Category Archives: yoga retreats

Would you live on the high-seas?

Another beautiful interview, this time with the amazing Shevonne Hunt from Kinderling Radio in Sydney. She’s found her passion and when it comes to her interviews and podcasts, you know Shevonne’s found her Dharma, her path in life, as not only her eyes, but every cell of her body sparkles. Encounters like that make me happy. Thanks Shevonne and everyone else, enjoy the short and sweet 10 minute interview.

Learn. Grow. Love.

Sunday morning writing time. FIRST readers in Malta can look forward to the September issue which will include an insight into my personal journal of crossing the Australian Outback. (Blog readers will find a copy on my Media page a few months down the track). Finishing the article, I tumble across a quote which stayed with me from a visit to one of the remote Aboriginal communities out there in the vast, red land . An obvious fact which unfortunately has become less obvious in the obscure and crazy materialistic world we live in:

We are all visitors to this time, this place. We are just passing through. Our purpose here is to observe, to learn, to grow, to love and then, we return home.

  • How to make the most of our little time on Earth;
  • Envisioning your passion, practising yoga and connecting with your dreams;
  • Bringing more clarity to your path and life;
  • Getting inspired by someone who’s stepped away from security in exchange for a life closer to her dreams than ever thought possible;

All of the above and more, you can experience at my upcoming Bali Retreat. Feeling inspired? Learn more and join the other amazing yogis from around the world who have already signed up to transform the power of your dreams into your reality.

Sailing Yoga Family at the Sydney Boatshow

These past few days, amid 5-year-old’s birthday celebrations, I’ve been busy putting together some pictures and videos for our presentation at the Sydney Boatshow next week. It’s Australia’s biggest fair on everything on and around the water, in its 49th year running, and we are very excited to be part of it. More so, I’m grateful to give back what I gave us: Six years ago Pablo and I listened to the La Barca family talking about their then recent family sailing adventure. This was the final trigger to set real milestones and make our sailing dream come true. It was real, it was life, it was raw and true – it was possible, all that’s what they stood for and if we can only inspire one other person, couple and/or family to also follow their dream, then the chaos will be worth it, of dragging a baby and two toddlers five days  in a row to Glebe Island, past boat equipment stands and try and keep them quiet on stage. If you are in or around Sydney – please come and say hi, each day 12h30 at the Hot Seat stage. Here‘s the full program.

Also in the pipeline is an interview about our family adventure which Boat Radio from Mallorca, Spain, conducted with us last night. Despite my sleep deprived, soupy brain, I think there’ll be many interesting, and a few amusing, stories and anecdotes in there and I’ll let you know as soon as it’s out. That’s it for today. Leaving you with a quote I posted years ago but which still resonates more than ever in these days of sleep-deprivation, confusion and trying to figure out what the next dream is – or if one needs dreams at all…?!

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Sail On… and Do Something nice today

Unexpected deeds of generosity are what touches people most and gives life colour, especially in moments when all colour seems to fade. Doing just one nice thing, social, environmental or other, has been in everybody’s mind through various Do Something initiatives lately. Stop the cycle of negative news!

Closer to home, during one of my post-partum days a surprise parcel brightened up my day. A lovely yogi and blog reader from the UK, Susan Sternkopf, had sent us two copies of her beautiful kids book Sail On. In fact, the short rhymes contain messages for everybody, regardless of age.

It’s been one of the boys’ favourite bed time stories and the never ending questions of, ‘Why Mummy, does the book always say ‘sail on’ after every rhyme?’, has kept the whole family wondering, and pondering, discussing – and may I go so far as to say, sometimes given us the courage to dream again when it seemed that our big dream had prematurely ended and we were lost in no-man’s land where no other adventure seemed to be tempting enough to compare with a life at sea, ‘en famille’.

Thanks Susan. You can contact her here if you would like your own copy. Let me share a couple of pictures and one of my favourite passages from the book these days:

Even getting lost can help you learn to find your way. So don’t be guided by your fears. Just inch along until the weather clears… Sail On… []

Sometimes there’ll be no wind at all. Sails will lag. You’ll think you’re stuck. Stay calm. Anothehr wind will change your luck… Sail On…

by Susan Sternkopf & Glenn Halak

Disclaimer: Susan never asked me to write this review, nor do I get any commissions on sales. It’s just a heart-felt ‘like’ which deserves a post and a thought and a smile;)

And now, what nice thing am I going to pass on today? Just making some lunch for a friend and took the neighbours’ bin in this morning. You?

Bali Yoga Retreat, April 2017

Imagine a week away from the every-day trot, worries and anxieties. Allow yourself to connect deeply with your soul, relax profoundly, let your body-mind heal, look at your life a little from the outside, be the potential that lies within.

