Reclaim Your Self, Iceland
Vinyasa yoga and untamed nature in the Arctic wilderness
Stay 5 nights for the complete retreat, usually running in October
£1295 for a twin room. Includes 5 nights accommodation, return transfers from Akureryi airport, 12 hours of yoga and meditation classes, all your meals and soft drinks, excursions to the geothermal wilderness of Mývatn, the fishing town of Siglufjörður, shopping and soaking in the hot pools in Akureryi, unlimited use of the sauna and hot tub.
Best for: Anyone who loves being active and exploring wild nature
Not for: Someone looking for a relaxing yoga holiday in the sun or who wants to avoid driving for day trips
In a nutshell: On this holiday you can enjoy five days practising yoga and exploring all that makes Iceland unique on the Troll Peninsula in Northern Iceland. You'll stay in luxury cabins on an Icelandic farm located at the end of a wild and peaceful valley, surrounded by majestic mountains and endless nature. Practice Vinyasa yoga twice daily, relax in the sauna, soak in hot pools and head out exploring every day. Hike to the top of a snowy mountain, ride Icelandic horses and explore the Mývatn geothermal wilderness, where you'll find volcanoes, fiery fumaroles, huge waterfalls and a nature bath. The remote location makes it ideal for seeing the Northern Lights.
This part of Iceland is off the beaten track and truly remote and wild. The landscapes are dramatic and beautiful and the location really is in the middle of nowhere. The daily routine of a strong yoga practice, hearty vegan food and then being out in amazing nature is incredibly invigorating and inspiring. Ending the day in the hot pools and very likely watching the Northern Lights makes this an unforgettable trip.
The weather in Iceland is unpredictable and it is likely to be fairly cold in October (it is the best month for the Northern Lights though). Usually the temperatures range from 5-15 Celsius but it can be sunny and warm and then cold and windy all in one day. This can affect some of the excursions, so the schedule shifts to accommodate this where possible. Three of the excursions involve driving in the minibus, so if you get travel sick or don’t like spending time travelling in a group, this may not be the holiday for you.
Practice Vinyasa yoga twice daily, relax in the sauna, soak in hot pools and head out exploring every day. In the evenings there’s a restorative class or a meditation/relaxation practice.
Vinyasa yoga teacher Adam Husler will lead your practice twice daily. Fuelled by a fascination with anatomy, Adam specialises in a signature style of alignment-based Vinyasa and believes that yoga is a personally subjective practice of self-enquiry, where one thing is for certain: whether a long-time listener, first time caller, or anywhere in between... yoga offers us all plenty of options to challenge and reward. All levels are welcome on this retreat, and modifications and progressions are given so that everyone will find the yoga classes rewarding.
From the lodge you can head out on foot or horseback to explore the valley and nearby waterfalls. Excursions include a day hike to the glacier and an afternoon in the traditional fishing village of Siglufjörður. A trip to this part of Iceland would not be complete without a day out at the world famous Lake Mývatn geothermal region, where all that makes Iceland so unique can be experienced within a few hours - powerful waterfalls, characteristic volcanoes, geothermal activity and a nature spa.
These are a must-do in Iceland and the perfect compliment to the dynamic yoga and explorative focus of this yoga holiday. The retreat location has an outdoor hot tub with views down the valley and a sauna. You also visit the local thermal pools in Akureyri, and spend a few hours soaking at the Myvatn natural spa at the end of the day exploring the area.
There are eight luxury apartments with mountain views at your base. Each has an upper loft with a double bed and a single bed on the ground floor. There is a bathroom with a shower in each apartment. There are also three private rooms in the farmhouse which share a bathroom between them. These are the budget option, still comfy but without the mountain views or ensuite bathrooms.
A good, warm coat is essential for this trip. You’re also asked to bring a water bottle and a flask in the name of sustainability.
When to Go
Iceland in October is autumnal and fairly cold but not freezing. The hot pools are amazing this time of year and it is still light between 9am and 4pm. It is usually a brilliant time to see the Northern Lights and it has not yet become too cold and snowy, so you can get out and about and see plenty.
You’ll be served a hearty and healthy breakfast, lunch and dinner every day prepared by the Reclaim Your Self expert retreat chefs. Meals are served family style in the cosy ski lodge.
Menus are designed to support your yoga practice, so you can expect tasty and sustaining plant-based meals. As you are often out and about over lunch, you’re asked to bring a flask with you which the team fill with warming soups and daals.
A breakfast might include banana pancakes with cinnamon and chocolate sauce, seasonal fruit salad topped with toasted coconut, potato, onion and rosemary rosti, and roast sumac mushrooms served with cashew chive cream cheese. A (packed) lunch might include sweet potato, red pepper & spinach daal, buckwheat turmeric crackers, whole fruit and a homemade trail mix (nuts, seeds and dried fruit).
Dinner entails delights such as roast tandoori cauliflower slices, cashew raita, chana masala (chickpea curry), cumin, lemon and cardamom steamed quinoa followed by chai spiced ‘amazeballs’ with Icelandic herbal tea.
There’s plenty of herbal teas, infusions and drinking water available. No caffeine or alcohol is served, but there are local cafes and bars in the nearest town which you will visit a couple of times during the retreat should you fancy something – though meals are super healthy, this is not a retreat of deprivation.
Reclaim Your Self is a positive impact yoga travel company. They support local economies by booking locally-owned venues and local activity suppliers. The company works alongside local teams, skill sharing and learning from each other in a culturally sensitive and engaging way. Their Iceland location operates on 100% renewable energy and has an excellent recycling and waste management system in place.
Airport: Akureryi (via Keflavik international airport)
Transfer time: 45 minutes