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This yoga retreat is in Central Portugal, about an hours drive east of the ancient Portuguese capital city Coimbra, Situated between the River Mondego and River Alva nestling on a wooded hillside with panoramic views. In this stunning and tranquil setting, Yoga Retreat Portugal, the organizer, offers individuals, couples or small groups a real opportunity for a get away from it all holiday to discover that life can still offer peace and renewal, to help you discover your true nature and to lose the sense of I and become one with everything. The group size is mostly small so each guest will get personalized attention.
You will be staying in single or double rooms with all bedding and towels provided. Most of the power for electric is generated from solar panels, the water is from a water mine and food is increasingly from the organic gardens. You will be able to experience and see examples of how a self-sufficient life style could look. There will be opportunities for those who wish to explore organics, solar power, nutrition and other aspects of self sufficiency.
Morning yoga practice is based on the primary series of Ashtanga yoga. Even though this is done in a class setting, the practice is individual. Some people think you have to be very flexible and strong to do yoga classes, especially Ashtanga! This is a complete myth. For instance, you may be asked to do a forward bend. Each person will be at a different stage, one person may have their hands on the floor, for another, it may be enough to place their hands on their thighs. It does not matter how deep you are in the posture, what matters is that you are in good alignment and focused on the breath.
The same is true for the sun salutations. At first, it can be demanding and you may not be able to do five in a row, so you do what you can, resting where necessary and joining in again when you can. All the practice asks is that you make the effort to go to your edge. You all start from where you are, practicing at your edge is demanding, working the muscles produces an internal heat that helps purify and detox the body. Because the practice never changes and the postures flow, it becomes the most meditative of practices. By focusing the mind on the breath and then linking the breath to the movement a unity between mind and body is established.
Evening yoga practice is more like a traditional Hatha yoga class. You will look at individual postures, paying attention to good alignment, using modifications where necessary. One of the objectives will be to understand how to work in posture, learning principles that can be applied to any posture. You will look at other aspects of yoga practice such as pranayama, the breathing exercises; philosophy, important in developing an appropriate mind set for the practice; anatomy and physiology, to help understand the physical processes involved in the postures.
Tony Speirs holds a teaching diploma from the British Wheel of Yoga, attended intensive teacher training with David Swenson, has studied in India at the Pattabhi Jois shala in Mysore and has attended many workshops in the United Kingdom. Whether you have never tried yoga before, are a novice or already proficient, you will be able to take part in the series of yoga sessions run each day. If you can breathe, you can learn and benefit from yoga. From Tony's experience of teaching, it seems that he is trying to reconcile each students inner world with their actual lives.
Quinta da Figueirhina, farm of the little fig, sits in seven acres of farmland and woodlands on a hillside above the town of Tabua. The scenery is spectacular, the climate temperate and benign. The rivers Mondego and Alva have carved their way from rugged heights to lush valleys filled with trees.
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Full board meals are included in the price. At Quinta da Figueirhina, Yoga Retreat Portugal is working towards being largely self-sufficient for organic vegetables, fruits, beans and salad. In the meantime, they source fresh and organic supplies from the plentiful, local produce which flourish in the temperate climate enjoyed year round. They have their own water mine for fresh water.
There are many different ideas about nutrition. So, in selecting what range of foods should be provided, Yoga Retreat Portugal needed to decide what principles should be applied. One of the main guiding principles was that the foods are as unprocessed as possible, from the production of the seed, through the growing and harvesting to the distribution and eventual preparation for eating.
Another principle was to use organic produce, locally grown and in season. It is hoped that as much as possible will be grown here at the Quinta da Figueirhina yoga centre, though this is still a little way away. The preparation of the meals is based on whole food and macrobiotic principles. This is exciting fusion-cooking that will appeal to vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike.
When you are not taking the yoga classes or enjoying the wonderful food, there are lots of activities available locally and places of interest to visit. The Tabua area is famous for walking routes, horse and bike riding, canoeing and other activities, with local hire of equipment easily arranged. Further afield is Coimbra, former capital of Portugal, one of the oldest university towns in the world, rich in architectural and archeological interest plus the shops and nightlife of a city.
Arrival by airplane
The nearest international airport is Francisco de S Carneiro Airport (OPO / LPPR), which is near Porto and is served by EasyJet, RyanAir, Iberia, Lufthansa, Sata Internacional, TAP Portugal and Brussels Airlines. The other international airport is Lisbon Portela Airport (LIS / LPPT). On arrival at Porto or Lisbon, the metro or airport bus will take you to the train or bus station where you can take a train or bus to Santa Comba Dao, from where you will be picked up. Again, all arrangements can be made at the time of booking.
The nearest bus stop is in Santa Comba Dao.
The nearest train station is Santa Comba Dao.