrival, followed by dinner. Thereafter, there will be a morning (08:30 - 10:30) and afternoon (18:00 - 19:30) Iyengar yoga class on two days, and a morning class. On alternate days, instead of the classes, there will be hikes of increasing difficulty and length.
Each class prepares the hike to follow, so the week unfolds in a slow and consistent progression. The hikes will end up at a different beach each time; daily encounters with the cool Mediterranean waters, unspoilt surroundings, wholesome local food, other excursions, and a warm and welcoming group of people will add to making this experience unforgettable!
The aim of the workshop is to provide lovers of nature who enjoy walking and hiking with some useful yogic insights that will help them maximise the enjoyment they receive from the hiking experience, through improvements in posture, breath and concentration. There are four basic human positions: sitting, standing up, lying down and walking. Yoga, through the study of asanas, has extensively explored the first three. How can this thorough study of static positions inform the dynamics of walking?
Among the topics that will be studied are the following:
Muscular-skeletal body vs. physiological body
Experimenting with the placement of the centre of gravity, and finding ways to initiate movement from different parts of the body
Understanding biomechanical alignment and finding a more balanced vertical axis that will enable you to receive the support of the rebound force of the earth
Hip and shoulder coordination
Understanding deep diaphragmatic breathing and the oscillatory movement of the spine that connects legs and arms to the centre
Learning how to extend your spine, how to warm up and cool down before and after hiking and how to take care of minor hip and shoulder issues
Discovering useful meditation practices that will allow you to connect breath, walking, and awareness
Friday - Afternoon yoga
Saturday - Morning and afternoon yoga
Sunday - Imbros gorge hike
Monday - Morning and afternoon yoga
Tuesday - Pachnes peak (2453 meters) hike
Wednesday - Morning yoga (option to end course here or go on the Aradaina gorge hike after breakfast)
Thursday - Descent to Aghios Pavlos beach from 700 meters altitude hike
Friday - Departure after breakfast
(Note: The hiking schedule is subject to change, depending on the weather, as well guest numbers, preferences and abilities)
The hikes will not be structured; rather, participants will be free to experiment with whatever techniques have been practiced in the classes. If someone prefers to take a rest on one of the days, they are free to do so, and there will also be an option for a shorter hike.
During the day, in between classes or after hikes, there will be enough time for guests to relax and enjoy the beach and sunshine, receive a massage treatment, or explore the village and region. Individual excursions (e.g., hikes, boat trips) can also be arranged during the week. On the last day, departure can be arranged after breakfast.
The classes comprise of a series of asanas (physical postures), usually sustained for some time so that the body and its necessary actions can be observed within the posture, pranayama (breathing techniques), and meditative techniques (sitting in silence, concentration techniques), through which the development of awareness of the body and mind in the present moment and deep relaxation are practiced.
Iyengar yoga was developed through the pioneering work of B.K.S. Iyengar, who freed the classical yoga postures (asanas) from their Indian mystique and with the use of props made them suitable for Westerners, who want to have a clear understanding of what happens in a yoga posture. A typical Iyengar yoga class focuses on precision of movement, correct alignment, and the study of the muscle and mind actions and resistance necessary to enter a state of concentration. Breathing awareness is emphasized in every asana in order to deepen the experience. Through consistent practice the student overcomes physical and mental / emotional limits and develops a deep awareness of the body, power, control, patience and physical and mental harmony.
During this course, the classes will be tailored to provide deep understanding of the posture, weight distribution, use of muscles, and breathing necessary for optimizing one's hiking technique and most efficient use of energy.
Included in the price are the following activities:
Chora (pronounced "Hora") Sfakion or Sfakia, the capital of the municipality of Sfakia, is located on the south-west coast of Crete. The landscape of the region is particularly dramatic. The mountains in this part of Crete meet the sea, with steep slopes towering over the beaches. The road from the north of the island threads through breathtaking mountains and small villages to reach the port village of Sfakia. A sense of peacefulness radiates from the dry mountains and the sunset skies.
With its quiet, picturesque alleys, the beaches just walking distance away, and a few restaurants and cafes with tasty local dishes on offer lining the old harbor, Sfakia can become the little haven for anyone who wants to step out of the modern city fast-paced lifestyle for a while. If you are up for a short hike after the sun has gone down, just above the last house of the village is the little church of Agios Georgios, hidden away in a cave. Previously a neighborhood of the village, but nowadays abandoned, Georgitsi is also a ten minute hike up the mountain.
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All breakfasts and 4 dinners are offered at the house, while on two of the nights guests are free to dine out in the village restaurants (not included in the course cost; approximately 15 EUR for a full meal including drinks).
The Cretan diet is renowned for its macrobiotic qualities, but also for its great variety of delicious flavors. More than the pure, fresh ingredients themselves, it is the fact that cooking is traditionally performed almost like a ritual, with love, and always in the prospect of offering the food to others, that makes the Cretan cuisine so special.
YogaOnCretes cook embodies this spirit, preparing two nutritious lacto-vegetarian meals a day, using local, and wherever possible, organic products (grown in their own garden!). The village restaurants, only a short walk away, offer a wide range of local dishes, including fresh fish and game.
