Akureyri, NORTH ICELAND
Writing the Heart, Embracing the Body, Women’s Retreat
March 14-21, 2020
We know first hand the transformative power of women coming together in community … and when you add to that the raw elemental nature of Iceland … we knew this would be the perfect backdrop for this retreat.”
-Jennifer & Melanie
We’ll move, breathe, and experience mother nature in all of her powerful unbound glory as we tune into the voice of our deeper intuition.
We’ll use yoga, writing exercises, and nature herself to assist us in revealing our fullest expressions of ourselves.
You don’t need to be a “yogi” or a “writer” to experience the magic that happens when we get quiet enough to listen to the words, phrases, and narratives that move our minds and uplift our spirits.
Your guides for this week to North Iceland are Melanie C. Klein, M.A., and Jennifer Kreatsoulas, PhD. Both leaders in their fields of women’s work, yoga and positive body image, Melanie is a successful writer and Professor of Sociology, Jennifer a Yoga Therapist, inspirational speaker and author. They look forward to co-creating a week that will offer life-affirming renewal and inspiration.
ALL women are welcome.
For your week together you’ll head North to Akureyri, one of the planet’s true gems and Iceland’s best kept secrets. With a population of only 18,000, a mild climate on the longest fjord in the country, and close proximity to the Arctic Circle, Northern Iceland is truly THE place to visit.
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.
You’ll have the 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. During your week, we have several special excursion planned for you including hikes to some of the power places of the North, and exploring the lava landscapes of the Myvatn region. You’ll visit Godafoss – the majestic Waterfall of the Gods and have a soak in volcanic mineral rich hot springs
Winter is one of the best times to experience the northern lights (mother nature permitting, of course!) We’ll also have plenty of down time for you to explore the artisan market and independent bookstore in the heart of Akureyri’s town square, engage in optional husky sledding, enjoy a massage or soak in your apartment’s outdoor hot tub . . . . . .
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 group activities, an additional workshop, or free time. 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.
- Special hikes (on snowshoes as needed!) to various spots around Akureyri and the fjord, including hidden water falls and other surprises.
- 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 training for the first lunar landing in the 60’s! Our day concludes with a visit to the thermal baths of the North. In this 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!
- The Northern Lights! This is a great time of year to witness the dance of lights, but of course, Mother Nature has her own agenda. However, with a timeframe of 7 days, the odds of sightings are high and our skilled hosts are experts at tracking the best times and locations! be prepared on any evening at dinner for our hosts to offer a pick up time to go chasing the lights! Perhaps we’ll even get show while lounging in our backyard jacuzzis or floating in the hot springs in Myvatn!
- Three afternoons of workshops and optional activities. On these afternoons, some special workshops will be scheduled and / or we will offer some additional add on activities. You may decide to explore the town on your own, have a massage, or walk to the Fjord and take a boat to see the humpback whales. 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 and it’s an experience not soon forgotten!
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.
Some of you will choose to add extra days on your own in Reykjavik before or after the retreat dates.
Everyone will need to book 2 tickets to get to Akureyri, Northern Iceland (unless you decide to rent a car in Reykjavik and enjoy a picturesque 6 hour drive 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.
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 times similar to:
To Akureyri: 12:15pm – 1:35pm From Akureyri: 9:45am – 10:30am
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.
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!
- 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
- we recommend “ice treads” for show / walking around town in case of icy roads
- 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)
You do NOT need to bring a yoga mat or any yoga supplies, the center is fully stocked. The apartments also have perfume free soap and shampoo plus laundry machines and laundry powder. Snow shoes will be provided as needed for hikes. We do recommend Ice treads for walking around town in case of ice on the streets (especially walking to and from apartments). You may also consider “hot hands” for hands, feet and toes. You can find these items online (ex. on Amazon)
This retreat is open to people at various levels of fitness, with the understanding that some group activities require snow shoeing and hiking.
If you have any burning questions, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. There will also be group communications along the way.
Melanie C. Klein, M.A., is an empowerment coach, thought leader and influencer in the areas of body confidence, authentic empowerment, and visibility. She is also a successful writer, speaker, and professor of Sociology and Women’s Studies. Her areas of interest and specialty include media literacy education, body image, and the intersectional analysis of systems of power and privilege. She is the co-editor of Yoga and Body Image: 25 Personal Stories About Beauty, Bravery + Loving Your Body (Llewellyn, 2014) with Anna Guest-Jelley, a contributor in 21st Century Yoga: Culture, Politics and Practice (Horton & Harvey, 2012), is featured in Conversations with Modern Yogis (Shroff, 2014), a featured writer in Llewellyn’s Complete Book of Mindful Living (Llewellyn, 2016), co-editor of Yoga, the Body and Embodied Social Change: An Intersectional Feminist Analysis with Dr. Beth Berila and Dr. Chelsea Jackson Roberts (Rowman and Littlefield, 2016) as well as the editor of the new anthology, Yoga Rising: 30 Empowering Stories from Yoga Renegades for Every Body. She co-founded the Yoga and Body Image Coalition in 2014 and is the co-founder of The Joy Revolution. She has been practicing yoga and meditation since 1996 and currently lives in Santa Monica, CA.
Jennifer Kreatsoulas, PhD, E-RYT 500, C-IAYT, is a certified yoga therapist specializing in eating disorders and body image. She is an inspirational speaker and author of Body Mindful Yoga: Create a Powerful and Affirming Relationship With Your Body (Llewellyn Worldwide, 2018). Jennifer provides yoga therapy via online and in person at YogaLife Institute in Wayne, PA, and leads yoga therapy groups at Monte Nido Eating Disorder Center of Philadelphia. She teaches workshops, retreats, and specialized trainings for clinicians, professionals, and yoga teachers. Jennifer is a partner with the Yoga & Body Image Coalition and writes for Yoga International, Yoga Journal and other influential blogs. She has appeared on Fox29 news and has been featured in the Huffington Post, Real Woman Magazine, Medill Reports Chicago, Philly.com, and several podcasts, including the Yoga International and ED Matters Podcasts. Connect with Jennifer: www.Yoga4EatingDisorders.com.
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.
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)
Shared room in 2-room apartment with private bath, kitchen, living room, backyard jacuzzi and access to washer/dryer. We have only 2 rooms with the private bath option.
Hotel KEA Akureyri or equivalent. Breakfast included. In the city center.
7 nights accommodation in Akureyri
Transportation from airport, to classes and excursions
Breakfasts, Lunches and 5 dinners in Akureyri
Flights to Akureyri
Optional Extras (massage, special excursions)
2 dinners in Akureyri
Refunds and Cancellations: Refund less deposit ($695) before October 1, 2019. No refunds after October 1. 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 January, 2020, unless other arrangements are made.
In the unlikely case of cancellation by One Yoga Global due to insufficient enrollment or logistical problems (acts of God, war, strikes, etc.) that may impede trip operations, please refer to the policies outlined in the more detailed application and liability waiver provided upon reservation. Participants will be required to sign the application and liability waiver to participate on this trip.
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.