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8 Days Iyengar Yoga Retreat Greece with Kristina

Rejuvenating Greece Yoga Retreat

Join YogaOnCrete and experience the lightness of your body and spirit. Here, you will find the joy of honouring and nurturing the needs of your body, mind, and spirit through the practice of Iyengar yoga. This retreat offers you daily encounters with the cool, turquoise Mediterranean waters at the quiet beaches and idyllic unspoiled surroundings. Wholesome local food, excursions, and a warm and welcoming group of people will be happy to welcome you!

Retreat highlights

  • 2 daily Iyengar yoga classes
  • A round trip to Sweet Water beach
  • Professional and experienced yoga instructor
  • 7 breakfasts and 5 dinners included
  • 7 nights' accommodation
  • Linen and towels

Skill level

  • Beginner
  • Intermediate
  • Advanced

Yoga styles


7 days with instruction in English
Spoken languages: English
The maximum participants in the group is 14
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Accommodation

On this yoga retreat, you will stay for 7 nights. The 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 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.

YogaOnCrete Yoga Holiday Greece Program

During this week, you will use the precision of the postures (asanas) to visit and focus on different areas of your bodies. The practice of asana is not about doing the perfect posture. It’s about using the postures to understand and transform yourself. By starting to observe where you feel the tension and where you experience flexibility, you can use the body’s knowledge to understand your limits, physiological and psychological. Sometimes, it is the body saying yes and the mind saying no, or vice versa.

The purpose of this workshop is to have the body and mind work together while executing a posture, to actually be in an asana and not trying to reach it, and to enjoy yoga no matter how flexible you are.

This program begins with an introductory yoga session at 18:00 on the day of arrival, followed by dinner. All other days will begin at 08:00 with a 1,5-hour Iyengar yoga class. After breakfast, guests are free to relax and enjoy the beach and the sunshine, receive a massage treatment, or explore the village and the region.

In the late afternoon, there will be a second 1,5-hour class, and the day's program will be closed with dinner. The fourth day of the week is a rest day from classes. On the last day, you will depart after breakfast.

The number of guests is limited up to 14 persons to create a warm and friendly atmosphere, and to ascertain that individual attention is given in the classes. YogaOnCrete offers a special price of 450 EUR for non-participating partner sharing a room.

Iyengar yoga

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 that 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 are 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 will overcome physical and mental / emotional limits and develops a deep awareness of the body, power, control, patience and physical, and mental harmony.

Included excursions

This package includes a round trip to the beautiful Sweet Water beach.

Instructors

Kristina Assimakopoulou-Scondra
Kristina has been practicing and studying Iyengar yoga since discovering it for its therapeutic qualities. She is passionate about yoga and believes practicing it transcends the physical benefits. Her teaching is based on the Iyengar approach and focuses on the precision of the yoga postures (asanas).

Retreat location

This yoga retreat is located in Chóra Sfakíon, Greece. Chóra (pronounced "Hora") Sfakion or Sfakia is the capital of the municipality of Sfakia which is located on the southwest 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 are just a walking distance away, and a few restaurants and cafes with tasty local dishes offer the 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.

Nearby places

  • Amoudi (Sandy Beach), 1.5 kilometers
  • Filaki (Prison) beach, 2 kilometers
  • Frangokastelo (Frankish fort), 15 kilometers
  • Georgitsi - 10 minutes hike
  • Glika Nera (Sweet Water) - 30 minutes walk
  • lligas (Vertigo) beach, 1.5 kilometers
  • Orthi Ammos (Vertical Sand, literally), 15 kilometers
  • Vrisi (Spring) village beach - 10 minutes walk

Food

During your stay, you will be served 7 breakfasts and 5 dinners at the house, while on two of the nights, guests are free to dine out in the village restaurants (the price is not included in the package. It is approximately 15 EUR for a full meal including drinks).

Cretan food

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.

Breakfast menu is a home-made warm muesli or cooked grain and fruit and nut based breakfast (porridge, compote etc.), cow’s (or goat's, whenever available) and grain (e.g. rice) or home-made almond milk, selection of sheep’s cheeses, sheep’s or cow's yoghurt (depending on seasonal availability), wholemeal bread and savoury as well as sweet biscuits, selection of homemade jams and marmalades, honey, tahini and local butter, freshly squeezed orange juice, fresh seasonal fruits, local herbal and other teas.

