Exclusive Yoga Retreat on Ibiza with Liz Warrington
We love Ibiza for going clubbing, summer sun, its crazy beach vibes, outdoor sports and…yoga, of course! Claudia Peifer chats to Liz Warrington about her Scaravelli-inspired yoga practice during a super exclusive retreat at a private location on the island, near the artist’s village of Santa Gertrudis. The location with its ’Tower of Tranquility’ is utterly beautiful, a very special spot indeed to go on a journey within.
Scaravelli-inspired yoga is all about awakening the spine, going with the body and energise by exploration. Poses come more from within, by listening to our bodies, rather than a planned regime of poses. Vanda Scaravelli’s teachings are based on 3 precepts: The Earth and the support it provides, The Breath in its most natural form and The Spine with its potential to elongate and support the body. Her method is often described as counter-cultural, in the sense that it is a lot freer, because it’s not so pose-orientated and more about the undoing of things, finding your own rhythm and rest within the exercise by deepening awareness.
This in return affords change of unwanted habits, allowing for space to be created in the body, coming into the present moment in time and finding yourself in a place of choice. Since this is a more exploratory practice, the outcome of it, trailing healing in its wake, is often surprising for the person practicing it! All you need to do is open up and let the journey begin…
Liz Warrington Retreats – lizwarrington.com
In her quest, to find out what it is to be human and to truly be alive, Liz Warrington went on an intriguing journey: she herself has been taught by Scaravelli’s long time student Diane Long, began teaching in 1995 and has since continued her body explorations by training in biodynamic cranial therapy at the Karuna Institute in Devon. Liz is curious to get to the root of what she is ’seeing’ in the bodies’ of her students: the vibe she gets, the energy that transcends, as the human body is a wondrous thing, with its incredible capacity for healing, re-alignment and being able to find a renewed balance with yoga practice.
Scravelli-style yoga appealed to Liz instantly, as the approach Scaravelli developed appeals to the feminine in all women, based on ‘deep listening, going with and waiting to be moved by the life-force from within’. She felt, that for her, this gentle focus of lowering one’s armour offered a new flexibility, open-ness and strength. Her students feel they can relate and come to her for her guidance and inspiration on this altogether gentler path, promoting awareness and awakening the spine.
So, power-yoga or Ashtanga fans might not be in the right place here, but Liz has definitely been able to create a loyal following over the years, as her teachings really appeals to women. And not just students, as yoga teachers themselves attend her retreats to gain inspiration. Liz is a committed teacher, who considers it more than just a blessing to be part of other people’s lives on their journey to greater self-acceptance and self empowerment during her workshops, weekends and yoga holidays and retreats.
These retreats take place in carefully selected, stunningly beautiful locations: with a daily practice schedule (including downtime), and a vegan kitchen, providing healthy and nutritious meals. All this blends together perfectly well to maximise the outcome of a Liz Warrington yoga experience: to return home physically refreshed, mentally elevated and be even more in tune with mind, body and soul.
Originating from Florence, the Italian Vanda Scaravelli (1908 – 1999), has contributed greatly to the understanding and teaching of yoga in the West. She herself was taught originally by BKS Iyengar, who taught her all about ‘asanas’, and TKV Desikachar, who taught Vanda about ‘pranayama’, about the awareness of breath. Iyengar and Desikachar were students themselves of one of the most influential yoga teachers and Ayurvedic healer, Tirumalai Krishnamacharaya, whom many refer to as the ‘father of modern yoga’, as he was key to promoting yoga in the 20th century.
Vanda trained to be a violinist first, but it was the philosopher Krishnamurti and the world-famous violinist Yehudi Menuhin (who were both family friends), who invited Krishnamacharaya to visit Switzerland to teach them yoga. Krishnamacharaya sent 2 of his great students instead, and so the story of Vanda’s change of fate began.
It all happened in Gstaad, where the first lessons took place in Vanda’s family home. When Iyengar and Desikachar left Europe, she no longer had any teachers, and so Vanda set out to develop her own practice. By working on her own style, she focused on breath, gravity and, what she calls the ‘awakening of the spine’ to restore health, vitality and overall energy levels.
What is utterly amazing, is the fact that Vanda Scaravelli was already in her 50s, when she discovered and took up the practice of yoga. This should serve as an inspiration to all those, who think, one has to be young to practice yoga in order to achieve vitality through a supple body, able to move with strength and deliberation. Her story proves, that it is never too late for picking up yoga practice in one’s lifetime. Scaravelli-style yoga was created by Scaravelli herself through her own work, but was much inspired by her student of 23 years, Diane Long. Diane Long is greatly responsible for this yoga style to be taught into the 21st century, as indeed, she was also able to directly teach Liz Warrington.
Santa Gertrudis – Ibiza
Santa Gertrudis is the most charming little village you can imagine! Situated smack bang in the centre of the Ibiza, it is the geographical heart of this sunny island, that’s mainly known for its all-night-long club scene. But for those in the know, Santa Gertrudis is more than just a bit special: not just steeped in tradition, this Spanish village, comprising of a pretty, white washed church square, pueblo houses and fincas, is placed in the centre of rich agricultural and typically mediterranean land, home to sheep, goats and the island’s only dairy cows! Hence, it’s restaurants offer everything from gourmet cuisine and luxe vegan joints, to rustic, local bars and stone-baked pizza places, which all have created a thriving foodie community, attracting visitors from far and wide. So, it is no surprise then, that foreign residents from all over Europe have made this beautiful stretch of countryside their home (or second home), which is why you’ll find quite a bohemian lifestyle going on there, supported by a huge list of artists, sculptors and musicians.
Often referred to as Ibiza’s Notting Hill, this place is not just for Londoners! Top notch eateries to visit are the restaurants Gitano, Wild Beets and La Paloma, for which we recommend to book in advance during the summer season to avoid disappointment. Talking fashion, designer label Sluiza is famous for its easy going, brilliantly styled stuff to throw on when you want to look cool on the beach or hip for dinner in classic Ibiza style. We also love Nino D’Agata’s jewellery shop, situated on the main square. The Sicilian designer, together with his German wife Barbara Hartmann, creates stunning pieces, synonymous with the worldly ambience of this part of the island.
Stylish boutique hotels, like the Ca Na Xica with its inviting spa, are a real treat, so needless to say, Santa Gertrudis de Fruitera is not called the chicest town on the island of Ibiza for nothing #mustvisit
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