Women's Yoga Retreat with Eugenia and Federica
Unleash the potential of your femininity, create the life your heart longs for
Join us at YogaOnCrete and experience the lightness of being and joy of honouring and nurturing the needs of your body, mind and spirit through the practice of Iyengar and Hatha Flow yoga, meditation and intuitive movement, and women's circles. As well as daily encounters with the cool, turquoise Mediterranean waters at quiet beaches, idyllic unspoilt surroundings, and wholesome local food, excursions, a warm and welcoming group of people and much more!
In this retreat, Eugenia and Federica will be sharing their own experiences of how yoga, embodiment and sisterhood practices have supported them as women in leading happier and more fulfilling lives. The week will begin with an opening ceremony and yoga class. In the following days, we wil gather for a morning meditation and yoga class, focusing on a woman's physical, mental and emotional needs, and an afternoon intuitive movement women's circle. We'll include yoga practices that support our menstrual cycle as well as menopause and other topics that women often face - such as, body image, self-worth, perfectionism, anxiety, sexuality, boundary setting, self-victimisation etc. - depending on the particular needs of the particular women present.
Our aim is to support each other in feeling deeply and joyfully empowered by our feminine qualities (from softness, tenderness, and nurturing to intuition, fierceness, and wildness) in order to fully celebrate the gift of this precious life in a woman's body.
Women ... you possess an innate spiritual gift within the technology of your body and heart ...The power of birth...to bring soul into form ... The power of creation... This is not simply a biological fact... It is a subtle spiritual gift of the Feminine essence... A technology waiting to be awakened and remembered... We have refused this power out of resentment and fear... We have claimed false power as revenge... This is a choice point... She wants to pull this through... And we need to remember
"From the bottom of my heart, thank you so much for providing the environment, space and support that helped me to piece myself together! A truly magical experience and beginning of new adventures to cope. Thank you Eugenia, Federica, Joshua, Maya the Bee, and Lena - sound healing, and the Amazing YogaOnCrete Goddesses!"
Summer 2016 course participant
No previous experience in yoga is required for participation in the course
- Daily meditation and Iyengar yoga class tailored to the needs of women, led by professional and experienced yoga instructor
- Daily Body Mind Emotion Medicine session / Women's Circle with experienced yoga instructor, Gestalt therapist, and body worker
- 7 nights' accommodation in traditional guesthouse located near beach
- 7 breakfasts and 5 dinners included
- A round trip to the beautiful Sweet Water beach
- Linen and towels provided
The week begins with an opening circle at 6 p.m. on the day of arrival, in order to embrace and support each other in our process of learning and growing in freedom and our unique beauty during the week. There will then be an introductory grounding movement session in order to fully arrive to the retreat, followed by a delicious vegetarian dinner cooked by our wonderful intuitive cook Maria.
The days will then include a morning yoga and meditation class with Eugenia, based on Iyengar yoga, but also incorporating Hatha Flow yoga elements (usually 8.30-10.30 a.m.) and an afternoon Women's Circle (usually 18.00-20.00), in which we will embark on the Body Mind Emotion Medicine journey under Federica's charismatic guidance. All sessions are held on the yoga deck under the olive trees so you can enjoy your connection with the sea, the trees, and the hills. On occasion we will also take the session out in nature, e.g., to greet the new day and celebrate our aliveness and connection to the beautiful environment with an early morning swim.
After breakfast, guests can relax and enjoy the beach and sunshine, receive a massage treatment, or explore the village and region. The fourth day of the week is a rest day from classes, with no yoga or movement class; an optional excursion can be arranged, including a guided hike through a gorge of the region (usually the magnificent Aradaina gorge) or other season appropriate hike, ending at the beach (approx. €25 depending on number of participants going).
Five dinners are offered at the house, while on two of the nights guests are free to dine out in the village restaurants (not included in the course cost; approx. €15 for a full meal including drinks).
Individual excursions (e.g., hikes, boat trips) can also be arranged during the week at an extra cost. On the last day of each week, departure can be arranged after breakfast.
