Ready, Set, Slow:  Lipsi, Greece, September 9-16, 2018.

Turn the switch in your head to "off" and explore presence, mindfulness and luxury on one of the most beautiful and unspoiled islands in Greece.   

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The yoga begins when your journey begins.  There is no fast and easy way to get to Lipsi, a hidden gem in a string of islands in the Aegean Sea.  That’s the point of this week.   To slow down, to embrace the journey as much as the destination, and to fully appreciate every action you take in furtherance of your goals.  To give up the illusion of control.  And to embrace each moment--on the mat, in the sea, and even in transit.  When it’s over, you’ll understand more fully why the best places are not always the most accessible—both inside yourself and out in the real world.

  

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Practice

Two daily practices--gentle flow in the morning and a more restorative practice in the evening--will help you connect to your body while stilling the myriad voices inside your brain.  

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Luxuriate

A private boat will take you directly from the tiny Leros airport to your home for the week--Villa M.  Known locally as "the villa with the pool, " this compound built into the side of a hill has seven bedrooms, all with private bathrooms and queen sized beds, its own beach and pier, and a fully equipped kitchen where you will take all of your meals before dinner.  Use it as your staging area for exploring the island or stay put and practice slowing down.  

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Escape

Lipsi, the legendary island where Odysseus dallied with the sea nymph Calypso for five years before returning home to his wife, remains just as seductive today.  Those who are willing to make the journey are rewarded with serene beaches, spectacular scenery, and an utter lack of traditional tourism or development, where locals and visitors mingle together in tavernas as the sun sets.  It's the way Greece is meant to be experienced--far from the cruise ships, restaurant touts, and all-inclusive resorts.  

Sample Schedule:

Every day is different and subject to your preferences and desires, but here's a rough idea of what to expect:

7:30--morning swim and light breakfast

9:00--yoga (90 minutes)

11:00-- lunch

12:00--free time.  Hike, swim, explore, nap--whatever you like.  It's YOUR vacation!

4:30--restorative or somatic yoga

5:30--shower, rest, journal...

7:30--dinner in Lipsi town

What's included:

  • Seven nights and six days at Villa M
  • Two yoga classes per day--a ninety minute class in the morning and a sixty minute class before dinner;  all props other than yoga mats are provided
  • A light morning meal and a post-practice meal, along with snacks and beverages
  • Transfers to and from Leros airport
  • Unlimited use of the villa's facilities and amenities, including canoes, sea kayaks, paddleboards, bicycles, and WIFI.
  • Private cruise on the Rena to five private islands (morning yoga practice on the day of the cruise will be shorter and earlier than usual) for swimming, exploring, and lunch

What's not included:

  • Transportation from your home to Leros airport
  • Evening meal
  • Waterskiing
  • Private yoga lessons (limited availability)
  • Yoga mats and beach towels--please bring your own from home.

Price per package:  $1,891  single occupancy or $2,491 double occupancy ($1,245.50 per person).  Because the beds in Villa M must be shared, we do not have single spots in double rooms available.   Click here to secure your space with a deposit of $600.   

It is possible to stay elsewhere on Lipsi and still participate in the retreat if Villa M is full.  Retreat-only packages are $600 per person for the duration of the retreat and include everything but accommodations and transfers.   These packages are limited and dependent on occupancy of Villa M.   

This retreat is strictly limited to twelve participants.  Questions?  Email spiritualchocolateyoga@gmail.com

 


Getting to Lipsi from Athens: 

 

To take advantage of our private transfer to Villa M, you'll need to arrive in Leros by 4:00 on September 9.  The most efficient way to do this is by arriving in Athens as early in the day as possible so you can catch the 3:00 pm Olympic Airways flight to Leros.  Fly nonstop from North America on September 8 to ensure an early arrival;  flights that connect through European hubs usually will not arrive in Athens early enough to get to Leros on the same day.  There are nonstop flights from Montreal, Toronto, Philadelphia, and Newark.  

If you must transfer in Europe, plan to leave a day earlier.  When you arrive in Athens, you have the option of staying there for the night (the airport Sofitel is easiest) or continuing on to Kos or Rhodes.  From there, check the ferry schedule to make sure you'll be able to get to Lipsi or Leros easily.   The Sunday ferry visits both Lipsi and Leros.  Remember that if you're meeting us in Leros, you'll need to take a taxi from the port to the airport (15 euros).  

Returning home:

Flights depart from Athens to North America relatively early in the day, which means you'll need to spend the night in Athens.  Schedule the afternoon flight from Leros to Athens on September 16 (unless you want to continue elsewhere via ferry, which is a wonderful idea!).  The airport Sofitel is literally a five minute walk from the departure gate, and what it lacks in charm, it makes up in comfort and convenience.  The soundproofing is phenomenal, and you won't have to worry about traffic or finding a cab the next day.   From there, you can fly home on September 17.