11 Under-the-Radar Yoga Retreats You’ll Want to Book Now

11 Under-the-Radar Yoga Retreats You’ll Want to Book Now

Reviews & Press

Our vacation-wanted ad: Have mat, will travel. Skip pedestrian sightseeing tours, questionable food, and creaky joints. Bring on sacred sights, built-in yoga friends, real nourishment, and communion with our mat twice a day. Oh, and move the needle of our life, por favor.
There are at least 108 reasons to embark on a yoga retreat. Instead of fleeting fun, take a deep dive where landscape and heart intersect. Cross your desert, row your boat, and chase your star—bookending the day in Downward Dog. Forget scrambling for a hotel gym or trying to translate “organic, gluten-free, vegetarian, and Ayurvedic” in another language. For yogis, getting away doesn’t get better than a yoga retreat.

But where to start? We scanned the yoga globe and scoped out 11 off-the-beaten-mat gems to spark your wanderlust. From Cuba to Costa Rica, Iceland to India, bathe in the forest, soak in the spring, sing with a villager, dance in the jungle, bow to the world’s wonders, or simply sit in silence. The choices are as infinite as yoga itself.

Yoga and Serenity on the Island of Ithaca, Greece

July 29–August 5, 2017 and August 5–12, 2017
Bow to the azure waters of this mythical island with little more than passing sailboats and grazing goats to distract you. Home to legendary hero Odysseus, some say this sleepy isle hasn’t changed much since Homer’s epic poem. Ithaca is, perhaps, the perfect place for yoga. There are only a few thousand permanent residents on the wild, jagged patch of land, and the elegant Itha108 Yoga Retreat & Creative Resort has no traffic to speak of. Seattle teacher Jodi Boone is leading two back-to-back retreats for sunbathing, stargazing yogis who want to step back in time. Start the day with meditation and an active Hatha practice from the wooden yoga platform, and wind down with yin and restorative from an indoor shala. In between, dive into the silvery waters of the Ionian Sea, get a Thai yoga massage, or cozy up in an Indian daybed on the veranda. The lodge is carved into a rocky hillside with a crisp white minimalism, every object handpicked with a globetrotter’s flair—Indian artifacts dotted around the stone fireplace, for instance. Indulge in mushroom polenta tarts and cinnamon-butter griddled peaches, all seasonal, organic fare straight from the island (or the one next door).

Learn more jodiboone.com
Read full article: http://www.yogajournal.com/slideshow/11-under-the-radar-yoga-retreats/#6

25 of the best yoga holidays and retreats

25 of the best yoga holidays and retreats

Reviews & Press

Yoga trips can change lives but finding the right one may sap your core strength before you’ve even started. Our picks – from Goa to Greece via Yorkshire – will make your quest more relaxing.

You can’t move for downward dog opportunities these days. The explosion of yoga in western countries means there’s a studio on every other street and such a variety of styles and options, that choosing a holiday or retreat can be overwhelming. So where to start? It makes sense to try a weekend away before committing to a whole week. One possibility is to choose a teacher you know or like the sound of and see if they’re running anything that suits. Or you could pick a venue you fancy and see what teachers are hosting holidays there. Think about what you want too – some combine yoga with other activities (maybe good for those with non-yogi partners), some are vegan, some don’t ban booze – it’s always worth asking before you book.

Hatha in Ithaca, Greece

Itha 108, Ithaca, Greece

International teachers lead different weeks between May and October at Itha108, a gorgeous island retreat just five minutes from the Ionian sea, where accommodation is split between a Venetian-style house and five Mongolian-style yurts. All levels will enjoy weeks with Laura Gilmore, director of Bristol City Yoga, who teaches two, two-hour long hatha yoga classes a day, the second being a restorative class. Fish is served for those who want it, alongside the veggie meals.
• From £925pp (in a yurt) sharing for 7 nights, 20 guests. Next runs 1-8 July, bristolcityyoga.co.uk B

Full article: https://www.theguardian.com/travel/2017/jan/01/25-of-the-best-yoga-holidays-and-retreats

Marc Newson’s 10 Favourite Things

Marc Newson’s 10 Favourite Things

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Australian designer and 
Qantas ambassador Marc Newson on the things that bring him the most joy.

