Eliminate Your Stress and Restore Gut Health Retreat – Greece

Sept 2 – 9, 2018 8 Days, 7 Nights
WITH JOHNSON CHONG & GEETA VARA

Luxury Villas for Peace and Tranquility in the Mediterranean

Join us on the tranquil Ionian island of Lefkada in Greece.  Johnson and Geeta will lead a bespoke retreat experience where we will become stronger, more flexible, eliminate our urban stresses, and restore the harmony of our mind, body and spirit with healthy and nutritious food.  We will practice daily yoga (hatha, vinyasa or kundalini), daily meditation and Ayurvedic cooking workshops to restore you from the inside out.

LUXURY VILLAS OVERLOOKING PARADISE

We will be staying at a luxury villa overlooking a private beach with panoramic sea views.  The stone villas have 3 bedrooms for double or single occupancy, fully equipped with a kitchen and our gourmet chef.  Each villa comes with a private swimming pool and exceptional sea views from all the rooms. Each villa is nestled among oak and olive trees, spaced far enough apart to ensure privacy. They stand on a low hill overlooking breathtaking vistas of the Ionian sea near the most famous Greek beaches.

Lefkada Island is verdant with some of the best beaches in the world. The beautiful Porto Katsiki beach is a 15 minute drive from our retreat villas. On the scenic drive from Preveza there are many small villages and breathtaking views of the sea. You can drive along the coast or through the winding roads that take you through the cooler central mountains. The main town of Lefkada, with numerous shops and restaurants, is a popular port for charter sailing boats. Further along there is a charming village called Nidri, with plenty of shops and restaurants.

Nearest to us is the quaint village of Vassiliki. Set in a beautiful bay in view of our villas, Vassiliki is popular for sailing boats, and wind and kite surfing. Diving and snorkeling equipment and tours are also offered. Vassiliki has a small port dotted with restaurants, shops and cafes. There are beautiful beaches nearby and small coves for swimming.

Nearest Airport: Preveza Aktion

Weather: Click here for Lefkada Weather
September – highs of 25C and lows of 18C – mostly sunny with cool, breezy evenings

Currency in Euro. Cash only payments for villa massages.
Approximate exchange rate ‎€100

What to pack for retreat:
-Loose comfortable layered clothing for yoga and meditation
-Good walking shoes
-Bathing suit, hat, flip flops, sunglasses and sunscreen
-Amphibious shoes for water activities or explore pebble beaches
-Light down vest and jacket for cool, breezy evenings
-Prescription medicines
-Cash for massages – paypal is available for an additional fee.
-Books
-Any favorite teas and snacks – you have your own fully equipped kitchen. Note that all meals and snacks are included.

Recommended Places in Vassiliki to stay, shop, drink and eat
Melina’s Rooms – From €40.00
Melina’s little shop – for gorgeous stylish designs made in Greece

155 Cocktail bar – hip cocktail bar opposite Melina’s little shop
Ocean’s Restaurant – great seafood restaurant with nice ambience

GREECE
8 DAYS, 7 NIGHTS (Sep 2 – 9, 2018)
Non-refundable deposit of €500 is required to confirm your booking.
Single Accommodation:
€1,850
Shared Accommodation:
€1,550

Early Bird Special :
Reserve by April 30, 2018
€100

Package Includes:
*7 nights luxury accommodation
*Daily breakfast, lunch and dinner prepared by our gourmet chef
*Farewell Dinner
*14 Yoga sessions with Johnson
*Daily Meditations with Johnson and Geeta
*3 Ayurvedic Workshops with Geeta
* Geeta Vara’s Book “Ayurveda: A practical guide to optimal health, healing and vitality”
* Evening Group Wisdom Circles

Package Prices DO NOT include:
International Flights
Transfers to the Retreat Center
Boat trip, lunch and transport on day out

PAY IT FORWARD 
Annually, we donate a portion of retreat costs to an Exodus Retreats Charity.  For this retreat, we are happily donating to
Child’sDream Org located in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

By doing something important for yourself, you are also helping to empower others.
Click here to find out more about our charities.

