Kaliyoga review | yoga holidays, Italy & Spain
Relaxing boutique yoga holidays in Spain & Italy
The Quick Read: Kaliyoga yoga holidays in Spain and Italy are a great place to start if you’re looking to shift to a more conscious way of living. They’re a bridge between your weekly home yoga class and more hardcore yoga retreats, and combine yoga with hill walking, raw foods or juice fasting. Yoga is mainly dynamic, as pioneered by Godfrey Devereux, and most retreats are pitched at beginner to intermediate level. Their venues are quirky, bohemian, artistic, relaxed – with a holistic house party vibe, though each has its own distinctive feel. There is as much emphasis on chilling out by the pool or contemplating the stars from a hammock as there is on yoga. As one of Kali’s yoga teachers says, ‘Sometimes your yoga will be reading a book, or sleeping…and that’s cool.’
More on the venues: At Kaliyoga in Spain there’s a wide choice of accommodation, from tipis and simple cabinas to rooms in the main building (read a word from one of our queens to get a real feel). At Kaliyoga in Italy you stay in a beautifully converted traditional farmhouse.
More on the yoga: KaliYoga has developed its own house styles of yoga and called it Mindful Vinyasa Yoga and Mindful Dynamic Yoga. In Spain the main teacher is Lelly, who teaches mindful vinyasa flow in a slower, quieter and more meditative way. Teachers in Italy include the lovely Luce, and also Tashidawa, aka Tashi, who is authorised by Sharat Jois to teach Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga Mysore Style – although she does not teach Mysore style at Kaliyoga, she bases her sequencing on the primary series and teaches it using the Dynamic Yoga Method that she has acquired from Godfrey Devereux, drawing deeper awareness and spiritual benefits from the practice. Based on the flowing style of Ashtanga but with vinyasas that are slower, quieter and more meditative, the dynamic style is much more gentle and spiritual than its sweaty aerobic parent, and Tashi teaches with perfect poise – combining deep spiritual awareness with warmth and humour.
At both venues there are two yoga sessions on most days – the morning session usually starts at 8.30- 9am (lasting two hours) and is invigorating, while the early evening session (90 minutes) is more relaxing. Classes develop incrementally day by day, slowly building up with the aim of giving you a self-practice you can take home. Sometimes a change of tempo is included – a heat-building vinyasa flow in the morning, for example, or a fun class of partner yoga. Sessions usually also feature meditation, chanting, visualisation and deep relaxation.
More on the treatments: There is a large choice of therapies in both Spain and Italy (and there are some quite esoteric choices included alongside traditional favourites). Therapists are carefully chosen and nearly all get rave reviews. People swooned over Arantza’s Thai massage and Charlotte’s aromatherapy in Spain on our visit and over Julie’s reflexology in Italy.
Fellow guests: Guests tend to be predominantly female (age range twenties to late fifties), and generally from Europe, though everyone is welcome. There’s a wide range of yoga experience but most people have an interest in holistic living and want to find out more, or deepen their understanding. Most are solo travellers, with a few pairs of friends, and the holidays feel like a sociable experience.
Costs: 6 nights at Kaliyoga in Spain cost from £795 to £1085, and in Italy from £995 to £1600. Treatments at all venues come as extras and average €65-80 (£55-£68) for 60 or 90 minutes.
What’s queenly: All settings are quirky with a very real sense of personality. Yoga is made accessible and fun while retaining a strong sense of spirituality. Therapists are carefully picked and top-notch.
What’s lowly: There are just two single rooms at the Spanish venue, though the tipis can be taken as single rooms too. Some people don’t mind sharing a room, but we really need our own space on retreat, so do book ahead if you’re not travelling with a friend and this is important to you.
Reviewed by Jane Alexander
© Queen of Retreats