The number of women participating is limited to 14, to create a warm and friendly atmosphere, that is particularly important in this course.
Iyengar yoga for Women with Eugenia
The retreat’s focus is on diving into one’s feminine essence and truth, shaking off the obstacles (physical, mental, emotional) that keep her from living her own version of what life can be, and empowering her to do so. The morning yoga and meditation sessions will therefore aim at invigorating and opening the body, relaxing and centring the mind, and creating a sense of spaciousness, calmness, and physical and mental harmony, forming a foundation for this inner journey.
Yoga is a system that beautifully deepens and fine-tunes awareness of body and mind and thus cultivates the ability to skilfully respond to life’s challenges. How can it become a woman’s friend that is there on the bright as well as on the gloomier days, throughout the inner and outer seasons? How can we arrive at the practice without the shoulds and have tos, voices that we have adopted from society and also say to ourselves, that we as women are particularly prone to be burdened and weighed down by, and use it as a tool for lightness and liberation as it really is? How can one navigate their way through a practice as well as a single asana (posture), remaining connected with what is present, attuned to the subtle or not so subtle signals that the body constantly gives out, receptive and open where necessary, as well as active and deliberate where called for, connected to one’s intuition, feeling one’s way into the juiciness and joy of the practice, rather than blindly following instructions? This attitude of befriending and becoming intimate with one’s body is what Eugenia strives to cultivate during this week of inquiry, guided by the principles of yoga.
The classes will be based on Iyengar yoga with elements of Hatha Flow, focusing on precision, alignment, and a deep listening of the body’s needs in the moment, the prerequisites of a safe practice. There will also be flow, in combined breath and movement sequences, in which effortlessness and ease will be emphasized. A basic series of asanas, usually held for some time so that the body and its necessary actions, as well as the mind, can be observed within the posture, and breathing techniques, will be explored and systematically organized in a way that can be adopted in one’s self-practice, also to support particular phases, such as menstruation and menopause. For women in particular leg-work is important to ground and connect to mother earth, and set the base for a dynamic pelvic floor, which is an essential condition for the spine to unfold, extend and grow, symbolically also creating the ground for this unfolding and growth to happen in less tangible parts of our lives. Another area we will be focusing on is the wonderful potential of an alive belly (the centre of our womb, our life-force and energy), where the forces of earth and sky meet and can be balanced. Each class will end with a deep relaxation and centring and grounding meditation, so as to connect to our inner source of quiet, compassion and gratitude.
Eugenia wishes to instil the confidence in each woman to trust the wisdom of her body, learn to listen to its rhythms and signals, respect its cyclical hormonal nature, sharpen her sensitivity and intuition and thus adjust the practice as is most useful at any given moment. She aims at inspiring women to also be able to practice in a playful and creative way, so that it suits and benefits them the most, learning how to accommodate, adjust and use alternatives, depending on how they arrive on the mat.
The daughter of B. K. S. Iyengar, the founder of Iyengar yoga, Geeta Iyengar, did an in depth study of how a yoga practice can be tailored to the needs of women, and her invaluable contribution, as well as the work of other great yoginis (Angela Farmer, Donna Farhi, and Bobby Clennel to mention a few) will be used as inspiration for this approach.
Body Mind Emotion Medicine with Federica
Our journey with Federica will be supported by authentic movement exploration, somatic gestalt, bioenergetic techniques, body-mind connection practices, breath work, tantra inspiration initiation and sharing in the circle. In order to unveil and remember the beautiful mystery of the feminine, to feel more connected and aligned, to manifest fully our own inner truth we will use the following:
- Somatic body work (rooting; grounding; centering; breath; movement; sound)
- Emotional release: an inner journey into the pain body as a holy container of our emotions, feelings, past experiences, memories and trauma. To access your pure essence there is an unloading process of stuck energy that must happen. Stagnation is the worst enemy for your life. Moving emotions, owning them, being aware of them and learning to release the charge is a crucial step for your freedom. Master your emotional intelligence to feel whole and deeply connected to the Self.
