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Yoga and Hike Retreat in Northern Spain

$750 Purchase required to enroll
with Bob Speck, Jo Kirsch and Joslyn B. Hitter
September 10 to 17, 2022

FLASH SALE: Special EARLY BIRD $1800 ppdo now through July 15!

Grab your hiking boots and a good novel and join us on this unique journey in the mountains of Asturias in Northern Spain! Each day will begin and end with yoga and meditation. Following morning practice, you will enjoy a daily hearty breakfast prepared by your hotel hosts Juan Carlos and Judy. This dynamic duo has lovingly restored a 15th Century farmhouse into a beautiful rural hotel, your home away from home, for this wonderful week.

Pack your small daypack, grab your walking stick and away we go! We will follow local hiking trails along established footpaths, ancient trade routes, through narrow canyons, over mountain passes, along the Senda del Oso (a converted rail track) and into the lake district of Somiedo National Park.

Return to your mountain home after hiking for a restorative yoga class and meditation followed by a wonderful dinner featuring typical Spanish dishes. Two evening cooking demonstration by Juan Carlos are included. All activities are optional.

The yoga sessions will be led by Jo and Bob. Morning yoga will be a flow style intended to wake you up and warm you up for a day of hiking. Afternoon yoga will be a restorative yin style intended to stretch your tired muscles and rejuvenate you.

We will have two opportunities daily to practice Insight Meditation, led by Joslyn B. Hitter. Our daily practice together will be a chance for us to open our hearts, clear our minds and ground our attention in our bodies.

During our morning meditation we will cultivate mindful awareness, a particular type of attention highlighting natural curiosity and somatic investigation. We will be invited to train our mindful awareness to find a steady home in our breath, body and the soundscape. Our afternoon meditation period will feature heart-centered practices like; loving-kindness, compassion, equanimity and gratitude. These heart practices invite us to savor our inherent goodness and remember our connection to all beings.

ITINERARY*
Day 1: QUIROS
A Tour Guide will meet you at 5 p.m. In Oviedo. We recommend you sleep one night in Oviedo to enjoy this beautiful city. Upon meeting you in Oviedo, we will then head south through the Trubia river valley basin in the Ubiñas Mountains, part of the massive Cordillera Cantábrica Mountain range. There we will walk along part of the Senda del Oso (Bear Trail), a 30-kilometer footpath recently converted from rail tracks into Via Verdes, or Greenways, for the pleasure of walking in nature. The Casa Rural de Fuentes de Lucia, a recently converted farmhouse, in the hamlet of Faedo, will be our home for the week. It is set on a hillside of this lovely, green valley.

Day 2: QUIROS
A narrow footpath out the backdoor of our rural hotel will be the start of our morning walking trail. Along the way, we will explore three grain mills, each one over 200 years old. After lunch we will explore the surrounding villages and walk along the Senda del Oso.

Day 3: SENDA del OSO
From Bárzana, we will follow another
branch of the Senda del Oso to the small
town of Terverga. From there, a drive to the top of a pass will reveal the spectacular views of Puerto de Ventana. If the Cave of La Huerta is open, we will visit it. From the top of the pass, it is all downhill into Quirós.

Day 4: SOMIEDO
A 45-minute drive will take us into the heart of Somiedo National Park, a seldom visited park sharing its border with Castilla y Leon. The complete isolation of this area makes it seem as if time were standing still. This area was declared a natural park in 1988 due to its diverse landscape of flora and fauna and it is recognized today as a wildlife reserve for its environmental variety and preservation of tradition.

Day 5: SAN ESTEBAN PRAVIA TO PLAYA AGUILAR
Let’s treat ourselves to a day at the beach. A pleasant drive along the Trubia River to the Nalon River will lead us to the town of San Estaben where these rivers finally meet the sea. Climb the steps to the top of the high coast and follow a trail to the beach of Playa Aguilar.


Day 6: LAS XANAS
In the town of Villanueva, we will follow a route
 up and into a gorge called El Desfiladero de Las
Xanas. Climbing steadily, a well-planned path
hugging the sides of this canyon will take us up
to the hamlet of Pedrobayo where we’ll feast on a
lunch of the famous Asturian bean stew, Fabada.
After a short siesta under a tree (weather permitting) we’ll follow another path that leads us back to the start of this trail.

Day 7: BERMIEGO to SALCEDO
From the hamlet of Bermiego, famous for its decorative horreos (corn cribs), we will set out on an adventure through the Ubiño mountains to the small village of Salcedo. From Salcedo, we’ll continue to Barzana where we’ll dine on hearty local cuisine.


Day 8: Return to OVIEDO
After breakfast, we will drive you to Oviedo to arrive by 10am.