All that in the perfect surroundings of Bali’s lush rice paddies, vulcanic hills, ancient Hindu culture, pristine beaches and most welcoming people.

Deepen your yoga practice during the strong and invigorating flow sessions in the morning. Go beyond the expected and shed deep-rooted tension during the Yin Yoga classes before dinner.

Why a week of yoga? 

Because nourishing your body, mind AND soul is not a luxury, but a necessity. Gifting a week to no other but yourself might well be the best investment in your overall health and happiness which you have made. Furthermore, it allows you not only to dig deeper into your yoga practice on the mat, but also to understand and apply the beauty of Yoga philosophy off the mat.

The change of scenery, spending some time in a nourishing, blissful environment, gives you the chance to put things into perspective and truly disconnect from the daily race. Some participants of one of last year’s retreats in Tenerife have even made up a word for the depth of truth you can reach: ‘bliss-fabulous‘.

Our Sanctuary

As usual, our venue is hand-picked amongst the most idyllic and divine retreat centres. Svarga Loka Resort, a mere 5 minute walk to Ubud’s centre – the heart of Bali’s culture and spirituality, takes its name from the Hindu epic poem. The Mahabharata describes Svarga Loka as Good Kingdom – a heavenly paradise for the Hindu Gods. That feeling is recreated on the riverbanks of the beautiful Campuhan River. Besides luxury accommodation in single or shared rooms with balcony and en-suite, the resort also includes an in-house spa with river-views, two airy yoga shalas, sparkling pools, a delicious restaurant and plenty of welcoming green spaces to meditate, relax or simply ponder the simplicity intrinsic to life’s complexities.

“Ubud is a state of mind and a beautiful state of being.”

 Bali & Lombok Lonely Planet, 2016

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Food

With a spectacular view of the Campuhan river and the lush green surroundings, the homely and laid back atmosphere of our restaurant is a relaxing place to savor the daily culinary specialties, while enjoying quality time alone or with friends and family.

Using a modern approach to cooking, our Chef is a true master at blending the incredible Balinese flavours into healthy and vegetarian dishes as well as impressing you with his creative selection of fresh juices.

Bali

bali culture.jpgNicknamed by many as the Island of Peace, Bali is renowned for its friendly people and highly developed arts, including traditional and modern dance, sculpture, painting, leather, metalworking, and music, artistic temples and religious sites and ceremonies. The island-home of Indonesia’s Hindu minority is also known for its forested volcanic mountains, iconic rice paddies, beaches and coral reefs. When tired feet need a break from exploring, there are plenty of spas on offer which allow you to let the rest of the world pass by while indulging in a complete and unforgettable pamper package.

Around eight degrees south of the equator, average yearly temperature stands at around 30°C with a humidity level of about 85%. April, May and June are the best times to come to Bali. It’s still dry season, it’s slightly less humid, many shops offer sales and promotions, restaurants are less crowded in those mid-season months, and in general Bali is a bit more relaxed. Airfares can also be more affordable around those times.

 “The Bhagavad Gita – that ancient Indian Yogic text – says that it is better to live your own destiny imperfectly than to live an imitation of somebody else’s life with perfection.”

Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love

The Yoga

epl2Yoga takes place in a purpose built room with wooden floor or in the gardens. There will be two yoga classes a day. Mid holiday there is one day with no yoga so that you can rest or explore further afield. The early morning class is followed by breakfast and the early evening class is followed by dinner.

The morning yoga session will feature invigorating, strengthening and stimulating vinyasa flow through variations of and additions to Surya Namaskars. Dini works without a pre-set schedule, but takes what there is and builds on it. One of the beauties of a yoga retreat is that it allows to spend more time on poses and areas that need particular attention or improvements. Dini doesn’t shy back to gently push her students asana boundaries. The only ‘cannot’ is in the mind and once that is dropped, possibilities are endless.

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The evening practice will be a restorative Yin Yoga session whereby seated poses are held for several minutes, letting go of any muscular tensions and alignment issues. This allows the body to release traumas in different koshas, or layers, possibly stored there for years or even decades. As the yin areas of the body like connective tissue, ligaments and bones are accessed in the serene stillness of a yin practice, we open our whole selves up to boundless opportunities. Letting go of old stresses and sorrows you no longer need, be prepared to leave this practice feeling profoundly relaxed and at peace on a physical, mental and emotional level.

Meditation, Pranayam, chakra cleanse and yogic cleansing techniques will be included in various of the sessions.

Travelling Yogini Dini M.

