Retreats

Shining Heart Retreat (Portugal / July & August)

7-day option
July 16 – 22, 2022 (in English)
August 15 – 21 (in English)
August 25 – 31 (in Spanish)

5-day option:

July 16 – 20, 2022 (in English)
August 15 – 19 (in English)
August 25 – 29 (in Spanish)

 

Ecoaldea Espiral, North Portugal

Practice yoga as it is meant to be. Spend a week in joyful simplicity.

During this retreat, you will be gently guided to open your Heart through classical Hatha Yoga practice and various silent meditation techniques. Read more

For this summer’s edition of our popular Shining Heart Retreat, we have chosen a truly unique location: the Espiral ecovillage in the mountains of Northern Portugal is one of those places where nature itself receives you from its most gentle side, inviting you to nurture yourself resting in the shade of so many trees, go for a walk in the mountains or taking a dip in one of many natural pools of a crystal-clear mountain creek. Additionally, you will have the opportunity to have a glimpse at what life is like in an ecovillage, with joyful community meals and the option to take part in other community activities.

Expect a profound reset from the stress of modern life, settling back into a natural state of well-being and happiness.

We will do everything possible to have you depart with a truly shining heart!

What you can expect:

  • High-quality yoga teachings from instructor with more than 10 years of practical experience
  • Unique yoga practices taking you deep into the spiritual dimension of yoga & meditation: Self-inquiry; the significance of the Heart; chakra-centered asana (postures) practice; pranayama (breathwork); deep relaxation
  • Fascinating lectures about the theoretical and metaphysical background of yoga – you will not only practice, but also understand why you are practicing and learn how to design your own practice according to your specific needs!
  • Beautiful setting in the midst of a lush forest conducive to resting back into an inner sense of quietness and peace
  • Delicious and healthy vegan food

Daily Schedule:

All sessions are optional.

  • 6:30 am: Wake up
  • 7-8 am: Silent meditation
  • 8:15-10:30 am: Hatha Yoga session, including a short presentation of a yoga technique
  • 10:30 am: Breakfast, free time: walk in the forest, read a book, get a massage (not included), lend a hand in the garden…
  • 2 pm: Lunch
  • 4-5 pm: Lecture presentation on different aspects of yoga practice: Basic yoga metaphysics; the Chakra system; the spiritual significance of the Heart; Self-Inquiry…
  • 5-7 pm: Hatha Yoga & Meditation
  • 7 pm: Dinner
  • 8 pm: Evening activities: Heart Chakra Meditation, Movie Night, Kirtan,…

We will suggest to spend one day of the retreat in complete silence (no speaking except for class instructions and lecture).

Location & Accommodation

Ecoaldea Espiral is a 10-ha property on the slope of an idyllic valley, hidden in the mountains of the Serra da Cabreira in Northern Portugal. It is home of a small community of 8 persons, plus continuous visits of people who are interested in learning about community life and living more closely to nature. The natural space itself is very lush and inviting. Several springs provide drinking water, and in the valley there is a crystal clear mountain creek with natural pools for swimming and resting.

For accommodation, you can choose between a private tent, equipped with mattress and linens, or a bunk bed in a shared dormitory. The retreat and life in general will mostly be happening outdoors in the shade of uncountable trees, but for the rare rainy days, there is also an inside practice space and several covered communal spaces.

We will take breakfast in the intimacy of the retreat group. For lunch and dinner, we will join the community meals of the ecoaldea, giving the opportunity to connect with the inhabitants and other visitors. Food in the ecovillage is completely vegan and mostly organic. It is not allowed to bring non-vegan food into the ecovillage.
In order to promote a healthy lifestyle conducive to yoga and meditation practice, in the ecovillage there is no consumption of tobacco, alcohol, recreational drugs and caffeine (neither coffee nor black & green tea, mate etc.), and you are kindly asked to abstain from these substances during your entire stay. There is no wifi, and use of electronic devices is restricted to your individual sleeping space, or outside the property.

How to get there

There will be a free group pickup at the Guimarães bus station at 4:30pm on the arrival day, as well as the drop-off on departure. Pickups at other times can be arranged at additional cost and subject to availability.

By plane

Please book your flight to arrive at Porto(OPO) airport. From there, take a direct bus to Guimarães (50min).
Direct pick-up from/to the airport can be organized for an additional charge of 100€ per car (fitting upto 4 persons; subject to availability).

Arrival by bus

You can reach the town of Guimarães by long-distance bus from Porto, Lisbon and other cities in Portugal. Please feel welcome to inquire if you need assistance in finding the best option for your trip.

Arrival by train

You can reach the city of Porto by train from Lisbon (3 hours) and Vigo/Spain (2.5 hours). From Porto there are frequent urban trains to Guimarães. Please feel welcome to inquire if you need assistance in finding the best option for your trip.

Arrival by car

If you choose to come with your own vehicle and you have space, please consider putting your trip on a ride-sharing platform. We will send you detailed driving instructions a few days before arrival. Please note that it is not possible to reach the ecovillage itself by car. You can park your car in the nearby village and will be transferred to the ecovillage by jeep.

Rates

7-day option:

Equipped private tent: 469€ Special offer (limited spots): 419€

Bunk bed in mixed Dorm: 510€ Special offer (limited spots): 469€

5-day option:

Equipped private tent: 355€ Special offer (limited spots): 299€

Bunk bed in mixed Dorm: 385€ Special offer (limited spots): 335€

Rates include:
  • Over 30 hours of high-quality yoga instruction and practice
  • Evening activities
  • 4 or 6 nights accommodation
  • Pick-up at Cabeceiras de Basto bus stop on arrival day at a specific time (will be specified as soon as the summer bus schedule is confirmed)
  • 3 delicious vegetarian meals per day
  • Unlimited herbal teas and water

Reservation

For inquiries and reservations, please feel welcome to contact us.

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