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The Awareness Retreat – Yoga & Feldenkrais At Kea Island, Greece

Koundouros Villa

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Summary

5 days’ Awareness Retreat – Yoga & Feldenkrais at Kea Island, Greece
15-19 August 2019

Join Athina and Mariela for five days of Yoga, Feldenkrais and Meditation in a secluded luxurious villa at the beautiful Greek island of Kea, enjoying the magical energy and breathtaking views of the Aegean Sea!

A chance to immerse into Yoga and Feldenkrais awareness practices in an inspiring and tranquil setting under the Greek blue sky and the glorious Greek sun. Five days of relaxation, rejuvenation and self-exploration.

THE RETREAT

Our retreat will be a small group retreat of up to 10 attendees.

The picturesque quiet island of Kea is a well-kept secret just one hour away from Athens. Its untouched charm is defined by its tranquility, sandy beaches and waymarked hikes.

The retreat starts on Thursday, August 1st afternoon and runs until Monday, August 5th noon time.

There will be two daily, morning and evening, Yoga and Feldenkrais practices on the terrace overlooking the swimming pool and the Aegean Sea and will be instructed in English. Morning practices will be more energetic waking our bodies up, while evening sessions will be more chilled out preparing for a peaceful evening.

In between the practices there will be ample free time to relax by the swimming pool and the nearby beach or to arrange island sightseeing and hiking.

The retreat is for everyone; from beginners to the more advanced students. Athina and Mariela have many years’ experience and will accommodate you based on where your level of practice is at the moment.

During your stay you will be able to book and enjoy private Feldenkrais sessions with Mariela and Thai Yoga Massage or Reiki sessions with Athina.

YOGA STYLE
Practices will be based mainly on deep classic Hatha Yoga style including pranayama and Mindfulness meditation with a deep relaxation at the end. Evening practices will include Restorative Yoga and Yoga Nidra.

FELDENKRAIS METHOD
A form of somatic education that uses gentle movement and directed attention to improve movement and enhance human functioning. This organic approach to learning asks the student to listen to herself – to move within a range of comfort, to move without unnecessary effort. Instead of copying others, the student learns to slow down and listen to herself. In this way, we become aware of what we are doing, rather than what we think we are doing hence we are able to do what we want.

THE VILLA

A beautiful villa with private swimming pool and sea view, built in traditional Cycladic architecture.

Set in a quiet neighbourhood of the most idyllic side of Kea on a hill above the beach of Koundouros, the villa offers guests a memorable leisure experience of the Greek summer in a stylish and minimal villa with all modern facilities plus a large pool and a terrace to write home about!

The two-floor villa comprises of 4 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms, spacious living and dining areas with sofas and lounges, where you can relax anytime throughout the day and a fully equipped kitchen.

The villa is ideally situated 400 meters from the sandy beach of Koundouros with crystal clear waters, which is considered the most sheltered beach on the island.

Villa Amenities:
Air conditioning
Hair dryer
Hangers
Iron
Washer
Dryer
Beach Essentials (beach towels and umbrella)
Smart TV
Satellite TV
Shutters for all rooms
Shampoo
Free Wifi
Laptop friendly workspace
Microwave
Coffee makers
Indoor and outdoor Hi-Fi system
Outdoor barbeque grill
Free parking on premises
Free street parking
Pool
Fire extinguisher
First aid kit

How to Get There:
Kea can be reached by ferry from Lavrio port, which is 24km from Athens International Airport and 40mins ride by taxi or by car. Ferries run daily and take about one hour to reach the island.

