Year after year, we come to this magical place on Southern Crete to expand our horizons.
This year our program will focus on replenishing our body-mind, and finding new sources of strength and support within.
Sensit Yoga Retreat is a unique experience of reaching new depths of awareness through a sensitive 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.
Sensit Yoga practice and movement
The program consists of twice daily yoga and somatic practice. In each session you are guided into movement while exploring the body systems, such as skeletal, myofascial, organ, fluid and neuro-endocrine system.
In Sensit Yoga, moving into and through different shapes and postures, we always make sure that we move from the inner body, with sensitivity and awareness. As we become conscious in movement of the support coming from our relationship to gravity, and from the connections between our inner spaces and structures, our nervous system can relax and become receptive and open to new learning. This new learning is about honoring the body and breath, and listening to its guidance. It is about feeling connected to the earth and the environment around us, feeling its support.
The body communicates where it has been storing the unnecessary tension and we learn how to release this tension by directing our attention and breath, by initiating movement from certain areas, and by working with gravity in particular ways. It becomes much easier to tune into the body's signals, develop our intuition, recognise when we are falling into the unhealthy patterns and automatic reactions, and start to build new patterns of more conscious living.
Unleashing the energy that was used for holding the accumulated tension results in a grounded, energized, joyful and effortless way of moving and being.
Maja is the founder of Sensit Yoga™ Somatics. She 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 asana infused with elements of body-mind centering, natural/primal movement, functional 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.
Rugged and unspoiled, the area offers breathtaking scenery with sandy beaches and crystal clean waters. 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.
There are two airports on the island at more or less the same distance from the retreat center. CHania (CHQ) and Heraklion (HER) the Crete’s region capital city
In both airports there are direct flights to and from all major cities in Europe and the world.
For additional 130 Euros, a taxi or a minivan will bring you from the airport (or port) of Herakleion to the place of the retreat. It is about 2 hour drive.
Many participants choose to rent a car at the airport (appx price 30 Euros per day), as this enables them to move around more, and visit many amazing beaches near Agios Pavlos. Those who wish to connect with other participants to share a ride, need to tell us at least 2 weeks before the retreat.
From Heraklio or Chania you will need about 1:55 hours to reach Agios Pavlos Hotel. Itinerary from Heraklion (HER) Airport | Itinerary from Chania (CHG) Airport
Coming from Piraeus: from Rethymno you will need about 1:35 hours to reach Agios Pavlos Hotel. Itinerary from Rethymno Port
The Grigorakis 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.
Yoga and Somatics Program
8:00-10:00 Sensit Yoga - energizing practice
18:30-20:00 Sensit Yoga Somatics - gentle and grounding practice
On the first day, there is only one - evening - session
On the 4th and last day, there is only one - morning - session
Days 1 & 2: Bone intelligence and skeletal connections
Tracing skeletal connections improves our postural comfort, directly influences our physiological state, and elevates our emotional wellbeing. Skeletal clarity and coherence bring forth the natural and optimal alignment of the bones with space and gravity. Sensing how gravity moves through our bones contributes to our felt sense of being firmly and pleasantly grounded, well-integrated and safe in our environment.
Day 3 and 4: Embodying fascia - A felt sense of wholeness
Embodying fascia in movement practice gives us a strong sense of inner and outer interconnectedness, because fascia is the connective webbing that envelops, integrates and distinguishes all the spaces in our body. However, fascia is also our largest sensory organ, and as such, it gives us important feedback about our psycho-emotional states, as well as about our energetic resonance field. In this deeply regenerating practice, our fascia comes alive through the whole-body movements that expand us from within. With mindful stretches and activation, we target deep fascial layers that, once accessed, are able to release the accumulated tension. We complete the practice by a deeply calming method of releasing tension from the visceral fascia.
Day 5: Mind of the organs
Our organs constitute a highly intelligent internal system that nourishes, maintains and balances all life. In response to care and refined attention, organs can relax, revitalize, and return to balance
Sensit yoga with refined attention to the organs improves the functioning of the organ system, but it also strengthens its communication with the nervous and endocrine systems.
The movements, the asana, the sound vibration and gentle touch with presence, help us to locate tension in the organ tissues, and discover ways to release it. This practice brings a deep relaxation and relief, as well as toning and vitality in the entire organ system. In addition, having the external structure of the musculoskeletal system supported by the buoyancy of the internal organs, we get to experience all asana with more lightness and ease. We get to feel that external movement simply and beautifully "responds" to the internal drive for motion, breath, spaciousness or connection, that emerges from deep within.
Day 6: Ever more subtle: Nerves, glands and self-regulation: restorative yoga, somatic spiralling and embodied meditation
In this exploration we abide in a deeply regenerating state of awake, quiet presence, which nourishes our body-mind, and helps alleviate some of the symptoms of chronic over-stimulation, such as stress, headache, insomnia, shallow breathing, inflammation, and other. The practice interweaves restorative yoga with pranayama, somatic spiraling on the ground, embodied meditation and other practical techniques of stimulating the Vagal tone. We are observing, sensing and harnessing the tone and the interchanging states of our neuro-endocrine system, in order to come to balance and become more skilful at self-regulation.
Day 7: The anatomy of breathing - an interface between consciousness and our physiology
When we release inhibitions from the physiology involved in breathing, the movement of the breath becomes easy, rhythmic, responsive and adaptable to the circumstances. The jellyfish-like pulsation of our diaphragms revitalises our entire fascial system, as well as our organ body. As we become increasingly more conscious of the synergistic intelligence of our breathing architecture, the breath energy flows all throughout the body, and the act of breathing becomes a voluminous and pleasant experience. It invites the mind to settle down and ride on the graceful wave of the breath, emanating spontaneous meditation states.
