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On this retreat, you gather as women to get liberated through your cyclical nature. To meet your wild heart through an intimate journey into your essence. You gather as women to travel through the cycles of the sun, the moon, your lifetime, your womb.
Accommodation is offered in the 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 limited availability of rooms; single rooms in particular). The house is a five-minute walking distance to the village center 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. At a 300 to 500-meter distance from your accommodation, in the village, you will find:
Every month your hormonal cycle awakens within you four primal feminine archetypes: maiden (inner spring, waxing moon, follicular phase), creative woman (inner summer, full moon, ovulation phase), wild woman (inner autumn, waning moon, luteal phase), and wise woman (inner winter, dark moon, menstrual phase).
These phases govern the subtle energies that affect a woman and her creative potential throughout life, whether you have a menstrual cycle or have passed menopause (and most likely align to the lunar cycle). During the retreat, you will explore the signature energy of each of these, and create rituals to fully embody them, each of you in your own unique way.
Held by the power of a women’s circle, you will experience the rites of passage you lack in the patriarchal society so that you can live each archetype in its full potential. You will re-instate a connection with your fundamental nature.
Every day at the retreat you start at 8 a.m. with a morning embodiment practice (meditation, yoga, conscious movement, and dance) and continue into your first circle of the day before taking a break for breakfast, rest and lunch.
After breakfast there’s free time to relax and enjoy the beach and sunshine, receive a massage, treatment or private session with Julie or Federica, or explore the village and region. In the late afternoon, you continue with the second circle before sharing the evening meal together.
The week begins with an opening circle and introductory Women's Circle at 6 p.m. on the day of arrival, followed by dinner. Federica and Julie will co-create the sessions combining their many years of experience into a powerful offering of:
They will draw on all of these to create rituals and ceremonies depending on the needs and desires of the group. You will also have the opportunity to book private sessions with each of them to support your individual journey. YogaOnCrete offers private life coaching or menstrual therapy sessions with Julie, and massage or Gestalt therapy sessions with Federica.
The fourth day of the week is a rest day from classes; you’re welcome to join in an optional excursion, including a guided hike through a gorge of the region (usually the magnificent Aradaina gorge) or other season-appropriate hikes, ending at the beach (approximately 25 EUR depending on the number of participants).
If you're experiencing (pre-)menstrual pain, menopausal, fertility, or sexuality issues, you're likely to find release, opening, and a way forward. If you have a regular menstrual cycle or are post-menstrual, you’ll become deeply aware of the energies present in each of the seasons of your cycle (menstrual women) or the moon (post-menstrual women).
Held by the power of a women’s circle, you will experience the rites of passage people lack in a patriarchal society, so that you can live each archetype in its full potential. You will re-instate a connection with your fundamental nature.
So that you learn to be sovereign in your womanhood and:
You learn to love yourself and be open to love. You learn to hold yourself and be held by others. Together in the circle you will share your stories and learn with each other how to:
Federica is a Yoga Alliance certified instructor who has practiced and studied Mysore Ashtanga, Iyengar, and other forms of yoga. With a background in professional dance, massage therapy, craniosacral therapy, and shamanic healing, Federica brings to her classes and workshops a wealth of background information in the mechanics of dynamic movement, energy flow, and effective healing techniques.
Julie combines her management consulting background with a thorough understanding of personal growth and coaching. She has a keen interest in dance, nutrition and eastern spirituality, which has led her to spend most of the last five years in India practicing yoga and meditation. After quitting her strategy consulting career with Deloitte London, she retrained as a Certified Professional Co-active Coach with the acclaimed Coaching Training Institute, London. Also a certified Dance and Movement Therapist with the International Dance Council, Julie coaches a broad client base.
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 a 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's 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 10-minute hike up the mountain.
All breakfasts and five 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.
The cook embodies this spirit, preparing two nutritious lacto-vegetarian meals a day, using local, and wherever possible, organic products (grown in YogaOnCrete's 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 neighboring seaside villages and beaches, in addition to snorkeling trips and scuba diving lessons, at the local scuba diving center.
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.
Heraklion International Airport (Nikos Kazantzakis Airport)
Transfer not provided
Chania International Airport ("Ioannis Daskalogiannis")
Transfer not provided
Flights to Greece and Crete
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 away) or Heraklion (HER, which is 2.5 hours' drive away). 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 TUI, 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, which now connects several European cities to Chania (CHQ). Also Easyjet, Transavia, Norwegian Airlines, Aer Lingus, Eurowings, 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) (Air Tickets or with Easyjet) and either get a transit flight with Aegean or Ryanair, or boat to Crete (Chania – CHQ).
Boat travel from Piraeus (Athens) to Crete
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 9 p.m. and arrives at Souda, the port of Chania, which is a 10-minute bus journey away from the main bus station in Chania city center, at 5:30 a.m the next morning. The return journey with Anek lines starts from 63 EURO (deck price; there is a discount if the return journey is booked at the same time as the first part).
Boat travel to Chora Sfakion from Paleohora, Sougia, or Aghia Roumeli
The southwest coast of Crete is fairly well served by daily ferry lines traveling 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 YogaOnCrete in this way after hiking the Samaria gorge (consider putting your luggage on a bus at Chania, to be picked up by YogaOnCrete at Chora Sfakion, so you can hike light). See the complete timetable of ferry lines on their website (updated several times during the season, so please check before traveling!).
Traveling by taxi is the most convenient way to reach the village. A taxi from Chania city center or airport costs 85 EUR (1.5 hours) and from Heraklion 140 EURO (2.5 hours). When there are several guests arriving at similar times at either airport, YogaOnCrete can arrange a shared taxi. Make sure you provide your arrival details (arrival time, flight number, airport name) as soon as you book flights to make this possible!
To get to the bus station in Chania from the airport (2.50 EUR; Duration: 30 minutes), 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 6:30 a.m. and 8 p.m., 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 from the airport to the bus station, the cost should be about 15-20 EUR. From Chania, you can then get a bus directly to Chora Sfakion but confirm departures in advance because during the high season (April-October), there are only four buses a day (at 8:15 a.m., 11:00 a.m, 2 p.m., and 4 p.m - 8.30 EUR; Duration: 1 hour and 45 minutes).
From Heraklion airport, there is a frequent bus service (No. 6) that takes you to the main bus station in Heraklion (duration 15 minutes). Ask the driver to tell you where to get off for the bus station because it is not obvious. From there, you first need to get a bus to Rethymnon (approximately every hour; 8.30 EUR; Duration: 90 minutes) and then a bus to Chora Sfakion changing buses at Vrisses (at 8 a.m. and 1 p.m. - 8.30 EUR; Duration: 2 hours). Prices do 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.
A car can also 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 in recent years 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 Tracer and Drive Kreta. Please contact YogaOnCrete if you have any difficulty arranging your transfer.
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