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Unleash the potential of your femininity, create the life your heart longs for. Join us at YogaOnCrete and experience the lightness of being and joy of honouring and nurturing the needs of your body, mind and spirit through the practice of Iyengar and Hatha Flow yoga, meditation and intuitive movement, and women's circles. As well as daily encounters with the cool, turquoise Mediterranean waters at quiet beaches, idyllic unspoilt surroundings, and wholesome local food, excursions, a warm and welcoming group of people and much more! No previous experience in yoga is required for participation in the course.
During this retreat, you will stay in a beautifully restored traditional stone house near the beach. This is a family home, YogaOnCrete gladly welcomes you here as our guests in the true spirit of Greek hospitality.
Accommodation is available for ten adults. All rooms in the house are spacious and comfortable. Some are private and some can be shared, and one has its own en suite bathroom. The two upper bedrooms both have verandas with spectacular sea views.
There is a large table outside and abundant shade offered by the olive and mulberry trees on the front patio for meals. The front garden harmoniously blends with the natural landscape, featuring local ferns, flowers, and trees.
There is also fast wireless internet access available at the house.
In this retreat, Eugenia and Federica will be sharing their own experiences of how yoga, embodiment and sisterhood practices have supported them as women in leading happier and more fulfilling lives.
The week will begin with an opening ceremony and yoga class. In the following days, we will gather for a morning meditation and yoga class, focusing on a woman's physical, mental and emotional needs, and an afternoon intuitive movement women's circle. We'll include yoga practices that support our menstrual cycle as well as menopause and other topics that women often face - such as, body image, self-worth, perfectionism, anxiety, sexuality, boundary setting, self-victimisation etc. - depending on the particular needs of the particular women present.
Our aim is to support each other in feeling deeply and joyfully empowered by our feminine qualities (from softness, tenderness, and nurturing to intuition, fierceness, and wildness) in order to fully celebrate the gift of this precious life in a woman's body.
The week begins with an opening circle at 6 p.m. on the day of arrival, in order to embrace and support each other during the week in our process of learning and growing in freedom and our unique beauty. There will then be an introductory grounding movement session in order to fully arrive to the retreat, followed by a delicious vegetarian dinner cooked by our wonderful intuitive cook Maria.
The days will then include a morning yoga and meditation class with Eugenia, based on Iyengar yoga, but also incorporating Hatha Flow yoga elements (usually 8.30-10.30 a.m.) and an afternoon Intuitive Movement Women's Circle (usually 18.00-20.00). All sessions are held on the yoga deck under the olive trees so you can enjoy your connection with the sea, the trees, and the hills. On occasion we will also take the session out in nature, e.g., to greet the new day and celebrate our aliveness and connection to the beautiful environment with an early morning swim.
After breakfast, guests can relax and enjoy the beach and sunshine, receive a massage treatment, or explore the village and region. The fourth day of the week is a rest day from classes, with no yoga or movement class; an optional excursion can be arranged, including a hike through the magnificent Aradaina gorge (approx. €25 depending on number of participants going).
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).
Individual excursions (e.g., hikes, boat trips) can also be arranged during the week at an extra cost. On the last day of each week, departure can be arranged after breakfast.
The number of women participating is limited to 14, to create a warm and friendly atmosphere, that is particularly important in this course.
The retreat’s focus is on diving into one’s feminine essence and truth, shaking off the obstacles (physical, mental, emotional) that keep her from living her own version of what life can be, and empowering her to do so. The morning yoga and meditation sessions will therefore aim at invigorating and opening the body, relaxing and centring the mind, and creating a sense of spaciousness, calmness, and physical and mental harmony, forming a foundation for this inner journey.
Yoga is a system that beautifully deepens and fine-tunes awareness of body and mind and thus cultivates the ability to skillfully respond to life’s challenges. How can it become a woman’s friend that is there on the bright as well as on the gloomier days, throughout the inner and outer seasons? How can we arrive at the practice without the should's and have to's, voices that we have adopted from society and also say to ourselves, that we as women are particularly prone to be burdened and weighed down by, and use it as a tool for lightness and liberation as it really is? How can one navigate their way through a practice as well as a single asana (posture), remaining connected with what is present, attuned to the subtle or not so subtle signals that the body constantly gives out, receptive and open where necessary, as well as active and deliberate where called for, connected to one’s intuition, feeling one’s way into the juiciness and joy of the practice, rather than blindly following instructions? This attitude of befriending and becoming intimate with one’s body is what Eugenia strives to cultivate during this week of inquiry, guided by the principles of yoga.
