AMALFI ALCHEMY OF YOGA: HEART & SOUL RETREAT

Feeling Wanderlust? Be ready to step back into time to the island of Ischia, off the Amalfi Coast which boasts natural wonders such a dormant volcano, lush gardens, thermal spas, miles of beaches, ancient ruins, and endless views across the Bay of Naples.

Imagine yourself waking up in a nestle of olive trees overlooking the Mediterranean with breath-taking views. Strolling through lemon tree-lined terraces to soak in an incredible pool—filled with thermal waters from an aquifer 150 meters below the island. This is a perfect yoga retreat to breathe fresh Mediterranean air, re-center, rejuvenate and pamper your spirit, heart and soul!

THIS EXPERIENCE IS FOR YOU IF:

  • You are ready to embrace the deepest authentic YOU!
  • You enjoy the finer things in life and welcome a week of pampering
  • You want lots of time to rest and play
  • Your taste buds have been bored and you want more deliciousness
  • You are excited about learning elemental heart medicine
  • You’re invested in  your own Happiness
  • You seek to jump-start your life to align with your heart’s desires
  • You are ready be more calm, by taking your meditation practice deeper

If this sounds like you I promise that this dream come true experience will transform your life so you treasure your heart & soul long after Italian palm trees are a mere memory.

INTRODUCTION

Ciao Amici! Are you looking for paradise? Well, I’ve found it and want to share it with you! Come experience a retreat like none other on the famous “Green Island!” Right next to the more famous Isle of Capri, the greener sister Island of Ischia (pronounced Iss-Key-Ah) has a more natural, untouched feel. As one of the world’s first health spa destinations, Italians (and Romans, before that) in the know would flock to Ischia to indulge in its mineral-rich volcanic mud and waters. Today, Italian Doctors literally prescribe time here to reap the benefits of bathing in the healing springs. Just off the Amalfi Coast, Ischia boasts natural wonders such a dormant volcano, lush gardens, thermal spas, clear beaches, ancient ruins, and endless views across the Bay of Naples.

We will be guests at the pristine Il Giardino del Nonno, which is situated perfectly on a quiet nestle of olive trees and overlooks the Mediterranean. Soak in the incredible pool—filled with the famous thermal waters from an aquifer 150 meters below the island. Relax on the panoramic sun decks with breath-taking views. Take time to stroll the olive grove and lemon tree-lined terraces, gardens, and hiking trails to the beach. You’ll be staying just a 5 minutes costal path from the most beautiful 3 km long beach on the island, the Maronti. And you will be at only 10 min walk from the pastel coloured village S. Angelo overlooking the bay, this stunning little place is truly romantic with a lot to offer the intrepid traveller: cafés, restaurants, exhibitions, and shops – all within the historical centre that can only be accessed by foot as the entire village is traffic-free, making it a tranquil place to explore.

We will hold twice daily yoga classes in one of two amazing yoga spaces (one indoor and one outdoor), both overlooking the sea and lush vegetation. The morning and evening yoga classes will be held either on the outdoor platform overlooking the thermal pool, beach and island of Capri, or in the spacious and comfortable “Sala di yoga” (Yoga Studio).

But we will enjoy so much more than just yoga! We will visit ancient port villages (such as the picturesque Castello Aragonese). Enjoy artisanal shopping in Ischia Porto. Look for the famous thermal mud bath treatments, rucolino liquors, lemon candies, or the handmade sandals. We will watch the sun rise from Monte Epomeo, and enjoy a hike to the natural thermal seaside cave of Baia di Sorgeto. Visit the lovely town of Sant’ Angelo and spend a day at one of Ischia’s popular thermal spa parks where you can hop from pool to thermal pool experiencing various temperatures, ancient therapy techniques, and opt for some treatments like a massage or facial. The week will end with an exciting boat ride around Ischia, where we will see the hidden beaches and grottos where we will swim where the romans did.

In addition to all its natural wonders, one of the most appealing things about Ischia is the hospitality of the people themselves. You’re sure to enjoy the island’s welcome and relaxed way of life during your stay.

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ABOUT WHERE WE STAY:

The agriturismo Il Giardino del Nonno (Grandfather’s Garden) is a magical place built around a beautiful villa on the sea with large flowered terraces enriched by two hot thermal pools, sun terraces, hydromassage and natural saunas and steam bath dug in ancient tuff caves.

