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Free Spirit Travel invites you to enjoy Greece and practice yoga with a view of the golden sandy beach. This yoga retreat will take place in Kastelli, a seaside resort in Crete which attracts Greek tourists. Behind this coastal plain, the backdrop is mountainous and the area is broken into gorges and craggy peaks. This provides many easy grade walks, the chance to see birds of prey, vultures, and wildflowers, and old rural ways like treading grapes.
The rooms are simply furnished Cretan style, all have air conditioning and en-suite facilities. They are in the area immediately behind the venue and whilst they do not have sea views, it takes only a few steps to be actually on the beach. All of the rooms at this venue (upstairs and downstairs) are along the side of the building, none face the sea.
There are three upstairs rooms which share a balcony and which carry a superior room supplement. Please note this is a taverna and not a hotel. Rooms and furnishings are appropriate to that. All rooms have a fridge and a kettle.
Sun loungers and beach umbrellas are provided free of charge and there are comfortable chairs and a settee on the veranda above the beach for relaxing. You are also welcome to use the yoga space at any times that it is not being used for teaching.
Yoga will take place twice a day at 07:30 and at 18:00 on the yoga deck overlooking the beach with its sea views. This venue is fully equipped for up to 25 yoga students, however, most groups are limited to 15 - 20 participants.
There will be no yoga on Thursday so that the group can travel further afield if they wish. There are fantastic walks and gorges to explore and you can either arrange official walks, or you can go off and explore on your own. There will also be an option of a boat trip.
Adventurous groups can travel to the other side of the island on one evening and have their class on the huge beach. This can be followed with dinner at the beachside taverna.
Each retreat date will have a different teacher and theme. Please read under 'Instructors' section to know more about the teachers, their yoga styles, and what to expect in each week.
Mysore Mandala Shala in India (Yoga)
Jana Czipin was born in Austria and in 15 years of practice has moved through different styles of yoga including Sivananda, Hatha, and Astanga. In 2005, she became a certified teacher from the Mysore Mandala Shala in India, and in 2008, she studied at the school of TKV Desikachar (KYM) in Chennai, India, which focuses on yoga therapy.
Mohan taught for eight years at the Sivananda Yoga Centre in Kerala before moving to Liverpool where he holds numerous regular classes throughout the city. He began his yoga life in 1981 guided by his uncle Swami Gaudapadananda Puri, director of the Vivekananda Yoga Vedanta Ashram in Kerala. He then went on to train as a yoga teacher and as an advanced yoga teacher at the Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Ashram, also qualifying in yoga Vedanta, yoga therapy, and in yoga instruction.
British Wheel of Yoga (Hatha Yoga)
Beverley embarked on her yoga journey in 2001. She completed her British wheel of Yoga foundation course with Debbie Fraser in 2009. She then went on to complete her British Wheel of Yoga teaching diploma course with Rosemary "Prema" Bennet (500-hour plus) in Hatha yoga and studied with the traditional yoga Guru Kumar from India and Simply Ayurveda foundation with Sonia Welch. She is currently studying Kundalini yoga with Hari Har Kaur. Recently, Beverley spent a week with Shiva Rea on Santorini, adding 40 hours teacher training in meditation, mudras, and mantra with movement to her skills.
This yoga retreat will take place on the edge of Kastelli by the Mavros Molos Beach, in Crete, Greece. Kissamos, also known as Kastelli, is a small town which mostly sells tractors to the local farming community. There is, however, a network of cobbled streets where you can find shops and cafes leading to an area which overlooks the sea where there are traditional Cretan fish restaurants.
The yoga venue is on the very outskirts of the small town. There, the sea is clean, warm, and shallow, making it easy for swimming with a long quiet strand of golden sandy beach. The beach is called Mavros Molos and the yoga space is above the beach looking out to the sea.
There is a tiny supermarket close by and a small boutique selling clothes. A short walk takes you to the small central village area with its cafes and shops - avoid the main road at the top of the village as this is the area where they sell tractors and industrial goods to the farmers!
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Daily breakfast and five group evening meals are included in the cost of your holiday. Each day, after your morning yoga class, you will be served a delicious breakfast with home produced milk, eggs, and cheese from the owners smallholding. Your vegetarian group dinners will be on-site, on other nights, you will eat out at the wonderful restaurants on the seafront. On some nights, a fish option is offered. Special diets cannot be accommodated, however, soya milk is supplied.
Apart from sunbathing, swimming, snorkeling, and yoga, you can visit ancient ruins, take a day cruise, explore the Venetian town of Chania, walk gorges, or just be still and enjoy the ocean.
Maria, your host, is a fantastic cook and during the week, there will be the option of attending a cookery class where you will be taught how to prepare traditional Greek vegetarian meals. - which you will then eat!
There will also be an optional excursion to the organic olive oil mill at Astrikas. This is world's famous olive oil which you can purchase on site if you wish. It is fantastic and includes both organic lemon olive oil and organic orange olive oil.
There will also be an option of a boat trip on Thursday when there is no yoga class.
Please book your flights to arrive at Chania International Airport (CHQ). From there, you will be met by taxi and transferred to Mavros Molos Beach at Kissamos. The transfers are not included in the cost, however, Free Spirit Travel will be teaming people up to share taxis to the venue. The transfer from Chania Airport takes approximately 35 minutes.
You can also fly to Heraklion International Airport (HER), which will add two hours to your transfer time.Please note that if you are arriving into Heraklion Airport, you must arrive in the afternoon if you wish to take the bus to Chania. Free Spirit Travel can arrange a taxi to collect you from Chania bus station or you can take the bus to Kissamos.