Please email info@exodusretreats.com to reserve your space on this retreat.  Upon doing so, you will receive an email confirming availability for your selected dates and confirming a hold period for three days. To confirm your reservation, a NON-refundable deposit of €500  is required to be paid within the 3 days timeframe to secure your booking.   Payment can be made via bank transfer or paypal.

The FULL balance of the payment is due 60 days prior to the retreat start date (2 June, 2018) . If your booking falls within 60 days, full payment will be due immediately. Payment details will be provided to you upon reservation (via bank transfer or Paypal.)  Please note that Paypal and credit card payments incur a 4% charge.

The FULL balance of the payment is due 60 days prior to the retreat start date (24 March, 2018) . If your booking falls within 60 days, full payment will be due immediately. Payment details will be provided to you upon reservation (via bank transfer or Paypal.)  Please note that Paypal and credit card payments incur a 4% charge.

Recommended Routes

Airports:
Lefkada/Preveza
59.4km
1 hour 10 minutes drive (no ferry)

Athens
433km
5 hours 30 minutes drive (no ferry)

Thessaloniki
580km
5 hours 25 minutes drive (no ferry)

Ioannina
176km
2 hours 30 minutes drive (no ferry)

Harbors:
Igoumenitsa
151km
Connections via Italy, 2 hours 10 minutes drive

Additional Routes

Airports:
Kefalonia (Cephalonia)
88.8km
1 hour from the airport to Fiscardo marina, 40 minutes with ferry to Vassiliki marina, 5 daily connections.

Patra – Araxos
251km
3 hours 10 minutes drive (no ferry)

Corfu (via Igoumenitsa)
193km
1 hour 30 minutes with ferry, 2 hours 15 minutes drive

We recommend flight search at www.skyscanner.com

Venue Location: Latitude/Longitude: 38°36’46.1″N 20°34’36.9″E

Flight Suggestions

London to Lefkada
Going – 2/9/18 | Easy Jet| London Gatwick ⇒ Preveza | Depart 07:45, Arrive 13:00 | 368£ RT (info subject to change)
Return – 09/09/18 | Easy Jet | Preveza ⇒ London Gatwick | Depart 22:00, Arrive 23:25

Singapore to Lefkada 
Going – 1/9/18 | Scoot | Changi ⇒ Athens | Depart 02:35, Arrive 08:45, Transfer to Sky Express | Athens ⇒ Preveza| Depart Sun 2/9/18 07:30, Arrive 11:30
Return – 9/9/18 | Sky Express ⇒ Athens | Depart 10:05, Arrive 12:20, Transfer to Turkish Airlines | Athens ⇒ Changi| Depart Sun 9/9/18 22:25, Arrive 17:50 10/9/18

DAILY THEMES

DAY 1 – Grounding and Arriving into the Present Moment
– Explore getting the digestive system into a new rhythm with grounding foods
– Learn travel rituals that are simple, yet important to maintain balance.

DAY 2 – Unlearning Habits that Keep us from our Natural Rhythm
– Uncovering the myths about gluten, sugar and dairy.  What is actually good for us?
– De-conditioning meditation to peel away triggers that make us anxious and stressed.

DAY 3 – How to Manage Insomnia and Techniques for Good Sleep
– Which foods and bedtime rituals promote restful sleep?
– Meditation to Curb Insomnia – Receive the Sage Meditations download

DAY 4 – Optimal Diet and Nutrition for Gut Health
– Simplifying the science of the gut and why maintaining a healthy gut is vital to keeping common diseases at bay.
– Practice Yogic movement and breathing techniques to restore gut health.

DAY 5- Sensory Awareness: Moving and Aligning the Mind, Body and Spirit into Happiness
– Every body constitution requires different things, even different types of exercise regimens.
– Elevate consciousness to transform our entire being into a harmonious and joyful experience.

DAY 6 – Compassion, Perception, Self-Love and Emotional Detox
– Re-establishing our relationship with our selves and our relationships with others that have a direct impact on our mental and emotional stress levels.
– Connecting to the neglected and unexplored wounded archetypes through a guided movement meditation.

DAY 7 – Expressing Your Authenticity by Tapping into Your Creative Spirit
– Remove the fears around public speaking, and expressing what you really mean to say.
– Meditation experience to tap into the true voice of your creative inner child in the spirit of play.

