May 16 – 23, The Alchemy of Yoga and Meditation: A Deepening Retreat in Cyprus

This week-long retreat in a beautiful remote part of Cyprus, is perfect for those of you who would like to put aside time solely for dedicated Yoga and meditation practice. It is for those who wish to enjoy the power of  the power of concentrated Yoga practice to bring healing and transformation physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. We will practice dynamic and classical Hatha Yoga daily in classes structured to bring nourishment and vitality in a very definite way to body, mind and heart.
 
And all this is supported by the natural beauty, wide open space, clean air, down time and wholesome plant-based meals available for you throughout the week.
 
People are returning year after year to this retreat, to deepen their practice in the embrace of this natural Mediterranean landscape. And whilst we are focused and sincerely committed to moving more deeply into practice, there are always plenty of moments for laughter together, sharing our loves, our joys, our hurts too sometimes, and for simply “being” in the natural peace and quiet of the retreat setting. 
 
Here are the key points about this retreat:
  • We will be in a remote part of Cyprus next to a beautiful deserted stretch of beach.
  • Our Yoga practice is right next to the sea and some meditations are on the beach.
  • We will practice classical and dynamic Hatha Yoga – asana, pranayama and meditation –  twice daily.
  • The focus will be on the energetics of Hatha Yoga practice and how to intentially design and structure a personalised practice to transform body and mind.
  • The energetically-focused approach prepares body and mind for various guided meditations 
  • We will explore first-hand how to build, contain and direct prana (our life-force) through our Hatha Yoga practice for greater health.
  • We will learn how to engage this alchemical force of prana  held within us for healing and transformation of body, heart and mind.
  • Some mantra repetition and sacred chant may be enjoyed to add power to our work with prana, heart and mind.
  • There will be inner enquiry to support the releasing and clarifying effects of our practice, on physical, emotional and mental levels.
  • There will be some sunrise and sunset meditations on the beach.
  • In the evenings we will wind down with candlelit guided Yoga Nidra (deep rest) practices
  • We will be nourished each day by home-made Cypriot vegetarian meals, served three times daily, made from organic and/or locally-sourced, home-made fresh produce. (Day 6 is half board only to allow time to explore the area).
  • Outside of practice, swimming in the sea/pool, resting in the sun, enjoying the cafes and shops in the nearby village of Pols, and connecting with other retreat participants all add to all-round nourishment enjoyed on these weeks in Cyprus.
  • We will also make a visit to the beautiful Aphrodite Baths and nature walk

 

 
 

“What a brilliant place and retreat…” 2015 participant from Stratford  Upon Avon

“A retreat for body, soul, and mind, and I take many new skills, experiences, and friends with me home” 2016 Participant, CD from Sweden

“I thoroughly enjoyed my week with you and very much appreciated your energy and enthusiasm, and indeed, your passion for Yoga and Ayurvedic philosophy…I loved the way you taught us in your calm manner to meditate (a completely new practice for me and I never thought I would manage it).” 2017 participant from Cyprus

“I’d like to add a massive THANK YOU to you Shama for all your dedicated teaching and sharing. We all appreciated the hard work you put in, preparing for the wonderful week we all enjoyed.” 2018 participant 
Participants' Feedback

This retreat is about deepening and strengthening your Yoga practice and awakening to  a clearer connection with your inner being. It is about understanding and moving into a Yoga practice that moves beyond the level of the physical body, that is not an exercise system. There is little theory apart from that which supports an understanding of our practices.
The practices will be structured to steady the mind, to nourish the energetic heart, and to awaken us to our innate happiness. The postures, breath, meditation, sacred chant, and enquiry work we practice will support our strength and immunity as they expand, stabilise and harmonise the prana (life-force) within us.
Cyprus is Aphrodite’s island, the island of the goddess of love and
I have been going to Cyprus for more than 30 years and know it to be a very special island. It is the island of Aphrodite, goddess of love and beauty, and the island is filled with beauty. Our hotel is located in an area steeped in the history of the cult of Aphrodite. This is where the cult of Aphrodite once flourished and those Aphrodite qualities of love, beauty, and the gentle but powerful feminine energy seem to permeate the land and the atmosphere and give power to the healing and transforming work we embark upon. Many who have participated on these retreats in the past, have felt the vibration this history gives to the land and how it very much nurtures and empowers our time and Yoga practice here. We live a total Yoga life on these retreats for one week. With the mountains behind and around us and clear blue sea with a long stretch of deserted beach in front of us, we immerse deeply into Yoga, meditation, and Ayurveda practices and lifestyle. This is the perfect setting to move deeply into practice. Held by the embrace of the nature around us, we live in tune with the rhythms of the sun, moon and the seasons according to the teachings of Yoga and Ayurveda. We learn and experience first-hand how these two sister sciences of Yoga and Ayurveda work together to reawaken health, well-being and peace of mind. Our time is very much about opening our hearts to love and giving generously to ourselves for nourishment on all levels – body, mind and soul. The Ayurveda and Yoga practices bring balance and harmony to body and mind, building strength and immunity, and uncovering our innate joie de vivre. The feedback from many on these Yoga, Meditation and Ayurveda retreats is that they are “life-changing“.  My deepest wish for these retreats is that all participants have life-enhancing understanding and practices to take home, to support health and happiness long after the retreat is finished. There will be two yoga practices daily, morning and evening meditations on the beach, special practices and meditations for the night of the full moon or new moon, delicious vegetarian foods, and time to rest and enjoy the natural environment.
If you think you would like to join me on this week, I’d love to talk with you. There are only three spaces left so please do get in touch if you’d like to know more or to reserve a space.  I’d love to share this transforming experience of Yoga in beautiful Cyprus with you.
 