* This itinerary may (most probably will) change due to weather, festivals, spontaneous side trips and group ability. There are days when we are hiking in the hills and may not have easy access to the support van. We will try to provide an optional hike if you feel that the hiking in the hills maybe too difficult. This is not an endurance race; we want you to have a great time! We have the luxury of spending the entire week in the same hotel.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
How many kilometers do we hike per day? We average between 10 -15 kilometers per day (6.4 to 9.6 miles a day). A lot depends on the group dynamics and how much you would like to walk. I encourage people to ride in the van if feeling fatigued or to walk more miles if they have the energy or simply to kick back at the hotel with a good book if you feel so inclined. We have the luxury of a fully supported van, which can pick you up at certain points on many of the scheduled walking trails.

What is the hotel like? Our basecamp for the week will be a newly restored farmhouse in the tiny hamlet of Faedo located in the county of Quirós, south of Oviedo in Asturias. Visit www.quiros.es for a tour of this beautiful, mountainous area. All bedrooms have private bathrooms, TVs, phones, and either a balcony or patio. Visit our website for more information: www.fuentesdelucia.es

Is there WIFI at the hotel? Yes, free WIFI is available in the hotel rooms and the main house.

What meals are included? 7 breakfasts and 7 dinners are included. Please be sure to let us know in advance if you are a vegetarian or have special dietary needs. Lunches are at your own expense. Each day we will either stop in a local village to buy picnic supplies to eat on the trail or walk to a restaurant to have lunch.

What equipment is needed? A small day pack and hiking boots/trail shoes will be your most important items to pack. Please be sure your boots are well broken in.

How much spending money will I need? Most expenses are already built into the Retreat. Extra snacks and beverages at the cafes and stores are additional. Lunch in a café will cost you between 8 and 20 Euros ($8 to $20). Most people travel with an ATM card. Money machines are everywhere in Spain but be sure you know your PIN number (not letters) before departing the US or home country. Traveler’s checks are not easy to cash and are not advisable to travel with.

Is a gratuity for local guides expected? This is a very common question. As a person working hard in the service industry to please the traveler, a gratuity is much appreciated by the staff members at the end of the tour. Common industry standard is approx. 10 euros per day from each guest per guide (80 euros) pp. We will probably have two guides so budget 180 Euros for gratuity.

What is the terrain like? There will be some long, slow climbs through farming areas but not Himalayan or Rocky Mountain like terrain. The paths are well worn and are not difficult. We walk along a lot of secondary farming roads, through forests of chestnuts, hazelnuts and apple orchards.

How does one get to and from Oviedo? There is an airport near Oviedo (OVD) with regular flights from Madrid, Barcelona, and other points in Spain and Europe. There are international flights from London and Paris. The Retreat Tour Guide will pick us up at 5 p.m. in Oviedo on Saturday, September 10 and return us to Oviedo, 10 a.m. September 17.

Is a single room available? All accommodations are priced on double occupancy. Some people would like to be matched with a roommate. We cannot guarantee a match but will try to place you with someone if there are any requests. The price of the single supplement is $500 per person. Single rooms are limited.

YOUR INVESTMENT:

Before July 15:
EARLY BIRD: $1800
per person double occupancy: $750 deposit to hold your spot. Balance due by July 15.
Limited single occupancy available for an additional $500 pp.

After July 15: $1950 per person double occupancy due upon registration. Limited single occupancy available for an additional $500 pp.

Once your deposit is received a registration/agreement form will be emailed you. Please complete the form and email it to jo@heartofvillageyoga.com.

About us

Jo Kirsch, E-RYT® 500, Owner/Director - Heart of the Village Yoga has been practicing yoga for 31 years and teaching for 21. She is certified to teach yoga at the 500 Hour level through Yoga Teacher Alliance and the Hard & the Soft Yoga Institute.

Jo’s initial yoga teacher training was in Astanga yoga with Beryl Bender Birch. Since that time, Jo has been certified to teach Adaptive Yoga by Matthew Sanford, Trauma Sensitive Yoga by David Emerson, Yoga Nidra by Jennifer Reis, Yoga of 12 Step Recovery with Nikki Myers and Yin Yoga with Biff Mithoefer. Jo has a deepening love and appreciation for Bhakti Yoga and finds her heart cracking wide open as she studies and practices with Manoj Chalam, Sean Johnson and the Wild Lotus Band, and Gaura Vani. Her studies also include Iyengar and Anusara yoga, with many amazing, inspiring, loving teachers. Jo just graduated, Fall 2021, from Soul School, a 200 Hour online Yoga interdisciplinary teacher training program presented by Sean Johnson and Mitchel Bleier.