The fourth day of each week-long course is a rest day from the classes. Guests can join an optional excursion, including a guided hike through the stunning Aradaina Gorge on this day, at an extra cost (25 EUR). Individual excursions can also be arranged to numerous gorges, along the coastal trail, as well as boat trips to neighbouring seaside villages and beaches, in addition to scuba diving lessons.
Most beaches of the region are pebbly, the white of the beach and the turquoise of the water creating a beautiful scene for relaxed swimming and sunbathing. The waters in most beaches actually come from springs high up in the White Mountains, so they are literally crystal clear. The village beach, Vrisi (Spring), is just 10 minutes walk away from the house.
lligas (Vertigo), 1.5 kilometers out of the village has been awarded a Blue Beach Award for its pristine waters. Filaki (Prison), approximately 2 kilometers away offers a nudist choice. Amoudi (Sandy Beach), 1.5 kilometers away is the quietest beach around. Glika Nera (Sweet Water) is the favorite pick. Its name refers to the fresh water springs that are found under the sand and that give the sea its magical clear color. It can be accessed on foot (30 minutes walk along the coastal path) or by kaiki (small boat, 10 minutes from Sfakia).
Frangokastelo (Frankish fort) and Orthi Ammos (Vertical Sand, literally), are two adjacent sandy beaches 15 kilometers away from Sfakia. Frangokastelo takes its name from the very well preserved Frankish (Venetian) castle built by the shore. There is actually a legend that just as dawn is breaking in late May-early June, the image of men on horseback, exiting the castle and riding into the sea, can be witnessed in the early morning mist - these are the mysterious Drosoulites (mist-men).
Choose from Holistic massage, Cranio-sacral treatment, and Reflexology with Ginger compress treatment with Federica at 40 EUR per hour.
A car can be hired and picked up at either Chania or Heraklion airport upon arrival, or during your stay in the village. The windy mountain road down to the village has just undergone extensive work, with three tunnels replacing the sharp curves, making it much safer and easy to drive on! Alternative car hire companies YogaOnCrete recommends are Drive Kreta and the international Enterprise.
In order to reach Chora Sfakion, you can fly directly to Crete, to the airports of Chania (CHQ - pronounced Chania, which is an hour's drive) or Heraklion (HER, which is 2.5 hours' drive). For flights from the UK, Easyjet, Ryanair and Monarch airlines have direct flights from several UK airports to Crete, both to Heraklion (HER) and to Chania (CHQ), during the tourist season. You can also use Thomas Cook, Just The Flight, Charter Flights, Cheap Flights, or Flight Line. From London Stansted, also check the daily flight of Aegean Airlines to Chania via Athens. For flights from other European countries try Ryanair, that now connects several European cities to Chania (CHQ). Also Easyjet, Transavia, Norwegian Airlines, Aer Lingus, German Wings, or Air Berlin. Be aware that on some occasions booking two single flights can be cheaper than a return flight!
You can also fly to Athens (ATH) (www.airtickets.gr or with Easyjet) and either get a transit flight or boat to Crete (Chania - CHQ).
There is an overnight ferry to Chania from Piraeus, the port of Athens, easily accessed by metro from Athens "E. Venizelos" airport. It departs at 21:00 and arrives at Souda, the port of Chania, which is a 10-minute bus journey away from the main bus station in Chania city centre, at 05:30 the next morning. The return journey with Anek lines starts from 63 EUR (deck price; there is a discount if the return journey is booked at the same time as the first part).
The south-west coast of Crete is fairly well served by daily ferry lines travelling from Paleohora to Chora Sfakion, which is a convenient option if you were thinking of spending some time on the south coast before arriving at YogaOnCrete. You can also reach them in this way after hiking the Samaria gorge (consider putting your luggage on a bus at Chania, to be picked up at Chora Sfakion, so you can hike light.
Alternatively, from Chania you can get a bus directly to Chora Sfakion, but confirm departures in advance because during high season (April-October), there are only four buses a day (at 08:30, 11:00, 14:00 and 16:00; 7.60 EUR; duration 2 hours).
From Heraklion you first need to get a bus to Rethymnon (approximately every hour; 7.60 EUR; duration 90 minutes) and then a bus to Chora Sfakion changing buses at Vrisses (at 08:00, and 13:00; 7.30 EUR; duration 2 hours). Vrisses does not have a bus station per se, rather, a coffee shop in which you can buy a ticket and in front of which the buses stop.
To get to the bus station in Chania from the airport, buses run at different times every day to correspond with the flights. This is also the case for the return journey. The bus station in the city has luggage storage, operating between 06:30 and 20:00, which can be useful if you have a long wait, as the beautiful old city is just a few minutes walk away. If you need to get a taxi the cost should be about 15-20 EUR.
To reach the Heraklion bus station from the airport, there is a bus service (bus No. 6) at regular intervals, but ask the driver to tell you where to get off for the bus station, because it is not obvious.
Travelling by taxi is the most convenient way to reach the village. A taxi from Chania city centre or airport costs 85 EUR (1 hour) and from Heraklion 140 EUR (2.5 hours).