Health and Yoga Holidays, Turkey
"One of the best holidays and yoga experiences I have ever had. An amazing introduction to beautiful Turkey." Magenta. More reviews.
|Location||Nr Bodrum, Turkey|
|Open||May, June, September, October |
|Activities||Yoga, massage, swimming|
|Prices||From £475/week for a single room|
|Ideal for||Yoga - Walking - Swimming - Relaxing - Turkish baths - Massage - Single travellers - Excursions - Gay friendly |
Why book through us? We have been there and to other Yoga holidays and can give you independent advice. We do not charge any extra. We provide a quick response and personalised service.
These well established and popular Yoga holidays in Turkey with experienced teachers offer a wide range of Yoga styles from Astanga and Hatha Yoga, to Iyengar or Dynamic Vinyasa Yoga. All offered in the natural setting of a seaside village, with forest and mountains as an idyllic backdrop. Small classes allow for individual attention and are ideal for beginners and the more experienced alike.
The Yoga Centre perches on a hillside on the edge of a pine forest, amongst olive and carob trees, its garden blooming with bougainvillea and geraniums.
The nearest village is approx 20 minutes' walk away – a cluster of white houses in a valley of olive, citrus and fig trees. At one end of the village there are shady tea-gardens, sunbathing jetties, bars and restaurants.
The ancient town of Bodrum is 20 minutes away by minibus.
....airport: Bodrum/Milas airport which is about 45-minute drive from the holiday centre. Conveniently, most charter flights to Bodrum are on a Monday and cost (May to Oct) between £139 and £249. Turkish Airlines fly twice daily to Bodrum changing at Istanbul. BA and EasyJet have cheap flights to Istanbul where you can take an internal flight to Bodrum. BA also flies to Izmir (from £139) from where there is an hourly bus service to the village (a 3-hour ride).
Before booking your flights please check availability and confirm your booking with us.
...swimming facilities: Gorgeous Paradise Bay is only about 10 minutes walk from the yoga centre. In the village, the beach stretches for half a mile with welcoming swimming jetties. Sea swimming is possible throughout the season (in fact, it's so warm you can swim April through to December).
...shops: There are local markets to discover on different days of the week and shops in Bodrum are open till as late as 1am as many people go promenading in the warm evenings.
...restaurants: Some of the best restaurants on the Aegean are in the Bodrum area. You can choose from local, earthy, inexpensive restaurants or others offering seductive, chic fusion cooking.
...other attractions: Walk into Bodrum – through the forest where nomadic goatherders set up their tents, across the untouched hillsides, and down a dried river bed. In the past this was the main route into town.
Venture into a hamam, the Turkish bath. Get exfoliated with a kese and have a foam massage on the marble slab. Follow this with an oil massage to feel totally relaxed. There's a complimentary minibus service from the Yoga centre.
Cruise the Aegean for a day in a traditional Gulet. Swim in otherwise inaccessible bays of crystal clear waters.
Go diving for a day, or take a Jeep safari inland to a typical Turkish village and visit carpet weavers.
Take a day trip to the marble streets, library and theatre of Ephesus, the most intact ancient city, or to Pamukkale, the white, cotton-cascade thermal spring basins, 'Aphrodite's bathing place'.
Note: All holidays run Monday - Monday and you can arrive any time after noon on the Monday. The first yoga session is usually on the Tuesday morning at 10am (following session times are decided with the teacher on the holiday). Mondays are the travelling and rest days.
