Sensit Yoga Retreat on Southern Crete
14-21 July 2019 with Maja Zilih
Sensit Yoga Retreat offers a unique experience of reaching new depths of awareness through a conscious and embodied yoga practice. Surrounded by a mesmerizing natural environment and feeling our body on a deeper level, we start to feel truly at home with ourselves.
The method is based on Hatha yoga and non-dual Tantra yoga, highly influneced by experiences attained in Body-Mind Centering courses, as well as ATM Feldenkrais and natural/primal movement modalities.
Sensit Yoga Practice
Morning practice consists of
20-30 minutes of anatomy learning through images provided, video-viewing, awareness through subtle movement and sense of touch, and
70 minutes of a medium-paced yoga practice that embodies the thematic covered
20 miutes of meditation, pranayama and relaxation
Evening practice consists of slower, more gentle asana movements, breath practices, restorative yoga, yoga therapeutics, meditaton, and deep relaxation
Each Sensit Yoga session guides us into the exploration of our inner landscapes such as muscles, bones, fascia, organs and other. And yet we are continuously experiencing how every single part of the body is weaved into a greater whole. Regardless of speed or intensity of movement, we always move from the inner body, with sensitivity and awareness.
Listening to our inner body is called interoception (or Pratyahara in yogic terms). It makes our practice physically more simple, yet awareness-wise a much richer experience. We discover ways to release the energy that is invested in holding tension, which results in feeling more energized, coordinated and comfortable in one's own body.
Detailed yoga program:
In the first days our focus is on connecting the foundations to the ground. Mostly in standing and seated asana seqences, we will interact with gravity through the fundamental actions of yielding and pushing, until the bones come into their natural alignment and muscles can safely release tension.
You will explore interesting things about
- what it means to come fully into your body and receive the natural support from gravity
- how having the limbs “serve” the spine (instead of pull it off towards periphery) brings a feeling of safety and ease to the spinal muscles, and the spine itself can maintain an unobstructed energy flow even in more "demanding" asana practice (inspired by John Stirk - The Original Body)
- skeletal connections that help you find comfort and coordination in movement, such as heels to sitting-bone and head to tail connection
- the central front body connections: continuity between the hyoid, xyphoid and pubic bones for graceful movement and ease in the lower back (inspired by Bonnie Bainbridge - Axial Skeleton)
- arm weight bearing asanas like Downward facing dog or Plank made easy through the upper body skeletal connections
As the density of our bones begins to relate to the solidity of Earth, we can recognise our common source, and feel fully received by this majestic warm rock above the sea.
Over the next sessions we will shift our focus to the organs. Our organs constitute a highly intelligent internal system that nourishes, maintains and balances all life. As a response to our refined attention, organs can relax, revitalize, and awaken to their innate wisdom. We can sharpen our intuition by learning to “listen to our gut”
In our yoga practice we are nurturing the organs with gentle inner movements, light bouncing, sound vibration and touch. Furthermore, when our attention is placed on the inner spaces occupied by the organs, we feel an expansion of our internal volume, and this gives strong support to the external structures of muscles and bones. We descover that we can practice asana sequences without causing the habitual strain and without forcing.
In organ sessions you will explore interesting things about the heart, lungs, organs of digestive as well as the urogenital systems.
Recommended viewing before the retreat
Diaphram and the organs
In the next sessions we will focus on the fascia. In our body fascia is the all-pervasive connective tissue. We find fascia under the skin, throughout and around the muscles, enveloping each one of our organs and more. It reminds us that all the distinct parts of our body that we explore are also always interconnected, and that through their tissues and fibres, they are continuous. How we stand our left foot will influence what goes on in the right shoulder. Nothing depicts this inner continuity better that the fascia does.
In this session we will be moving, stretching, toning and relaxing our fascia. We will look for places where fascia is tense and work to free the inhibitions, using asana, light jumping, bouncing, tennis ball pressure and restorative yoga. When the fascial knots soften, the breath deepens and the whole body feels both integrated and liberated. A sense of fragmentation dissipates and of wholeness of being can arise.
Recommended reading on fascia and functional movement
Recommended viewing on diaphragms
During the evening practices we will explore the subtle body - the Chakra system, the endocrine glands and the nervous system. We will also look into the states and transitions of the nervous system through the practice of pranayama, restorative yoga, yoga Nidra and meditation. We will use techniques for stimulating the Vagus nerve and the relevant relaxation response.
As we approach the end of the retreat, everything we learned will be weaved into a greater whole for the experience of body-mind-spirit integration. Our learning all throughout the sessions will be supported by the ancient teachings and meditations from the Tantra Yoga and the Upanisads on the awakening Self, and all-pervasiveness of consciousness.