THE INSTRUCTORS

Athina Vakali
I was born in Athens in 1974. Long before yoga came to my life, I studied International Relations in Athens, continued with my Master’s degree in Maritime Law at Cardiff University and then attended the Executive Leadership Course of London Business School. My magical journey with Yoga began in 2002 alongside my professional career in Shipping where I worked for nearly two decades. I obtained my teaching degree in Hatha Yoga RYT200 from Ghyta Yoga School and teaching Yoga to children from Yoga Kids International and from Rainbow Yoga Kids. In 2013, I decided to focus exclusively on teaching Yoga. In 2016 I had the honour of studying with Michael Stone completing his Mindfulness Meditation Facilitation Mentorship Program and his Yoga Ethics Course. In 2017 I completed my 14 months’ studentship with Alessandro Ortona, alongside whom I have been studying since. Over the years, I have attended workshops with Richard Freeman, John Friend, Doug Swenson, Patrick Broome, among others. I give Reiki treatments having obtained 1st and 2nd degree initiations and since 2015 I also give Thai Massage sessions having been certified in Thai Massage Level 1 from Mindful Touch Training.

Mariela Nestora
Since childhood, I was both interested in art (dance mainly) and science (knowledge about the human body). Later on I did my studies in London; B.Sc. in Biology – Queen Mary and Westfield, M.Sc. Human Molecular Genetics at St. Mary’s Medical School, Imperial College and Contemporary Dance and Choreography at London Contemporary Dance School. As a choreographer I create my work with contemporary dance company YELP danceco. and I work as a dance teacher, dancer and kinesiologist in theatre performances. I completed my first Feldenkrais training in Greece with Ruty Bar and I am a teacher of the Feldenkrais Method (Feldenkrais Practitioner). Feldenkrais Method revealed itself in me as a connecting link – a new synthesis of my knowledge and my experience until then. Through my studies in the Feldenkrais Method and practicing it as a teacher, I continuously expand my knowledge and my research of the human body and movement towards healing, awareness, development and creation.

TESTIMONIALS

Hara, 44
Athina is a great retreat organizer and yoga teacher. She has a calm and authentic way of being, showing care for every member of the group, eager to assist with poses when required and to help us connect with the practice always respecting our own capabilities and needs. The location was beautiful, the house we stayed in was great and I enjoyed very much the evening yoga practice on the beach. Excellent choices! What I enjoyed the most though was our walk in silence for meditation and watch the sunset! It was magnificent! Thank you so much for the taking care of us!

Nikolas, 33
The experience was more than perfect. It was exactly what I needed! Our silent hike was a great surprise and our practices to the beach were magical! Loved it! Don’t miss it!

Christiana, 37
I have been regularly practicing yoga with Athina and Feldenkrais with Mariela since 2015 and for years now I have been following Athina’s summer retreats and their joint retreat with Mariela. They are both teachers of unique calmness, patience and faith believing both in the practice and in the human potential. They are loving and caring, but also disciplined and focused when needed. The experience was extremely rich, as it brought together people from different backgrounds in a small group, to enjoy practicing on the beach, under the sky and in the heart of the sea for 4 days. Their style of teaching in combination with the extremely powerful landscape made me leave the island fully energized, alert and ready to be in the present moment for the months to follow.

The price includes:
* 4 nights’ accommodation
* 2-hours’ daily group Yoga & Meditation practice
* 2 daily group Feldenkrais classes
* 2 delicious and healthy vegetarian meals a day, breakfast and dinner
* Transportation to/from the villa on arrival/departure

The price does not include:
* Transfers and tickets to/from the island
* Drinks, which will be at cost
* Private sessions, which will be at cost

What makes this event special...

The combination of Yoga, Feldenkrais and Meditation practices with awareness is a unique transformative experience. The setting of the off-the-beaten-track Greek island of Kea and the luxurious villa with the swimming pool, 400 meters away from the sandy beach of Koundouros provides the best setting for this awareness journey!

About the host

Athina Vakali

    My magical journey with Yoga began in 2002 alongside my professional career in Shipping where I worked for nearly 20 years. I am a Hatha Yoga RYT200 & Yoga Kids teacher. Since 2013, I focus exclusively on teaching Yoga. In 2016 I started studying with Michael Stone completing his Mindfulness Meditation Program & his Yoga Ethics Course. In 2017 I completed my 14 months’ studentship with Alessandro Ortona. I give Reiki treatments having obtained 1st and 2nd degree initiations and Thai Massage sessions having been certified in Thai Massage Level 1 from Mindful Touch Training.

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