Posted by Suus De Jong
Yoga and a glass of wine, it’s possible! Just as love at first sight is possible. And that is how working with Odyssey feels for me. I am Suus de Jong, a yoga teacher from Holland. Since 2017 I organize yoga holidays at Odyssey. A week in which yoga goes hand in hand with enjoying good food and wine, a flexible schedule and a down to earth approach.
I discovered the beautiful island of Poros many years ago as a sailor going around the Greek islands. I enjoy the fact that there is only a small population, tourism is not overwhelming and the island feels very authentic. The people of Poros make it very alive and the green nature creates a perfect place to relax and practice yoga.
A friend introduced me to the Odyssey, and so I met Katerina, Rik and their daughter Dora. The moment I entered Odyssey I felt the difference from other places. The atmosphere is definitely Greek, but the interior has trendy and modern design. In a way that translates to the wonderful menu of the Odyssey Bistro as well. Talking with all three of them, I felt their passion for Poros, sparkling energy and creative ideas. I knew I had found the perfect place to host my yoga retreats.
Last year the Odyssey and I organized six yoga holidays that were very memorable for the guests, the Odyssey crew and for me as a yoga teacher. The guests were completely pampered from the moment of arrival to departure. They were ‘culinarily surprised’ from breakfast to dinner.
I know yoga retreats are most of the time associated with strict regimes (vegetarian and no-alcohol), but we choose to offer all diets, including beer and wine if wanted. This is because I like my guests to have a ‘holiday feeling’ with freedom of choice in every way. Consequently yoga for me does not mean living by strict rules. For me it goes together with enjoying life in every possible way.
Yoga in stunning locations
Doing yoga outside in spectacular locations is one of the highlights of the yoga holiday. Not only does it give an extra dimension to the yoga, it also makes the guests see different corners of Poros. We went from yoga on rooftops with sea views to yoga on the beach, close to the monastery, between the ruins of the Temple of Poseidon and on Katerina’s farm. All the time calmed by the sounds of nature and surrounded by lovely Mediterranean smells. Of course during the entire stay we enjoyed being so close to the sea.
During the yoga retreats nothing was obligatory and much allowed. The program had fixed components but was certainly flexible. Nature determined, not only the God Poseidon, but also the natural differences between our guests, so every yoga holiday was different.
The morning classes could vary from day to day; for example strong or slow yoga. It all depended on the yoga experience and yoga preference of the participants. The most important thing was that the classes were suitable and challenging enough for all the guests.
Excursions on Poros
During the yoga holidays there was also the chance to go and explore. The free time between the yoga classes allowed a visit to the neighbouring island of Hydra or elsewhere. In addition to that Katerina hosted a historical walk through the old town of Poros. I have joined all these walks and not one was the same, since they were formed by the questions and interest of the guests. Katerina’s knowledge of Poros is huge. No question remained unanswered, whether they were about history, nature, art, cooking, shops, books or family names!
The prices in the overview are per person, but based on the assumption that two people will share one suite for seven nights. The currency is in Euro. For some activities the transfer from the airport to Odyssey is included, in those cases you can subtract 100 Euro in case you undertake the journey to Poros by yourself.
*) Prices for partners that do not participate in the program
**) Takes place when enough participants, min. is 6 persons.