Dates: May 23 – 30, 2015
Venue: Itha 108, Ithaca, Greece
Cost: Prices start at £650
Main Villa: 2 sharing £850 / Single £1100
Mongolian Yurts: 2 sharing £650 / Single £850 / Dormitory £590 with 4 people sharing (Only available if 3/4 people share)
Itha108 is a brand new yoga retreat located in Piso Aetos on the charming Greek Island of Ithaca. The design is ‘discreet luxury’ with a sleek modern style mixed with traditional craftsmanship from Rajasthan. The indoor-outdoor sitting area has a dazzling white breezy roof terrace with inspiring views of Kefallinia, woven charpoy daybeds, Indian bed swings with linen covered mattresses and a cosy sitting room complete with oversized sofa and armchairs, a well-stocked library, board games and Asian artefacts. The stylish bedrooms are comfortable and well-designed with modern ensuite bathrooms and balconies overlooking the silvery Ionian sea. Food is fresh, sumptuous and made up of local produce. Plentiful, home-cooked menus blend traditional Greek cuisine with a contemporary style.
There are two yoga shalas (indoor/outdoor) surrounded by mountain boulders and a forest of wild oak. Your senses will be stimulated by rustling leaves, the gentle bells of grazing goats, velvety smooth air and the aroma of wild sage.
There are three beaches within a ten-minute walk, each with a different character and with plenty of hidden coves that feel like your own private beach. Itha108 is the perfect place to dissolve into yoga. Two classes a day designed to take you to the spiritual heart of the practice.
The morning Vinyasa Flow class and a the afternoon ‘Yoga Clinic’ that focuses on different aspects of Hatha-variations, pranayama, chakras and meditation. This is a transformational yoga retreat that integrates ancient wisdom traditions with contemporary psychology in a mindful practice designed to diminish suffering in our lives.
We’ll study BKS Iyengar alignment principles in key poses and the inner and outer techniques of Vinyasa that tie the poses together in a ‘moving meditation’. Develop awareness in your body and mind to simply be ‘present.’ Breath, presence and compassion are interwoven with the ‘inner limbs’ of yoga that develop focus and concentration skills, to connect to emotional intelligence and lucidity of mind. Use the breath to feel safe enough to move through difficult poses and work honestly at your edge and shift energy in problem areas (hips & shoulders). Yin/restorative yoga is used as a healing/transformational tool to move through fear and release hardness in the body, experience deep inner peace and insight, and learn to be at ease in the present moment. Yoga philosophy is infused into the teachings. It’s a deep practice that moves beyond the physical experience to make the yogic inquiry authentic and relevant to real life. You’ll develop a daily practice that is so inspiring you’ll want to get on your mat as soon as you get home. Be a yogi for life!
This workshop will inspire and challenge all levels of yoga student. Participants have ranged in age from 19 – 68. Beginners are welcome as long as you have some yoga experience, are relatively fit and willing to try.
(There will be plenty of time for sightseeing, swimming in the sea or pool, relaxation and massage.)
Itha 108 is an exquisite purposely built yoga venue on the quiet Greek Island of Ithaca. The accommodation includes both single and double occupancy in either the main villa or in Mongolian yurts. All bedrooms are either single or double occupancy. All are en-suite and air-conditioned with muslin mosquito nets, coco-mat mattresses, wood-paneled ceilings and views across the Ionian sea towards Kefalonia. Each bedroom has a unique identity reminiscent of a Jodpur palace, decorated with Rajasthani mirrors and silk bedspreads, stained wood ceilings and tapestry stools. Shuttered doors lead onto a verandah, some with an over-sized hammock and others an Indian Charpoy sun bed covered in large, hand embroidered Rajasthani cushions. Hand woven baskets are piled high with bath and beach towels. The ensuite bathrooms are 21 C with sleek modern fittings, power showers and eco flush loos.
The Mongolian yurts are light and airy inside, sleeping between one to four people. They have comfortable beds with mosquito nets, coco-mat mattresses, plenty of shelving, and share an outdoor bathroom carved into the rocks, with a sea grass roof. Pathways and steps provide access to the yurt platforms, each with outdoor seating, positioned high among rocks and trees with beautiful sea views.
Food at Itha 108 is fresh, sumptuous and made up of local produce. All vegetables are organic and sourced from the best of what Ithaca and neighbouring Kefalonia has to offer. Plentiful, home-cooked menus blend traditional Greek cuisine with a contemporary style.
Itha 108 has a range of therapies, including Thai Yoga Massage, Deep Tissue and beauty treatments like manicure, pedicure and hairdressing.
Breakfast, served on a sinuous polished white plaster counter, is simple and delicious. Help yourself to plates heavy with fruit – succulent figs, grapes, juicy peaches, and refreshing melon, Greek yogurt and local honey, plates of cheese and tomatoes, ginger tea or ask for eggs and a mug of strong coffee. Breakfast can be a long drawn out affair – hours are lost chewing over the matters of the day with newfound friends. If you have special dietary requirements, please let us know.
There are three beaches within a ten-minute walk, each with a different character. The biggest one has parasols, sunbeds and plenty of opportunities for people watching. The other two are smaller – with plenty of hidden coves that feel like your own private beach.
All the beaches on the island are very clean, with some clear turquoise water but all of them have chalky white pebbles – very pretty but a bit of a pain to walk on, so take a pair of flip-flops or pick up a pair of rubber bottomed shoes in town (expect to pay around eight euros).
International airfare is not included. Transit from and to the airport by bus, sea taxi and taxi is not included unless there are a minimum number of 10 people.
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Arrival day is May 23. Please try to arrive in time for the evening yoga class at 5 pm.
Flights to Kefalonia take about 3.5 hours from London and Greece is 2 hours ahead from the UK. Ryanair flies out of Stansted and Easy Jet out of Gatwick. Thomas Cook also flies from Gatwick, Stansted, Luton, Manchester, Birmingham and Newcastle. Monarch flies from Gatwick. Thomson has flights from Luton, Stansted and Gatwick.
Transfers from Kefalonia to the retreat are included in the price only if a minimum of 10 people come. A private bus takes you from the Kefalonia airport to Sami port (45 min / 50 Euros), a ferry (one ferry per day leaves at 14:45 / 3 Euros) or sea taxi (80 Euros) to Piso Aetos on Ithaca, followed by a taxi to the retreat.
If you are arriving on different times, a café at the airport, with a swimming pool, is a good waiting point. Or a café in Sami.