Get away from it all and focus on yourself. This is the perfect opportunity to recharge your emotional body and enliven your spirit. This retreat is an Immersive experience into the practice of yoga that will leave you feeling rejuvenated, fulfilled, and emotionally high. Matt will take you on a journey through the elements (Earth,Water, Fire, Air, and Space) to enliven your awareness and deeper your knowledge and wisdom of both body and mind. The elements serve as a basis for clarity, you will become aware of the obvious and hidden needs of your body, mind, and heart. Through yoga, meditation, enriching conversations, and supportive connections this retreat will leave you feeling inspired, empowered and completely refreshed.
Picture 6 days at one of the most beautiful retreat centers in the south of Italy, practicing yoga with some of the best people, and enjoying authentic and delicious Italian cuisine all in one trip! Practicing yoga with Matt will leave you with an increased body awareness and ability to access new postures for yourself. Beyond the physical practice, you will have the opportunity to reconnect to the depths of your heart and soul. Together we will tap into our surroundings, feel the earth’s energy, and allow it to fill us with a rejuvenating vibrancy. This retreat is also about cultivating community and support for one another. Together we will lift each other up, listen to one another, and share time with one another while surrounded by the beauty of nature.
Matt’s Teaching Style:
Matt teaches a fun and exciting technique based practice that focuses on sensation of the body, and the inner emotional experience. The physical practice is challenging yet completely accessible for all levels and all ages. Matt has a unique approach to sharing his intellectual knowledge of anatomy in a way that is playful, joyful and creates massive breakthroughs regardless of previous yoga experience. The technical sides of the practice are completely balanced with the heart felt philosophy that Matt shares which cultivates deeper layers of awareness in the mind, heart, and spirit.
Every retreat is unique and, as such, the itineraries are ever-changing! We finalize the itineraries about 3-6 weeks before the retreat, but after 10 years of hosting retreats, we do have a general idea of what most schedules look like.
Most retreats include one-to-two daily yoga classes. One class takes place in the morning, either just before or just after breakfast. After the first class and meal, you have free time to explore, relax, or take part in optional add-on activities. Lunch (if included in your retreat) will take place midday, during this free time. There is then, usually, an afternoon class followed by dinner. Occasionally some teachers choose to offer an evening restorative class or group gathering after dinner as well.
In addition, there is usually one dedicated “excursion day” in which we do not have scheduled yoga classes. This is a day for people to take advantage of some of the more involved tour and excursion offerings and is always a lot of fun!
Again, this is a very general look at what your retreat schedule could be. We work closely with the teachers to design unique itineraries that reflect their style and the group that’s traveling with them. Once your specific retreat itinerary is complete, we will send it out via email, usually two or more weeks before the retreat starts. Please keep in mind all retreat itineraries are subject to change.
- 5 Nights Accommodations
- 3 Vegetarian Meals Each Day
- Round-Trip Group Transport to/from the Airport
- Daily Yoga Practices
- Personal Retreat Time (having time to nap, explore, walk, read, and just be)
This retreat center is located in Puglia, in southern Italy. The NY Post calls this region magical and Lonely Planet put it in its 2014 must-see places list. This area is full of historic and cultural sites. Beautiful beaches are easily accessible. Martina Franca, the closest town, has a particularly beautiful old town surrounded by stone walls with prominent Baroque gates leading to piazzas and narrow, winding streets.
The retreat will be held at an intimate yoga center located in Martina Franca. This is a must-see and experience center- the architecture and decor are exquisite. There are ten rooms with occupancy varying from singles to triples and all are consciously decorated. The location is imbued with deeply spiritual, friendly, and calm energy that will be felt throughout your visit. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are prepared daily and include healthy vegetarian options along with fish. The food is local and organic when available and prepared with nourishing ingredients. This center has a focus on their food philosophy, which features a cleansing element. The grounds contain lovely gardens, a swimming pool, a wild forest and fields, and a tiny church. There is plenty of space to walk and be free.
Yoga instructor Matt Giordano (500 ERYT) gives credit to an influential figure from his teenage years–his high school art teacher– for sparking within him the curiosity and tenacity that eventually led him to yoga. It was Eileen Walk who told Giordano: “You are not allowed to say ‘I can’t.’ You must rephrase to a question: ‘How?'”
That inquisitive and unrelenting spirit laid the foundation for Matt to begin a devoted yoga practice. When coupled with his passion to understand the physics and subtle alignment of the body, Matt’s dharma as a teacher came into focus.