Jo’s personal experience with Post Traumatic Stress (PTSD) inspired her to work with individuals with PTS, to help them manage their stress and heal. Jo's practice informs her teaching. She's found that everyone benefits from learning and practicing coping skills to help manage personal stress. She greatly values and teaches stress reduction techniques including posture practice, meditation, focused breathing, and yoga nidra in her yoga classes.

Jo is also a certified professional ski instructor who loves to ski and share her passion for the sport with others. A lifelong learner who subscribes to experiential education, Jo finds that a balanced combination of physical activity, being in nature, practicing the different limbs of yoga, and eating well, leads to a spiritual, mental and physical life of health and happiness. She loves to share these practices with friends, family, and individuals who are in search of healing and happiness.

Bob Speck, E-RYT® 500, Owner - Heart of the Village Yoga is a Registered Yoga Teacher (EYT-500), Certified Personal Trainer and Functional Strength Coach. Bob has been practicing yoga for about 20 years, receiving his 500-hr accreditation through Beryl Bender Birch (The Hard and The Soft Yoga Institute) in 2016. Bob has also studied with Eoin Finn (Blissology Vinyasa Flow Yoga); Mathew Sanford (Adaptive Yoga); Biff Mithoefer (Yin Yoga); Sean Johnson (Bhakti Yoga), Manoj Chalam (Hindu Archetypes and Deities); Gaura Vani (Bhakti and Kirtan); Coby Kozlowski (Kripalu Yoga); Nikki Myers (Y12SR), Terry Fralich (Mindfulness), and Love Your Brain. He enjoys creating learning experiences which build supportive relationships, promote health and wellness, bring out the best in people, and provide ways for students to connect with the outdoor natural environment.

An athlete and outdoor enthusiast for his whole life, Bob is also a graduate of the National Outdoor Leadership School (Outdoor Education), Project Adventure (Adventure-Based Counseling), and is a PSIA/AASI Certified Ski, Snowboard, and Adaptive Instructor. He is also an ACSM Certified Personal Trainer, a Certified Functional Strength Coach (with Mike Boyle Strength & Conditioning), and a Pain-Free Performance Specialist (with Dr. John Rusin). Bob has taught skiing and snowboarding for over 40 years, and has worked in the ski industry as a snow-sports school manager, staff trainer, and regional clinician. He has also been instrumental in the development of health and wellness and mentoring programs for disabled veterans in association with the Wounded Warrior Project and Warriors Live On, and with various adaptive sports programs. He has facilitated numerous educational workshops, led bike trips and backcountry hiking expeditions, coached various sports, mentored numerous athletes, and taught middle school health education.

Bob was previously a structural/architectural engineer and timber-frame home designer for over 35 years. Throughout his career, he has been a mentor for young professionals, helping many thrive in their careers. After moving to Vermont in 1996, he focused his work on sustainable design and timber framing by maintaining a small private practice called Gaia Structures. He maintains a lifelong Earth-friendly perspective in his work and in his life. Bob keeps a personal learning journal on his blog: A Mentor Walks With Me


Joslyn B. Hitter (she/her) completed facilitator training in Los Angeles at InsightLA and at the UCLA Semel Institute, and is also a graduate of the Dedicated Practitioner Program, a multi-year study program at Spirit Rock Meditation Center in Northern California. Jos is currently a mentor for the Mindfulness Meditation Teacher Certification Program with Jack Kornfield and Tara Brach. Her teaching experience is broad and ranges from working in addiction treatment facilities, at early childhood education centers, within refugee populations, and in plant medicine integration circles. Jos’s orientation to Insight Meditation is influenced by her graduate studies in depth psychology, somatic studies and holistic approaches to trauma healing. She is a self-described dharma nerd and is passionate in her study of Sanskrit, Pali, classical yoga and early Buddhism. Her rescue dog Cleopatra is a significant dharma inspiration in her daily life.











Cancellation policy If we cancel the trip due to Covid 19 or political instability your deposit will be refunded less any credit card service fees. If you need to cancel your reservation, you will forfeit your deposit, unless we are able to fill your spot with another participant. We regret that any cancellations within 60 days or less are subject to a cancellation fee in the amount of 100% of the retreat cost. Fees are completely non-refundable and non-transferable. Exceptions to our policy cannot be made for any reason. We do not offer credit for arriving late or leaving early. We are not responsible for your expenses incurred in preparation for any canceled retreat, such as airline tickets, loss of work and/or other costs associated with preparing for your trip. There is no exception to the cancellation policy including weather or personal emergencies, flight cancellations or delays. We recommend purchasing Travel Protection Insurance through a qualified agent. If we must cancel a retreat, there will be 100% refund on all funds received to date. Thank you for understanding and respecting the cancellation policy.