Intro by Margaret Sheard……
I met Suzie Heijari some years ago when she lived and worked in North Cyprus and also had the pleasure of seeing some of her Stage School and Dance Academy performances. Eventually Suzie decided to return, with her daughter, to her homeland of Finland where she has settled into a new life. It seems Suzie still has a great love for North Cyprus as, together with her friend Jeanie Lindsay, she organized, a 5 day Yoga and Meditation Retreat at the Aphrodite Beachfront Resort, Gaziveren in June 2016.
Suzie has kindly written her own review of the Retreat which proved to be a very successful event and plans are already being made to repeat this in 2017.
REVIEW of the Luxury Yoga and Meditation Retreat, June 14 – 19, 2016, organized by Jeanie Lindsay and Suzie Heijari.
THE UNION of YOGA and NORTH CYPRUS – a chance for transformation
By Suzie Heijari……
Have you had some time in your life when you felt a release from your daily responsibilities? Maybe a moment, in which you had a chance to focus on yourself only? At home, those moments may be rare. By joining an organized retreat away from home, you have a better opportunity to stop the rollercoaster of life, the daily chores of survival – caretaking of others, cooking, washing and cleaning, and focus on yourself, your needs and desires. Amazing things can happen to you, when the tension of holding on and keeping things going, is released. This can lead to an inner transformation that alters your health, stress levels and happiness, for the better, for the rest of your life. A retreat away from daily life with focused yoga exercise morning and evening creates the space for an internal process to take place. The process is entirely individual and depends on the openness and life situation of the person. Possible changes could be: coming to terms with a past event, healing a physical body part, or just relaxing the mind and body, letting go of stress to feel good and happy in the moment.
The Luxury Yoga and Meditation Retreat which was held June 14 – 19 gave its participants the time and space to experience their own transformation. In total 9 international participants (English, Finnish, Swiss and Austrian) joined us for morning and evening yoga and meditation at the Aphrodite Beachfront in Gaziveren. The 5 days consisted of an intensive yoga program that challenged everyone on their own level.
In the mornings, we started with a silent meditation of ½ hour, optional for all in the group, which continued with the active Hatha yoga session at 7am. The evening session began with a Yin yoga class, in which we were holding stretchy or restorative poses for 4 to 10 minutes. The Yin yoga is a less dynamic form of yoga, which affects the deeper tissues and rejuvenates the energy lines (meridians) in the body. After the final relaxation pose, we continued with various meditations, including vocal OM meditation that became the favorite for the group. I also offered two Vinyasa Yoga sessions (dynamic yoga that focuses on sun salutation and transitions from pose to pose with breath) in the afternoons, for the more experienced yogis.
In addition to yoga, the site of Aphrodite offered many other activities during the day breaks. Aphrodite is famous for its wind and kite surfing facilities, and the lovely beach that faces breathtaking sunsets every evening. Massages at the Spa were an absolute bliss to experience. The various pools, including an indoor pool, made sure everyone had their place for swimming. There were many quiet places with sun loungers to enjoy sun or shade, with others or away from the crowd. We also had a trip of few hours to the local ancient sites of Soli and Vouni.
I personally was thrilled to teach yoga to such lovely people. I returned back to the island after one year away in my home country Finland. I realized the level of the energy on the island: is positive and very uplifting! I felt my own transformation in energy during the 5 days. The northern hemisphere with the cold climate had altered the sun within me, and I recharged my batteries for the winter to come!
We had 3 Finns who joined the retreat this year. I hope that more people from the north will join us at the next retreat which will take place on June 10 – 17, 2017, at the Aphrodite Beachfront. The program for the week will consist of yoga and coaching and health seminars of various topics. The retreat language is English. Please visit our page in facebook, where you can keep up with updated information for the event by clicking here
I welcome yoga lovers from all over the world to join us. North Cyprus may be just one small place in the world, but to me it is one of the best, to unite in mind, body and soul, and realize a transformation, whichever it may be!
Suzie Heijari – yoga teacher