NB Guests travelling on their own pay the higher price, as listed below (the cheaper price is only for those who are sharing a room with their partner or friend):
|May 6 - 13 ||Yoga and Advaita with Olga Bolshakova||£595|| £555 |
|May 13 - 20||Okido Yoga with Michael Cullingworth||£545||£495|
|May 20 - 27||Tantric Hatha Yoga with Todd Tesen & Michael Stewart||£695||£665|
|May 27 - Jun 3||Tantric Hatha Flow with Todd Tesen & Michael Stewart||£695||£665|
|Jun 10 - 17||not available|
|Jun 17 - 24||Creative Power Yoga with Fionuala Power||£595||£555|
|Jun 24 - 1 Jul||Yoga with Awareness with Ken Eyerman||£595||£555|
|Sep 2 - 9||Astanga Vinyasa Yoga with Simi Roche ||£695||£665|
|Sep 9 - 16||Hatha Yoga for EveryBODY with Susan Desmarais||£595||£555|
|Sep 16 - 23||WisdomBody Yoga with Mary McDermott||£595||£555|
|Sep 23 - 30||Asana, Pranayama, Meditation with Susan Desmarais||£595||£555|
|Sep 30 - 7||Okido Yoga with Michael Cullingworth||£545||£495|
|Oct 7 - 14||Flowing Yoga with Pervin Cullingworth||£475||£433|
Please note: programme and prices are always subject to change.
Prices include: yoga tuition, accommodation for 7 nights in a hotel with breakfast, 6 lunches and 4 evening meals*; exc flights and transfers.
One week excluding yoga classes: £345 (only for guests accompanying course participants).
£25 DISCOUNT per person if you book two months in advance or have booked for this centre before (not applicable May 21 - Jun 3).
*During yoga retreats, 6 lunches and 4 evening meals will be served at the centre. Breakfast will be at the hotel. Mondays are the travelling days so there are no yoga sessions or meals (only breakfast on the final Monday). On 2 evenings (usually Tuesday & Saturday) there is no evening yoga or dinner, and most guests tend to like to visit Bodrum.
**As a treat this year, the September holidays will also feature gourmet raw food chef Boris Lauser from Berlin who will be adding some amazing dishes to the menu and giving talks and demos.
Please remember to bring mosquito repellant, sunglasses, sun hat, protection cream, walking shoes, a torch and your yoga mat!
Most nationalities need a VISA for entry to Turkey, these can be purchased on arrival. (For British citizens it costs approx £10.)
Young children stay free at the hotels in the parents' room and are also welcome at the yoga centre (although the last bit of stoney road up to the centre is hard work with a buggy). Older children stay half price at the hotel and pay the yoga centre a small amount for food.
There is no reliable childcare facility and unless a young child has been specially trained to accompany a yogi/yogini parent it does not usually work out.
Children of about 7 to 12 are usually fine with supervision but older children may get bored. Morning practice might be OK, but they will probably want to be taken to the beach for the rest of the day.
What is being done for the environment and the local community?The yoga that is taught is a yoga of service to the community (karma yoga).
The holiday centre uses small, family-run hotels, trains local women as cooks, and employs other craftsmen and assistants from the village.
Food is bought from local markets, ensuring freshness, encouraging organic production and supporting the small farmers of the region.
Conserving water is essential as it does not rain for six months of the year. Rainwater is saved and drought-resistant plants such as cactus and bougainvillea have been used in the garden.
Waste and rubbish is recycled or composted. Solar panels are used for water heating.
The holiday centre helped to campaign successfully to preserve the local wetland area as a nature park after the local government wanted to turn it into a golf course.
"[The highlights were the] food and exercise and meeting new friends. [I came back feeling] very clear and relaxed and had lost weight, an added bonus." Lisa B, artist, Oct 11
"The yoga teacher was absolutely wonderful, the food was delicious, the hotel relaxed, the turkish bath an experience not to be missed. I feel rejuvenated in mind body and spirit." Guest, Oct 11
"A very friendly and very peaceful holiday. I feel fantastic, refreshed and will do this kind of holiday again." Joelle Alves, company director, Oct 11
"The highlights were: Yoga on the terrace overlooking the mountains and the sea; The food! Fresh, healthy, cleansing; The relaxed atmosphere... Felt fabulous on my return. My body relaxed, my mind was clearer and I had a tremendous sense of well-being. Go, without a second thought. Just go!" Claire Goodchild, National Programme Manager, Dept of Health, Oct 10
"The highlights were the beautiful house; Pervin - she's an inspirational teacher and person. ... Wish it could have been 10 days! ... The house, yoga terrace and catering exceeded my expectations and I was very happy there. Thank you." Katy Chaytor, Media and PR Officer, Oct 10
"Couldn't fault it. Lovely location, the yoga sessions were excellent and the food at the Yoga Centre outstanding. I feel inspired. Don't worry about who what where, it all falls into place." Marina W, Sep 10
"I had a really good time and would definitely recommend this for anyone on a budget." Naveed S, Jun 10
"Your service was very pleasant and courteous. Lots of help and gentle reminders were given without intrusion. On the holiday, the yoga, shiatsu, food and people were all amazing. I feel rejuvenated." Toria Lamb, nanny and student, May 10
"Your service was very helpful. The highlights of the holiday for me were the yoga (great teacher), the Bodrum Hammam, the private boat trip, and the fantastic food at the yoga centre. I felt great, very relaxed. Go with the flow.
