Ashtanga Yoga Retreat in Finland
Kadermo, Hangö - Ashtanga Yoga Retreat in Finland
I landed in Helsinki, took the train, then car, then boat over to Kadermo, Hangö in the Finnish archipelago for 10 day ashtanga yoga retreat.
In december I felt that I needed to spend some time on my own and figure a few things out, as my "spiritual journey" got distracted by every day life and work-related themes. These 10 days were absolutely fantastic, we stayed in a wooden villa which belonged to the Yoga teacher Stefan Engström, and we began the morning with 1-2 hours yoga asana practice, then had the traditional Finnish washing sauna and brunch our first meal, then a break & free-time before the afternoon session which contained learning pranayama and consciousness yoga practice. The day ended with Stefan telling us more about the practices and sharing this model of yoga philosophy and spirituality. After that we had our evening meals and free-time, with chatting, watching a movie, or just hanging out.
All meals were vegetarian and we experienced a very healthy and magical existence on the island. The landscape was great and we were lucky with bright sunny days in the cold frosty weather. The participants were lovely persons from age 30-52 and 2 dogs, and it was so great to be there with such open persons and joyful interactions.
On new years eve, we had tarot card reading (by one of the participants) and had lots of fun, before doing a midnight chakra cleaning session!
Overall I must say it has really effected me in a very positive way and I will continue to practice the yoga techniques I have learned, as well as understand and live the spiritual aspects of it. It seemed like so carefree and relaxed that most of the participants would liked to have stayed longer on the island! Leaving the island on sunday became a final contest (like a tv-soap robinson mission), as the ice had gotten thicker we could leave it with the boat to Hangö, so we had to take a very small boat across the ice over to another island, then hike ca 3 kms with our luggage, take another very small boat across the ice and then we could leave with cars towards Helsinki.
During these trips I experienced the notion of being at home, so it seems like for me nowadays home is wherever I feel comfortable, relaxed and connected to a physical space or persons.
Photos from the island. The dog on the photos was my companion on my walks during the stay but belongs to another person.