Love & blessings,

Shama

The Yoga

The Yoga classes draw from my training in classical Hatha, dynamic Hatha, Ayurveda, Tantra, Restorative and Yin Yoga styles. They are supported by and informed by my training as an Ayurveda practitioner. We will be practicing outdoors on a Yoga platform in the hotel gardens, a stone’s throw from the sea alongside a deserted unspoiled beach, with stunning views of the coast and mountains.

We will immerse in asana (yoga posture) practice not only for it’s fantastic physical effects, but also to build our experience, understanding and awareness of it’s impact on the body and mind energetically. We will look at how to engage different asana practices as a preparation for specific pranayamas (breathing practices) and the effect of those specific pranayamas as supports for various guided meditations.  We are therefore quite intentionally nourishing and harmonising the physical body , restoring clarity and equilibrium to the mind,  but also strengthening our connection with the heart and with spirit.

The morning classes will be a dynamic Hatha practice informed by Ayurveda-Tantra. The afternoon classes will be based on a steady meditative classical Hatha style. 

 

Sunrise and Sunset Beach Meditations

Most mornings and evenings, we will gather on the beach or Yoga platform and meditate together as the sun rises over the mountains and sets over the sea. On some nights  we will enjoy a small fire on the beach with sacred chants fireside-chants from different spiritual traditions on the beach. On other evenings we will enjoy an outdoor candlelit Yoga Nidra practice. 

The Teacher

shama-1

I have been practicing Yoga for more than 30 years, and teaching for 14 years. I trained with the Sivananda Yoga lineage to advanced level, and lived and worked as a senior staff member in the Sivananda Ashram Yoga Retreat, Bahamas for much of 5 years. I am also a fully qualified Ayurveda Nutrition and LIfestyle practitioner and educator, and a certified Yoga Therapist.

As a full-time Yoga teacher, Ayurveda practitioner and Yoga therapist now based in the UK, I am dedicated to sharing all that I have learned, not only in those years in the Sivananda ashram, but also on spiritual travels all across the globe. I have travelled to India, Japan, Italy, Spain, Costa Rica, Canada, Scotland, USA and Bahamas to learn from and practice different healing and spiritual traditions. I have done further study with some of the world’s leading figures in Ayurveda: Atreya Smith, Dr Sunil Joshi, Maya Tiwari, Dr David Frawley, and Mukunda Stiles. I have taken place workshops and further study in Yoga with international teachers and masters of Yoga. And I am currently undergoing further training in classical Hatha Yoga.  I share as much of my learning as I can in the space of a week together.

I love teaching on retreat. This allows me to share with you the amazing benefits of living a Yoga lifestyle and committing to daily practice of Yoga posture, breathing and meditation. On the Full Moon and New Moon Retreats, I include the teachings of Ayurveda and Yoga on the lunar cycles, the seasons and our health and spirituality.

We gather for new and full moon practices for women’s physical, mental and spiritual health, and together we take magical and empowering journeys into the many aspects of the Feminine force. It’s a very uplifting, heartful and transforming way to come together as women.

When not teaching, I spend much time journeying more deeply into the fields of Yoga, Ayurveda and Vedanta, exploring their teachings for healing and transformation of the human body, mind and spirit. I have started to write a regular blog and to add videos and guided practices to my YouTube channel. Check my website and LoveYogaHealing on YouTube.

View the video about the 2016 retreat

The Hotel

We will be staying in a quiet, remote, eco-hotel, set alongside a beautiful stretch of coast in Cyprus. Here our accommodation and Yoga space look out across the sea and are surrounded by peaceful gardens, olive and orange groves, and herb gardens with mountains beyond to three sides. The tranquil, natural setting invites our whole being to deeply relax and restore itself to balance and happiness.