There's lots of time to relax or do activities – even if you're on your own, you can generally link up with others." A guest, Sep 09
"The highlights were the yoga, the instructor, the yoga centre itself, the hospitality from Pervin, the food, the village, the other members of my group... I felt first class on my return." Jonathan O, management consultant, Jun 09
"Yoga and teacher: brilliant. Food: out of this world. I feel so much more confident in my yoga, Neville is a wonderful teacher and has inspired me to make yoga a bigger part of my life.
A lovely mix of people on the course who were all friendly, supportive and kind. Michael and Pervin, your hospitality was overwhelming (in a nice sense!). I also noticed you both took the time to make everyone feel special.” Katrina, Pikl.
"The course tutor was exceptional - found him very inspiring! The food was a real eye-opener! Not a sign of tofu, and delicious. I found the yoga setting a haven of peace and tranquility. So calming.”
“It has been a week that has surpassed my expectations. Pervin and her staff could not have done more to make this holiday special. The teacher was of a very high standard as well as the accommodation. New friends were made with a common bond. Highly recommended.”
“Everyone is so relaxed and easy-going. Turkish hospitality is second to none. You can’t feel stressed here.”
“I really enjoyed the atmosphere and intimacy of the experience. I’d definitely come again.”
“An outstanding week in all respects. Pervin’s hospitality is humbling. Cannot believe how lucky I was to share the course with so many lovely people. Great company, hamam and boat trip - superb.”
“I've had a great time and feel I’ve advanced in my yoga practice. Thanks for making this possible and the generous hospitality.”
“I feel so much more relaxed and at peace with the world. The holiday has been one of the best holidays
“I am going home totally refreshed and rejuvenated. It totally exceeded my expectations. Thank you for your I have ever had. I certainly hope to come back.” wonderful generosity and hospitality!”
We do not charge booking fees: you pay the same or sometimes even less than if you book direct.
We have been there and to other holidays ourselves and can give you independent advice.
We provide a quick response and a personalised service.
You will be helping us to continue spreading the word about great holidays and resorts.
About the Yoga styles and teachers
"As I see it, the only ultimate goal of all kinds of spiritual practice, including yoga, is to empty the busy brain and get our own direct experience of the true Self, which is Bliss. The non-dual truth of Advaita is that we are already the timeless and perfect Beings we seek. The river of life flows through us... I know for certain now that we are not ‘doers’... Life is just happening. If the mind is quiet we can follow this life without struggle. This is yoga that makes us become more conscious and more trustful in existence."
The morning yoga class will be a flow of mantras, mudras and asanas in turn with different types of pranayama, followed by meditation. The evening classes will include mantras, the complex of 7 pranayams and long deep meditation, followed by a short satsang on Advaita ('non-dualism').
Olga has been practising yoga with a special healing pranayama complex taught by Ramdevji for 18 years. She spends several months a year in Indian ashrams, most of the time in Ramanashram in Tiruvannamalai. She has been teaching for 10 years in her native town of Kaliningrad as well as other Russian cities, in other European countries and in South East Asia.
Michael says: "Yoga is cessation of fluctuations of the mind" says Patanjali at the beginning of the yoga sutras. Yoga means union or harmony and when your mind is at peace you can live in harmony with yourself, other people and nature.