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Dini is an avid sailor, mother of three, freelance writer and passionate yoga teacher. She lives on a boat with her family, sails the seven seas and teaches Yoga and Ayurveda at retreats, workshops and festivals around the world.
epl1.jpgShe has been practising Yoga and meditation, on and off the mat, for over 15 years. Fitness and dance teachings turned towards yoga many years ago. Her continuous studies of Ayurveda, work as Doula, passion for wholesome nutrition and holistic approach to motherhood all influence her teachings. Whilst many great teachers including Iyengar, Shiva Rae, Simon Borg-Oliver, Amanda Fuzes, Cam Storey, Clive Sheridan and Vipassana’s Goenka to name but a few have left traces and inspiration in Dini’s practice, her toughest teachers are her children. They play a transformational role in the journey of taking yoga beyond the mat and into a happier and healthier life. Old yoga scriptures are also a resource she often draws back upon.
H is for Happiness (27)Often pranayam, mudhras, bandhas and kryas make their way into her classes and give students a whole new angle to approach movement, breath and life. Her subtle, Reiki and Thai massage influenced adjustments have created a name for themselves and can aid major shifts in body, mind and soul.

Be prepared for more than a normal yoga holiday. Transformation and change are the only constants in life. Dini’s authenticity and aliveness, coupled with a great love and passion for teaching, has inspired many yogis and others around the world to also dare living the life that they dream of.

Program

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What past participants have to say

An incredible journey, inside and out. On top of great yoga, Dini’s spirituality and healing touch have shoved all my worries away.

A perfect blend of spirituality, fun, warmth, challenges and real and deep relaxation.

Loved the balance of Vinyasa Flow in the morning and restorative Yin Yoga at night.

Thank you for being such a great inspiration!

Your aura makes the classes special for me.

Have loved the yoga all week and enjoyed all the extras: Full moon ceremony, chakra cleanse, trataka and learning from your vast knowledge on Ayurveda and Yoga philosophy. You are warm, generous and uplifting. I have totally enjoyed myself. I am not sure I would have got through the week without you. Not only through words, but your compassion in touch is so healing.

Thank you for sharing your amazing journey with everyone. ….you are like a breath of  fresh air and absolute peace and calm in this frantic, but incredible world we all live in !

A true earth mother and beautiful soul.

Amazing attitude: Warm, friendly, accessible and available with a beautiful voice.

Phenomenal group of people and non-judgemental environment: Dini, every time you attract the best.

Prices & Travel details

Price:  US$1,095 pp shared; US$1,395 pp single

£855 pp shared; € 1,085 pp single

A$1,545 pp shared; A$1,965 pp single

Included

  • Daily yoga: Vinyasa flow (am) & Yin Yoga (pm) with travelling yogini, Dini Martinez, & one day off mid-week to explore further afield
  • 7 nights in luxurious rooms (single or shared) with ensuite and balcony in our heavenly Sanctuary, Svarga Loka, by the river – only 5 min walk from Ubud’s centre
  • Daily vegetarian breakfast and five delicious, locally sourced vegetarian dinners – – vegan and gluten free options also available upon request
  • Session on Ayurveda and powerful yogic cleansing techniques for everyday life
  • Introduction to Acro-Yoga – a fun combination of yoga, Thai massage and acrrobatics
  • Moon ceremony opening our souls and immense potential towards life’s boundless opportunities
  • Healing chakra cleanse to realign our subtle energy centres
  • Super soothing Yoga Nidra, plus different types of meditation and pranayam every day
  • Plenty of opportunities to expand your knowledge on Yoga Philosophy, mudhras, bandhas and asanas
  • Optional extras: Massages and other treatments, excursions, adventures, hiking, snorkling, divings, sailing and more

Not included – Flights, insurance, transfers, treatments, lunch and snacks
Flights – There are daily flights to Bali (DPS) from various airports around the world. Skyscanner.net is a great way to start your search and compare fares.
Airport Transfers – Your transfer can be organised for you. Total journey time is about 90 minutes. For US$45 our Resort can organize the transfer for you. You can also share the car and cost with another retreat participant arriving around the same time.

Singles, couples, beginners, advanced – all welcome!

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Join the Retreat

To book your place or for further questions, contact Dini at Dini@SailingYogaFamily.com.

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First Christmas back on land

Today doesn’t only mark our first Christmas Eve back home in 2.5 years, but also one month since leaving London for Sydney, since putting a final line under the long-term sailing chapter with little kids and shifting the focus onto new projects, since trying to readjust our systems from sailors’ lives to landlubbers. Needless to say that it hasn’t been easy and, not surprisingly, it’s not the things you expect, but those you don’t that shake your life like in a pepper grinder and spit it out – somewhat different at the other end.

