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Sun Food Yoga welcomes you to the sunny magical mountains of south of Spain to restore your health and vitality with a rejuvenating spring cleanse and yoga retreat. This is the perfect place to totally detox both your body and mind. You will be provided with a space that supports you to cleanse deeply. Through nurturing massage treatments, sauna, meditation, balancing yoga sessions, workshops and nature walks, you will regain health and vitality.
During the retreat, you will be residing at The Hidden Paradise. The retreat center has luxurious eco-friendly rooms, all surrounded with sublime views (you can even see Africa on a clear day!). There is a purpose built yoga studio / yurt available for your yoga classes.
There are shared and single occupancy bedrooms in various dwellings built using different materials. There are stone buildings, a cob house, a man-made cave, a wooden house and, from April to October, tipis and canvas bell tents.
The stone buildings also have comfortable communal spaces where you can make use of the Wi-Fi internet connection, enjoy a book from the library and socialize with the other participants.
Each dwelling has a bathroom (shower, basin and flush loo). Self-catering kitchens are available in the wooden and in the stone houses.
The home-catering kitchen is situated in the main farmhouse, where there is a large dining area that are able to seat up to 28 people, with stunning views down the valley to the Mediterranean Sea.
Yoga is much more than just an exercise system during which you only stretch the body. It is also a powerful tool for self-transformation. Through linking the body, mind and breath, it stills the fluctuations of the mind, so you can be more present in each moment. The yoga taught in this retreat is simple, slow and mindful sequences, so you can release deep tension in the body and calm the nervous-system. Morning classes tend to be more active (Yang yoga) while the afternoon sessions are more regenerative and relaxing (Yin yoga).
Meditation can also be called a state of “no-mind” or “beyond mind". It allows you to slowly leave your emotions and concepts behind of what you think you are or should be, and start being who you truly are. With the hectic pace and demands of modern life, many people feel stressed and over-worked. Following your breath and being a witness of your own thoughts and feelings is one of the most powerful ways that can lead you to inner peace.
The noise in your heads and the turmoil in the hearts slowly get quieter and you start to access the peace and quiet within, creating an inner space of clarity that enables you to stay in balance, regardless of the external circumstances. In some forms of meditation, there is an open focus on what arises in the mind, and in others you help your mind by keeping the focus on your breath or a particular object; image, thought or action. Meditation is mostly done while sitting quietly with the eyes closed. One can also meditate while walking and dancing or doing yoga, tai chi or simple repetitive tasks. In some schools, such as Zen, the eyes are half-closed and looking slightly downward.
There exists a place of balanced awareness within you and meditation can help you access this place.
The reason why you should practice pranayama is that it strengthens, purifies and calms the nervous system through cleansing the energy channels in the body, called nadis. It is a great tool to prepare for deep meditation and to reduce stress and anxiety. When you remember how to breathe, you begin to slow down, trust, and relax. As you are a reflection of your nervous system, this has a profound effect on your general health on all levels: physical, emotional and spiritual.
Most people are exposed to so many toxins in this time and age. Unhealthy food habits, chlorinated water, stress, and the very air we breathe are just some of the toxins that create a burden on our body and can lead to premature aging, illness, and ongoing health issues. Every day, your body is trying to get rid of these toxins and wastes from the cells, organs, and bloodstream, but when this toxic load exceeds what the body's natural ability can tolerate, you can get sick.
In order to experience peak health, regular detoxification is absolutely necessary. A juice fast is one of the best things you can do for yourself in terms of transformation and rejuvenation. The energy usually used for digestion can now be used to eliminate waste matter out of the body. Drinking lots of fluids, like water and juices, helps the body release toxins much faster. You will feel refreshed and so much more alive after a proper detox.
Joining this retreat, you will return back home refreshed, balanced and with a clear plan to make these feelings last for a long time.
During the retreat, you will get the change to join several wonderful excursions as part of the program.
Tara Esther Kleij
Tara was born in Holland. In 1991, she became a certified rebirther in Haarlem and in 1995, she finished an intensive four-year massage training learning classical massage, rebalancing, and Shiatsu. She learned Thai-yoga massage in Thailand and Ayurvedic yoga massage in India. She likes to share the knowledge of this ancient practice and intermix it with a mantra and pranayama. She uses alignment principles and fun to bring in her own unique teaching style. She specializes in Hatha yoga, Flow yoga, Yin yoga, meditation and pranayama, and teach for over 25 years.