Delicious brunch and dinner from the worldwide famous Cretan Cuisine are included in the price.
- Delicious breakfast with local products, fresh juice, fruit, yoghurt, cheese, eggs, buts, avocado, bread and honey.
- Homemade dinner with mediterranean recipes including plenty of vegetarian dishes, sea food, fresh fish and meat. Special meals are prepared for participants who are vegetarian or vegan.
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/
Cost - Accommodation
Price includes the yoga program, accommodation and 2 meals daily (brunch and dinner).
Kavos Melissa rooms - rooms with small terrace, kitchenette, own bathroom, air condition and a wonderful view overlooking the sea
Single stay: 990 Euros
Shared with 1 person: 690 Euros per person
1. One-bedroom villa with a pool, 1 double bed, living room with and modern kitchen and 1 adjustable couch
Single stay: 1700 Euros
Shared with 1 person: 990 Euros per person
2. Two-bedroom villa with a pool, 2 bathrooms, 1 living room with a modern kitchen and 1 adjustable couch
Two persons stay: 1500 Euros per person
Three persons stay: 1070 Euros per person
Four persons stay: 950 Euros per person
3. Superior two-bedroom villa with a large pool and very spacious outdoor area around the pool, 2 bathrooms, 1 living room with a kitchen, and 1 adjustable couch
Two persons stay: 1700 Euros per person
Three persons stay: 1250 Euros per person
Four persons stay: 1050 Euros per person
Five persons stay: 990 Euros per person
Payments via Paypal firstname.lastname@example.org or via bank transfer
Kavos Melissa (all rooms are looking over the sea, have air condition, private bathroom, shower, kitchenette, fridge, and a small balcony) - Distance from sea: 400m
Cavos Melissa 1 - One person - one room with double bed, living room, fridge and kitchenette, air condition, private bathroom and shower, balcony with panoramic sea view
Cavos Melissa 2 - two persons - one room with either two single beds or one double bed, living room, fridge and kitchenette, air condition, private bathroom and shower, balcony with panoramic sea view
Cavos Melissa 2x - Two persons - two separate rooms, living room, fridge and kitchenette, air condition, private bathroom and shower, balcony with panoramic sea view
Luxury apartments, Varkotopi (all rooms are looking over the sea, have air condition, private bathroom and shower, living room and a terrace with private pool) - Distance from sea 50m:
Varkotopi Luxury 1 - One person with a double bed, living room with a kitchen, private pool, terrace with panoramic view, air condition, private bathroom and shower
Varkotopi Luxury 2 - Two persons with a double bed, living room with a kitchen, private pool, terrace with panoramic view, air condition, private bathroom and shower
Varkotopi Luxury 2x - Two persons - two separate rooms, each with double bed, living room with a kitchen, private pool, terrace with panoramic view, air condition, 2 private bathrooms and showers
Varkotopi Luxury 3 - Three persons in two separate rooms, each with double bed and one adjustable 1.5 size couch, living room with a kitchen, private pool, terrace with panoramic view, air condition, 2 private bathrooms and showers
All tax included
What do participants say? - TESTIMONIALS
Maja's knowledge is so vast; from pranayama to asana sequencing and alignment to meditation. Her teaching methods are so complete with no question going unanswered. Keep shining Maja, you're a true treasure to yoga!!! See you again!Annika, J, Paros
Thank you so much for such an insightful week of learning, regenerating and healing. You are a gifted teacher and a talented leader and I hope the work you do will sustain and nourish you for a long time to come.Jennie, Portland, USA
Thank you so much for setting up such a fantastic week in such a magical place. It is amazing what happens when a group of wonderful people get together for a common purpose. You have taught us so much and I appreciate it.Bradley, Portland, USA
Thank you for a wonderful week in Crete, for showing me new approaches to poses as well as for sharing your views on yoga philosophy and spirituality. I really enjoyed the lectures and the meditations and I will certainly take these experiences home with meLouisa, Vienna, Austria
What a wonderful experience! Thank you very much for a heart-opening week of becoming more of the person that I am. Thank you for your guidance that opened me to new experiences both on a physical and a mental/emotional level. I look forward to staying in touchStefanie, Vienna, Austria
Thank you warmly for this unique, interesting and rewarding week. Thank you for your spiritually guided lessons thanks to which I am a bit nearer to myself. Thank you for all your support from my heart!Nadia, Italy
Being born and socialized in a country that produced and reproduced “followers”, I’ve never thought that I will wish one day to “follow” somebody. And here I am, happy to follow you and your spirit, happy to silent the mind and discover the truth around and the truth within. In deep appreciationRossalina, L.,
You, your family, your enormous passion, have made this place and this retreat an unexplainable, yet fully acknowledged and felt necessity – for the unknown it leads to, as well as the answers and still deeper questions and truths. My love and admirationJoanne
Thank you for organizing everything, thank you for bringing such a wonderful group together, thank you for transmitting us your knowledge, thank you for your energy!!! This place is indeed amazing and perfect for a retreat J. It was my first retreat and I am so grateful for your help to make us go further in our practice. I really feel that I accomplished a lot in my body and mind.I love your philosophical beginnings of the class, already from before. They make me think a lot and apply it in my daily life.Mathilde
I enjoyed this week a lot. I learned so much about yoga and experienced my body and myself in new ways. All our yoga classes were a lot of fun and made me want to learn and practice yoga even more.Markus, 2016
Contact details in Vienna
Contact details in Athens
Athens Yoga Center
Louissis Riankour 65-67