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, Kundalini, 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 Hatha 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, with the yoga teacher of the week, are great for people who would like to deepen their yoga practice or work on a yoga routine 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.
We welcome Jess Cover, from the USA, to our team for the first time this year to teach from May 14th to 27th in Casperia and then at our Sperlonga retreats for the next two weeks.
Jess has been practicing Ashtanga-style, Vinyasa, Yin and Core Fusion Yoga for more than twelve years. Since her first class in 2001, she has developed an abundance of awareness in the philosophy and art of this great science. She is also a certified Reiki master, and is certified in Reflexology, Chi Nei Tsang and a variety of holistic massage techniques.
After graduating university in 2009 with honours in Alternative Medicine, Jess continued her studies of yoga in Costa Rica, Thailand and the USA. She has also volunteered with several organisations, including Habitat for Humanity, teaching English, cleaning up beaches and local villages and mentoring mentally challenged orphan children in Peru, Argentina, Taiwan, the Philippines and Morocco.
Jess continues to practice Flow, Yin, Core Fusion and Vinyasa yoga every day and teach in various styles.
Lisa Quish, from Ireland, returns to teach with us from May 28th to June 3rd and September 10th to 23rd.
Lisa's Mum taught yoga in the seventies - there was always a sticky mat on the kitchen floor, in front of the fireplace or in the back seat of the car - so it is not surprising that the legacy was passed on, like a family recipe. It was not until her early twenties that she started practicing regularly and not until she went on a retreat to Italy for the first time, in 2004, that she was inspired to follow the teaching path.
In 2007 Lisa completed a 200-hour teacher training course with Dave Curtis who qualified with Chuck Miller and Matty Ezraty of Yoga Works. She continued her studies with Yoga Therapy Ireland and has completed a 500-hour programme in Dublin under the guidance of wonderful teachers like Jodie Rufty, James Higgins and Ciara Cronin.
Lisa was drawn to yoga, as a unique system of study and practice that integrates seamlessly into all areas of life; recognising and accommodating many different needs, life stages, cultures and personalities. I trust in the power of Yoga as the supreme teacher, inviting us through a 5,000-year-old practice of asana, pranayama and mediation to explore through the body, mind and spirit our true nature.
She says "I endeavour to bring a balance of learning and lightness to my classes, offering all students an equal amount of space and attention so they can discover the freedom and discipline that a well-balanced and joyful practice brings."
Gina De Roma, from California joins our team for the first time to teach from June 4th - 10th and 11th - 17th.
Gina is a registered yoga teacher with over fifteen years' experience in yoga and the healing arts. She teaches a breath-centred, fun and flowing style of yoga, always encouraging modifications and an awareness of the present moment. She can design a personalised yoga flow, specific to each individual or group's experience, fitness level and interest, from the most challenging Ashtanga series or vigorous Vinyasa Flow to the gentlest restorative slow-deep-stretch or soothing meditation.
Born and raised in Southern California, Gina has studied with renowned yogis such as Astrid Kastenberg, Bryan Kest, Govindas, Gurmukh, Denise Kaufman and others. She is schooled in Ayurveda, Herbalism and Guided Meditation. She has also trained in Kabbala Somatic Technique, a healing modality based on the ancient practice of Kabbalah, and has achieved the highest level of study; KSM.
As an experienced massage therapist who has worked with athletes, entertainment professionals, medical professionals and moms, Gina brings her extensive knowledge of the body's systems to her yoga classes.
Gina writes the weekly blog The Philosopher's Spoon and is the author of two books, The Philosopher's Spoon: Food and the Transformative Power of Gratitude, as well as Cooking & Mysticism: Year One of the Philosopher's Spoon Blog.
Charlotta Granqvist, from Sweden, joins us again to teach from June 18th to July 1st.
Lotta has been teaching since 2007, having learned Hatha and Iyenger yoga in Thailand and India and Cranio-sacral Healing and yoga in Costa Rica. She realised how much yoga could help the body and mind to heal while working as a physiotherapist in Sweden and wanted to go deeper into therapeutic yoga in her daily work with patients at a centre for people with eating disorders. She also teaches regular yoga classes at a studio in Sweden.
Her yoga varies from a soft mindful Hatha yoga to a more physical Vinyasa Flow with a strong focus on your breathing and how your breath can help you. She is very dedicated to her clients, and loves helping people to feel good in mind and body!
Sarah Eyde, from New York City joins our team to teach from 2nd - 8th and 9th - 16th July.
Sarah is a senior level yoga teacher of ISHTA Yoga (Integrated Science of Hatha, Tantra, Ayurveda) and has been teaching for over ten years in New York City. Dancing since the age of eight, she went on to receive professional classical ballet training from the University of Iowa. A passion for understanding and communicating the transformative effects of mind-body work led her to complete the 500-hour certification in HATHA Yoga in 2006. She continued to augment her knowledge with certifications in Restorative Yoga from OM Yoga in 2008; Marma Therapy from ISHTA Yoga in 2009; and most recently Vipassana Meditation (Level 1) from OM Yoga in 2011. Sarah studies meditation with Alan Finger in NYC.