The retreat will take place near the small village of Orgiva, between the peaks of the Alpujarres and the Sierra Nevada. This region is renowned for its great natural beauty of snow covered high mountain peaks, rushing rivers, wild flowers, sightings of eagles, as well as goat herds. White painted villages cling to the mountain side. There are lots of local produce as well, such as wine, goats cheese, olives and oil, honey, dried figs, organically grown vegetables, to name a few.
It is a great walking country, and horse riding and hang gliding are also available. The local market (on Thursday) in the town of Orgiva is lively and cosmopolitan, and also attracts artists and a variety of therapists. A good massage is available after all exercises. There is a wealth of fruit and nut trees of every kind and the land is blessed with natural springs which flow year-round abundantly, giving life to the area. The air is clean and refreshing and the water comes straight from the spring.
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During the retreat, you will be served three healthy meals per day. In addition, you will also be provided with five juices per day to keep your blood sugar levels steady, the hunger pangs at bay and your energy up so that you can make the most of all activities, opportunities and environment, and complete the three to five days easily and comfortably.
Sunfood or raw food is extraordinary, delicious and healthy food that is uncooked. When you cook food, most vitamins, minerals and enzymes are destroyed and degenerative diseases can set in more easily.
Raw food is gluten-free, lactose-free, pesticide-free and free of refined sugar. It is grown in a natural organic way, under the direct influence of the sun. It is full of precious enzymes and life force energy that keep you young and vibrant.
With a little bit of preparation and use of the sun or a dehydrator, you can make delicious gourmet raw food. You can transform soaked nuts, seeds and grains and turn them into delicious pates, soups, burgers, crackers, sauces, dressings, breads, sweets, cakes and more.
Super foods can be used to supplement or boost normal food due to their extremely high content of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and other nutrients. They invigorate and nourish the body and can heal certain disorders.
The other great thing about them is that you can be wonderfully creative with them. You can incorporate them easily into your diet through juices, smoothies, breakfast cereals or mixed in salads, sprinkled on food and much more. The super foods that are used in the workshops and retreats are all raw, organic and mostly wild crafted.
Here is a list of tours you can enjoy at an additional cost:
Join Sue Rodgers for a walk along the local country tracks around the picturesque spa village of Lanjaron and discover the delicious ingredients to be found on your doorstep.
Whatever the time of year there are always leaves, flowers, seeds, fruits to be found that can be made into delicious salads, drinks, puddings and so much more.
On arrival at Sue and Pete’s cortijo, set in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada, you will get the chance to use those foraged gems with ingredients from the garden in a delicious lunch.
After lunch, Pete will take you on a tour of their organic herb farm. You will finish the day with tea and cakes before you return along mule tracks back to the village of Lanjaron.
You will leave from the tourist office in Lanjaron at 13:00 and return at 16:00. All refreshments and materials are included in the price of 35 EUR per person.
The fairy tale city of Granada crowned by the magnificent Alhambra Palace is an hour's bus or car ride away. It is a lovely medieval city to explore, located on one of the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountain range and contains a ski resort with the highest peak in Spain, the Mulhacen.
You can visit the famous Alhambra, a fabulous medieval palace once built by the Arabs and the Generalife summer palace, on the same hill, with its lush gardens with beautiful fountains and tranquil ponds. Their gypsy quarter (Albacin / Sacremonte) is also a great place to visit with lots of flamenco music and tapas bars. You can get yourself pampered in the warm baths of a hammam with beautiful colors, sensual shapes and a peaceful atmosphere that transport you back to the bygone Moorish days.
The picturesque white mountain villages in the Poquera Valley are called Pampaneira, Bubion and Capileira. They are also worth a visit. They all sell local produce, food, wine and carpets and have some lovely terraces with incredible views. There is also a mountain spring beyond Capileira where you can swim in natural stone pools and stand under waterfalls.
O-Sel-Ling is a center for meditation in the Mahayana tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. This attraction is located on a quiet mountain slope, high above the Alpujarra valley, with views upon white mountain villages. On clear days you can see the sea and Morocco all the way down.
With a huge prayer wheel and Tara statue in a pond, the place vibrates with an inspiring mix of meditative practice and nature's beauty calm.
Lanjaron is a charming small village just 20 minutes away from where the retreat center. The village is mainly famous for its pure spring water that sells all over Spain. It has some mineralized springs that serve for drinking therapies. Recently added, a luxury Spa Hotel Balneario de Lanjaron offers sauna and massage treatments. It is also a great village to get local cheese, olive oil, chocolate and other souvenirs.
