Sunflower Retreats Holidays yoga classes are suitable for beginners as well as more practiced yogis.
Best yoga classes ever. I learned so much!
We practice in a stunning location on a hilltop, blending-in perfectly with the setting. Our yoga style is non-competitive with a down-to-earth approach, created by Sunflower Retreats founders and followed by all our guest yoga instructors. Our way of choosing our yoga teachers is unique: we expect them to be humble, genuine, non-judgmental and spiritual in their approach to their teaching, as all true yogis should be.
Our teachers teach a variety of Hatha yoga methods such as Iyengar, Satyananda, Sivananda, Vinyasa Flow, Anusara, Astanga and Yin Yoga.
Classes are held in English, on Friday through Tuesday from 08.00 to 09.30, before breakfast, with some yoga classes throughout the week outdoors in spectacular surroundings when the weather is suitable. Morning classes sometimes start at 08.30 early or late in the season.
Optional Extra Yoga Classes
For those who would like the opportunity to practice more yoga, optional one-hour afternoon yoga and meditation classes are available Friday, Monday and Tuesday and cost €10.
We also offer a two-hour workshop each Saturday, in yoga, meditation and other related subjects costing €20 per person. We'll cover subjects such as Yoga Nidra, Yin Yoga, Chakra meditation & balancing.
Our yoga deck
Outdoor yoga classes take place on our platform which is located in an oasis of green inside the village walls. It's a beautiful and serene environment, with dappled sunlight and the sound of birdsong all around.
The yoga room was lovely and so was the platform outside in the garden. Truly a magic environment for yoga. I didn’t want to leave!
A. Jordan, Ireland, 2012
Our yoga studios
When we choose to practise yoga indoors, we use our own professionally designed and restored 40 square-metre studio, which has a wooden floor, a fresh water spring and an ancient cave as a bathroom.
For larger groups, we also have a 50 square-metre professional yoga studio which has panoramic views, coconut carpeting and central heating for the winter months.
What Our Yoga Holidays Cover
The classes taught cover the physical teachings of Hatha yoga with emphasis on the spiritual aspects of the yoga tradition. We emphasise that yoga is not a sport and that it's important to not be competitive with yourself or others. Each yoga class is a holistic practice - a time to connect to your body, mind and inner self.
(Read more about founder Lucy Bremner's approach to yoga »)
Your yoga class includes:
■ Asanas (physical movements)
■ Pranayama (breathing practices)
■ Meditation (stilling and calming of the mind and inner self)
■ Relaxation (complete mind, body relaxation)
Individual Yoga Lessons
This has been the most magical and fulfilling holiday I have ever given myself. I have learnt the true essence of yoga.
Terri, USA, 2003
Individual tuition is also available, with one-to-one yoga lessons in Asana, Pranayama, Meditation and Relaxation. These private classes are great for those people who would like to deepen their yoga practice or work on a yoga routine specifically for their individual requirements.
Sunflower Retreats' Yoga Teaching Team
All of our teachers are required to have undertaken no less than two years training so that we do not rely on 'fast-track' yoga certification.
Paola Piozzi, from Italy, returns to teach with us from 10th - 23rd July.
Fascinated by the yogic universe since a teenager, Paola started to study Hatha Yoga in Rome, at the same time developing her interest in meditation techniques.
On moving to Brussels, she continued her studies in yoga with Willy Van Lysebeth and later she attended the yoga teacher training course under the guidance of André Van Lysebeth, internationally well appreciated.
She travelled several times to India to deepen her knowledge in the yogic discipline following the Sivananda and Satyanada tradition, also attending specialised courses, focused mainly on Yoga Therapy and relaxation practices for stress management.
She has been teaching yoga since 2002, leading beginners and advanced classes, as well as individual sessions, with a special regard for breathing awareness and inward perception, also achieving experience in teaching gentle Yoga for Seniors and Yoga for Pregnancy.
Steve Shorney, from the UK, will join us again to teach from 24th July to 13th August.
Steve is the founder of a vibrant and popular yoga centre and café in Godalming, Surrey UK. Yoga has occupied his life for about fifteen years, in which time it has balanced the stress of running a business and kept him healthy and content: he has not worked with Madonna or Sting or any other famous yogis, but he has travelled and studied in India and elsewhere with yogis from whom he has learned a great deal.
Steve's practice began with Buddhist meditation, and is influenced by Vanda Scaravelli. Mindfulness and breathing are central to his practice and teaching. Formally qualified in the Sivananda tradition, Steve takes inspiration for growth from a variety of sources, even blending Tai Chi with more traditional Hatha forms including Yin yoga. He does not subscribe to teaching by rote or manuals, but tries to offer students something of what he has learned from experience. His classes are tailored to take into account the student or group’s needs and abilities.
Julie Bolitho-Lee, originally from the USA but now living in Oxford, will join our team to teach from 21st August to 3rd September.
Julie has been practicing yoga since 2004. Her practice began when she was diagnosed with thyroid cancer at the age of nineteen and she realised a disconnect existed between her mind, body and spirit.
Her yoga practice flourished after she discovered Kripalu yoga; a form of Hatha yoga using inner focus, meditation, standard yoga poses, breathwork, "development of a quiet mind", and relaxation. Kripalu emphasises "following the flow" of prana, or "life-force energy", compassionate self-acceptance, observing the activity of the mind without judgment, and taking what is learned into daily life. Kripalu yoga can be either vigorous or gentle and can be practiced by, as well as benefit, anyone.