All the rooms are lovingly and organically tucked in along the paths of pomegranate, fig, orange, lemon and other trees, and have each separate entrance and either a terrace or a balcony. The rooms are spacious, comfortable and bright in colour, all equipped with TV, air conditioning and fan. Peace, silence, and the constant smells of nature are the ever enchanting components of this place. The views of mountains and sea meet joyfully.

The restaurant of Il Giardino del Nonno is one of the highlights of the retreat. Enjoy tasting the real traditional Ischian recipes passed down in a family tradition to Anna and Pietro and their children. They will spoil your senses and tastes with the freshest biological ingredients coming straight from the gardens and for those who like can also savour the catch of the day at dinner time and enjoy some of the great local wine. All is being served on the large flowery terrace overlooking the sea and pool. Life is being celebrated here and it just feels wonderful.

ACCOMODATIONS: 

The rooms have the charm of a little private villa. Every couple of rooms, with entry and independent balcony takes the name from the trees of fruit that they overhang the entry of it:

The Fig tree with the dome ceiling evokes the typical Mediterranean houses and leans out its window on Capri.

The Mulberry turns its ample balcony on S.Angelo.

The Cedar and IL I Fish their balconies they open among the bucanvilles.

All the rooms are ample and bright you furnish of Every service endowed with TV, conditioned air or plant of ventilation,

ACTIVITIES

  • Hot Springs: Ischia is famous for its natural hot springs, many of which bubble up right along the coast. In some areas the seawater is hot, which is absolutely marvellous.
  • Hikes and walks in nature: going up the top of Monte Epomeo (789 metres high) to enjoy 360° breath-taking views of the island and beyond
  • Explore Castello Aragonese, the most impressive historical monument in Ischia, built by Hiero I of Syracuse in 474 BC.
  • The old roman thermal baths
  • Swimming in the sea. Il Giardino del Nonno is at walking distance to the sea.
  • Wine tasting at Casa D’Ambra, the island’s oldest vineyard
  • The village of Panza is at a stone’s throw from the property
  • And more!

Elements as Heart Medicine: Itinerary for Amalfi Yoga Retreat June 10-17, 2017

Ancient Alchemists, like their Yogi counterparts, saw all of creation as composed of EarthWaterFireAir, and Space. Through their meditations and explorations of these five elements, they created healing and transformative potions that unlocked many of the mysteries of the universe and therein contributed to the evolution of humankind. For us as Alchemist Yogis, our laboratory is our mat and the ingredients are our bodies, poses, breath, and thoughts. Mixing it all together changes your life. You are transformed stoking a Happiness Revolution and changing the world! Join us for the Alchemy of Amalfi where we will:

EARTH: To manifest our desires we must have strong roots within ourselves. (Day 1 and 2)

WATER: We tap into our limitless potential to create our dreams and desires. (Day 3 and 4)

FIRE: We ignite the fire of our burning desires and dreams through action. (Day 5)

AIR: Our inner wisdom becomes available to us when we open the heart and surrender to love, gently releasing what is no longer in alignment with our hearts. (Day 6)

ETHER: Communicating to the universe our wisdom learned from the heart with clarity and truth. To open the heart and surrender to love we must have a strong knowing of our truth. We surrender to the guidance of our inner wisdom and know that all the answers we seek lie within us. We become the embodiment of the Divine, a unique expression of consciousness, dwelling in our natural alchemy of love and peace. (Day 7-8)

Monte Epomeo

In Italian: pronounced “Monte Epomeo” is the highest mountain on the volcanic island of Ischia, in the Gulf of Naples, Italy. Reaching a height of 789 metres (2,589 ft), it towers above the rest of Ischia.
One particularly important event in the island’s geological history is represented by the eruption about 55,000 years ago, when a giant magma chamber formed beneath the present-day island of Ischia. Through cracks and crevices in the earth’s crust, the magma was thrown into the atmosphere and the magma chamber was emptied. The cover of the magma chamber collapsed and the basin that was created in the earth’s crust, called “Caldera”, is where today lies the island of Ischia. Since ca. 55,000 years ago, the sea surface was ca. 150-200 m lower than today, this “Conca-Caldera” was dry land. After the increase of the sea level, the island was submerged for several years. This has meant that the original rock, as a result of chemical transformations, has turned into green grass.
 
New magma flowed in the old magma chamber beneath the present-day island of Ischia, and the cover of the magma chamber began to rise from the sea and bring out the island. This increase has given rise to Mount Epomeo which rises to a maximum height of about 789 m above sea level. The fact that the island emerged from the sea, and from mineralogical characteristics, is also confirmed by the presence of marine clays overlaying the green grass and fossils.
 
