How I love this time of year since I moved to the south west coast of Portugal. Where it is still possible to live in harmony with the seasons. So that in winter one can go inwards into a time of reflection, slowing down & hibernating. Just as winters were supposed to be. A time for fireplaces, of early darkness & snuggling up, but also for long winter hikes through the forests & on the outstretched empty beaches. For strong winter swells that hit our shores, surfing the waves of the hidden reef breaks.
For me this is always a wonderful time to reflect on the retreats from the past year, reminiscing on the wonderful times & amazing new friends made and also to think about next year's retreats. As the retreats are always growing organically along with me, coming straight from the heart. The retreats are based on 3 main pillars, in complete keeping with my inner being:
Through Yoga, surfing & hiking (the latter might be better introduced as nature guiding).
Not just doing but creating awareness in each of this practices. With Yoga you have the time to explore your inner landscape & to really become aware of your body. With surfing we find that for many it can be a highly spiritual experience which presents itself as an outward expression of their yoga & meditation practices. And with hiking you can become very mindful and establish a deeper connection between mind and body, helping you to embrace your body as it moves through space.
Surfing for many is a highly spiritual experience which presents itself as an outward expression of their yoga & meditation practices.
All 3 of the movement practices that we do at Yogaion, also have a direct link with the 2nd & 3rd pillar. As Surf & hiking is done within nature, with a strong connection to it and Yoga is all about exploring our own inner nature. As for the 3rd pillar, the nourishing part of the practice: exercise or movement is widely known to have a myriad of effects on the body & being, nurturing us in the deepest sense possible.
It is within nature that you can truly become aware of your own being, of your connection to the earth and to the intrinsic web of life. Hosting the retreats in the costa Vicentina natural park, close to the rugged coastline and wild nature of the west coast of Portugal. Where you can still stargaze at night and walk for kilometres in silence and peace, not meeting another soul.
“The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.”
In a time where our natural world is becoming so fragile, I think the only way forward is to reconnect with nature to realise that we are part of it, so that we become aware how important it is to protect the beautiful and amazing planet we call home.
This is created through the 1st and 2nd pillar, but also through food; wellness; staying in a luxury barefoot retreat venue; & surrounding ourselves with wonderful people. Especially the food part is a very important part at the retreats, cooked with loads of love by our wonderful chefs Ana & Xana.
“One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.”
There are a few main points for the food, it needs to be as sustainable as possible, it needs to be healthy, and most importantly it needs to be absolutely delicious. So far I think we are over exceeding on all points :-)
Also on the part of our venue next year (and hopefully many years to come), I am more than excited with the beauty & location of the house. If you haven't seen it yet please have a look here:
Last but definitely not least, the nourishment from all the wonderful people at the retreats, YOU all make it what it is & SO MUCH MORE! Keeping the groups small with no more than 10 students always makes it so much more pleasurable. I have had plenty of times that I could grow the groups in size, but remain with my philosophy "QUALITY OVER QUANTITY" any time. So that everyone get’s the personal attention they need and the ambience always becomes one of friends. It wouldn't be anything either without the team of Yogaion: Liz; Ana, Xana, Luisa, Ivana; Mauro; and the whole future surf school team: MUITO OBRIGADA & GRATIDÃO.
If you are interested in next years retreats you can find all the Dates & Prices here:
There is a 5% early bird discount if booked 2 months or more in advance & always a 10% discount for returning students. ♥️
Wishing you all a wonderful winter, where you can hopefully find some time for reflection, seclusion, solitude and some well deserved you time.