DAY 8 – Integration
– We will end the morning of our last day of the retreat together with a group wisdom circle to share our revelations on how we can live more integrated lives that will carry us through the frenzy of urban stress.

DAILY SCHEDULE

Check in for the retreat is at retreat program is flexible and subject to change.

Before Class Detox tonic and Yogic Cleanses (Jala Neti, Kappalabhati)

7:00 am – 8:30 am Yoga

8:30 am – 9:30 am Light Breakfast

10:00 am – 11:30 am Daily Workshop

12 pm – 1 pm Lunch

12:00 pm – 5:00 pm Free Time.  Write, Read, Nap, Swim at your private pool, hike down the private beach and swim in the ocean or take walks on the country road.  Private sessions with Johnson for Yoga, Pilates, Meditation or Shamanic Journeying are available.  Private sessions with Geeta are also available.

5:00 pm – 6:30 pm Yoga and Sage Meditation

7:00 pm Sunset dinner on one of the outdoor terraces with exquisite views.

After dinner on some evenings there will be wisdom circles where there will be sharing and group discussion of Geeta’s newly launched book on Ayurveda.  There will also be optional discussions on yogic philosophy, meditation, stress management and spirituality.

ACTIVITY DESCRIPTION

Yoga

The Yoga classes are designed to consciously release holding patterns in the body while stimulating vital energy.  The movements in class are a powerful combination of fitness and movement as medicine.  Johnson teaches from an intuitive place of guiding each student to their fullest potential.  He has been teaching since 2008 and has an extensive background in hatha, vinyasa, kundalini and ANYA yogic techniques, as well as having training in martial arts, Pilates and GYROTONIC®

Free Book Included in Retreat
Ayurveda: Ancient Wisdom for Modern Wellbeing
by Geeta Vara

Ayurveda is the oldest known medical science, taking a total holistic approach to life and wellbeing.  Ayurveda: Ancient Wisdom for Modern Wellness teaches us to reconnect with our natural bio-circadian rhythms and nurture our intimate relationship with nature. The simple, daily applicable wisdom of Ayurveda can help lead you out of the doctor’s surgery and on a journey towards self-healing.

With this book you will:

  •  Discover your mind/body type 
  •  Get to know the impact of your digestion on your wellbeing 
  •  Learn tips to take care of your gut health
  •  Be empowered to take a personalised approach to healthcare 
  •  Recognise the early sign and symptoms of health issues so that you can keep your mind, body and soul healthy and vibrant
  •  Be inspired to transform your diet through taste not calories
  •  Identify and understand the root cause of your health issues
  •  Address ongoing health issues from stress and fatigue, to immune system issues, gastro-intestinal problems, disturbed sleep, headache/migraine, weight management
  •  Future-proof your wellbeing the way nature intended

Ayurveda Lifestyle Workshops

Geeta will host three 90 minute workshops to help you become familiar with the timeless wisdom and sister science of yoga, Ayurveda. In a world where technology dominates alongside modern day life pressures, we can easily find ourselves out of balance. Get in touch with your body’s natural bio-rhythms and explore daily routines that can bring many preventative health benefits. Small lifestyle adjustments can help us restore balance, stay vibrant and energized.

Workshop 1: Holistic Wellness Through Ayurveda

  • What is Ayurveda and how can it transform your health
  • Factors that affect our health & wellbeing 
  • Concept of three doshas and your unique mind-body type
  • Tune into nature with the Ayurvedic clock

Workshop 2: Taking Care of the Epicentre of Health – The Gut

  • Importance of gut health 
  • Identify digestive disturbances
  • Ayurvedic nutrition – Let taste dominate your plate
  • Conscious eating habits for a grateful gut

Workshop 3: Food as Medicine

  • Healing through Ayurvedic kitchen staples
  • Spices & herbs, their uses, benefits and home remedies
  • Let’s cook  – wholesome and nutritious Ayurvedic dishes 

