YOGA RETREAT IN THE DESERT
MOVE: Morocco Yoga and Meditation Retreat
Registration open for our February 2020 retreat!
Hidden away from Marrakech and located in a traditional Moroccan Berber village right in the desert overlooking the majestic Atlas Mountains you’ll find our retreat centre that will provide a wonderful environment for your yoga practice and redefine your idea of relaxation.
A multitude of corridors and courtyard paths lead to authentically-furnished, comfortable and spacious rooms. This Morocco yoga retreat invites you to enjoy pools, secret terraces, charming gardens and a myriad of secluded corners in which to relax, restore and recharge inbetween the yoga sessions. After sunset, you'll be savouring traditional Moroccan cuisine in the restaurant or on a terrace, with the snow-capped Atlas Mountains and distant lights of Marrakech as your backdrop.
Yoga in the desert is something to be experienced to be comprehended, and we can't wait to have you with us.
This yoga retreat is lead by me - Elena, the founder of Sparkling Yoga Retreats. I've been practicing yoga for over 20 years, and I've been teaching yoga for over 14. My background is in psychology, and besides teaching yoga, I lead teacher trainings, specialising in meditation courses for teachers. My work has been extensively covered in press, and I have led 85+ retreats to date. You can read about me here or meet me in person in Zurich where I teach weekly classes and city retreats.
The programme includes 2-3 classes a day, typically a morning class from 7.30-9.00, a pre-lunch guided meditation or pranayama, an evening asana class followed by an optional meditation self-practice.
This yoga retreat is open to all levels of yoga practitioners, from beginner to experienced. In each class you will be offered variations of poses that suit your level.
During this yoga retreat, you will have an opportunity to experience a variety of approaches to hatha yoga, from elemental vinyasa flow to meditation, however the main style of yoga featured in this retreat, is alignment based slow vinyasa flow. Some of the sessions will include elements of yin yoga, myofascial release, pranayama and meditation.
A part of the programme is yoga nidra (yoga sleep) meditation which has an extremely restful and restorative effect. All sessions will be adapted to the group and modifications of the poses will be offered to cater for all participants and to ensure that everyone is receiving the benefits of the practice and the individualised attention.
Programme components of this yoga retreat
- elemental vinyasa flow
- alignment based vinyasa and hatha yoga
- in-depth self-myofascial release technique
- restorative flow
- yin yoga
- pranayama / breath work
- seated meditation - guided and self-guided
- restful yoga nidra (yoga sleep) meditation in savasana
The rooms at our centre are spacious and very cosy. They are built in a traditional Berber style using fortified clay (pisé) and eucalyptus tree, featuring hand-woven textiles created by our resident textile master on the premises. Most of the rooms have their own fireplace.
Morocco’s cultural influences make for extremely diverse cuisine and we will be enjoying a rich palette of flavours in the vegetarian meals that we will be served throughout the retreat. Breakfast will be served right after yoga, lunch is a rich salad buffet by the pool and 3-course dinner will be offered at a cosy restaurant at our centre.
7.30-9.00 morning yoga practice
10:00-12:00 time for rest, nap, pool, walks in the desert, spa treatments
12:00-12:30 guided meditation or pranayama practice
12:30-14.00 lunch buffet
14:00-17.30 time for rest, nap, pool, walks in the desert, spa treatments
17.30-19.00 evening yoga and/or meditation practice
19.00-19.30 optional non-guided meditation by the fireplace in the yoga shala
A visit to the hammam is a Moroccan tradition, and you may notice signs for the hammams within the medina of Marrakech. Our hammam pool and steam bath is for guests only, giving you the space and privacy in which to relax. The massage and beauty therapist at our centre will also be on hand to provide a range of exfoliation and massage treatments using authentic Moroccan skincare products that contain indigenous herbs, fruits and oils.
POOLS AND GARDENS
With two pools (one of them heated) and a wealth of beautiful aromas, the stunning gardens are yours to enjoy.
Mazy paths lined with banana palms and orange trees lead you around the beautiful gardens. Roses, hibiscus and orange blossom bring an intoxicating delicate aroma and add splashes of colour to the garden walls. The terrace is showered in sunlight and offers stunning views of the Atlas Mountains. It’s also home to the the first of the two pools – perfect for cooling off with a quick dip, or stretching your legs with a relaxing swim.
MARRAKECH AND ATLAS MOUNTAINS
The vibrant city of Marrakech is only a 30-minute drive from our centre and on one of the days you will have an opportunity to take the complimentary shuttle minibus to the city centre and spend late morning and early afternoon exploring the colourful markets and return to the retreat centre before the evening class.
Later that week, we will also dedicate a day to an optional trip to the majestic Atlas Mountains with the local guide. The trip to Atlas Mountains will include a 2-hour transfer each way and a 4-4.5 hour walk up in the mountains and will incur an extra fee which will depend on the number of guests joining.
On that day, we only have the led morning yoga class and an optional evening self practice. You can also choose to skip the trip and relax at the retreat centre instead.
You will discover that during the month of February the daytime temperature is sunny and the temperatures can vary. It gets cold at night as we are in the desert, so you will need a variety of clothes from swimsuit to warm sweater to all-weather jacket.
The centre is 30-minute drive from the airport. We can help organise your transport to and from the airport. It would be best to arrive on the 15th of February during the day or in the evening and leave in the morning or after lunch on the 22nd (unless you prefer to give yourself more time to explore Morocco on your own before or after the retreat).
TESTIMONIALS FROM PAST RETREATS
Dear Elena, Dear Karina,
Thank you both so much for this only wonderful experience! It has helped me very much in my yoga practice with the new techniques also to practice at home and to strengthen my body and soul! The beautiful and serene setting, varied and interesting group of people, yummy and healthy food and the well balanced programme have contributed to a wholesome experience!
Your glow, fine perception, joy and light are very inspirational, special and beautiful!
Thank you so much - it has been a truly magical and wonderful sparkling yoga experience!
Thank you for an absolutely great retreat. Loved it! Elena, you are a good presenter, very skilled, lovable, kind, empathetic. I liked everything about it: the kindness and helpfulness of the staff, having a “personal” driver, the view, the surroundings and the food.
This has been such a nice break from everyday life, and I have enjoyed the calm routine. It really have given me some time to just focus on my yoga practice and just be. It has been a wonderful place to stay - the physical spaces, the friendly staff and the delicious food.
The different approach of the teachers have a good balance and I enjoyed both the focus on the flow and the more technical aspects.
Very well planned and organised throughout. Extremely well taught. Elena’s knowledge, passion, caring - lots of attention, very personal and nice - caring. Completely excellent!! I would love to come back - 10 days would be perfect.
This experience exceeded any and all expectations. The mental clarity, energy, friendships, and strength I'm taking home with me are beyond words. Thank you for enriching my life and the lives of so many wonderful individuals.
Elena taught me so much, I feel like I have come so far! Staff was wonderful, prompt and thorough. The building here is absolutely beautiful and amazing. So peaceful. I loved this retreat. I overcome my chronic insomnia. It was lovely and well needed.
I enjoy the diversity very much. Also that you are very good at building up the difficulty. I liked also that we were supposed to read a book on yoga. You instruct everything very well and it is easy to follow. I like your retreats very much and I hope you continue to organise them.
I enjoyed the diversity of the classes, the breathing techniques, explanations regarding inner organs. Elena’s instructions, kindness, voice, music. Always well prepared! Excellent.