Tag Archives: yoga holiday

Summer Retreats in Greece!

Joyful Living 1: Make ordinary days extraordinary | Crete, 28 May – 4 June
Joyful Living 2: Be the change you want to see | Evia, 26 June – 3 July

I’m excited to announce the Maitree Coaching Summer Retreats in Crete and Evia. Come and celebrate the Mediterranean summer in magical and relaxing Greece.

We had an amazing time at Joyful Living 1 in Auroville, South India, end of March. A great opportunity for busy city people to take a break in nature, eat wholesome food and focus on what really matters to them in life. 

A month later we’re still messaging each other about the changes to our lives – from turning vegan to getting up at 5am to making time for regular journalling in our mornings…big changes!


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“The retreat group feels like a family tribe…after many retreats across the world, I said to myself no more retreats but Julie is different, she is unique, she is real, you can trust her. With her powerful tools you will discover yourself and believe in yourself more than ever!” 
Ariana, Entrepreneur, Spain


 

Now summer in Europe is coming close and bookings are speeding up for both Joyful Living 1 in Crete and Joyful Living 2 in Evia.

So if you’re thinking of joining and/or have questions, get in touch soon!

Love, and hope to see you in Greece 🙂

Julie


“The Joyful Living retreat was one of the best experiences of my life. I’m incredibly glad I signed up for it. I am a stronger, happier, more positive person now that i learned so much about myself and life. Thank you Julie!”

Mouna M’Rad, Conference Interpreter, Paris

“I LOVED the Joyful Living retreat! Your coaching was perfect for me. I feel reborn and experience a radical shift of perspective. I am going through my days with mindfulness and the results are astonishing. My friends are amazed.”

Katarina Fischer, Author, Hamburg


 

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Joyful Living 1: Make ordinary days extraordinary

Welcome dinner on 28 May
Workshops 29 May – 4 June

Do you want to:

– Live with joy and ease?
– Improve your work life balance?

– Cultivate mindfulness and gratitude?
– Enhance your health and wellbeing?
– Find peace in a hectic life style?

I created the Joyful Living program for participants to cultivate mindfulness and gratitude amidst the busy-ness of modern life.

The programme’s five themes are designed to anchor your days in the things that matter to you and bring joy into your life.

In a warm and supportive group, we will explore how to make ordinary days extraordinary.

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“You have changed my life and given me the confidence to open up and live with joy and ease. You’re an amazing coach who opens people’s hearts. Thank you!” Giacomo, Italy

For more info on the five themes, click here. For more info on the retreat, click here.

 


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Joyful Living 2: Be the change you want to see

Welcome dinner on 26 June
Workshops 27 June – 3 July

Everyone is a leader. Everyone can make a difference.

Dare to be unapologetically you and make an impact from a place of authenticity.

Learn to turn from reactive into proactive. Be a changemaker in your family, in your work, in the world.

The program’s five themes are designed to take you on a journey to remember who you have always been.

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At the end of the journey, you will own your purpose, passion and the unique footprint you leave on your environment.

For more info, click here.

 


Practical information

How to book?
Limited places available as we’ll be smaller groups of 8-10 people. Please reserve your place in advance via Julie@maitreecoaching.com.

How to arrange accommodation?
Both the retreats include accommodation. On Crete we’re being hosted in Sfakia by the wonderful Eugenia in her family home at YogaOnCrete.  

In Evia Liana and Alexis are our hosts at the Villa Averoff, a historic property set in the lush countryside of the island.
How much are the retreats?

Joyful Living I Crete: EUR600-790* (depending on type of room) including 7 nights accommodation, welcome dinner, and 6 days of workshops, breakfast and lunch.

Joyful Living II Evia: EUR685* including 7 nights accommodation in double ensuite room, welcome dinner, and 6 days of workshops, breakfast, and lunch.

* If you feel you qualify for a (Auroville!) discount, do let me know!

 

Heart Space: the magic of synchronicity

“Is it always like this or are we special?” asked one of the participants of the my latest retreat in Crete. I replied: “Both. It is always like this and it is always magical.” In the months leading up to the retreat I was observing the group coming together – some signed up months in advance, others cancelled last minute. Coincidence? Or is it a complex cosmic law that our limited understanding is (yet) unable to grasp?

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It has been two weeks since the end of the Joyful Living retreat in the remote village of Sfakia in the South of Crete. I’m still in awe of the perfect synchronicity – perhaps the best term for that complex cosmic law – that brought this group together. So are the participants who are already booking their flights for the reunion in October. One of them, a theatre producer from Zurich, writes: “I’m astonished at how open and warm we were in the group and this very quickly.” “It was a real joy to see how the group evolved into a small family in just the space of a few days!” shares Mouna, an interpreter from Paris.