Dinner menu is vegetable or grain/pulse soup (e.g. gazpacho, zucchini, or lentil soup) or other starters (e.g. dolmades, cooked local greens, vlita, with lemon and oil); locally inspired, vegetarian main dish (e.g. stuffed vegetables, vegetable risottos using a variety of grains, tabouleh, fava, spinach pie, grilled veggies), selection of delicious fresh salads (hearty greek salad being), and a healthy fruit / nut / dairy based dessert (e.g. yoghurt and honey, fruit and nut power balls, halva, flourless cakes). A selection of hot and cold herbal teas, both local and imported, and fresh fruit is available at all times.

YogaOnCretes cook embodies this spirit, preparing two nutritious lactovegetarian 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 following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

The following dietary requirement(s) are served and/or catered for:

  • Lacto-ovo Vegetarian
  • Organic
If you have special dietary requirements it's a good idea to communicate it to the organiser when making a reservation

Things to do (optional)

  • A boat trips to neighboring seaside villages and beaches
  • A guided hike through the stunning Aradaina Gorge
  • Scuba diving lessons
  • Snorkeling
  • Swimming and sunbathing

Spa treatments

You can enjoy massage treatment to pamper and relax your body. There are options from Holistic massage, Craniosacral treatment, and Reflexology with Ginger compress treatment with Federica. The price is 40 EUR / 1 hour and not included in this package.

What's included

  • 7 breakfasts and 5 dinners
  • 7 nights' accommodation
  • A round trip to the beautiful Sweet Water beach
  • Daily morning and afternoon Iyengar yoga class
  • Linen and towels

What's not included

  • Additional excursions
  • All lunches and 2 dinners out
  • Flights to Crete
  • Insurance
  • Massage treatments
  • Transfers to Chora Sfakion

How to get there

Arrival by airplane

In order to reach Chora Sfakion, you can fly directly to Chania International Airport (CHQ) which is an hour drive from the accommodation. Or you can book your flight to Heraklion International Airport (HER) which is 2,5 hours’ drive from the accommodation.

You can also fly to Athens International Airport (ATH) and either get a transit flight with Aegean or Ryanair, or boat to Chania International Airport (CHQ).

A pick up from Chania can be arranged by YogaOnCrete in some cases when guests arrive at similar times. If you are interested, please send YogaOnCrete an inquiry for more information.

Arrival by ferry / boat from Piraeus (Athens) to Crete

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 only 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 EUR (deck price; there is a discount if the return journey is booked at the same time as the first part).

Arrival by ferry / boat from Paleohora, Sougia or Aghia Roumeli to Chora Sfakion

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 them in this way after hiking the Samaria gorge (consider putting your luggage on a bus at Chania, to be picked up by us at Chora Sfakion, so you can hike light).

Arrival by bus

Buses run at different times every day, just make sure to correspond with your flights. This is also the same case for the return journey. The bus station in the city has a luggage storage, operating between 6:30 a.m. and 8:00 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 the cost should be around 15-20 EUR.

From Chania you can get a bus directly to Chora Sfakion, but you have to confirm departures in advance because during high season (April-October) there are only four buses a day (at 8:30 a.m., 11:00 p.m., 2:00 p.m., and 4:00 p.m.) the price is 7,60 EUR and duration is about 2 hours’ driving.

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 too obvious.

From Heraklion, you will first need to get a bus to Rethymnon (approximately every hour), the price is 7,60 EUR and the duration is about 90 minutes. After that, you can take a bus to Chora Sfakion and changing buses at Vrisses (available at 8:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.) the price is 7,30 EUR and the duration is 2 hours driving. 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.

Arrival by taxi

Travelling by taxi is the most convenient way to reach the village. A taxi from Chania city center or Chania International Airport (CHQ) costs 85 EUR (1 hour) and from Heraklion 140 EUR (2,5 hours).

Cancellation Policy

  • The deposit is fully refundable if the booking is cancelled up to 35 days before the arrival date.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid 14 days before arrival.
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Availability

Arrival: Friday August 3, 2018
Departure: Friday August 10, 2018

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