8 Days Ultimate Mindfulness Yoga Retreat in Greece

  • Urania Villas, Vassiliki, Lefkada, Greece

Mindfulness Journeys - Meditation and Yoga

Join our intimate group and experience limitless blue sky and sea on the verdant island of Lefkada, Greece. You will be introduced to finding the extraordinary in everyday life through the practice of meditation and yoga. Your 7 night stay will be in one of four architecturally designed villas made of local sandstone. Each has a private pool, large deck, sun loungers and umbrellas. Nestled high on a hilltop surrounded by nothing but lush greenery and birdsong, you will at all times have vast views of Ionian Seas and majestic Greek islands. You will be expertly guided by Brian Hilliard in the practice of meditation, and hosted by Shannon van Staden, who will take care of all the details to ensure your stay is relaxing, and that you leave rejuvenated and refreshed. Your one week retreat holiday will give you deep relaxation, a new outlook on life, and profound tools to take home with you.

Highlights

  • Silence for inner reflection sessions
  • Daily Yoga and Mindfulness sessions
  • Talks and discussions on meditation practice
  • Delicious Mediterranean brunch and dinner from local produce
  • A nature reserve for dolphins and seals area
  • 7 nights accommodation in a luxurious villa
  • Exquisite scenery of unique private beach
  • 6 days with instruction
  • Italian, English
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You will share a stylishly decorated, spacious, double storey villa comprised of three ensuite luxury rooms with jacuzzi baths or walk-in showers, as well as an open plan living room and fully equipped kitchen. Each villa has full length terraces, endless breathtaking sea views, and a private pool with loungers and an outdoor shower. All villas are air-conditioned.

Daily schedule

Awake to a gorgeous sunrise over crystal waters. For runners (optional) start with a morning run with Brian enjoying gorgeous sea views. After a light breakfast, meet up with Karen for yoga.

Then you will enjoy a fresh, balanced brunch with your retreat companions on the pool deck.

The afternoons are at your leisure. Rest, read, write or nap at your private pool. Maybe you’d like to hike down to the private beach and enjoy a skinny dip, take walks along the country road on this beautiful hilltop or languish on one of the world famous beaches nearby?

In late afternoons you gather at the meditation shala of uninterrupted views, where you will be guided through the form and practice of meditation with talks, discussions and periods of silence for inner reflection. This is suitable for beginners or experienced meditators.

The day will be concluded with a delicious sunset dinner on one of the decks or terraces with exquisite views. Some evenings there will be movies or special events after dinner to deepen your understanding and practice of meditation and yoga, or explore the philosophy and practice of Macrobiotics.

Mindfulness Meditation

Your day includes mindfulness meditation sessions guided by Brian Hilliard. You will learn the techniques and practice of sitting and walking meditation in a beautiful meditation shala with incredible views of Ionian Seas and majestic Greek Islands. There will be talks, discussions, private interviews on request, and some silence for inner reflection.

The ability to perceive and enjoy an amazing display of sea and sky resonates deeply with the experience of meditation. Senses are sharpened and clarified, felt newly in an expansive awareness which goes beyond our usual preoccupations. Deep personal experience is adorned with the beauty of sense perceptions. With deep relaxation you will experience the sense of letting go. You will learn and understand incredible tools to take home with you. Our meditation holiday is suitable for beginners and advanced practitioners. See our Free Meditation for more on mindfulness meditation.

Hatha Flow Yoga with Karen Bennett

Karen will be teaching a Hatha Flow style class. This can be either dynamic or slower paced, depending on the group needs. This style of yoga often incorporates longer holds than Vinyassa practice, and focuses on building the connection of body and mind through awareness of breath. Her flow classes include teachings from the 8 limbs of yoga, being mindful of the yamas and niyamas (naturally wholesome ethics) both on and off the mat, alignment focused asana (yoga posture), and hands on adjustments as necessary and as welcomed by the student.

Running with Meditation

Our retreats include optional running training. Running with meditation is an introduction to meditation in movement. Reach the zone easily with practical instructions for combining mindfulness and movement.

This mindfulness retreat will take place at the Urania Villas, Lefkada, Greece.

Our chef Kostas Tzallilas will be presenting a range of delicious, healthy, organic macrobiotic meals. The essence of Macrobiotic diet is balance and adaptation to the environment and to the needs of each individual. During the retreat the nutrition is designed in such a way to maximize the cleansing, strengthening and centering effects of the yoga practice and the meditation. Each meal is prepared with a variety of ingredients such as grains, vegetables, beans and bean products, seaweed, fermented products, nuts, seeds and fruits; mostly organic. All the meals are 100% vegan and sugar free.