The beginning of yoga practice is often the physical side: the desire for a body with poise and the ability to move freely, powerfully and naturally through daily life situations. This will be our starting point, practising asana to find the appropriate physical condition for whatever you want to do. Then, as we concentrate on movement and posture, breathing, energy flow and focus become clarified until we can just sit in peace and harmony.
During this yoga retreat we will practise on the terrace in the mornings. Then on 3 afternoons I will introduce you to our favourite walks across the hills and mountains of the Bodrum peninsula. On the other 3 afternoons, starting at 6 p.m., there will be pranayama and meditation.
My main yoga inspiration comes from Okido Yoga although I have studied Iyengar and love the Astanga practice. In the teaching of Japanese Master Masahiro Oki many disciplines from Zen to martial arts and oriental medicine have been blended with more traditional yoga to form a uniquely fluid and adaptable system. Within it, everyone from beginner to advanced can take each exercise to the right point for their condition and ability."
Shiatsu: Alongside yoga, Michael has been studying and practising bodywork, principally shiatsu, for 20 years in England and Japan. He is a director of the New Cross Natural Therapy Centre and teaches at the Zen School of Shiatsu in London.
Shiatsu treatments will be available on some afternoons at a special rate for course participants.
Anusara inspired Yoga with Susan Desmarais
Healing Yoga Therapy Retreat to delve deeply into body/mind/breath alignment, creating balanced energy. Through the conscious practice of yoga, bring awareness of how to balance the energy of the 7 chakras and the 5 elements in the body. Common areas of tension, limitations and chronic pain will be addressed through yoga therapy - allowing for more freedom and pranic flow in our bodies. Physical areas of focus: Feet, shins & thighs, pelvis, chest, shoulders & neck. Breathwork, meditation and group satsang will be practised daily to bring steadiness to the mind.
This retreat is suitable for anyone who would like to begin a healing foundation for their yoga practice, those who experience chronic pain and limitation of movement when practising yoga, and for teachers or bodywork practitioners who are interested in using therapeutics in their work.
Includes morning & afternoon yoga classes. Each session will feature work in asanas that gradually build from the foundation (feet) up (head). All levels welcome.
"I could feel the magic that ran through the group. I know each of us will bring home something very special, maybe even life changing." Elizabeth
Susan's background in Japanese culture and in Buddhism brings a unique perspective to her teachings in yoga. She has had many years of training and experience in classic Hatha yoga, Sivananda, Kripalu, Scaravelli, Ashtanga and Anusara. She is an Anusara-Inspired teacher, specialising in therapeutics. Years of various personal injuries and pain have inspired Susan to share yoga in a way that is uplifting, energizing, healing, and therapeutic at the same time.
Simply put, 'The Ramayana' is a cornerstone in classical yoga. A gem packed with countless lessons, the tale shares the 'song of Rama', his beloved Sita, and the great Monkey God, Hanuman. As your time together unfolds, so will this great text unfold before you offering its surprises and its secrets to guide you deeper into yourself, your practice, your yoga.
Join Todd and Michael in a week or two of serious frolic as they embody all that the Ramayana promises. Todd and Michael will weave instruction and myth alike, blending the Grace and Dynamism of Anusara Yoga with the depth and introspection of Traditional Hatha Yoga.
Each day will begin with a morning practice that includes Pranayama, Mantra and Techniques of Meditation. There will be two asana practices each day (except Thursday and Saturday when there is no afternoon practice). Both practices will have a specific focus including inversions, arm balances, hip openers, twists, and backbends. Each afternoon will be open for reflection and discourse on all things yoga.