There are several beaches on the Mediterranean coast to be enjoyed. They are within a 45-minute drive from Orgiva. The nearest would be at the foot of Salobrena, a white washed village build around a castle upon a rock in the Gualdafeo river plain. The next nearest beach is on along the boulevards of Almunecar, which also has a Moorish castle, plenty souvenir shops and markets (regular markets at Fridays and flea market at Sundays). Slightly further towards Malaga, just past La Herradura, there is a nudist beach Cantarijan nestled in a natural surroundings, rock cliffs, trees and two charming beach restaurants.
During the retreat, you will have a choice to enjoy massage treatments at an additional cost. Sun Food Yoga's team of world-class therapists is here to give you healing and pampering. Relax and give yourself a treat!
Thai yoga massage has its roots in yoga and Ayurveda. It combines acupressure and yogic stretches to create a powerful healing massage. The receiver has loose fitting clothes on while the therapist applies pressure along meridian lines, using hands, feet and elbows, in combination with gentle yoga stretching. This releases blocked energy and restores balance, health and harmony.
Thai yoga massage is both energizing and soothing. It increases vitality and flexibility whilst at the same time bringing a deep sense of rest. It will boost your immunity, clear out toxins and free tensions in the body. Each session can last up to two hours and are best received while you have an empty stomach and wear loose comfortable clothing.
Ayurvedic yoga massage is an ancient healing system that uses deep strokes and yoga stretches to rejuvenate body and mind. The treatment is given with hands and feet while you're lying on the floor. The Ayurvedic oils and calamus powder help clear the pores of dead skin cells and activate the blood circulation. The stretches and deep strokes help you:
The Ayurvedic system stimulates, opens and balances the whole body.
This treatment is a wonderful relaxing yet invigorating treatment for the feet. Anna is the one who gives the foot reflexology treatments. She studied in Thailand and is accredited by the union of Thai Traditional Medicine Society. She uses a combination of hand techniques, including thumb pressure, knuckling and two handed palm movements, along with the use of a special Thai stick made from teak wood for specific acupressure. She uses traditional Thai style reflexology with Western techniques.
The massage works on the feet and lower legs, stimulates meridian and reflex points relating to the entire body, awakening and enlivening the body's healing process. The use of the organic oils and strong smooth movements leaves your feet and whole being feeling totally refreshed and pampered.
From the soles of your feet to the top of your head, this fusion of different cultural massage techniques is combined to make this more than just a massage. It uses essential oils to create relaxation and wellness to deeply heal your body while soothing your soul. In this treatment, Sun Food Yoga uses the techniques from re-balancing, classical and Ayurvedic massage.
On leaving the airport, follow the signs for Malaga and then signs for Sevilla, Cordoba, Granada, Almeria and Motril (A7).
After about 10 kilometers, the motorway splits into two motorways. It is important that you now keep to the left on the A7 in the direction of Almeria and Motril and that you don’t follow signs for Cordoba, Sevilla and Granada.
You are on the Autovia del Meditaraneo driving east along the side of the sea.
The name changes to Autovia de Sierra Nevada and you are now driving north and inland.
Continue on this motorway until junction "175" (about 20 kilometers from the coast), and turn off in the direction of Orgiva and Las Alpujarras. The slip road brings you downhill to the large dam and roundabout where you turn right towards Orgiva.
Keep going until you go through a tunnel, then turn left over the River Guadalfeo towards Orgiva.
When you enter Orgiva, you will see a supermarket called "DIA" on your right side. After that, there is the bus stop and then a road on the right going straight up. Take that road and follow it, pass the school on your left side until you come to a junction.
Take the road to the right saying: Tijola. Drive this road for about 1.5 kilometers.
When you pass the dry riverbed, you will see a green sign saying: Cortigo Romero, go onto this dirt track and follow until the end, you will see two black gates open and a sign saying: La Canada, that is where the retreat is.
Please book your flight to arrive at Malaga Airport (AGP). Alternatively, you can fly into Granada Airport (GRX). Sun Food Yoga provides a pick-up service from Malaga Airport (AGP) at an additional cost. If you would like to use the airport pick-up service, please choose a flight that lands not later than 14:30 to give you an adequate time to get to the meeting point outside the airport’s terminal 3.
There is one direct bus to Orgiva, leaving at 15:00 from Malaga bus station and arriving at Orgiva at 18:00, stopping at every little village along the way, along the coast.
As you come out of the terminal onto the paved area into the outside air, just walk straight ahead of you underneath the overhead building. There directly in front of you is the bus stop. At the "A" bus, ask for Estacion de Auto buses. The "A" runs about every 35 minutes. Don't be tempted to get on a free bus that uses the stop, it's the wrong one.
Once you are at the bus station, you will need to buy a ticket for a coach to either Orgiva or Granada, depending on which of the two onward routes that you choose. Buy your ticket from the "ALSA" (the name of bus company) window.