Fire and Ice Retreat
with Melissa Spamer & Sara Easterson-Bond
September 23-30, 2023
Join Melissa Spamer and Sara Easterson-Bond for a spectacular retreat to North Iceland! Just a few degrees from the arctic circle, this island of fire and ice is the perfect backdrop to recharge, reset and recalibrate with the energies of the primal earth and geothermal waters.
Always magical, North Iceland in autumn boasts glorious color, milder weather, plenty of daylight, fewer tourists, and perhaps even a glimpse of Northern Lights.
Begin each day being guided in an an all levels class led by Melissa & Sara, 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.
“The site for the Yoga studio in Ayureyri, Northern Iceland is truly magical. A beautiful, pristine, and well-equipped space that is warm and conducive to intimate group practice with residents owners who care deeply about every participant’s experience. I’ve traveled extensively, and never seen anything like Iceland, anywhere in the world. There is a powerful presence here deep within the landscape that potentiates the retreat experience.
– Donna Farhi, author of Bringing Yoga to Life, and Pathways to a Centered Body
Iceland is one of the planet’s true gems. With a total population of under 370,000, 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 and posibly experience the Northern Lights.
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 lodging (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.
- Icelandic Horse riding! 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. (*for those unsure about horse riding, whale watching can be arranged instead!)
- 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.
- A local adventure and gentle hike around 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!
- Two 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 1/2 day excursion to Husavik and the amazing GoeSea baths.
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.
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: 12:15pm – 1:35pm From Akureyri: 9:45am – 10:30am
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)
Melissa Spamer, M.A., LPCC, ERYT 500, LMT, C. Ay.
Melissa has been exploring the world of healing arts for nearly thirty years. She has been facilitating classes, retreats, groups and seeing private clients since 1997. Melissa is an ERYT 500, Licensed Bodyworker, Ayurvedic Practitioner and holds a Master’s degree in counseling psychology as well as a graduate certificate in holistic healthcare. She has accumulated thousands of hours in Yoga, Body & Energy work, Ayurveda and Psychotherapy training from around the world.
Melissa completed her first certification to teach Yoga in 1997 with the Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centers, and has been consistently teaching Yoga for twenty five years. She has gone on to complete more than six 200-500 hour teacher trainings. Her primary influences are from twenty years of in depth study with elder teachers Angela Farmer, Victor Van Kooten and the late Rama Jyoti Vernon. She has completed additional trainings with the Krishnamacharya Yoga Mandiram, TriYoga, and Shiva Rea’s Prana Flow method, among many more. She incorporates knowledge of alignment, therapeutics, somatics, and functional movement to serve each student’s needs safely and individually. Her own practice is continually evolving, always becoming more alive in spirit and form which lays the foundation for her teaching. As her own teacher, Angela Farmer, has said, “Melissa is a true teacher. She allows her practice to be a tool for personal evolution and that brings a deep understanding and creativity to her teaching enabling students to have the confidence to make their own inner journey through Yoga.” [read more about Melissa]
Sara Easterson-Bond CIYT, E-RYT 500
Sara began studying Yoga in 2005 and was hooked after one class! Sara’s teaching focuses on bringing strength, stability, and humor to the practice of Yoga, both on and off the mat. “Cultivating Joy” is how she describes her approach to Yoga and life.
A Level 2 Certified Iyengar Yoga Teacher, Sara has studied extensively with Senior Iyengar Teacher Patricia Walden, completing Patricia’s 2-year Teacher Training program in 2015. Sara has studied with Geeta Iyengar in Pune, India. She also gratefully acknowledges the major influences of Iyengar teachers Ja Soon Kim and Carrie Owerko on her Yogic path. Sara has taught public classes, private classes, workshops, and retreats since 2014.
A lifelong New Mexico resident with a background in studio art and architecture, Sara’s other passions include learning from her chihuahuas and reading the widest range of poetry possible.
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.
Cost: $3795 per person
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: $4195 per person
Double Occupancy room (Private Bath)
Private room in 2-room apartment with private bath, kitchen, living room, backyard jacuzzi and access to washer/dryer.
Master bedroom: RESERVED
2nd bedroom: RESERVED
Cost: $4095 per person
Private hotel room with private bath in the town center. Hotel KEA or equivalent.
Double Occupancy Cost: $4495 per person
Single Occupancy Cost: $4995 per person
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 classes with your teacher
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 June 1, 2023. No refunds after June 1, 2023 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 June 2023, unless other arrangements are made.
We HIGHLY recommend that you consider purchasing Travel Insurance. Travel insurance companies like TRAWICK and 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 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.