Originally from Sea Cliff, Long Island, Giordano is primarily based in Connecticut and Manhattan, where he teaches at local studios and shows off his daring side riding motorcycles along the open road. Matt is often on the go, traveling internationally to teach yoga and perform acrobatics. Well-known for his ability to guide students deeply into postures with his refined attention to detail and precise action cues, Giordano is an adept guide for all-levels students at festivals, workshops and in his weekly studio classes. His study of biomechanics and integrative mind-body techniques informs his teaching, as he draws upon wisdom from traditions of yoga, martial arts (Aikido and Tae Kwan Do), acrobatics, AcroYoga and Thai Yoga Massage. In the end, Matt inspires a humble confidence, allowing students to find ease while expanding the edge of their comfort zones.
As Giordano helps make AcroYoga a household name, the media has taken notice; featuring him in Martha Stewart’s Whole Living, Alignyo, Yoga Dork and on LIVE! With Kelly and Michael. Events the world over are allowing countless students the opportunity to practice with Matt. No one misses the action, as his growing digital content (YouTube, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook) has become another platform for Matt to share delight, technique and even the occasional appearance of his dog Tito, a Papillon and heart-melting super yogi.
“Matt has a way of immediately making you feel welcomed and seen and comfortable; on an international retreat with many people you may not know, I think that is important. The yoga was great as always; a theme is incorporated throughout the week so there is purpose to each and every session. Matt’s instruction is clear and concise and his knowledge base is something that I find inspiring as a fellow teacher.” ~Anthony Tomasi, Senior Chromatic Yoga Instructor
“AN EXPERIENCE BEYOND WORDS! My retreat with Matt was a life changing experience. He was an incredibly caring, inspirational, and giving host. Doing this was completely out of my comfort zone, but I left with so much growth and my heart is so full. I met new like-minded people, deepened existing friendships, truly advanced my yoga practice through Matt’s creative workshops, and grew personally through self reflection and facing fears.” ~ Kim Jablonski, Marathon Runner
“I cannot speak highly enough of the experience I had with Matt. Matt not only taught almost everything I know and love about yoga in a wonderfully unique way, but with the most genuine sense of passion and dedication. I was blown away by Matt’s knowledge and broad range of retreat activities from the yoga to a handstand workshop, meditations and a satsang. My favorite aspect of this experience was how personal it all was. Matt interacted with all of the yogis from start to finish – meal times, downtime in between yoga classes and after dinner. It was so fun and down to earth and the connection is felt instantly.” ~Tiffany
“Matt’s vast knowledge and passion for anatomy and understanding the body’s ability and potentiality to flex, bend, strengthen and align under its optimal efficiency is really felt in his classes. He brings and holds a beautiful and spiritual space and presence for his students and his passion and reverence for being a teacher is greatly felt. His care and dedication to teaching from a very pure and anatomically inclined space encourages his students to tune inward and become more conscious, aware and curious with their own anatomy and approach to various asanas. Through being encouraged to examine what I was feeling and what did I want to feel, I gently felt old physical patterns that weren’t serving me anymore unwind and melt away. Leaving me with so much more freedom in my mind and body space. His classes will challenge, inspire and grow you and his fun and humble spirit at the helm, will provide for an all encompassing yogic adventure.” ~Kristin
While on your retreat you will have the opportunity to take part in the following excursions:
- Local Market in Martina Franca: Just a short trip from the center, you will be delighted to visit this quaint and historic village on their market day. The old quarter of this town is a picturesque scene of winding alleys, blinding white houses, and blood-red geraniums. There are graceful baroque and rococo buildings here too, plus airy piazzas and curlicue iron-work balconies that almost touch above the narrow streets. This town is the highest in the Murgia, and was founded in the 10th century by refugees fleeing the Arab invasion of Taranto. You will have the chance to walk the cobblestone streets and see old churches, amazing architecture, and shop at the open air market.
- Day Trip to Ostuni Village & Beach Ostuni: Known as the “white town,” Ostuni Village is located near the sea. Ostuni shines like a pearly white tiara, extending across three hills with the magnificent gem of a cathedral as its sparkling centerpiece. It’s the end of the Trulli region and the beginning of the hot, dry Salento. The city boasts its nearby pristine beaches, historical architecture, and its surroundings, as well as a vibrant olive and grape agribusiness. You will have the chance to roam through this enchanting village and also have time to visit a nearby beach.
*Price of Activities are not included in tuition
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There are a few different flight options, please the read following considerations: Rome is about 5 hours drive from the center and Naples is 4 hours, if you are planning to extend your trip. There are 2 nearby airports: Bari (BRI) 1h30min and Brindisi (BDS) 45/50min from the center. The group shuttle for this retreat will be provided from the Bari (BRI) airport on the arrival day. We will book the shuttle to accommodate the last arriving passenger. Before booking tickets, please be sure you have received your official confirmation note that the retreat has met its minimums. There will be one group airport shuttle each way based on our flight window guidelines. Be sure your flights align with the provided flight windows if you wish to use the group shuttle.
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