Michael J. Stewart is a Hatha Yoga teacher with a varied background. He is known internationally as a Movement facilitator, African Drumming teacher, Choreographer and Theatre director. Michael's Yoga journey has taken him from the Jivamukti studio in New York City to study with Iyengar teachers Sharat Arora and Rajiv Chenchani in India. His teaching is inspired by the spirituality of Swami Sivananda and the deep insight of Patanjali. Michael's philosophy on teaching is: "in order to be a good teacher one must be a good student". ('Pranayama, the yogic art of breathing, leads to a control of the emotions which in turn brings stability, concentration, and mental poise.' B.K.S.Iyengar.) Michael writes, "Pranayama is one of the simplest techniques to realize that there is more to us than the body, the mind, the thoughts and emotions... In this retreat setting we will begin each day with a variety of pranayama practices, some will heat you up and others will cool you down. In this process you will begin to identify which work for you and also which can benefit you during the course of your day and practice. Each of the morning sessions will begin with surya namaskars to warm, and open your body and then we journey inwards through the pathway of the majestic life-giving breath. Once you begin to experience prana your whole perspective of this life takes on a myriad of new and evigorating colours. Be still and breathe, see what there is to see."
Enjoy practising the ancient art of yoga, a unique method for developing a healthy body and mind. The combination of asanas and breath awareness in yoga is wonderfully designed to make our body strong and supple and our mind calm and receptive.
Nick's practise is based mainly on Iyengar yoga, which emphasises precision and alignment. But he has also incorporated elements from other styles such as Astanga and Sivananda yoga.
There will usually be two classes each day of this yoga holiday. The morning session will consist of practising asanas in a dynamic and vigorous way. There will be evening practice on 4 days focussed on relaxing and restorative postures with time for pranayama (breathing exercises) and meditation.
Nick is a professional yoga teacher in London. He's been practising yoga for 15 years, teaching for 8 years and holds an Iyengar yoga teaching certificate. He has studied with the Iyengar family in Pune, India, and many other teachers, including those teaching other styles. Nick has also been practising Buddhist meditation for several years and he's a musician, performing regularly in and out of London.
Yoga is first and foremost the discipline of conscious living. When we take charge of our lives we also tap into our inner potential for happiness. The primal joy which transcends the ego or personality wells up in our hearts and infuses our whole being with vibrant energy - and life. When we are in a state full of joy and life we become a healing presence in the world . . . like a high voltage spark your happiness arches across to others igniting their inner joy.
In the morning practice during this yoga retreat we will be doing inversions, balances, twists, back-bends with the addition of meditation, pranayama and relaxation. Some challenging postures will be included, not too hard and not too easy, to keep our practice fun and fascinating. As you overcome these challenges you will give your confidence a boost and you might start wondering what other impossibilities you might overcome in other areas of your life.
Pervin has worked with great teachers such as Ana Forrest, David Swenson, David Roche, Doug Keller, Dharma Mitra and teachers of Jivamukti and Okido yoga and is very grateful to them. She has done teacher training with Ana Forrest. Now her practice follows the intelligence of Forrest yoga.
For Pervin, yoga cultivates a path towards healing and transformation. Her focus is on steering you towards your next level. She will honour the level of your practice and look for the good in it.
Astanga Vinyasa Yoga with Nawajyoti
Yoga is one the greatest disciplines of today working towards integrating mind, body and spirit. Through consistent practice horizons widen and fear lessens. The body develops an inner strength and harmony making different choices and possibilities apparent.
You will be practising ashtanga vinyasa yoga every morning. The flowing sequence of ashtanga is beautiful and allows each individual to work at their own pace. As breath and movement are coordinated so are the inner rhythms of your whole being nourished and rebalanced.
Nawajyoti has been teaching ashtanga yoga for over 17 years and has a wealth of knowledge and will be able to assist each student to deepen their practice whether you are practicing primary, intermediate or advanced series. She has studied with Sri K Pattabhi Jois, Richard Freeman, the Yoga Bharati (Yogic University) in Bihar and with Sri Sri Satyananda, the silent sage, of Chennai.
She now lives and teaches in France and also runs yoga teacher training courses in the UK.
