Akureyri Yoga Retreat
with Laura Leonard
August 24-31, 2024
RESERVATIONS OPEN SOON
Join Laura Leonard in the land of fire and ice for an adventure of a lifetime! The spectacular Icelandic summer season offers lush volcanic earth that is alive and blooming. The sheep and horses have had their babies and the skies are filled with light, a backdrop that provides a magnificent other-worldly setting to explore the North.
Begin each day being guided in an all levels yoga class, 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, Akureyri in 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, 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 local exploration of Akureyri, learning about the history 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! On some weeks we are able to offer a special dinner at a local farm.
- 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. *note: If you are uncomfortable on horses, we can offer whale watching as an alternative!
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.
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 6-7 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)
Laura Leonard, Owner, Uttara Yoga, E-RYT
Laura began her journey on the yogic path over 15 years ago while living in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. She knew immediately that the practice of yoga would become a consistent thread weaving throughout the fabric of her life. It didn’t take long for Laura to begin to feel the beautiful difference that yoga was making—physically, spiritually, and emotionally—both on and off the mat. Laura continued to deepen her practice after moving to Roanoke in 2009, as well as through seeking out opportunities to visit different studios while traveling the country. She jumped at the chance to be a part of the first Uttara Yoga Teacher Training, completed in 2014 under the divine guidance of Jill Loftis and Katie Silcox.
In her work supporting individuals with disabilities as well as underrepresented youth, Laura has blended her knowledge and practice of mindfulness, yoga, and psychology, helping others discover and deepen their inner strengths. In addition to teaching in the studio setting, she has taught community-based classes in schools, camps, offices, and outdoor festivals throughout the Roanoke Valley. Laura is grateful for the chance to have learned from a variety of yogis along the way, and fuses these teachings and traditions together to create energetic yet restorative classes, with a focus on mind, body, and breath awareness. With every class Laura brings peace, joy, and a warm smile to the mat and shares it with those whom she guides. She is inspired by each of her students, who have become her greatest teachers.
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.
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.
Cost: USD $4495
Double Occupancy room (Private Bath)
Private shared room in 2-room apartment with private bath, kitchen, living room, backyard jacuzzi and access to washer/dryer.
Cost: USD $4295 per person (double occupancy)
Private hotel room with private bath in the city center (Hotel KEA or equivalent)
Double Occupancy: USD $4895 per person
Single Occupancy: USD $5795 per person
7 nights accommodation in Akureyri
Transfers to and from the Akureyri airport and daily to classes and excursions
Breakfasts, Lunches and 4 group dinners in Akureyri
Daily yoga classes
International Flight to Reykjavik (KEF) and domestic flight to Akureyri
Optional Extras (massage, special excursions)
3 dinners in Akureyri
Refunds and Cancellations: Refund less deposit ($695) before March 15, 2024. No refunds after March 15, 2024. 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.
After deposit is received, the remaining balance will be set up in equal monthly payments starting the following month through March, 2024, unless other arrangements are made. All participants will be required to sign a liability waiver to participate on this trip.
We HIGHLY recommend that you consider purchasing Travel Insurance. Travel insurance companies like Travel Guard and Trawick 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 to protect your investment. Trawick International and Travel Guard are two providers that we recommend. Please review policies carefully to ensure they provide the coverage you need.