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After thirty days I finally get the feeling that my Soul has arrived too. Souls never travel at plane speed, but cruise at a more natural rhythm. While waiting for it to arrive, all the ‘visible’ things in life went the best course we could have dreamt off: Week 1 – Pablo got his old job back, I started booking in some yoga classes, we felt super warmly welcomed by our great community here in Sydney. Week 2 – half of us came down with a nasty gastro virus, leaving us depleted, but also somewhat calm, cleansed and ready for a fresh start with no old nostalgia, resentment or even anger sticking around. Week 3 – bought a massive family car with huge boot for camping or extra seats, bought an new red Vespa to honour the good old times and moved from our initially fabulous city apartment into more-our-style beach pad with garden in Bondi. Week 4 – prepped for Christmas setting up a little tree with the boys etc, re-signed up to local libraries, re-launched our parenting support payments (300$/year for single income families – TA, is this a joke???) sent out invites to our no-stress Christmas day BBQ (anyone who’s around and didn’t get it – pls come anyway!), enjoyed more fun time with old friends and started cooking my Dini-style healthy food again which is big part of really making me feel that I have arrived.

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Throughout all this there wasn’t only the internal cleanse from the gastro, but also lots of emotional, energetic and spiritual cleansing through various old and new fabulous experts I realized I had missed throughout our year’s at Sea more than I would like. Reluctantly I admit that there is a whole plethora of advantages to land-life that constant travelling at Sea can’t get you:

Having the best chiro, midwife, energetic cleanser, massage place, Ayurvedic clinic, yogi inspiration and much more at hand whenever needed; the easiness of knowing exactly where to go to find things like the freshest and cheapest box of coconuts, the most amazing food – from Asian, to South American, African… you name it, Sydney’s got it!; the best beaches at your door step (ok, to be fair that, we had on the boat too); friends to hang out with without having to say farewells; washing machine, dish-washer AND what seems to me like a massive fridge; more structure for the kids which they love and which gives us more free-time to ourselves; no freak-outs when they are playing hide-and-seek knowing that they can’t have dropped in the ocean but are merely in the wardrobe or garden; all that SPACE!!!; the easiness of living in a house (no water tanks, pipes, thru-hulls and battery states to worry about)… Sure there’s also the not so enjoyable things of city life like stressed people, bills and – well, no sailing views etc – as well as the more ridiculous things, like three RBTs (Random Breath Tests by road-side police) in less than 24 hours.

 

It goes without saying that I have many moments of missing Happy Dancer, the amazing places we saw, delicious people we met on the way, dolphins who I could talk to for ours on our bow, exhilaration of constant adventure… But having done it once, it has left me completely calm, knowing exactly what to do when the urge gets too strong again. I got my eyes on the Pacific in ten years – either by myself then, or in a massive boat with a whole bunch of friends as community living was always part of my big dream and I so, so, so rejoice being back with and right in our old and amazing community. Also it’s not fair to expect everything from your partner, while isolated at sea, and that’s what you are forced to do when there are no friends, nor constant social support network around – and that’s what’s been a big part of our journey, in going, in being there, and in coming back. Now it’s time for wonderfully normal Christmas times, Aussie style – with BBQ, friends and beach time. Namaste, tranquil and peaceful Christmas days and a 2016 full of dreams to dream and reams to live!

Tenerife Yoga Retreat – a Video Review

Time flies and over two weeks back into our new old Sydney life I still believe my prediction is true: Within a month we’ll have our old ‘stable’ life back. It’s amusingly mindblowing how hard it is to cut your ties and sail off into the sunset like we did 2.5 years ago – and how incredibly easy it is to drop back into the system. It is made for it and our society wants robots – not free spirits. As such in fifteen days we’ve found ourselves a house, a massive family car to prepare for the new addition next year, a red Vespa, the related insurances, a pushbike, a phone contract and several bits and pieces of furniture and the like.

This is for all the many mails I get through this blog fearing the loss of ‘stability’ and ‘real life’! If you’ve grow up with it, they (or the illusion thereof) will always be there for you!

Despite a five day involuntary cleanse due to a nasty city virus our pure ocean systems aren’t used to anymore, I managed to put together this five minute video review of my last retreat in Europe a couple of weeks before we returned to Australia. Looking at the blissful moments in sunkissed Tenerife, the fun evenings, the ceremonies and fantastic yoga vibes, remembering the lovely participants and stunning retreat location it feels like a second and yet a lifetime ago that the Sydney skyline didn’t form part of my life. Time is such a funny thing. Enjoy! and even better, stay tuned to soon-to-come updates on next November’s Yoga Retreat in Bali.

The bad news is time flies. The good news is, your are the pilot!