Her classes couple together a lovely flow of the breath with detailed alignment. Pranayama (breathing technique) is taught in preparation for meditation before Savasana. Sarah clearly and articulately weaves yogic philosophy, and Chakra methodology throughout her classes, linking the work to a higher purpose: connecting to one’s own innate spirituality. All aspects of Sarah’s class unite to allow each practitioner to awaken to the present moment from the position of his or her true nature.
She finds it incredibly rewarding to observe her student’s shift in consciousness; when they’ve found and learned to trust the still, quiet voice within.
Paola Piozzi, from Rome, returns to teach from July 16th - 22nd.
Fascinated by the yogic universe since she was a teenager, Paola started to study Hatha yoga in Rome, at the same time developing her interest in meditation techniques.
Upon 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 mainly focused 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.
Heidi Pasqual, from the UK, joins us our teaching team for the first time to teach from July 23rd - 29th and July 30th - August 5th.
Heidi's twenties were dedicated to exploring our exquisite world, discovering the natural wonders of Africa, Latin America and Asia and the cultural colour of Europe. She married her Peruvian husband in the Andes of Peru, and returned home after a decade of exploring. Her thirties have been a very different kind of journey; an inner journey; "Yoga has offered me a world beyond this world, the bliss of an ocean’s sunset on a cold, cloudy day and love’s forever open arms. I fell head of heels in love with Yoga and immersed myself in its bliss. My lifestyle, my job, my health and my insights gently evolved, as my yoga path deepened."
Since 2009 she Heidi has immersed herself in the study of yoga and Svadhyaya, completing B.W.Y and Yoga Alliance accredited teacher training and Vinyasa Flow diplomas and working at Ibiza Heaven with other inspirational yoga teachers.
Heidi teaches an energetic Vinyasa Flow style of yoga, blissfully infused with the grace of asana, flowing through breath towards a soft, meditative mind. Her classes are designed for beginner and intermediate levels, with a careful balance of asana, pranayama (breath awareness) and meditation, to cultivate and enhance the yoga potential in each individual. Her students develop strength, flexibility and poise, creating a sense of lightness within and without and gently returning to an inner space with peace, clarity and calm.
We welcome Julie Bolitho-Lee back to teach from August 13th thru' September 9th.
Julie began practicing yoga in 2004 when she was diagnosed with thyroid cancer at the age of nineteen and she realised a disconnect existed between her mind, body and spirit. While originally from northern Michigan in the United States, she has lived in Oxfordshire, England since 2007.
Julie's yoga practice flourished after discovering Kripalu yoga; a form of yoga that utilises meditation, breath-work (pranayama), yoga postures (asanas) and relaxation to help develop an integrated mind, body and spirit. Kripalu yoga 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. It can range from gentle to vigorous, and can be practiced by, as well as benefit, anyone.
Furthermore, Julie is a trained aerial yoga teacher and Thai yoga massage practitioner. She greatly enjoys sharing the practice of Thai massage, both in offering it to clients and teaching them how to offer it to others. She has further interests in Acroyoga and Partner Yoga.
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.
We welcome Claire Trundell, from Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire, back to teach with us from September 24th - 30th.
Claire first discovered yoga in her early twenties and has experienced many different styles including Scaravelli, British Wheel, Ashtanga and Iyengar. In her early practise she was drawn to Iyengar yoga for alignment and discovering depth in the postures. Later she explored the freedom and possibility of Vinyasa yoga, sequencing poses together using the breath.
Claire was in her mid-thirties when she was inspired to teach, wanting to share with others her love of yoga and the peacefulness that it can bring to the heart and mind. Her teaching combines her love of all these styles offering a revitalising yet restorative practise. She trained with the acclaimed Anne-Marie Newland and has furthered her training with inspirational teachers such as Jeff Phoenix, Kino McGregor, Graham Burns, Mark Freeth and the author of the Bandha yoga books, Ray Long.
She has taught in the UK and Australia with all levels of ability from beginners to advanced, teaching private students, groups, corporate classes and frequently running workshops.
Claire says "I have a deep respect and passion for various styles of yoga and bring this into my practice and teaching. I have practised Scaravelli, Iyengar and Vinyasa yoga which enables me to have a versatile teaching style, adapting the pace of my classes to the needs and ability of the students."
Daniele Piserchia, from Italy, returns to teach throughout October this year.
Daniele has been a daily practitioner and teacher of Daoist yoga know as Sundao for three 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.
Please revisit this page for updates,
including teachers for our Costa Rica yoga retreats.
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.