Akureyri, NORTHERN ICELAND
FIRE and ICE: A New Year’s Retreat
with Sonia Azad and HawaH
December 29, 2016 – January 5, 2017
We’re heading North! Iceland is one of the planet’s true gems. With a total population of only 330,000, Iceland has struck a perfect balance between a warm, welcoming culture and the raw, untamed beauty of its vast mountainous landscapes. While most toursist groups and cruise lines visit the southern capital city Reykjavik (where the majority of population is), we’ll be heading to 66°North Iceland to the town of Akureyri–one of Iceland’s best kept secrets.The cultural capital of Iceland, Akureyri has been voted the number one destination in all of Europe by Lonely Planet on more than one occasion (including 2015).
With a population of only 18,000, a mild climate on the longest fjord in the country, and close proximity to the Arctic Circle (meaning amazing Northern Lights!), Northern Iceland is truly THE place to visit.
If you’ve never been this close the Arctic Circle … then you are in for a treat. The Prana is palpable, the earth energy raw and grounded. The nights are dark and star filled – on a clear night you can truly feel your place and connection to the entire cosmos.
Past the darkest nights of the winter solstice, each day adds a little more sunlight, every minute of which we’ll soak up to charge our bodies and spirits for the coming year ahead. As a group, we’ll set intentions for ourselves, for each other, and for the planet … planting seeds of change, transformation and love.
ARE YOU READY?
One Yoga Global is in an exclusive partnership with the only yoga and wellness center in Northern Iceland. You’ll enjoy your daily yoga practice in a newly-built, one-of-a-kind studio with majestic views of the fjord and soaring mountains that will warm your body and soul. This wellness center is complete with massage rooms, dry sauna, Jacuzzi, showers, changing rooms, and all the amenities, and our friendly and knowledgeable guides live on site, giving this space a personal touch. Guests have a choice of staying in local private apartments complete with geothermal Jacuzzis or at a local hotel in the city center. These comfortable and modern accommodations serve as a launching point for exploring some of most powerful places in Iceland and diving into the island’s rich traditions.
Your adventure includes classes and guidance from HawaH and Sonia as well as curated excursions with private guides to some of the most powerful places of Northern Iceland. Breakfasts will be provided at the hotels and in the apartments and afterwards, you’ll have the option to cross the fjord to have class with HawaH and Sonia. If you choose to skip a class, you can simply walk to our lunch spot at the designated time. You are always welcomed to enjoy the Wellness Center. After class we will head to lunch, then out to our daily adventures experiencing the majesty of our surroundings. As nature permits, our plans for your Icelandic adventure include:
- A ferry trip to Hrisey Island, considered one of the power places in Iceland. Snowshoes will be provided for this gentle hike.
- An evening Northern Lights tour. This is a great time of year to witness the dance of lights, but of course, there is never a guarantee with Mother Nature. With a timeframe of 7 days, the odds of lights sightings are high and our skilled hosts are experts at tracking the best times and locations!
- An excursion to the world-famous Myvatn geothermic volcanic region with nature spa.
- A special waterfall tour on snowshoes.
- An optional excursion / exploration / massage day – several options will be provided including dogsledding, possibly skiing / snowboarding, or perhaps you’ll prefer a massage and soak in the Jacuzzi. (Extra fees apply for these optional excursions. We will ask for an commitment in advance for those who desire to go dogsledding, as this is a special excursion that often sells out in advance.)
- A last night in the capital city of Reykjavik.
- Each evening after our excursions, we return to Akureyri for dinner, then relax in our apartments and the backyard Jacuzzis to enjoy the fresh air and excellent company.
When deposits are received, we will be in contact with each participant individually to book the inland flights.
Please feel free to email us directly at email@example.com with questions.
Travel, Additional Information & FAQ’s
Please plan to take the overnight flight to Reykjavik on Wednesday, December 28th that will arrive on Thursday, December 29th between 6am and 8am. Please plan your departure from Reykjavik (if you can) to leave in the late afternoon or early evening of Thursday, January 5th. There are direct overnight flights on Iceland Air from many U.S. cities including NYC airports, Newark, Washington, D.C., and Boston. You are welcomed to add additional days in Reykjavik on the front or back end of this trip. We will give you instructions on where to meet at the regional airport if you arrive early, and if you stay later, you’ll already be in the Reykjavik for the last night!
For those who arrive on the 29th, a shuttle will transport the group from Keflavik International to the regional airport for your short, picturesque flight to Akureyri in the afternoon. One Yoga Global books this regional flight for you as part of your retreat.
