with Kathy Parsons
May 23-30, 2020
Join Kathy Parsons in the land of fire and ice for an adventure of a lifetime! The spectacular Icelandic spring season offers lush volcanic earth that is alive and blooming. The sheep and horses are having babies and the skies are filled with light, a backdrop that provides a magnificent other-worldly setting to explore the North.
Each day, an all levels yoga class will be offered followed by lunch and the day’s adventures! You’ll have the opportunity to ride the Icelandic horses, say hello to the humpbacks that live in the fjord, wander the lava fields, and soak in volcanically heated mineral hot springs.
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 tourist 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. 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.
One Yoga Global is in an exclusive partnership with the only yoga and wellness center in Northern Iceland. 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 of our retreats 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. You’ll have the opportunity to ride Icelandic horses, see the humpback whales that live in the fjord, visit a nearby island and hike its mountaintops, work with a team of champion Huskies, and experience the midnight sun.
This special week in Northern Iceland is open to all and offers the opportunity to learn about the culture, history and unique geography of Iceland while experiencing some of the most magical sights of this amazing country. Each day will be accompanied by a professional guide who will share details of each site along with local folklore and personal stories.
OUR ITINERARY: Each morning, after breakfast, we will all have the option to participate in an all levels group yoga / movement class. Our hosts will pick us up at each domicile (all within a few blocks) and we’ll be transported across the fjord to our beautiful yoga and wellness center that overlooks the mountains and water. Classes will be welcoming to all, and if you prefer, the center has a relaxation room, beautiful views, a dry sauna and jacuzzi available to our group. After class, we’ll be transported to lunch, and after this, we’ll head out for our day’s activities! If you decide any morning to sleep in and skip a class, you can simply meet us at lunch which is just a couple blocks walk from your home. Our afternoon and evening adventures together will include:
- Hrisey Island-A lovely ferry ride to spend an afternoon picturesque exploration and hike of Hrisey Island. Situated at 66 degrees North, just a stone’s throw from the Arctic Circle, Hrisey is considered one of the “Power” places in Iceland. This can’t be easily explained, so we’ll offer some moments of pause to sit and feel this special planetary vortex energy.
- A walking tour of Akureyri, learning about the history, architecture and folklore. We’ll drive along the fjord and make several stops including visits to some special places and hidden waterfalls, You’ll feel like you’ve been transported back in time, or onto the most spectacular movie set designed by mother nature herself!
- Icelandic Horseriding! the Icelandic Horse is truly unique to Iceland and even boasts a unique gait called the “tolt”. Beginner riders will be in one group and enjoy a breathtakingly beautiful experience of the spring fields of Iceland. More experienced riders will have the opportunity to trot, canter and tolt through the countryside! We’ll learn about these beautiful animals and be treated to hot beverages and Icelandic treats afterwards.
- A full day adventure to Myvatn – an amazing geothermic region that will take you from the fjord, through the mountains, to the lava fields. You’ll experience the rolling fields of Icelandic sheep contrasted with the barren lunar landscapes that the astronauts used to train for the first lunar landing in the 60’s! Our day concludes with a visit to the thermal baths of the North. In the front is a modern cafe, showers and lockers … when you exit the back, you enter large natural pools of geothermic waters bubbling from mother earth herself. With a high concentration of natural minerals, Icelanders often credit these waters with their health and longevity that is much higher than the norm. We’ll watch the sun set, and the galaxies of stars arise. A sight to behold!
- 2 afternoons of optional activities. On these afternoons, your teachers may offer extra classes, you may decide to explore the little town on your own, have a massage or walk to the Fjord and go take a boat to see the humpback whales. With enough interest, we can take a group to the geothermic salt water baths at the GeoSea in Husavik. Also, our hosts have a beautiful pack of huskies (the only ones in Northern Iceland) which includes one of the country’s champs) These beautiful pups LIVE for dogsledding in the winter. During the spring and fall, they get exercised with dog scootering! This experience is also an option!
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. Side note: Weather in Iceland is more temperate this time of year than you might expect! It is not uncommon for temperatures to be 50’s°F during the day.
PLEASE READ THIS CAREFULLY.
Most of you will depart your home city on Friday to arrive Saturday early morning in Reykjavik (KEF = Keflavik International) then take a smaller flight from the Reykjavik smaller domestic airport to Akureyri. Your return will be the following Saturday morning from Akureyri – Reykjavik domestic, then a transfer to the International airport (Keflavik) and back home.