1. WIM DELVOYE He’s a contemporary artist who does upholstered pigs [Usak, 2001, top left], and he tattooed some pigs once. He also makes gothic dump trucks.

2. ITHA108 I love this yoga retreat in Ithaca, Greece, which is run by my friend Ingrid Gottschalk and overlooks the sea.

3. RICHARD STEPNEY I see him for haircuts at Fourth Floor whenever I’m in London.

4. A WOODEN tanuki — a Japanese raccoon dog — is my most treasured household item. They are good luck. It just sits by the front door and looks at us.

5. OLIVE OIL The best souvenir I’ve brought home is a 15-litre can of fresh-pressed olive oil made on our land in Ithaca. It sounds exotic, but everyone does it there; it’s like mowing your lawn. It’s a lovely reminder of summer and we use it every day.

6. CLARIDGE’S in London is my favourite hotel.

7. SCOTT’S OR 34 in London are my favourite food spots. I also love Harry’s Café de Wheels pie 
van in Sydney — it’s a must-visit when I am home.

8. the LOUIS VUITTON SUITCASE that I designed. The suitcase is incredibly lightweight with an unparalleled large interior volume. This is due to the anodised aluminium extendable cane being relocated from inside the trunk to the outside, adding both structure and strength, as well as substantially increasing the all-important interior packing space. It also removes the awkward bumps and ridges normally associated with internal cane mechanisms.

9. MY GRAND PRIX BUGATTI I started to collect cars about four years ago. This is one of my favourites.

10. FOUNTAIN PENS I love fountain pens because they get used to you. The nib changes. They develop an angle according to your movement, which is why you should never lend your fountain pen to anyone else. I have designed two fountain pens — one for Hermès and one for Montblanc [left] — and 
I love writing with them.

Full article: http://www.vogue.com.au/vogue+living/design/galleries/marc+newsons+10+favourite+things,41344



Reviews & Press



Our columnist Eve Kalinik investigates the wellness retreats where healthy eating is just as important as the stunning restorative locations.

Nestled among olive trees with far-reaching views of the Ionian Sea, this natural beauty of a yoga retreat is former headhunter Ingrid Gottschalk’s labour of love. Every detail of the retreat, from the carefully curated interiors with Indian charpoy daybeds to the bamboo pergola, has been meticulously considered. The food sings the praises of the local Greek produce, not least since the olive oil is actually cultivated by Gottschalk herself. Based loosely on vegetarian Ayurvedic cuisine, the retreat’s menu is also organic, local and seasonal, with daily trips to the market to source the very best and freshest ingredients. Typical dishes encompass mushroom polenta tarts, cinnamon-butter griddled peaches and, of course, the very best olive oil. By its own definition, Itha108 aims to create a happy balance between deliciousness and healthiness.

The food sings the praises of the local Greek produce, not least since the olive oil is actually cultivated by the owner herself.
Itha108, Ithaca, Greece.

by Eve Kalinik




Reviews & Press

Carte postale

Les cinq plus belles îles grecques

  • Les cinq plus belles îles grecques Ithaque

Difficile de se tromper lorsque l’on décide de passer ses vacances sur une île grecque. Mais pour ceux qui préféreraient choisir leur destination autrement qu’en fermant les yeux et en posant le doigt à l’aveugle sur une mappemonde, Condé Nast Traveler les a départagées. Il est temps de décider une bonne fois pour toutes si l’on est plutôt Antiparos ou plutôt Mykonos.