Here we journey into: the 7 emotional release tools; shadow work which means bringing what has been suppressed, avoided, and hidden emotionally into the light; healing open wounds; speaking truth and opening up which means clearing past relationship dynamics; learning to set healthy boundaries; bringing awareness to your inner child, a strategy in cultivating the feeling of being loved, and clearing old patterns with one's family; becoming aware of the ego trap and ego mechanisms that are used for survival, but perhaps no longer serve us; becoming comfortable to experience life, feeling more than thinking.
- Spiritual awakening. A lot of what is considered spirituality has passed through a tremendous distortion. Bypassing the human condition has been one way to get into spirituality. We have been searching for Gods in churches, in doctrine, in fixed idealism, and in political religion. Spiritual Awakening is a journey into shamanic death, cracking open the shell of false identity and personal safety. It's a realization - an initiation process to surrender to the truth of who we are. This is Yoga to Federica: to discover, honour and let our divine nature unfold and shine through life with ALL its challenges and pains, all its beauty and infinite possibilities.
Your Body and Soul are full of natural, spontaneous energy... vibration... intuition… and aliveness. There is no judgment or reaction, no expectation or guilt, and no past or future. Through authentic, free movement in this 2 hour class on one of the week's afternoons, we will release the deep tension and limitations that block our freedom and vitality. We will shake off the mind’s heavy burden of past experiences and their associated judgments.
Through self expression, we will reach a new form of dialogue and union with ourselves. We will play with ourselves. We will challenge our ego and our comfort zone, light up our "story" and feel lighter. Through dancing, singing, playing, breathing and touching we will feed the parts of our body and soul that we have buried, forgotten and ignored. In short, we will reveal and awaken their natural states of being.
The class will include:
- African dance
- contact improvisation
- bioenergetics exercises
- voice work
- breathing work
- physical theater
- self expression
In this journey there is no teacher and no technique to memorize. We are not here to learn any new theories. We have collected so many theories that our minds seem to have lost their ability to be alert, silent and open to pure creation, which is what we seek to encourage during this week.
Eugenia initially studied Psychology in Athens and went on to receive an MSc in Sport Psychology in Wales. She then began practicing yoga in 2004, while studying Contemporary Dance in Scotland. She gained a Yoga Teacher qualification from the Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centres in Spain in 2005 and in 2012 received her Iyengar yoga teaching certification, with Constantinos Giannetakis as her regular teacher.
Whenever possible, she loves continuing her training also with other teachers such as Donna Farhi, Angela Farmer and Martine Le Chenic, and has in recent years become more interested in tailoring a practice in tune with a woman's needs and hormonal cycle. She is currently living between Rhodes and Crete with her husband Nicolas.
Her classes strive to create a safe and nurturing environment. The focus on the breath, as a powerful tool for developing awareness of the body and quieting the mind, is integral in her teaching, also incorporating elements of her Vipassana meditation practice.
Ultimately, her interest lies in integrating an analytical/psychological approach, emotional expression through movement and voice, and the development of awareness and connection with our spiritual essence through yoga and meditation, in light of a holistic approach to well being.
Federica is a Yoga Alliance certified instructor who has practiced and studied Mysore Ashtanga, Iyengar and other forms of yoga. With a background in professional dance, massage therapy, craniosacral therapy and shamanic healing, Federica brings to her classes and workshops a wealth of background information in the mechanics of dynamic movement, energy flow and effective healing techniques. Yet, she teaches with an attitude of playfulness, acceptance and gratitude. Federica is based in South Italy where she runs Maya Yoga.
For more information visit federicaclemente.com.
- (all inclusive) per person per week
- €660 shared non en suite accommodation (2 in a room) with use of the communal bathroom.
- €760 shared en suite accommodation (3 in a room) or single non-ensuite (with use of communal bathroom).
- €810 shared en suite twin or double room.
- €1100 single en suite accommodation (please note that single room availability is limited).
- €540 non-participating partner sharing a room.
- €650 work-exchange option (only one place per week): about 2-3 hours’ help per day with light household tasks (e.g., washing dishes, cleaning yoga studio) that does not interfere with the attendance of all classes. Accommodation in triple room.