On the first day - July 14th - there is only the evening practice 19:00-20:30
In the middle of the retreat - July 18th there is only the evening practice 19:00-20:30
On the last day - July 21st - there is only the morning practice 8:00-10:00
Maja has been teaching yoga and meditation since 2007. Her method Sensit Yoga is a mindful and interoceptive practice that aims at expanding the awareness of all the levels of our being. The practice combines yoga asanas infused with elements of body-mind centering, natural/primal movement, functional and strengthening exercises, tension release techniques and movements that arise for each individual in their own way. The sessions always complete with meditation and a long relaxation. Expect to be continuously invited to feel, sense and move from and through your inner body. Sometimes you follow the instructions, other times you inquire into the needs of your unique body and let it take the lead. You explore and utilize your relationship with space and gravity. You play with different ways in which you can awaken fluidity and ease not only in the body and breath but also in the mind. By becoming conscious of your deep primal inner connections you find new source of support. Your body begins to release the unnecessary tension and each movement becomes an opportunity for a total body-mind-spirit integration.
More about Maja here
Location and getting there
Our retreat base is located at Agios Pavlos, an area at the Southern Edge of Crete, with a majestic 180° view of the Libyan sea.
Heraklion is the Crete’s region capital city and there are direct flights to and from all major cities in Europe and the world.
A taxi or a minivan will bring you from the airport (or port) of Herakleion to the place of the retreat and take you back from the retreat place to the airport, at no extra cost. It is about a 2 hour drive.
Many participants choose to rent a car at the airport, as this enables them to move around more and visit many amazing beaches near Agios Pavlos. Those who wish to share the car rental with other participants need to tell us at least 2 weeks before the retreat.
Heraklion is the Crete's region capital city and there are direct flights to and from major cities in Europe and the world.
Flights Vienna – Heraklion 14-21 July
You can reach the retreat location by car or taxi. You are encouraged to rent a car – eventually together with other participants – as it will help you greatly enjoy at the maximum the gorgeous and wild paradise of Southern Crete.
Car rentals from Heraklion 14-22 July
The family run hotel can be found on the southern coast of Crete, in a region of exceptional natural beauty. Rugged and unspoiled, the area offers breathtaking scenery and glorious beaches making this a very special place to visit. Overlooking the stunning bay the hotel has a fine restaurant, a relaxing café/bar, and a mini market so you don't have to leave for any of your holiday essentials.
On the high rock above the sea, there is another, night bar formed as a cave naturally inside the rock and overlooking the sea. Occasionally there are dance parties, or concerts with traditional Cretan music, African music and other. Thanks to the configuration of the cave bar acoustics and the rock surrounding it, there is no noise outside the complex.
Things to do | Excursions and activities
Once you have reached this Southern edge the continent you can dive to a mesmerizing and reinvigorating landscape.
-Swim in the warm inviting waters of the beach neighbouring the hotel which is also ideal for families.
- Descend to one of the most amazing beaches of Crete, called St. Pavlos Sandhills, offering spectacular sunsets.
Take a tour of the area and rest your gaze on the long oceanic-type Triopetra beach for a swim, a walk, coffee, lunch or dinner at the fantastic taverns with a breathtaking sea view.
- Enjoy the sunset view from the comfort of your room or at the yoga veranda.
- Hike the beautiful gorges of Rethymno. Kourtaliotis (length: 3 km) is one of the most spectacular natural attractions of Rethymnon.The huge cliffs of the canyon reach a height of - 600 meters and are full of caves, where significant fauna species live.
Or go further to the west, to the worldwide known Samariá Gorge. A National Park of Greece and a World's Biosphere Reserve. It will take 6 hours to cross it so plan wisely. There is a boat departing from Agios Pavlos to Samaria’s sea mouth (Agia Roumeli) and you can always visit without walking the gorge to its North exist.
- Visit Beach of Preveli, also known as Lake Preveli or Phoenix. During the 60s and 70s, it was a favorite destination for hippies. On the banks of the Grand River there is a large colony of Theophrastus palm trees, which give the region a sense of an African landscape. The river, forming a large lake, 1.5km long, before emptying into the sea, has water all year round. You can walk along the river, under the shade of palm trees and other trees, and start ascending in the beautiful canyon
For more information on the area and the sightseeing choices you can check: http://www.cretanbeaches.com/
The Agios Pavlos hotel provides accommodation in two complexes, one right above the sea and near the restaurant and another one on the Cavos Meliss rock on a higher panoramic spot and near the yoga platform. Usually retreat participants stay at Cavos Melissa, although depending on availability other options in the area are also considered. All rooms offer a breathtaking view of the beach or the panorama of the Libyan sea
Single room occupancy: 1350,00
Double room occupancy: 1050,00
Triple room occupancy: 820,00
These above prices include
- accommodation for 7 nights,
- two meals daily (on the first day only dinner, on the last only breakfast/brunch),
- morning coffee and very light snack before the morning practice, and
- transportation from and to the airport (about 1,5 hr taxi drive in each direction)
If 2 or more people are coming together, there is a 10% discount for both.
If one does NOT need to be picked up from and taken to the airport, the price is 80 Euros less.
If one wishes to take part in yoga, but to arrange accommodation and meals elsewhere, the price is 600 Euros.
For discounts for the Athens Yoga members and graduates of Sensit Yoga Teacher Trainings, contact Athens Yoga Center firstname.lastname@example.org
All tax included
Contact details in Vienna
Contact details in Athens
Athens Yoga Center
Louissis Riankour 65-67