'Immerse yourself in magical nature to relax & replenish through stillness & movement'
Galicia in North West Spain is a magical place for me.
Our relationship is somewhat ambivalent and therefor interesting. For me, as a person that doesn't like routine and needs changes from time to time, that makes it an extremely exciting relationship.
That's why for me it's actually a love story.
I first met Galicia in October, 2012. After the death of the love of my life I needed (as expected) a change of scenery, country, work, everything. So I bought a car, a 13-year old Opel Corsa that I named 'Dora'.
I put all my stuff that needed to stay with me (i.e. only very personal things, paintings and clothes) in the boot and on the back seats and drove through Italy, South of France (yep, the scenery route along the Gorges du Tarn) to the West Coast and south along La playa de las catedrales to Moaña where I met a family where I would stay as a 42-year old Au Pair for their daughter, Daniela.
The encounter of this, almost depressing, overwhelming greyness of the area there at the Galician coast suited my mood, I was in mourning. But it also immediately told me; 'No way you are going to stay here for long'. This intuitive feeling though, had not considered the deep connection I would feel with the 6-year old girl and the warmth of this family. Because of that, I could stand the 8 months of constant rain I experienced in Galicia, Winter 2012-2013. There were some sunny days when it suddenly was 25 degrees Celsius and sunny. On those days I would take Dora out for hikes and discover the astonishing magical beauty of Galicians nature and the atmosphere that puts you right back in the Middle Ages with old farmhouses, watermills and churches build out of granite rocks and wood, covered with green moss.
And that's when love struck.
I fell for her.
She entered my heart when she showed me that magical and breath taking beauty of nature, and later when winter turned into spring, also in her beautiful hidden small beaches. All so pristine and pure.
But, as always, I got restless and despite my love for the family and the girl, left to another family in the South of Spain where I stayed for 3 months, Au Pairing and teaching some private Yoga classes. Eventually followed my path back to the Netherlands for a break, a sort of burn out time where I for once in my life had absolutely no clue what I wanted for the future. That lasted for about 2 weeks ;-) and I applied for a job in tourism.
In the years following my departure, Galicia was still in my heart, as well as the family and my dear Daniela so we kept in touch and I kept on returning almost once a year. Now the funny thing was that God sort of compensated my 8 months of almost constant rain with at least one full sunny week whenever I visited Galicia, it's like He wanted to show me the most beautiful side of Galicia. And that side I discovered, it's the sun shining through the trees on the stream in the forest, creating fog and a beautiful view. During my returns I spend a lot of time hiking different areas of Galicia and once we went for a guided walk with Roi. He led a beautiful hike in the river Minho area, through the forests there, following part of the Camiño to Santiago. A very social, kind and knowledgeable person with a good sense of responsibility. Galicia really has conquered her place in my heart and is still balancing between 'I want to stay here forever', in her magic, in her pristine nature that because of the climate has this magical atmosphere of trees, greens, moss, wild streaming waters, fog, and a kind of 'I want to escape this greyness as quickly as possible'. It's the ambivalence that creates the magic. Without the rain there would not exist those breath taking forests.
After reading this, I won't come as a surprise that when I started shaping my retreat 'Yang Hikes and Yin Yoga' my first vision were the primeval, aka old-growth forests of Galicia and luckily I found an authentic restored farmhouse to accommodate me. This boutique Bed & Breakfast in rural Lugo province lies next to a beautiful lake where you can swim or walk around, in the middle of nature in all stillness.
'Casa da Cabaza' is the perfect location to get away from daily life and to indulge yourself in this magical world of Yin Yoga and breath taking nature, bringing you silent meditative moments and handing you the tools for introspection, learning to listen to the needs of your body and developing a greater range of motion, more flexibility as well physically as mentally.
We will have Yin Yoga sessions every day and Roi, who I mentioned before, will guide two hikes for us so you will definitely understand why my heart still belongs to Galicia ……
This week will take place in 2023, time and place to be confirmed.
Basic things to bring with you :
- Yogamat or Yogatowel
- Enough clothes that you can wear on top of each other and certainly a warm vest and (rain)coat.
As the Galicians say, in any season of the year you can have 4 seasons in one day, some mornings the ground will be frozen but after a few hours the sun comes through and it's 25 degrees, within 25 minutes it can also rain for a while ....
- Hiking boots and clothes (hat). Rough terrain (stones, mud, mountains).
- Refillable drinking bottle.
Price of the retreat :
Price based on shared room : € 990
(depending on the amount of participants, private rooms might be available).
Be sure to read the booking & cancellation rules.
What is included in the price :
- 7 Nights accommodation un Galicia, Spain.
- Three healthy vegetarian meals a day. Breakfast, Lunch (depending on the program this might be a picnic box) and Dinner.
- Daily Yin Yoga sessions as taught by Paul Grilley and highly inspired by Jo Phee’s Yinspiration modules. Sessions are based on the Chinese Traditional Medicine 5-Elements and Meridian System. Depending on the needs, the pace, the circumstances Yoga sessions can be adjusted to more relaxing or more energetic forms of practice, all within the Yin Style.
- 2 Guided hikes (4-5 hours medium difficulty) by Rutea guia.
- 2 Hikes guided by me.
How to get there :
- Traveling to the accommodation is not included in the price.
- Airport transfer from Santiago airport can be arranged at an extra price but I can also get you in touch with other participants so maybe you can share a rental car or travel by public transport to Casa da Cabaza together.
- Closest airport is Santiago de Compostela.
- If you live in France, Belgium, Spain or even the Netherlands, it might be worth driving there yourself so you can do some sightseeing during your free time. For example visit Santiago de Compostela or Lugo, or even hiking part of the Camino de Santiago (from Montforte de Lemos).