UK-based Mark Freeth has been practising yoga for 14 years and teaching full-time for nine. For most of that time, he's been an astanga vinyasa man, but over the last couple of years he's been experimenting and playing with the practice, and looking outside of the 'astanga box', especially after having been influenced by the Kula Yoga Project in NYC and Edward Clark of Tripsichore Yoga. He eventually founded 'The Freestyle Yoga Project', focusing on encouraging students to explore further what their bodies and minds are capable of without any particular allegiance to one form of yoga or another. Mark considers his practice and teaching to be dymanic vinyasa yoga, with special emphasis on vinyasa krama - the linking of breath and movement-related postures towards a particular end - whether it be handstands, leg-behind-head or that elusive jump-back/jump-thru. All of which leads to an informal, but challenging vibe from an experienced and inspirational instructor. All are welcome, - whatever yogic discipline you come from. But bear in mind, we will be working hard. Bring an open mind, childlike courage and a sense of humour!
Hatha Yoga retreat with Petek Erim
Petek discovered yoga at the age of 16 and has been working as a yoga teacher for 11 years. Her most influential teachers have been Dona Holleman and Godrey Devereux. Since 2010 she has been studying with Chris Chavez to become an Anusara Yoga teacher. Petek says, "I am trying to keep my understanding of Yoga uncomplicated. The Asanas are an invitation to keep the body active and open so that we can to keep our perception and communication unclouded. It is possible to become sensitive mainly by being open. To try difficult poses is fun, like playing a game. Whether you can do them or not, it’s an opportunity to get to know your mental and physical boundaries. It’s a journey you take step by step. The essential thing is always to 'Be'. It’s not a case of doing it, mastering it or succeeding. It’s to 'Be'. In many ways, yoga is to live in a practice which expands the sense of Being. During this week, the work we’ll do while experiencing the riches of this world will include asana practice in the mornings and discussion, sharing and resting or meditation practice in the afternoons.” Beginners are very welcome.
Dharma Yoga retreat with Mark Kan
Mark is the first certified Dharma Yoga teacher in the UK and teaches Dharma Mittra's Shiva Namaskar Vinyasa yoga levels I-IV, for beginner to advanced. He cultivates the qualities of yoga he has learned from the teachings of his guru, Sri Dharma Mittra: humility, compassion, understanding, humour, selfless service and non violence. He believes his role is to serve and help others through the practice of yoga, enabling students at any level to overcome their fears and become steadfast in their yoga practice and in their daily life. The teachings he shares are rooted in the classical yoga tradition. Students are transformed by these simple ancient teachings, which embrace all aspects of the science of yoga from the physical to mental and spiritual levels. Mark will teach asana classes every morning and most afternoons, which will conclude with pranayama and meditation practices. There will also be an optional asana clinic in the afternoon for those wishing to work on specific parts of their practice - inversions, backbends and arm balances. The programme is open to students of all abilities, but is not recommended for anyone who has never practised any yoga before.
Jessica is the second certified Dharma Yoga teacher in the UK and teaches Dharma Mittra's Shiva Namaskar Vinyasa for beginners through to students of an advanced level. She believes her role is to help others through the practice of yoga, enabling students at any level to overcome their fears and become steady and joyful in their yoga practice and in their daily life through presence, awareness and grace. As her teacher Dharma Mittra says "each pose reflects a different state of consciousness according to the shape of the pose". The teaching she shares is rooted in the classical yoga tradition. Students are transformed by these simple ancient teachings, which embrace all aspects of the science of yoga from the physical to mental and spiritual levels. Her class is dynamic with a deep understanding of different levels and paths.
Simi Roche is a Level 2 Authorized Ashtanga Yoga Teacher with 22 years of experience teaching around the world. Simi co-directs two yoga shalas in Australia. She also brings to her practice and teaching a Masters degree in Dance from Florida State University in the USA. The way the body moves in time and space to bring about a higher state of consciousness has been her life’s work. Her classes are dynamic and challenging with teachings of how to bring our bodies deeply into the practice and our practice into our lives. Ashtanga Yoga has been popularised by the guru Sri K Pattabhi Jois who resides at the Ashtanga Yoga Research Institute in Mysore, India. Ashtanga Yoga is organised into 6 series of postures starting with the Primary Series (Yoga Chikitsa) which aligns and purifies the body; Intermediate Series (Nadi Shodhana) which purifies the nervous system; and Advanced A,B,C, and D series (Sthira Bhaga) which integrates strength with grace of movement. It links postures and breath to form dynamic sequences.
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