The swift intimacy created after sometimes only a couple of hours is a marvel to most people attending my workshops and retreats. In my experience, connection and transformation happen when synchronicity enters the scene. Then meaningful coincidences start occurring, such as people find themselves working on a similar life purpose, or bringing an identical inspiring object to the workshop. Or I will intuitively share an experience which is deeply meaningful to one or more participants.

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To trust in synchronicity is one of the cornerstones of being a transformational facilitator and coach. My coaching school CTI calls this skill ‘dancing in the moment.’ To surrender control initially feels counterintuitive because as a faclitator you are ‘doing nothing’ but following the flow of a session. Slowly you build trust that whatever is unfolding, is exactly what participants need in that very moment. When I feel I am working hard, I now know something is wrong!

In fact the only thing to ‘do’ as a facilitator is to role model how to interact with an open heart, a sensitive spirit, a curious mind and a flexible body. Thus you give the group permission to enter into a safe space. They respond by sharing the full spectrum of their humanity. It is as if in this ‘heart space’ we can uncover the strength of our vulnerability. We recognise each other’s stories of feeling intensely alive or of sabotaging our wildest dreams. By “taking the lid off ourselves” (‘The Heart of the Buddha‘ by Chogyam Trungpa, p6) we give each other permission to relax, be present, connect with our inner self and leave our unique footprint.

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Occassionally I come across a group where the heart space is unstable. This usually indicates that one or more participants has become sceptical and closed their hearts. The crucial thing to do as a facilitator is to stay curious and avoid closing our heart in retaliation. Fear can easily make us defensive or judgemental. Yet when we stay open hearted we invite a participant to express their doubt and neutralise the impact. Mostly this is enough for the air to clear and for synchronicty to work its magic once again. I remain in awe.

Watch this space for my next piece on how flow and synchronicity are related to gut feeling.

Unwind

What will be your summer holiday reading?

I’m looking forward to relaxing soon at this beautiful spot below in YogaOnCrete. It’s so important to properly unwind and allow yourself time to recover.

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It’s actually in relaxation that we find most alertness so we can face any situation in life skillfully and with awareness.

The fifth and last theme of the Joyful Living Crete Retreat (21st-26th June, http://www.yogaoncrete.gr/en/joyful-living-retreat) is ‘Unwind – how to close your day and prepare for sleep’.

Closing your day is as important as starting it. Some people list the things they’re grateful for. I always make sure to check out the night sky — watching the moon and stars connects me to the bigger picture of life.

At least 30 minutes before going to sleep, set your devices on airplane mode. Keep your bed for sleeping and only go there once you’re ready to sleep. Set your alarm for the 7-9 hours of sleep you need plus a little extra to account for falling asleep. The more regular your sleeping, the easier your body will unwind and rejuvenate.

My body’s natural rhythm is to sleep early and wake up with the birds when a fresh new day is about to start!

Love Your Food!

Great fresh vegan meals are soon to be served at YogaOnCrete’s large communal dining table.

Join me for the Joyful Living Crete Retreat (21st-26th June).

The third of the five Joyful Living themes is Eat joyfully: how to eat what your body needs.

The food you take in makes a big difference to your day, but first make sure your food goes out! Rehydrating your body does wonders to kick start your digestion. I drink a liter and a half of lukewarm water and herbal tea every morning, ideally before starting my yoga routine.

Then it’s time to think about food! What are you craving? What does your body need? If you’re fighting a cold, add turmeric or echinacea to your smoothie. If you’re anticipating a demanding day, make a filling breakfast, like oatmeal. I mostly eat fruit and vegetables to complement the body’s nightly detox. Think of breakfast literally — better not to break your fast with a huge meal.

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Mindful Routine

I can’t wait to practice on this beautiful open air yoga platform, feel the soft breeze, the morning freshness and gaze at the deep blue sea.

Join me for the Joyful Living Crete Retreat (21st-26th June): http://www.yogaoncrete.gr/en/joyful-living-retreat

The second of the five Joyful Living themes is Mindful Routine – how to build a regular yoga and meditation practice.

It’s important to dedicate a part of your morning to a routine, such as yoga or meditation. If you prefer to potter around the house or go for a run, that’s fine too. Most importantly, create an oasis of calm so you can anchor yourself in your values, even if only for 10 minutes. If you have a family, carve out some time before everyone wakes up, or during your commute.

My own practice combines meditation and yoga. It normally lasts an hour, but I can shorten it to 30 minutes. Meditation stills my mind, and mindful breathing connects me to life’s flow. Yoga offers an opportunity to love my body. I add restorative or energizing poses according to my body’s needs. Even after sleeping restlessly, 10 sun salutes will refresh me.