About the Retreat
The Retreat is held in the village of Kyparissi on the East coast of the Peloponnese. The village is surrounded by mountains and lapped by the Aegean Sea. There are walks to be taken mountains to climb, beaches to lie on and bars-cum-coffee shops to sit and muse in.
The environment and community provides a unique opportunity to combine experiential development and recuperation in a tranquil authentic Greek village. Eating tasty local cuisine, vegetarian or meat dishes, in local tavernas.
The programme has been designed to enhance connectivity with your deeper self, others and with nature whilst (re)balancing and ‘being’ present. All within a remote Greek village community, this is not a silent retreat. Using the tools of mindfulness, dramatherapy and connecting with the body, the retreat aims to provide an opportunity to cultivate a positive attitude, refurbish your health, enhance your happiness and warm your soul.
We will also provide plenty of opportunity to experience the elements through walks under gaze of the mountains, swimming in the crystal clear waters of the Aegean or just ‘being’ under the olive trees. At night you will be spellbound by the stars and by day touched by the breath-taking scenery.
There are numerous bars, coffee shops, tavernas to explore and previous gatherings have often seen groups meet at different tavernas around the village to experience the diversity and choice. At night it can be an experience to behold to gaze at the stars without light contamination whilst listening to the sea at the same time. Below is a picture of Kyparissi from nearby mountains with Islands in the distance.
About the facilitators:
Bruce Greenhalgh is a certified mindfulness teacher through Bangor University and an SIY teacher for the Search Inside Yourself programme developed at Google. He has taught mindfulness internationally and currently heads up BT’s Employee Assistance service in the UK. He is also BACP accredited, Fellow of Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development a psychotherapist and a tutor on an Adlerian counselling training course in the UK.
Christina Polyhroniou is a dramatherapist, actor, teacher and facilitator who lives and works in Greece and has taught internationally. She has taught for many years on the Greek Association of Dramatherapy and Play-therapy Training Course.
Taking care of the Body
There are a range of opportunities in Kyparissi to relax or tax the body. From simply lying back and floating in the sea or reclining under a tree at one end of the spectrum, to climbing one of the local rock faces or exploring the surrounding mountains at the more demanding end. Every day between 09:15 – 10:45 we will arrange either a guided walk (recommended footwear is trainers) or share with you one of the many beaches to swim or snorkel.
Above is the chapel known locally as Aghios Georgios the half-way point on one the planned walks
The mountains surrounding Kyparissi contain the Babala plateau. There will not be time to walk up it during the week but for those who stay on and feel adventurous the rock formations situated there need to be seen to be believed.
Switching off to Switching on
For many people a retreat is a period or place of seclusion for the purposes of meditation, it can also be a quiet or secluded place in which one can rest and relax. However, switching to a quiet mind requires neither a quiet or secluded place nor somewhere it can rest and relax. Kyparissi is neither quiet nor secluded but it does have a unique quality of atmosphere and physical environment that enables the mind, body and soul to recuperate and relax.
This mindfulness workshop will provide an opportunity to establish, rekindle or deepen your ability to finding peace within. It will utilise the environment and the capability within each of us to create that inner tranquility so that it can be instigated at will, not just in beautiful surroundings, but wherever you are because wherever you go there you are!
From this practice of developing stillness or ‘switching off’ science is catching up with 2,500 years of empirical practice. It confirms that those who can ‘switch off’ and choose where they place their attention have a quality of presence and aliveness that means they are in fact very ‘switched on’. Mindfulness in its purest form is simply stopping and being present. That is all.
Facilitator: Bruce Greenhalgh
In this Dramatherapy workshop, participants will have the opportunity to bring into focus the main ‘threads’ that make up the tapestry of their lives. Things taken for granted may acquire a new vibrancy, things considered of primary importance may be seen from a more relaxed perspective. The main body of work will be a ‘woven’ collage which each person will create to represent their life’s tapestry. We will use paper, fabric, ribbon, natural objects (twigs, leaves, shells) as well as other found objects, to weave a symbolic image.
Dramatherapy is an Arts Therapy that makes intentional use of creative expression, drama and theatre processes “to facilitate creativity, imagination, learning, insight and growth” (British Association of Dramatherapists). In this experiential workshop we will use dramatherapeutic techniques – including drama, movement, story and art – to highlight and explore the threads making up our tapestries. Facilitator: Christina Polyhroniou
Facilitator: Christina Polyhroniou
A few words from Kyfanta:
Kyparissi in September gives the opportunity after high summer to swim in the warm blue water and enjoy the mountains and countryside. Kyfanta Hotel is a calm and beautiful environment in which to relax and reflect. The olive trees and garden offer a chance for space, quiet, relaxation and learning.