The volcanic activity is currently in a quiet phase, and is characterized by the development of very intense hydrothermal springs and fumaroles. The ascent to Mount Epomeo is definitely an experience not to be missed for those who visit. There are many possible paths to reach it. The proposed route, crossing the island from one side to another, will experience some of the geological history – environmental and anthropological aspect of the island.
 
At the top is the church of S. Nicola (from which derives the name of the summit) with its hermitage carved into the stone green spaces, where for years stayed the hermit Giuseppe D’Argout, former commander of the garrison of the Aragonese Castle in 1700. A path carved into the stone leads to the summit, carved by wind and edged with yellow lichen. From here you can enjoy a 360 degree view (from which the origin of the name Epomeo: Epopon or Epopos I look, I aim around). In front of the wood is recognizable Falanga with Santa Maria al Monte, Monte Nuovo and Forio below. The Pontine islands, not so far away, form a continuous line with the Lazio coast. By shifting your gaze to the North Coast you’ll see the Phlegrean islands of Procida and Vivara, Vesuvius, and Lattari mountains and the island of Capri.
See more images in Ischia Review
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Elena Ferrante’s Ischia: an Italian island paradise, in The Guardian

Ischia Island, Sant'AngeloI

Few works of fiction have captured the sultry grittiness of southern Italy like Elena Ferrante’s wildly successful Neapolitan quartet, which concluded this month with the English translation of The Story of the Lost Child. Ferrante’s 1950s Naples is a chaotic mire of sweat and stymied ambition – a place her characters all struggle to escape. But with a hop across the Gulf of Naples, Ferrante transports readers to paradise.

A one-hour ferry ride from the city, Ischia is a 17-square-mile island of parched tufa and bougainvillea that has hardly changed since the languid summers when Ferrante’s teenage protagonists – fleeing Naples’ stultifying heat and poverty – discover their respective sexualities on the thermal beach at Maronti. Even today, the majority of visitors to Ischia are Italians; many, like Ferrante’s Elena and Lila, are Neapolitans from across the bay, often returning to the same guesthouses and rental apartments every year, each summer a chance to catch up with old friends.

Continue reading this article in The Guardian, by Tara Isabella Burton.

View from the top of Monte Epomeo, Ischia.

A History of Ischia, in Ischia Review

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A look back at the history of Ischia starting from 700BC when it was discovered by the Greeks and then through to the Roman times, attacks by pirates in the middle ages, warring republics, the Risorgimento and finally on to modern times.

Read about the mythology, the settlement by the Greeks, the Romans, and the interesting history of this island.  By Dion Protani, in Ischia Review

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How Do We Reconnect When We’re Lonely? by Silvia Mordini

I found myself feeling isolated, separate and alone. Had I done this? Did I withdraw as a reaction to the betrayals? How had I become so disconnected? More importantly, how could I reconnect?

Interesting trivia: in 1950, less than 10% of American households contained only one person. By 2010, nearly 27% of households had just one person.

There is an epidemic of loneliness.

Continue reading in Do You Yoga

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10 Things You Should Know When Choosing a Yoga Teacher Training Program, by Silvia Mordini

Choosing a teacher training program is an investment in yourself that yields lifelong transformation physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. As such, the program you choose ultimately contributes to the direction of your growth.   I encourage you to look beyond the “surface factors” and explore the depth of each program you are considering. Before choosing a yoga teacher training program, reflect upon these essential elements.

1. Mission & Vision

What are the Mission and Vision of the program? Is the heart of the program in alignment with your spirit?

Read the complete article in DOYOUYOGAbali_march2017

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The Importance of Sisterhood: 7 Tips on Nurturing Your Sisters, by Silvia Mordini

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The truth is, I work a lot. I travel to fulfill my dharma to teach peace and inspire happiness. I’m in different time zones, and often lack reliable WiFi or have low bandwidth. I can’t afford an international cell phone plan, just cheap sim cards for local calls.

Even when I’m not off-grid, I meditate a lot by myself so I’m still off-grid (in a sense, living in another realm.) I’m also an introvert hiding in plain site as an extrovert, which requires time alone to recharge. I get so involved in my role of healer-teacher that I forget to leave time to stay more connected.

What has changed for me, as I get wiser, is how important sisterhood is now more than ever.

Read the complete article in DOYOUYOGA