*Some of you will choose to add extra days on your own in Reykjavik before or after the retreat dates which offers more options. This is ALSO the time of year that driving from Reykjavik to Akureyri is also possible and may be a great choice if you want to join a few others and make the 5-7 hour drive.*
If you are not renting a car, you’ll need to book 2 tickets to get to Akureyri, The first flight will be from your hometown to Reykjavik (Keflavik International). From here, you will either drive, or book an easy 45 minute flight from Reykjavik Domestic Airport to Akureyri. This is a different and smaller airport than Keflavik International.
For more detailed advice, links and details on booking travel, we have created a Google document that any of you can access. CLICK HERE for that document.
If you add extra days on the front or back end in Reykjavik, the city center is only 10-15 minutes to the domestic airport for the shorter inland flight. For those of you arriving and departing on Saturday and flying all the way to Akureyri and then home on the last Saturday (no extra time in Reykjavik) – The international airport (KEF) is 45 minutes away from the smaller inland airport (RKV), so you will need a minimum of 3.5 hours between the flights to ensure you make it through customs, luggage and take the transfer to the domestic airport.
For this: ARRIVALS the first Saturday – Look at the overnight flights that depart on Friday night and arrive Saturday morning. DEPARTURES on the last Saturday – Most flights (ex. Iceland Air is recommended) leave between 5 and 6pm. If you are flying home on Saturday, do not book a flight that leaves KEF before 2pm.
The short inland flights can be booked at: www.airiceland.is and most of you will book:
To Akureyri: departing Reykjavik between 11:30am and 1:30pm
From Akureyri: departing on the earliest flight (leaving between 8:45 – 9:45am)
Upon arrival to Akureyri, we will be transferred to apartments or hotel rooms (available between 2 and 4pm), 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 5 group dinners are also included (2 dinners in Akureyri are open for the group to explore). 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, we’ll head to lunch and then out on our daily adventures to experience the majesty of our surroundings.
Once you are registered, we’ll be in touch about your travel plans!
- warm clothes and several layers
- light thermals (top and bottom)
- jeans / pants
- warm 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
- 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)
Kathy is a Toronto-based yoga teacher and meditation guide who specializes in helping people connect to themselves through movement and breath.
Kathy’s teaching specialty is vinyasa flow, and her classes incorporate creative movements that strengthen and lengthen the body while staying connected to the breath. She also teaches pranayama (breathing exercises), moving meditation, restorative and yin yoga and mindfulness meditation. Classes are tailored to the students and include gentle hands-on adjustments and assists, inspirational music and an aromatherapy savasana massage.
Kathy received her teaching with Vikasa Yoga in Thailand and has over 400 hours of additional training and continuing education in yoga related skills and practices. She is a graduate of the MBSR (Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction) program from the Palouse Institute and is currently working towards completing the University of Toronto’s Applied Mindfulness Certificate.
When Kathy is not leading classes, she is hosting Movement & Meditation Workshops across the city, and hosting retreats around the world. She has been on over 25 international health retreats over the years (a self-proclaimed ‘retreat addict’) and this trip to Iceland will be her 17th time leading an amazing destination retreat.
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.
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 4-5 persons total in the apartment.
*we have 2 shared rooms still available and one female in need of a roommate
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 4-5 persons total in the apartment.
*we have 2 single rooms still available
Double Occupancy room (Private Bath)
Private room in 2-room apartment with private bath, kitchen, living room, backyard jacuzzi and access to washer/dryer.
SOLD OUT – but we still have super a few hotel rooms that are in the town center and just a couple blocks from everything!
Private hotel room with private bath in the city center (Hotel KEA or equivalent)
7 nights accommodation in Akureyri
Transfers to and from the Akureyri airport and daily to classes and excursions
Breakfasts, Lunches and 5 group dinners in Akureyri
Daily yoga classes
International Flight to Reykjavik (KEF) and domestic flight to Akureyri
Optional Extras (massage, special excursions)
2 dinners in Akureyri
Refunds and Cancellations: Refund less deposit ($695) before January 1, 2020. No refunds after January 1, 2020. In case of cancellation, you may transfer your deposit or your reservation to another person as long as you notify One Yoga Global 21+ days in advance. Due to arrangements made with our vacation hosts, there can be no exceptions to this policy.
If you place a deposit, the balance due will be set to charge in equal installments starting the month after deposit through March 2020, unless other arrangements are made.
We HIGHLY recommend that you consider purchasing Travel Insurance. Travel insurance companies like TRAVEL GUARD offer policies that insure your investment in case you need to cancel (including “cancel for any reason” coverages), coverages for expenses incurred due to to weather & travel delays, personal property loss and emergency travel medical. Please review policies carefully to choose the coverage you need.
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.