Esther and Yiannis at the Kyfanta Hotel are pleased to welcome Bruce and Christina for the Mind Body and Spirit Summer School. Bruce and Christina have a long association with Kyfanta Hotel and Kyparissi. We have hosted courses with them before, as well as running painting courses and exhibitions.
Kyfanta is a family run hotel and we will do everything to make your stay relaxed and comfortable. We provide breakfast every morning, with home-made bread and cakes, local honey, eggs, yoghurt, fruit and freshly squeezed orange juice, as well as tea made from local herbs, and a range of other drinks. You will also be able to get coffee and use our bar throughout the day.
At the first gathering of the Summer School you will be welcomed by your hosts with refreshments in the garden.
We look forward to meeting you,
Esther and Yiannis.
For any more information about Kyfanta Hotel, don’t hesitate to contact us at:email@example.com
The program will commence on the evening of the 9th September with an informal reception and or get together. It will be an opportunity to meet your hosts, teachers and fellow participants. The program will then formally start on the morning of the 10th through to the 14th with a formal close early evening on the 14th. Accommodation is included from Friday 8th until departure Saturday 16th this ties in with an additional cost airport transfer option which is available.
Daily Program during the training
08.00 - 09.00 breakfast
09.15 - 10.45 body: Activities walks, swims, snorkelling etc.
10.45 - 11.15 break
11.15 - 13.15 mindfulness
13.15 - 14.15 lunch
14:15 – 17:00 free time
17:00 - 19:00 dramatherapy
All flights transfers etc. are the responsibility of the participants. The only way to get to Kyparissi is by road - a 5 hour journey approximately from Athens airport. Options are taxi, hire a car or share a lift. We are facilitating one lift each way (on a shared cost basis) with Bruce leaving Athens airport around TBA pm Friday 8th. The return trip will be leaving Kyparissi early Saturday morning 16th September returning to Athens Airport.
If more shared lifts become available we will share the information with other participants.
Pre-booked taxi transfers can also be arranged at a cost of around £200 per taxi each way.
To reserve a place on the retreat we require a deposit of Eu 250 and the balance of Eu 450 per person by 30th June 2017. The deposit and full payment will need to be sent by bank transfer to Esther and Yiannis and full banking details and booking form will be provided once you have emailed Ester and Bruce the following information:
For further information please contact:
UK: Bruce Greenhalgh Bruce.firstname.lastname@example.org +44 (0) 7850 709136 mob
Greece: Ester Grau email@example.com +30 694 552 1511 mob +30 27320 55356 landline
We are capping the retreat at 12 participants. Once we have 8 confirmed places we will open up a second week 16th-24th Sept. It will also be capped at 12 participants and will follow exactly the same programme and format. If you wish to book for a 2nd week please indicate at the time of your booking.
Kyparissi lies in a bay surrounded by mountains and high plains. The walks follow old paths established by former mountain dwellers. The scenery is spectacular, the wild-flowers abundant.
The guided walks take you on the mountains paths around Kyparissi, an Aegean coastal village in Lakonia, south-east Peloponnese. This is a unique experience in one of Europe’s great wildernesses.
Transport to Kyparissi, meals and accommodation are all included in the price, ,except airfares to Greece. The holiday runs from Saturday to Saturday.
Esther Grau will be your hostess. She is from Catalonia and settled in Kyparissi more than 20 years ago after travelling in Asia and Europe. Esther runs the Kyfanta hotel along with her husband Iannis and speaks Spanish, Catalan, Greek, English, Italian and French.
Eleni Tsigeleris will be your guide on the walks.She speaks English fluently, after spending some years in San Francisco. Eleni grew up in the Kyparissi mountains and has walked their paths most of her life. She is an expert on local history and flora.
You can view more photos in the Hiking section.
We are organizing these holidays because we enjoy walking in the beautiful Kyparissi mountains with exceptional scenery and wonderful opportunities to photograph the views and the flowers. We know you will enjoy it too.
If the weather is bad we will organize excursions to Monemvassia, other local villages or activities such as traditional Greek cooking.