The classes will be based on Iyengar yoga with elements of Hatha Flow, focusing on precision, alignment, and a deep listening of the body’s needs in the moment, the prerequisites of a safe practice. There will also be flow, in combined breath and movement sequences, in which effortlessness and ease will be emphasized. A basic series of asanas, usually held for some time so that the body and its necessary actions, as well as the mind, can be observed within the posture, and breathing techniques, will be explored and systematically organized in a way that can be adopted in one’s self-practice, also to support particular phases, such as menstruation and menopause. For women in particular leg-work is important to ground and connect to mother earth, and set the base for a dynamic pelvic floor, which is an essential condition for the spine to unfold, extend and grow, symbolically also creating the ground for this unfolding and growth to happen in less tangible parts of our lives. Another area we will be focusing on is the wonderful potential of an alive belly (the centre of our womb, our life-force and energy), where the forces of earth and sky meet and can be balanced. Each class will end with a deep relaxation and centring and grounding meditation, so as to connect to our inner source of quiet, compassion and gratitude.
Eugenia wishes to instill the confidence in each woman to trust the wisdom of her body, learn to listen to its rhythms and signals, respect its cyclical hormonal nature, sharpen her sensitivity and intuition and thus adjust the practice as is most useful at any given moment. She aims at inspiring women to also be able to practice in a playful and creative way, so that it suits and benefits them the most, learning how to accommodate, adjust and use alternatives, depending on how they arrive on the mat.
The daughter of B. K. S. Iyengar, the founder of Iyengar yoga, Geeta Iyengar, did an in depth study of how a yoga practice can be tailored to the needs of women, and her invaluable contribution, as well as the work of other great yoginis (Angela Farmer, Donna Farhi, and Bobby Clennel to mention a few) will be used as inspiration for this approach.
Our journey with Federica will be supported by authentic, free movement exploration, in order to unveil and remember the beautiful mystery of the feminine, to feel more connected and aligned, to manifest fully our own inner truth, our natural, spontaneous energy, vibration, intuition and aliveness. Moving emotions, owning them, being aware of them and learning to release the charge is a crucial step for your freedom. There will be no judgment or reaction, no expectation or guilt, and no past or future. The circle will create a safe container in which deep tension and limitations that block our freedom and vitality can be released, while through sharing in sisterhood, we will practice being accepted, held, acknowledged, exactly as and where we are at, so as to create space for our natural states of being, joy, love, inspiration to be revealed and awakened.
A round trip to the beautiful Sweet Water Beach will be included in the program.
Eugenia studied psychology in Athens and went on to receive an MSc in sports psychology in Wales. She then began practicing yoga in 2004, while studying contemporary dance in Scotland. She gained a yoga teacher qualification from the Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centres in 2005 and in 2012, she received her Iyengar yoga teaching certification. Her classes strive to create a safe and nurturing environment. The focus on the breath, as a powerful tool for developing awareness of the body and quieting the mind, is integral in her teaching, also incorporating elements of her Vipassana meditation.
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.
This holiday will take place in Chora Sfakion (or Sfakia), on the southwest coast of Crete. The landscape of the region is dramatic, as the mountains meet the sea.
With its picturesque alleys, and a few restaurants and cafes with tasty local dishes along 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.
The Sfakians are considered the bravest people in Greece. It can be seen in the deep signs of aging and hardship on an old lady’s face and in the austere look of a man sitting at the coffee shop first thing in the morning drinking raki. And then a smile breaks, and you know that these people are only too happy to welcome you.
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.
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During this retreat, you will be served seven breakfasts and five dinners at the house. On two of the nights, guests will be free to dine out in the village restaurants, which is not included in the course cost. A full meal including drinks will cost approximately 15 EUR.
A selection of hot and cold herbal teas, both local and imported, and fresh fruit is available at all times.
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 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 freshwater 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, Thai massage, Cranio-sacral treatment, and Reflexology with our on-site or visiting therapist at 50 EUR per hour.
Heraklion International Airport (Nikos Kazantzakis Airport)
Transfer not provided
Chania International Airport ("Ioannis Daskalogiannis")
Transfer not provided
Please book your flight to arrive either at Chania International Airport (CHQ) or at Heraklion International Airport (HER). YogaOnCrete can arrange a taxi to meet you at the airport. Car hire is available at both airports.
From Chania Airport, take a bus to the bus station in Chania (30 minutes, 2.50 EUR). From there, you get a bus directly to Chora Sfakion (1 hour 45 minutes, 8.30 EUR). Check the times in advance: During high season, there are four buses a day (at 8:15 a.m., 11:00 a.m., 2:00 p.m., and 4:00 p.m).
From Heraklion Airport, take bus number 6 to the city's main bus station (15 minutes). From there, take the bus going to Rethymnon as far as Vrisses (90 minutes, 8.30 EUR). At Vrisses, you change for a bus to Chora Sfakion (at 8:00 and 1:00 p.m.).
There is an overnight ferry to Chania from Piraeus, the port of Athens, easily accessed by metro from Athens International Airport (ATH). It departs at 9:00 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.
The south-west coast of Crete is well served by daily ferry lines from Paleohora, Sougia, or Aghia Roumeli.
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