Who isn’t stressed? It seems that there is always something to be stressed about; work, family, friends, plans gone wrong, the neighbors’ dog…we just need a break! Yoga seems to offer a great way for many to find calmness and control stress levels. What if you combine Yoga and a visit to places that have a special mind calming energy in beautiful Greece? These three destinations will help even the tensest person relax and leave a big smile on the face. You don’t need to be a Yogi, and as a matter of fact Yoga, or, Acro Yoga is not even an essential ingredient. Exercise, though, releases endorphins, the happy hormones; move, run, jump and soak up the energy of these breathtaking places.
Euboea (or Evoia)
The second largest island in Greece is not one of the famous summer destinations. But visit and you’ll fall in love. The beach of Mourteri, overlooking the Aegean Sea, is one of the most beautiful and serene places on the island. It is around 20 kilometres away from the city of Kymi, the “balcony with view to the Aegean Sea” as it is often referred to.
The endless beach (4,5 km long), crystal clear waters and surrounding mountains make the place almost magical. The deep blue water of the Aegean sea is so clear that the bottom is visible from the surface even kilometres away from the shore. Up in the mountains, only a few minutes by car, the view is absolutely stunning. The place we have chosen is between the villages of Orio and Oktonia. During the day, the soft breeze keeps the temperature ideal and the night is an utterly relaxing combination of the shining stars, singing cicadas and the soft lullaby of the waves.
Plastiras Lake is a magical place with forests, in which as it is said “Fairies and the Sleeping Beauty found their shelter.” It is surrounded by the Agrafa mountains and is just a breath away from the city of Karditsa. A place for visitors looking for peace and serenity as well as those looking for adventure, combining mountain and lake activities. The best destination for every season of the year! Acro Yoga next to Plastiras Lake with a pebble of snow covering part of the Agrafa mountains in the background. Horse and water riding are few of the activities offered in the area.
Handstands keep us young, especially when performed in such a serene place. Kryorema is a walking path at the outskirts of Messenikolas, one of the most picturesque and historical villages of the Karditsa region, at an altitude of 700m above sea level. The foothills of the Pindos mountain range produce award winning wine and tsipouro. The tall green trees, running crystal clear water, wooden little bridges and resting spots make it ideal for those seeking a break from the stressful everyday life. Getting to test the local wine is, of course, an extra bonus!
The energy of this place is evident. A traditionally religious land, Meteora, meaning ‘suspended in the air’, is one of the largest and most important Eastern Orthodox monasteries complex in Greece. In a region of almost inaccessible sandstone peaks, monks settled in the 11th century onwards, building twenty-four of these monasteries. Four of them still house religious communities and gather visitors from all over the world. The view is breathtaking and it gives a sense of peace of mind.
*Olga is a Marketing Consultant, Yoga & Pilates instructor, artist, dreamer and addicted to movement. Always with a smile on her face, the purpose of her training sessions is to teach people to use their body correctly. Having suffered from several injuries herself, she avoids the extremes and focuses on strengthening and stretching safely. She calls her teaching style “Yolga” and encourages everyone to try things that will teach the body to move in different ways. Her Greek temperament is evident in everything she does. Lately, she is trying to get her 94 year old grandma to reveal her secrets of well-being and happiness. For more tips visit Olga’s website or Facebook.