All accommodation is en-suite and spacious, with air-con,  a sea view and it’s own private terrace. There is a mini bar and a safe in each room. The rooms are cleaned daily and towels are provided.

The Food

Besides the Yoga practices, further nourishment and opportunity to build vigour and vitality, and to steady your mind and nervous system, and to expand your prana (life-force) is offered during this week through the carefully chosen vegetarian meals and vegetarian dietary guidelines. 

Avoiding stimulants (caffeine, alchohol, sugar) and keeping to a plant -based diet is a typical recommendation during any intensive practice. There is a definite reasoning behind these guidelines.

First of all, we want to support the prana building practices of the Yoga and meditations. And so we choose local, and as far as possible, organic foods for their high “prana” (energy) content and for their ease of digestibility. And it’s also recommended that we avoid/reduce alcohol, caffeine and sugar which excite the nervous system and other systems of the body and contradict the effects of the practices. With the practices we can become very sensitive to these substances so that they will also reduce the benefits of the practices, hindering the detoxification and the steadying, balancing and expanding effects on our prana (life-force) and inner fires, our nerve currents and our digestive power. And also we can react more strongly to them during intensive practice because of the sensitising effects of the practices and their work upon our subtle body.

In eating a plant-based diet, with reduced caffeine and alcohol intake,  we are not using energy for foods that are heavy to digest nor to deal with the toxins created when we tax our digestive systems too much. Nor is energy being burnt by over stimulation of our system.  Our practices will also be detoxifying body and mind and it is important to support this during intensive practice. Otherwise it can be said to be like “wearing two hats” or “trying to get both feet in one shoe”. That is we are taxing the body and mind with foods and substances that are in conflict in their effect with the effects of the practices.

I discuss the food each year with the staff of our hotel to ensure that their lovingly-prepared Cypriot mainly vegan meals support our practice. Foods in the hotel are made from home-grown organic produce and locally sourced produce. This means the meals are full of nutrients, and we take extra effort to ensure they are easily digestible to support the healing, cleansing and nourishment of the internal organs that our daily Yoga practices will be initiating. Breakfast is a buffet service, taken with other guests of the hotel, and includes home-made breads, preserves, yoghurt and goats’ cheeses, home-grown fruits and herb teas, and the hotel’s own free range eggs. Lunch is specially prepared for the Yoga retreat participants and are 95% plant based meals with a little dairy  on the side (yoghurt, goats cheese) for those who like it. Special dietary requirements can be accommodated – eg gluten-free, dairy-free. Meals are taken on the restaurant terrace with views across the gardens to the sea. In the evening, we dine whilst watching spectacular sunsets as the sun starts to go down over the sea.

Day 6 is half board only, so that we can go out and explore the area a little. I invite you to discover the area of the Akamas Peninsula and Aphrodite’s baths, with a stop for lunch at a taverna and swim in a sheltered bay. (Not included in cost of retreat fee, expect to spend around 20 euros including lunch and return taxi travel), 

The Accomodation

All accommodation is en-suite and spacious, with air-con,  a sea view and it’s own private terrace. There is a mini bar and a safe in each room. The rooms are cleaned daily and towels are provided.

Other Facilities at the Hotel

There is a swimming pool, gym and sauna at the hotel for your enjoyment. A 5 euro fee is charged by the hotel for use of the gym and sauna. The hotel provides beach towels and there are sun beds on the sea front, around the pool and in the gardens.Bikes are available for hire, and there are also tennis courts.

The hotel lounge bar sells juices, water, local wine, ice cream, teas and coffees, and the hotel’s own home-grown organic herb teas.

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Activities

In between classes and meal times, you are free to enjoy the peace and quiet of the hotel gardens and beach, or to explore the beauty, history and culture of the surrounding area.

There is the nearby small town of Polis with it’s many cafes, restaurants and shops. It is just a 15 minute walk away. Alternatively, about a 30 minute walk up the beach is Laatchi with it’s many waterside tavernas.

Nearby sites of interest include Aphrodite’s Baths and the beautiful nature reserve of the Akamas Peninsula. There are jeep tours around the Akamas nature reserve, and boat tours to the wild and deserted Lara Bay and Blue Lagoon.

A little further afield in Paphos (about a 45 minute drive away), are wonderful archaelogical sites such as Tombs of the Kings and the Paphos Mosaics.

For the Intensive Sadhana Retreat it is recommended to reduce activities outside of the retreat venue as much as possible to support the deepening work we are embarking upon.

Pre-requisites

Due to the nature of the work that we do together on this retreat, it is not essential but I recommend that you attend a workshop, a UK day or weekend retreat, or one of my Yoga holidays first of all. This allows you to see if the approach and retreat content is likely to suit you or not. Alternatively I am happy to have a good chat with you during which we can determine whether the retreat is what you are looking for.

