Located just 40km from Athens on the coast of the Aegean Sea, nestles a small seaside town called Nea Makri. The light is crystalline, the air warm and there is a soft breeze coming in off the sparkling clean sea.
This is where Andi, owner of Hamsa Integral Yoga was inspired to create a healing restorative retreat, and with the help of Tai Chi teacher Mark and artist Claire, owner of The Paint Pottle in Market Harborough, finally launched Hamsa Beach Retreat.
Andi says; "In 2021, I read a disturbing article based on medical research, that over 10 years, debilitating mental illness had trebled among young adults and increased across the board among men and women under 55. My own friends and family in the UK and across Europe were depressed and feeling helpless as a result of Covid, Brexit, the economic crisis, climate change and social media pressures. And so I asked myself what can I do to help?
"I knew from practising, learning and teaching yoga and Ayurvedic philosophy over the last 25 years, that yoga could offer tangible emotional support - a different way to approach life - and I had recently stayed in a small coastal town in Greece that I immediately connected with.
So, I took all of my learning, the perfect setting and enlisted a team of fantastic practitioners, and set up Hamsa Beach Retreat."
Getting to the retreat is a breeze with easy non-stop flights to Athens from most major European cities. From then on, all your needs are taken care of by the Hamsa team. Transfers, accommodation, breakfast, lunch and activities are all planned and provided.
The Hamsa team have a combined 50 years of experience using movement, meditation and art activities to relax and stimulate mind and body. A typical day will start at 7am with guided meditation and tai chi. After breakfast you will then practice gentle yoga asana, pranayama and savasana meditation. After a hearty and healthy lunch you have free time to soak up some more vitamin D, swim in the huge resort pool or take a dip in the sea, be inspired by the elements and scenery around you or take a siesta!
In the late afternoon, there is a mixture of fun process art activities during which there is time for reflection and discussion. From 7pm, the evening is your own.
"Going on a retreat can change your life. Withdrawing from the chaos of everyday life can help you to deal with emotional and mental issues and can assist you in finding new directions and energy in your life. Everything is organised for you so you can concentrate on healing and doing something good for your mental and physical health."
The programme is designed to nurture participants, encourage them to let go of stress and rebalance their mind, body and soul. The retreat is good for beginners and improvers of yoga; - there is no need to have had any previous experience or skill in tai chi or art to benefit from these sessions.
Retreat dates and booking information:
You can reserve your place for next year's spring retreat scheduled for 21st -26th May 2024
Please contact by email: email@example.com for more information or to arrange your place.
You can also contact CLAIRE WEBB at THE PAINT POTTLE, Market Harborough : Tel: 07900 090 851
** PLEASE MENTION THIS ARTICLE ON "THE BESTOF MARKET HARBOROUGH" WHEN CONTACTING ANDI or CLAIRE.
You may also be interested to read this related article from The Guardian newspaper: https://thebestof.link/anxiety_guardian
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