Try to keep your eyes open, as this flight across the island is a gift–we will have a birds eye view of the glaciers and craggy landscapes of this volcanic country where the fire, quite literally, has met ice.Upon arrival to Akureyri, we will be transferred to apartments or hotel rooms, settle in, then enjoy dinner together at a local cafe in the town center. The apartments will be stocked with breakfast foods so each participant can manage their own breakfast routine before we head to daily morning yoga classes. Lunches and 4 group dinners are also included (one dinner in Akureyri and the last dinner in Reykjavik are not included). Our hosts do their best to accommodate various dietary restrictions (such as dairy free, gluten free, and vegetarian needs); please let us know these needs in advance if possible.
Each morning at a designated time, you’ll be picked up from your apartment or hotel and transported just a few minutes across the fjord to the beautiful yoga studio and wellness center. After class, you’ll head to lunch and then out on our daily adventures to experience the majesty of our surroundings. Plan to go with the flow of the weather and energies … afternoon or evening classes / meditations may also be offered depending on the timing of excursions.
Once you are registered, we’ll be in touch about your travel plans!
What to Pack:
- winter clothes and several layers
- thermals (top and bottom)
- winter pants (wind- and/or water-resistant are recommended)
- winter gloves / socks and waterproof boots / hiking shoes
- an outer shell that is warm, and wind- and rain-resistant
- warm headgear
- a buff or balaclava for the neck and face
- in case of icy streets, some treads for your shoes
- a bathing suit for the Jacuzzis and springs
- yoga clothes (compression pants make for a nice underlayer)
- adapters for electronics (Iceland uses the round 2-pin style common throughout Europe)
Please CLICK HERE for even more details
Reykjavik morning arrivals will meet for transfer to the regional airport as soon as we have everyone (likely between 8am and 9am).
When you arrive, you’ll go through passport control and then look for the LARGE cafeteria area with coffee, take out food, etc. You might like to pick something up here as the regional airport has less to offer. After this exit and head straight forward towards the exit doors. We suggest gathering to the LEFT of those doors. A driver will be on the lookout for your group, and we’ll provide some group leader contact details in advance.
Upon arrival in Akureyri, you will be greeted by your hosts. You will be taken to your apartments (if they are ready) and hotels where you’ll each receive a map and orientation to the town, where you are, and where meals will be (everything is very close, all within a few minutes walk). If the apartments are not quite ready (they will be ready by 3pm, but likely sooner!) your luggage will be secured and you can wander the town center and fjord (it’s so lovely!) there will be time to rest and then you’ll all meet in the city center for our first group meal–and who knows, if it’s a good night, maybe we’ll go chasing the Northern Lights afterwards!
Most mornings in Akureyri, a pick-up time will be designated (between 8:30 and 9:30am) and all will be transported to the beautiful and warm yoga space across the fjord. After class, you will be transported to lunch, after which we’ll head out for the day’s adventures with our hosts! If you decide to skip a class, you can simply meet for lunch and start your day there. You will have private guides and your hosts who run the yoga center are available to the group throughout the week. Optional massages at the yoga center will be available on at least one day for an additional fee.
On January 4th, after yoga and lunch, you’ll head to the airport and back to Reykjavik. This evening can be spent walking the streets, enjoying the food, and checking out the night life. The following morning is also open for shopping and explorations. Did you know that Reykjavik has a penis museum? Well, now you do!
Don’t let tales of fermented shark fool you–Icelandic food is delicious! The fish comes from some of the cleanest oceans and the lamb and chicken are raised on the nutrient-dense organic earth by local farmers. Our carefully prepared buffet meals always come with 2 soups (one dairy free, and one with dairy), hot dishes, freshly baked breads and a selection of vegetables. There are several specialty restaurants in Akureyri (you’ll have one night free to explore), and Reykjavik is known to be a foodie haven!
This retreat is open to people at all levels of fitness, with the understanding that some group activities require light hiking. All activities are optional including the morning yoga classes.
If you have any burning questions, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. There will be several group communications along the way as well.
HawaH is an artist, author, educator, non-profit leader and certified yoga instructor. He has over 800 hours of yoga teacher training experience and has enjoyed guiding students and budding teachers for 15 years. Trained and certified in Sivananda Yoga, he holds a second certification in the Jivamukti Yoga School and a third from The Center for Mind Body Medicine in trauma relief and healing. He spent years learning from other yoga traditions including Ashtanga Yoga, with Sri. K. Pattabhi Jois in Mysore, and Iyengar Yoga styles. He maintains a Vipassana meditation practice and trains in Kung Fu (i.e. Shaolin, Baguazhang and Tai-chi styles). Hawah has extensive experience leading retreats in places such as Nepal, Peru, and the United States. His yoga classes are dynamic; a journey integrating his knowledge of ancient yoga forms with parallel modalities found in other cultures & traditions.