Ithaque (mer Ionienne) : pour les connaisseurs

Contrairement à sa voisine Céphalonie, plus grande et plus branchée, Ithaque ne possède ni plage de sable fin ni aéroport, ce qui en fait une destination moins évidente pour les vacanciers – et c’est précisément ce qui plaît aux habitués. Cosmopolite, elle est peuplée d’Australiens, d’Américains, d’Africains du Sud et de Zimbabwéens, un public plus varié que les cohortes de touristes européens qui peuplent souvent les îles grecques en période de vacances.

Certains choisissent de de rendre à Ithaque directement en bateau, mais il est également possible de prendre l’avion jusqu’à Céphalonie pour y attraper un ferry. Sur place, les journées se passent le plus souvent au bord de l’eau. Malgré ses galets, Dexia est la préférée des habitants grâce à sa vénérable oliveraie, source d’ombre plus que bienvenue sur la côte.

Les meilleures plages

Parfaite pour les familles, Filiatro bénéficie d’un café tout simple sous les arbres et ravira les nageurs. Dépourvue d’ombre, Gidaki et ses galets blancs attirent un public plus jeune et sans enfant. On y accède en bateau-taxi depuis Vathy, ou à pied depuis les pentes couvertes de pins derrière la baie de Skinos.

Où dormir ?

Le meilleur hôtel est Perantzada, à Vathy (chambres doubles à partir de 120 euros). Voir également du côté d’Ileana von Hirsch, la propriétaire de la société de location de villas Five Star Greece, originaire de l’île et détentrice de charmantes adresses.

Où manger ?

Pour changer de la nourriture grecque traditionnelle, la trattoria Libretto sert des plats de pâtes fraîches agrémentés d’ingrédients locaux. Pour ceux qui préféreraient cuisiner, le chic Homer & Co vend des produits bios (certes pas donnés).

À ne pas manquer

La retraite de yogi d’Ingrod Gottschalk ainsi que ses sessions individuelles dans des villas privées de l’île.

Comment s’y rendre ?

Prendre l’avion jusqu’à Argostoli depuis Céphalonie (entre mai et octobre) avec EeasyJet, Monarch ou Thompson, et prendre le ferry depuis Sami jusqu’à Piso Aetos, sur Ithaque.

Review by landscape architect Arabella Lennox-Boyd

Review by landscape architect Arabella Lennox-Boyd

Reviews & Press

“A small retreat designed with extraordinary good taste and special care for detail, great comfort and charm. Set in a beautiful landscape, carefully positioned with beautiful views and space, Ingrid has created an oasis of beauty and peace where she teaches yoga and meditation and where guests can enjoy her delicious cooking and fresh food .  It was a treat to spend a few nights there.”



Reviews & Press

Yoga: The Itha108 yoga studio is a brand new yoga retreat located in Agios Iaonnis, an ideal place for spiritual renewal through ‘sun salutation’. It is the brainchild of Ingrid Gottschalk which has as it’s core  a
philosophy to make everyone feel welcome and relaxed. Staying at the studio includes both elegant rooms, each with its own character and yurts for a more intimate accommodation experience, with its discreet luxury as the main link, the summer resort of yoga halls, social and quiet spaces, is available exclusively for yoga retreats. In other seasons (autumn, winter, spring) Itha108 is open for all to attend tri-weekly drop in classes in Yoga.

– Rania Margari




Reviews & Press

Itha108, Ithaca, Greece: A chic home-from-home retreat blending old and new with spectacular views


In 2009 Ingrid Gottschalk bought a stretch of land that was nothing more than craggy boulders and wild oak trees. A year later Greece’s economy imploded. Against this challenging backdrop Ingrid created Itha108, completing it in just eighteen months – but for anyone who knows Ingrid this isn’t in the slightest bit surprising. This Swiss-German is one determined, indefatigable woman – she has manned a City team, raised three girls and climbed Mont Blanc.