Take some time to swim, lounge, nap or read at your private pool deck, or take a 45 minute hike to our private pebbled beach with crystal clear waters. You may even spot dolphins and seals in this protected natural habitat.

A 15-minute drive brings you to one of three world class beaches of breathtaking beauty. Majestic sheer cliffs meet sand, pebbles and turquoise waters. Porto Katsiki is an easy walk, while Egremnoi beach has some 300 access steps - the spectacular part nudist beach is well worth the hike.

Guided walking excursion

With a local Greek guide, explore beautiful island flora and medicinal herbs unique to Lefkada Island. Enjoy lunch at a local Greek Taverna with ocean views.

Boat and snorkeling trip to coves

Take a boat trip to small coves where you can snorkel and explore the sea life of crystal clean waters. Enjoy lunch at a local Greek Taverna.

Watersports

Vassiliki is famous for holding windsurfing championships book a lesson in kite surfing, kite boarding or wind surfing. Or take a surf lesson and ride the beautiful waves of the breathtaking local beaches. Enjoy lunch at a Greek taverna.

  • 7 nights luxury en-suite accommodation
  • 6 meditation talks, discussions and practice time with Brian
  • 6 Yoga sessions (once daily) with Karen
  • Daily light breakfast, brunch and dinner prepared by our private chefs
  • Evening movies or specials events to deepen understanding and practice
  • Farewell dinner
  • Optional meditation running with Brian
  • Personal private meditation instruction exchanges with Brian or Shannon
  • Teas, coffees and healthy snacks at any time
  • Car hire or transfers
  • Cove and snorkeling excursion
  • Flights
  • Massage treatments
  • Walking excursion
  • Water sports

Arrival by airplane

Flights are not included, however, we will suggest suitable flights. The best airport is Preveza, Lefkada (PVK), and there are great flights direct from London Gatwick on arrival and departure days. Our second choice is Kefalonia, then taxi to Fiscardo Marina to take West Ferry boat to Vassiliki Bay, and a 10-minute taxi ride to the villas. If you need to fly from a different destination we recommend www.skyscanner.com

Transfer by car from Preveza on the winding roads of Lefkada Island enjoying spectacular views and little Greek villages on your 1.2 hour ride. Arrive at the villas by 17.00 latest. Meet us, enjoy a welcome drink, unpack, unwind, and enjoy our introductory talk before dinner.

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 50% of the total price.
  • The deposit is fully refundable if the booking is cancelled up to 57 days before the arrival date.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid 70 days before arrival.

Verified BookMeditationRetreats.com reviews

  • Review by Lisa G. from Scoraig, Scotland

    "I liked the relaxed atmosphere, the caring attitude from both of you. A definate feeling of the space being held with love and gentleness. The general ambience also."

    BookYogaRetreats.com, edited

  • Review by Kim S. from UK

    "The ambiance created by the two of you. You both bring unique and special qualities to the experience. A good balance of teaching and demonstration while keeping and holding a relaxed, caring and fun atmosphere."

    BookYogaRetreats.com, edited

  • Review by Anina H. from UK

    "What makes this retreat unique?"

    "The individuals Brian and Shannon taking care of us. Talking us through the process of meditation and mindfulness."

    BookYogaRetreats.com, edited

  • Review by Rose O. from UK

    "What makes this retreat unique?"

    "Just how lovely you, Shannon and Brian are!"

    BookYogaRetreats.com, edited

  • Review by Mary L. from UK

    "I really liked the structure of the week. I felt totally safe to hand over all responsibility to you. I loved the gentle development of the disciplines of mindfulness, running and yoga. I enjoyed the breaks in the afternoon."

    "I’ve never been on a retreat before so I can’t compare to others, but for me it’s about the people running it and the way you’ve shared your time and knowledge with us both on the study element but also at meals and in Marrakech. It felt very welcoming and inclusive."

    BookYogaRetreats.com, edited

Testimonials

  • Review by Jeremy Lazell from UK

    "As a travel writer with 20 years experience, my trip with Mindfulness Journeys to Morocco was the best week of my professional life. Gentle and warm, but also highly professional and organised, Brian and Shannon were superb teachers and infectiously generous people: I came away feeling extraordinarily relaxed and refreshed, armed with a set of meditation skills that I still use every day, six months after the trip. It would be no exaggeration to say that the trip changed my life."