In addition, Hawah has authored 4 books (including “The Poetry of Yoga” anthology containing 300+ yogi poets from 19 countries), released 2 music albums, and produced 3 documentary films (including the award-winning documentary “Fly By Light”). He is co-founder/ executive director of the Washington, D.C. based non-profit organization One Common Unity, and has traveled to over 35 countries, supporting a movement for peace education and the building of a non-violent culture through music and art.
In the past, Hawah held a fellowship with the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Foundation and worked as special representative to the United Nations and the World Conference Against Racism. He also directed the Peaceable Schools Program in D.C.’s largest public high school. He holds degrees in Education and Psychology from the American University.
An Emmy-award winning journalist, Sonia is a Dallas-based health & wellness television reporter for ABC-affiliate WFAA. Sonia is also a certified yoga instructor with a personal practice of 15+ years. She was first introduced to yoga during her time in the dance department at The University of Texas at Austin and since has Sonia has studied various disciplines of yoga around the world—from Nicaragua, to France, Mexico and The Netherlands.
Sonia’s passion is guiding beginners through their discovery of movement. A trained dancer and marathon runner, Sonia’s gentle, alignment-based Vinyasa flow classes are the perfect cross-training grounds for athletes who may just be stepping into yoga classes for the first time. Her classes are designed not to further aggravate the body, but instead to foster grounds for healing and opening — in the body and the mind. She believes that through a consistent practice, students can translate the gifts discovered on the mat into living with more presence, patience, gratitude and courage off the mat.
Sonia holds advanced degrees from Northwestern University’s law school and Medill School of Journalism. She has merged her love of healthy living, adventure travel, yoga & storytelling to offer a dynamic and mindful series of classes for this retreat. [Read more about Sonia]
Your home base in Akureyri will be in some of the most modern apartments in the city, or in a centrally located hotel. The apartments provide comfort and privacy, and they are just a short walk from the city center. Each apartment has several rooms, some with a shared bath and some with private bath, and each has a kitchen, living space, and backyard geothermic water Jacuzzi. We will place female travelers together and couples together. When you reserve, we will be in contact with you directly to confirm your housing placement.
A limited number of private hotel rooms are also available for those who desire this option. For all of us, our last night will be in a comfortable hotel in Reykjavik, allowing an experience of the city life and time to explore before heading back home the following day. This accommodation will also be single or double based on your reservation choice.
When you reserve you will have the option to pay in full or place your deposit. If you place a deposit, one payment for the blancebe set up to run on November 29th.
Double Occupancy Room (shared bath)
Larger private room in a 3-bedroom apartment complete with kitchen, living room, backyard jacuzzi and access to washer/dryer. Family bathroom shared with 4 persons total in the apartment.
Single Occupancy Room (shared bath)
Private room in a 3-bedroom apartment complete with kitchen, living room, backyard jacuzzi and access to washer/dryer. Family bathroom shared with 4 persons total in the apartment.
Double Occupancy room (Private Bath)
Private room in 2-room apartment with private bath, kitchen, living room, backyard jacuzzi and access to washer/dryer.
Breakfast included. In the city center.
6 nights accommodation in Akureyri, 1 night in Reykjavik
Inland flight to and from Akureyri – Reykjavik
Breakfasts, Lunches and 4 group dinners in Akureyri*
(*Dinners on Dec 31 and Jan 1st are not included, but options will be given)
Flight to Reykjavik
Optional Extras (massage, special excursions)
2 dinners in Akureyri and last nights dinner in Reykjavik
Refunds and Cancellations: Refund less deposit ($795) before September 1, 2016. No refunds after September1, 2016. In case of cancellation, you may transfer your deposit or your reservation to another person as long as you notify One Yoga Global in advance (14 days notice minimum). In case of cancellation by One Yoga Global, you will receive a full refund of all funds received by One Yoga Global. Due to arrangements made with our vacation hosts, there can be no exceptions to this policy.
All participants will be required to sign a liability waiver to participate on the trip. Trip insurance in highly recommended in case you need to cancel your trip after September 1.
At registration, you will have the choice to place a deposit or pay in full. With a deposit, the balance will divided into 2 auto-payments in October and November. Payment in full is due by November 1.
We recommend that you consider purchasing trip insurance in case you need to cancel your trip and/or flights AND for travel / Medical insurance. Travel Guard is one provider of this insurance. Please note that travel insurance may need to be purchased within a limited window of reserving your trip or purchasing airline tickets. Please click for details.