Sage Meditation

Meditation is practiced by millions as a means to help the mind release thoughts of painful memories of the past and anxious worries about the future, while helping to maintain focus on the present moment. Studies have proven that a regular meditation practice helps to activate feel-good chemicals in the brain like dopamine, serotonin, and oxytocin, which increase happiness, improve memory, concentration, intuition, creativity and empathy, while neutralizing stress, anxiety, fear and anger. A Harvard MRI study showed that just 8 weeks of mindful meditation had measurable positive changes in the brain. Meditation also helps to build grey matter in the hippocampus, which is associated with memory, sense of self, empathy and self-control, and helps decrease grey matter in the amygdala, which plays a significant role in anxiety, stress and addictive behavior. On a spiritual level, meditation helps to build new neural pathways between your left and right brain hemispheres. When both sides of the brain work together harmoniously, one can gain access to their subconscious and conscious mind through deep meditative states. Meditation also has many physical benefits for the body as well such as regulating sleep cycle, anti-aging, and regulating hormones to help prevent weight gain. During the retreat, we will explore various types of meditation from classical yogic breathing techniques to more visual shamanic journeys that deepen our connection to our mind’s subconscious and conscious states, our emotions and our physical bodies.  Sage Meditation integrates the practices of yogic philosophy, ancient breathing techniques and shamanic journeying.

 Food 

This unique yoga meditation and Ayurveda retreat in Greece brings Geeta Vara, an Ayurvedic practitioner with years of knowledge on integrating intuitive holistic nutrition to modern living.  In conjunction with our Mediterranean chef Ourania Sideri, we will be presenting a range of delicious, healthy, organic Ayurvedic meals sourced locally in Greece.  During the retreat, the ayurvedic nutritional aspect is uniquely designed for each person in such a way to maximize the cleansing, strengthening and centering effects of the yoga practice and the meditation.

Each meal is prepared with a variety of ingredients such as grains, vegetables, beans and bean products, seaweed, fermented products, nuts, seeds and fruits; mostly organic. Meals are 100% organic, fresh, gourmet and sugar free.  Vegetarian, Vegan and Pescatarian diets are catered.

Private Beach

It’s a luxurious privilege to have this rare gem hidden beneath the olive and pine trees.  The wonderful private beach is located just underneath the villas, is covered with small pearls and sand, has blue and turquoise colors and it is a wonderful round-trip of 25-45 minutes (depending on the physical shape of the hiker) beneath the olive trees and the lush greenery of the hill.  Even if you don’t have the chance to hike down to the beach, the superb views will relax and renew your spirits.  If you a€re lucky, you can spot dolphins swimming in the water. The area belongs to the environmental protection network Nature 2000, because it is a habitat for dolphins and seals.

World Class Beaches

Lefkada has three of the top beaches in the world 15 min away. Starting from the northwest coast you meet Kathisma, a 3km wide sandy popular bay.  After a stunning journey through pine and olive trees you cross Egremnoi, a little hard to reach, because of the 300 steps staircase, but once you reach the bottom of it, the sight will compensate every bit of your sweat!  Finally, further down you meet Porto Katsiki, the most famous beach of the island.  Read more about the beaches on CNN here.

Rest

We are always on the go.  It’s a powerful thing when we make a conscious decision to purposefully do nothing.  Or perhaps, you want to use your free time to connect with nature and do all the things that make you happy.  Go swim in the ocean, or pool.  Find some time to write and journal.  There are also beautiful hikes around the private beach overlooking the endless clear water views.  You might even spot some seals and dolphins.

Kayaking

A 15 minute drive brings you to a world class beach of breathtaking beauty. Enjoy Porto Katsiki where majestic sheer cliffs meet sand, pebbles and turquoise waters.  The nearest Greek port village, Vassiliki, is famous for water sports: diving, snorkeling, windsurfing and sailing. Situated just 10 minutes by car, it sits on beautiful Vassiliki Bay. Explore little cobbled streets with charming boutiques and port side cafes and restaurants. The picturesque beach Agiofili is in close distance to the village.

Windsurfing

The island of Lefkada hosts numerous water sports and activities such as scuba diving, boating, kite surfing, kite boarding, surfing and more. These activities can be discovered in Vassiliki bay just three and a half kilometers from the villas.  Vassiliki bay is also famous for hosting windsurfing tournaments and practitioners from all over the world!