Julie was trained by Devarshi Steven Hartman, Megha Nancy Buttenheim, and Jovinna Chan at the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health in the United States. She has a BA from Alma College and a Master's degree in Literature and Medicine from King's College London. She is also a 2005 Truman Scholar and an internationally published poet.
Julie has a passion for teaching and aims to bring love and offer grace to all of her students.
McKenna Rowe, from the USA, will join our team to teach from 4th - 17th September.
McKenna caught the 'yoga bug' as a little girl, watching Lilias Folan on PBS. She has led an active life running, hiking, biking and snowboarding and once was a nationally ranked equestrian.
After years of working in the digital industry for clients such as Disney, NBC and the National Institute of Health, she took a sabbatical to acquire yoga teaching certification. A desire to help people heal soon followed.
McKenna owned and operated East Hollywood’s Chakra 5 yoga studio throughout 2011, creating a vibrant community on and offline, but decided to shift the business to a mobile model. Now her mobile team brings yoga classes on site and by appointment to companies, schools and organizations all over greater Los Angeles.
McKenna was certified in Hatha/Kundalini yoga in 2009 and has additional teacher training in Experiential Anatomy and Restorative Yoga with master teacher Judith Lasater. Also a successful TV composer and musician, McKenna often shares cutting-edge music during classes to enhance your practice. Her approach to yoga is practical, demonstrating how pranayama, meditation and asana techniques can be applied to successfully manage real-world challenges. McKenna has been featured in the LA Times, Los Angeles Confidential, LA Yoga Magazine and VitalJuice.com.
Lisa Quish, from Ireland, joins us again to teach from September 18th to October 8th.
“My mom taught Yoga in the seventies; there was always a sticky mat on the kitchen floor, in front of the fire place or in the back seat of the car so it is not surprising that the legacy was passed on, (like a family recipe that gets handed down over time). It was not until my early twenties that I started practicing regularly and not until I went on retreat to Italy (for the first time) eight years ago that I was inspired to follow the teaching path.”
Lisa gained certification in 2007 and completed a 500-hour Yoga Therapy post-graduate qualification in 2012, under the guidance of wonderful teachers like James Higgins, David Curtis, Shandor Remete, Shiva Rea and Jodie Ruffety. As well as classical Hatha she brings elements of Vinyasa Flow, Iyengar, Shadow and restorative yoga.
“As a committed yoga practitioner and teacher my style is ever-evolving in an attempt to recognise and honour the multiple layers of yoga. As I explore, I play with ways to mindfully sequence the practice to best help my students to navigate their way through the peaks and troughs of life, physically and emotionally, offering tools to live in a way that best supports our human experience.”
Daniele Piserchia, from Italy, will teach between 9th October and the end of our season this year.
Daniele has been a daily practitioner and teacher of Daoist yoga know as Sundao for two years. His background includes intensive training at the prestigious mountain Buddhist monastery called Magoksa in Gong Ju, South Korea.
Daniele has also studied many holistic spiritual methodologies and various approaches to meditation and channelling and brings his own unique wealth of knowledge and experience to his classes and lectures.
Daniele’s in depth understanding of Daoist Yoga along with his creative talent and personable charm makes his classes a very healing and rejuvenating experience.
Daniele has a passion for the Yoga science and has regularly attended yoga and meditation classes at Sunflower Retreats in Casperia as he also has also worked, in the past, as General PR and Retreat Manager at the centre.
Daniele is an articulate and knowledgeable teacher whose authenticity makes him accessible to students.
Lucy Bremner, co-founder of Sunflower Retreats, from London, has been a holistic practitioner in the UK and worldwide since 1988. She specialises in a wide range of body work, therapies and energy and spiritual balancing treatments such as Chakra Balancing and Reiki.
Lucy was drawn to the practice of Hatha Yoga and the yoga philosophy while studying holistic therapies professionally in London in 1989. In the late 80's and early 90's, then in her twenties, she travelled independently in Nepal, India, Thailand, Indonesia, Bali, Australia, New Zealand, Sudan and the USA, where she broadened her studies of yoga, Eastern philosophy and the healing arts, including the American Indian tradition and philosophy.
Lucy is a qualified Holistic Therapist and international yoga teacher, accredited with a distinction in her final examinations with Friends of Yoga - a society and examination body for yoga in the UK and India which is recognised by Yoga Alliance as an international yoga school. Over the last twenty years she helped hundreds of people with healing therapies and with yoga instruction, either through her yoga classes and treatments, or through all she has coordinated in the yoga and healing section at Sunflower Retreats' centre in Casperia. Her interests also include Shamanism, Astrology, art and the study of the sacred and divine feminine.
Lucy offers one-to-one healing yoga sessions for those looking for a transformational healing experience of yoga. Her yoga classes also include oracle card readings to help you find your life path and help with any questions you may have. Private classes are available most weeks within the season and can be booked on arrival.
Lucy's yoga classes are holistic and grounding, fusing the elements of Ying and Yang, yoga asanas and practices to bring balance (union) to the body, mind, emotions and spirit. She loves to share and communicate the ancient knowledge of Western and Eastern traditions through the healing power of yoga and meditation, both in her classes and her treatments. She is a gentle teacher, encouraging and supportive in her teaching and holistic therapy work.
A mother of two children born by natural childbirth methods, she also teaches pregnancy yoga and preparation for natural birth.
Lucy will lead yoga sessions at Sunflower Retreats on weeks when there are no guest teachers, however she and her husband Alan may not always be at the Retreat Centre during your week. (Don't worry, our staff are fabulous too!). Lucy also teaches the 2 year part-time Yoga Teacher Training courses at Sunflower Retreats.