    Retreats - Mindfulness and Yoga website, edited

  • Review by Brian and Anita H. from London, United Kingdom

    "The location, beautiful surroundings, food, and atmosphere were amazing. The size of the group and dynamics were perfect. The meditation instruction was incredibly helpful, and unfolded nicely at a great pace. We also liked not being connected to the world of digital and phone. Brian and Shannon complement each other very well. This was a lot more intimate than other retreats. There were great discussions, openness and maturity by the whole group."

    Retreats - Mindfulness and Yoga website, edited

  • Review by Becky S. from Birmingham, United Kingdom

    "In the last few years I had completed half marathons, triathlons and two marathons. I was struggling though, instead of flying I was stumbling; I was losing the love for running. Then I came across a briefing in the Sunday Times, how to improve your running through meditation. I had never meditated before, but was open to the idea especially with only 4 weeks to go to the London Marathon. The Morocco retreat was incredible, and I strongly recommend it. From the time of arriving, I instantly fell in love with the place, and at peace, partly because Shannon was there to ensure I was comfortable from day one to the end, but also the setting for the week was beautiful. Surrounded by mountains, spectacular sunrises, delicious food, lovely people and with no contact with reality, it was picture perfect. Then came Brian, in his quiet intellectual, unassuming, gentle manner, working his magical charm through his skilful meditation techniques, he managed to transform and help me find my way and focus again. I could breathe, see clear light and felt completely energised. Truly amazing things can happen when you open your mind to meditation, not to mention the fact that I had the best race of my life in the London Marathon 2016, my running mojo had returned…Thank you Brian and Shannon."

    Retreats - Mindfulness and Yoga website, edited

  • Review by Michael N. from London, United Kingdom

    "I liked the rigour of physical practice and the discipline of several hours a day meditating with the teaching gradually deepening my practice. The sharing in the group intensified the experiences and liberated my emotions. Brian’s teaching and Shannon’s care for us made the retreat truly unique."

    Retreats - Mindfulness and Yoga website, edited

  • Review by Jo L. from London, United Kingdom

    "I had come to a time in my life when I needed to spend time for just “me”. As I have spent many years practising Tai Chi and Pilates, and have always wanted to visit Morocco, it seemed perfect. It was an experience I will never forget: meeting Shannon and learning from the true expert Brian in the magical desert of Morocco and it’s ring of Atlas Mountains. By the end of the week I felt fully recharged, lighter in my emotions, and truly ready with bounds of confidence and strength to face the world again. I would highly recommend this to anyone who is looking to switch off and find themself."

    Retreats - Mindfulness and Yoga website, edited

  • Review by Sara from London, UK
    10 out of 10

    "The retreat was incredible. I was held by both of you from the moment of my first email, through to meeting up with you at the airport, to that first session on the first day. I am ever so grateful. Grateful for your love and your care, your teachings and your taste. Grateful for the conditions you created for me to be held. And you should be really proud. Thank you so very much. What an incredible experience. This trip was precisely what I needed and will likely need again in May or September in Greece."

    Mindfulness Journeys website, edited

  • Review by Jane
    10 out of 10

    "It was unbelievable! In 25 years of travel writing Ive never experienced anything like it. Thank you."

    Mindfulness Journeys website, edited

  • Review by Ralph from Amsterdam, the Netherlands
    10 out of 10

    "During my one month retreat Brian patiently watched me drop the mental baggage that I brought in from my wordly life. As my sensitivity increased while opening up, he kindly and skillfully led me to a more confident attitude towards my being."

    Mindfulness Journeys website, edited

  • Review by Olga from Barcelona, Spain
    10 out of 10

    "Brian Hilliard as a teacher is fully present and creates an open space that allowed me to cultivate mindfulness and awareness. He has a kind, clear and precise way of communicating. His powerful and accurate questioning aroused my curiosity and made me explore deeply. His listening nourished me in my personal process of integration. I really appreciate Brians generosity, wisdom, skill and creative approach to interaction. I highly recommend him for one-to-one and group teachings."

    Mindfulness Journeys website, edited

  • Review by Mimi from Ireland
    10 out of 10

    "Brian Hilliards teachings are infused with his decades of practice and study of meditation. He is the real deal. Insightful, wise, funny, he shows us how the profound teachings are helpful in navigating our everyday lives. Brian is also a gracious host, providing good food and conversation. Taking a Mindfulness Journey with him is magical."

    Mindfulness Journeys website, edited

Brussels, Belgium

Mindfulness Journeys integrates meditation and yoga teachings, and provides retreats with a love for travel, culture, food, and nature activities.

from --

8 days / 7 nights

Special discount

If you bring a friend a 100 EUR discount per person is applied on the displayed prices for shared accomodation.

 
Departure:
Sunday June 17, 2018
(8 days / 7 nights)

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