_AFP1188aThe two yoga shalas – one outdoors and one indoors – ground the space. The fifty foot wooden platform, tucked away to the side of the house, immerses all of your senses in nature. In front of you lies the silvery Ionian sea, behind you the rocks and boulders of the mountain, and above you the rustling leaves of wild oak trees. Listen to the gentle bells of grazing goats and breathe in the scrunch of wild sage as you journey to Savasana.

IMG_0293Reached by a vivid orange staircase, the indoor shala nestles cave-like beneath the house. Retreat here in the winter and meditate on the brass statue of Lord of the Dance, Shiva Nataraja, grounding you in the eternal cycle of creation, preservation and dissolution as you gaze out of the window at the yellow white stone from which Itha108 was carved. I can imagine no greater heaven than lying on the polished dark wood floor at the end of practice, snuggling down on a mat warmed by state-of-the-art under floor heating.

_AFP1195a-1It was a long journey from London but after just one yoga class I began to feel anchored. The air of comfortable familiarity extends well beyond the mat, pervading the whole retreat and giving it a home-from-home feel. There are plenty of spaces for lounging – an indoors-outdoors sitting area with more of those spectacular views, a dazzling white breezy roof terrace with views of Kefallinia (perfect for a sundowner), woven charpoy daybeds, Indian bed swings with linen covered mattresses and a cosy sitting room complete with oversized sofa and armchairs, a well-stocked library, framed photos of Ingrid’s three beautiful girls, board games and Asian artefacts.

Hall and RaasMuch of the furniture, a clever combination of sleek modern style and traditional craftsmanship, comes from Rajasthan, designed and commissioned by Ingrid herself. Shipped in a forty-foot container, when it arrived in the village of Stavros it attracted hordes of curious locals who gathered to watch it being transferred onto smaller trucks that could manage the winding roads down to Itha108.

_AFP1820aAll the bedrooms have an Indian accent; traditional Rajasthani mirrors and silk bedspreads, stained wood ceilings and tapestry stools. The bathrooms, on the other hand talk twenty first century, with power showers and eco flush loos.

_AFP1834aBreakfast, served on a sinuous polished white plaster counter, is simple and delicious. Help yourself to plates heavy with fruit – succulent figs, grapes, juicy peaches, and refreshing melon, Greek yogurt and local honey, plates of cheese and tomatoes, ginger tea or ask for eggs and a mug of strong coffee. Breakfast can be a long drawn out affair – hours are lost chewing over the matters of the day with newfound friends.

IMG_0194After yoga and breakfast (usually early afternoon) we’d head for the sea, sometimes accompanied by the charismatic Olympia – a collie husky mix who takes you to heart as if she’s known you forever.

IMG_1820There are three beaches within a ten-minute walk, each with a different character. The biggest one has parasols, sunbeds and plenty of opportunities for people watching. The other two are smaller – with plenty of hidden coves that feel like your own private beach.

IMG_1735All the beaches on the island are very clean, with some clear turquoise water but all of them have chalky white pebbles – very pretty but a bit of a pain to walk on, so take a pair of flip-flops or pick up a pair of rubber bottomed shoes in town (expect to pay around eight euros).

IMG_0268Part of the charm of Ithaca is that it’s so quiet – the island is forty-six square miles and has just 3,500 inhabitants in winter. However, there are a few very pretty harbour towns and villages for mooching about.

IMG_1715Highlights include Kuoni, perhaps the prettiest and certainly the most glamorous – when we there Roberto Cavalli was in town. Vathy is the capital and has several harbour-front cafes – take a seat and soak up the accents; Greek,French and Italian, Australian and South African – part of the returning diaspora whose parents left after the earthquake of 1953.

IMG_1933Leaving Itha108 felt like leaving a treasured home; by the end of my stay I felt more myself than I had in years. Though perhaps not ready to climb Mont Blanc I was grounded, re-energised and ready for almost anything.

Itha108 – I love you.

IMG_1860Lucy Edge is the author of Yoga School Dropout and founder of YogaClicks.

Itha108 is taking enquiries from teachers for 2015.

Contact Ingrid at info@itha108.com