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Do you have to be 'spiritual' to meditate?

Glow Yoga & Mindfulness Retreat

Lefkada, Greece - June 16-22

As some of you will have seen, we’re taking Glow 'on tour' again this June, as we head off to the magical Greek Isle of Lefkada.

Ibiza has always been our spiritual home for Glow retreats - and always will be - but it’s always good to mix things up a bit, right?

Some of you have asked ‘Why Lefkada?’ So here's a little insight into why we have chosen this destination for our June 'Yoga & Mindfulness' retreat.

As with everything we do with Glow, our primary driving force is always our clients. We are fortunate to have a loyal and engaged community of guests who have been on retreat with us two, three, four - and even more - times! For this we are eternally grateful but also mindful that a retreat is a considerable investment of time & money - albeit a vital and valuable investment!

So, however loyal our client base is, it feels right & proper to continually offer something different. As with traditional holidays, not everyone wants to go to the same place year after year and there are so many wonderful places in this world that offer incredible environments for retreats.

We originally decided on Lefkada due to the stunning retreat venue we found. Our Instagram feeds are pretty much all yoga based, following other teachers and retreat leaders - and this beautiful property kept popping up - and we couldn’t ignore it...

Unsurprisingly, sometimes retreat leaders aren’t very forthcoming with letting on about new venues they have found so it took a bit of detective work to find out exactly where this beautiful venue was!

When we eventually found it, we started researching Lefkada itself and discovered that this gorgeous isle (it is an island but is connected to the mainland by a bridge - similar to the Isle of Anglesey in the UK) could be the perfect European location to add into the Glow mix.

With a wonderful temperate environment, sleepy towns and unspoilt beaches it really resonated with us to be a place that our Glow family would enjoy - and could also entice new people to join our community.

As we found when we took Glow to South Africa in January for our ‘Rediscover Your Wild’ yoga & safari retreat, our signature yoga & wellness retreat really does travel very effectively and easily translates into other environments outside of our Ibiza home.

So for our Lefkada retreat adventure we are adding in an extra layer of mindfulness & meditation coaching. This is partly due to the fact that the venue lends itself to this so well, with hidden meditation pagodas that look out to sea and the impressive deck with views across to surrounding islands in the Ionian sea. 

It is also based on our client experiences over the last three years whereby so many of our guests have booked onto a Glow retreat for the yoga practice, the nourishing food and the pure relaxation but have then found that the meditation elements of our group practice have been so beneficial to their state of mind and calmness of soul.

Many people have come on retreat telling us ‘I can’t meditate - I find it too hard’ only to discover that our unique blend of guided meditation combined with sound, creative visualisatiion & mind/body/spirit reconnection brings them to a place of pure peace & joy as they surrender into stillness, knowing that we are holding the space and guiding them through it.

In Lefkada we will be going on a daily journey through the mind, as we offer tools to ‘unblock’ emotional obstacles that hold us back from experiencing life in all its rich patterns. 

In both good times and hard times, meditation & positive creative visualisation can free us from repeating old behaviours and ways of thinking that hold us back and steal our joy.

And it’s really not difficult! When we nurture a daily practice of stillness, of calming and soothing the mind and instilling our inner-narrative with kindness and non-judgment, we quickly experience a shift in the way we think and how our life can change as a result.

I like to think of mindfulness as a moving meditation - or meditation in action - that can accompany us through life.  

When we learn to live our daily lives and manage our thoughts more mindfully, eventually an innate serenity reveals itself. The challenges in our lives won’t miraculously disappear, but the way we approach them and react to them will change.

I personally see in my own life the profound impact of meditation and practising mindfulness every day.

If I put aside ten minutes in the morning to either meditate in silence or to practise mindfulness in a simple task or activity, my day will be WAY better than when I don’t.

When I meditate or practise mindfulness, my emotional responses become more measured & balanced. I approach things with a more circumspect viewpoint. I feel calmer. I feel a sense of equilibrium that carries me through my day in a gentler way - and I stop being so hard on myself for perceived failures. 

Meditation does not necessarily have to be a ‘spiritual’ practice. Even when approached from a purely practical aspect, it offers neurological benefits that will enhance your entire way of living, being and feeling. 

You may find that you eventually come to tap into a spiritual part of yourself that you weren’t previously tuned into, but an initial ‘spiritual connection’ is not a required starting point!

For more information about the neurological and ‘whole self’ scientific benefits of meditation, I highly recommend a book called The Science of Meditation - How to Change your Brain, Mind & Body.

For those of you who are interested in the more spiritual aspects of meditation but in a way that relates to modern life then take a look at Buddha’s Brain - The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love & Wisdom. Both are amazing and fascinating reads!

I honestly feel that there is not a single person on the planet who won’t benefit from bringing a meditation or mindfulness practice into their lives, so for this reason - along with the twice daily yoga & guided meditation practice - we’ll be offering one-to-one meditation coaching to help you establish or elevate your own personal practice that you can take back into your daily life after the retreat. This is entirely optional and rest assured that if this all sounds rather deep and not where you are at right now, as always on Glow retreats, we meet you where you are.

Which brings me back to what else you can expect on a Glow retreat; there is nothing esoteric about what we offer. Everything is designed to be accessible to all. 

In Lefkada the incredibly luxurious venue, the delicious food and the charming geographical location will be plenty enough to ‘fill your cup’ so that you leave feeling refreshed, rested and reconnected back to your true sense of self.

Check out the Lefkada Retreat Gallery & imagine yourself staying here...

We’ll wander down to the nearby beach for yoga by the sea, we’ll take a gentle hike to a beautiful waterfall and we’ll head off on a sailboat around the surrounding islands. One evening we will dine out at a local taverna to enjoy the local island flavours.

As with all of our retreats, we want this to feel like a truly enjoyable experience, so if you want  to have a cup of freshly brewed coffee in the morning or a glass or two of organic wine with dinner then be our guest! 

The key essence of the retreat is pure, unadulterated YOU time, whether that means lounging by the pool reading a book, sunbathing or snorkelling at the beautiful, unspoilt Perigiali beach or exploring & shopping in the nearby town of Nidri. We will ensure you have the best retreat experience for YOU!

Lefkada is reached by the nearby airport of Preveza which receives direct flights from all over Europe and the UK. Check out the direct flight connections here;

We will coordinate inbound & outbound group transfers from the airport at exceptionally competitive rates. The transfer from Preveza to the retreat is approximately 45 minutes. It is also possible to fly into Athens but the transfer is longer and more expensive.

See more about this retreat here - and don't hesitate to reach out if you would like to chat with us about this very special retreat!

Love always,

Sarah & Susie x


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