Two years’ Yoga experience is required. The pre-requisites for this retreat are for everyone’s benefit to ensure a successful, safe and happy time for all in a retreat which includes but is about much more than physical Yoga posture practice.

Also required is a willingness and agreement to:

  1.  Attend all the meditation and Yoga sessions.
  2. Follow the retreat vegetarian dietary and lifestyle guidelines.
  3. Daily abstention from alcohol once the retreat starts, until after the evening meditations.
  4. Maintaining silence during the dedicated silent hours of the retreat, 7.30 – 9.30am
  5. Valid travel insurance.

Please know that this is a transformational week in a powerfully healing environment. Due to this and due to the nature of our practices, we can sometimes find ourselves going through sensitive moments of transition and change, which may be experienced as reactivity, resistance, anger, sadness. This is all part and parcel of the cleansing nature of deep practice. Please be prepared to be moved out of your comfort zone…perhaps. ☺ You will have full support, love and respect from me, as the retreat teacher and other past, experienced participants at all times. You will also be given tools to work with on this level and time to apply them. On such a retreat as this, both teacher and all participants require your respect, kindness and cooperation.

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Daily Schedule

  • 7.30am  Morning Sunrise meditation and Hatha Yoga
  • 9.30am Breakfast
  • 1.00 Pre-Lunch meeting/practice
  • 1.30 Light Cypriot style lunch
  • 5.30    Afternoon Yoga practice
  • 7.30m  Cypriot style Buffet dinner (vegetarian options only)
  • 8.30pm  Evening Sunset gathering
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  • *Please note; on Friday 24 May there is no lunch included in and no afternoon Yoga to give everyone some extra free time. There is an excursion to the Aphrodite Baths and nature reserve, where we can enjoy a light lunch in a taverna. We will eat dinner together as usual and I will arrange something special for us on the Friday evening.

What To Bring

Please bring comfortable casual clothing, yoga gear, yoga mat/brick/block, meditation cushion, swimwear, sunscreen, mosquito repellent, natural cosmetics if possible to protect the environment. The beach is made up of pebbles mixed with sand and there are large pebbles as we go into the sea so many find it helpful to have rubber shoes for getting into the sea.

Getting There

Please plan to land at Paphos International Airport by  May 18th. I suggest landing a day before to allow yourself time to rest before the retreat begins. If you wish to do this please let me know well enough in advance as the hotel gets booked up quickly and I will need to arrange the extra nights for you (not included in the retreat fee). Please also let me know if you would like to stay on at the hotel on the night of May 25th (again this is not included in the retreat fee). Fom Paphos Airport we will arrange for a taxi to cllect you and bring you to the hotel. If others are landing around the same time as you, we will organise shared taxis. It is 50-55 euros (depending on the time of day), for a small taxi. For larger groups, larger taxis are available: these are approximately 80 euros.

Cost

A £200.00 deposit is required to secure your place on the retreat. The remainder is due one month before the retreat.

  • A single room is £850.00 (less £200.00 deposit)
  • A double/twin room is £800.00/per person sharing (less £200.00 deposit).

This fee includes all meals, except on day 6 when there is no lunch to allow free time to explore more of the surrounding area.   I invite you to join me to explore the beautiful Akamas Peninsula area and Aphrodite’s Baths, where we can have lunch in a nearby taverna overlooking a beautiful bay which is great for a swim. This is not included in the retreat fee: expect to spend around 20 euros including taxi and lunch.

All Yoga tuition is included in the fee.

Not included in the fee are transfers to and from airports, flights, and excursions taken during the week. Also, extra snacks and drinks taken in the hotel are not included in the fee.Neither are any massage treatments offered by the hotel.

There is a late check out fee of 35 euros for those wishing to use their room after mid-day on the last day of our retreat.

PLEASE NOTE: Given the uncertainty with our currency at the moment, I may have to change the balance of the fee due one month before the retreat starts only in the case of an extreme shift in £ sterling – Euro currency exchange rates.

How to Book

Places are limited and are being taken already for this retreat next year, so please book soon if you’ d like to join.

For more information or for booking please contact me once you have decided you would like to join us in Cyprus, I will send my bank details for transfer of a £200 non-refundable deposit to secure your place and a registration form. Please let me know if you require a single or shared room. 50% of the balance will be due one month before departure, and
the remainder two weeks before departure. Once I have received your deposit and completed registration form, I will send more information to you about flights and other travel arrangements.

 

Let the water settle.

You will see the moon and stars mirrored in your being.

Rumi

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Get In Touch

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07910 088 032
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