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Introducing Mona Bektesi
Synchronicity is when there is a stream of events that occur inexplicably and simultaneously to form a harmonious result. That is what happend when Mona Bektesi, a former Suncokret guest and certified Vinyasa Yoga Teacher, who fascinated me last summer with her mission to share the benefits of yoga via a stream of books she has written on the topic, contacted me to ask if I needed an extra teacher on board for this summer (we had already agreed to a collaboration in 2024). Had she asked that question a week sooner, I would have said no. However, with the miraculous turn of events that transformed what seemed would be a rather quiet month into a very busy one, it was apparent that this was a case of divine timing, and so my answer was a resounding YES! Mona will be coming on board to help co-host the 22-28 July Balance & Bliss event taking place at Suncokret in just two week's time. And, therefore, we are very pleased to introduce her to our readers. Tell us a little about yourself; how did you get into yoga?
It was just by Chance. I had heard a lot about it and then saw an announcement for a class and dropped in. Ever since that moment, I was fascinated.
What was your life like before yoga?
I definitely did not feel strong and calm at the same moment!
What would you say is the one best thing about yoga? It connects you with yourself, with your body, mind and soul, and to nature, to every human being, to animals, to the planet, we are just one.
What was your best class teaching / group event experience?
My best experience was teaching in Italy at the beach with a mixed group of adults and teenagers - it was such good energy!
Besides yoga, what is your favorite thing?
I love writing, hiking and travelling. What was your favorite thing about coming to Suncokret as retreat guest? I love Hvar and I love the energy of Suncokret, which is incomparable to others.
What do you hope guests will gain by attending your event at Suncokret?
I Hope they will find joy and love for their body, mind, and soul.
At the end of the event week, what is the one thing you hope retreat participants will walk away feeling?
Hopefully they Walk away with a feeling of ease and connection at the same time.
What are your hopes and dreams for the future?
For the planet, I hope that we will save Mother Earth and learn to live more peacefully. My personal dream is to write a novel. We wish for this too, Mona! Thank you for sharing a bit of your story. We are looking forward to collaborating with you soon! You can learn more about Mona and her mission to share the benefits of yoga with others on her website here: www.yoga-in-der-schule.de And while this year's Balance and Bliss event is sold out already, you can pre-register for a Balance and Bliss event with Mona in July 2024 here: firstname.lastname@example.org
Meet the Extraordinary Marija Velichkova
Last month, out of the blue, came an interesting email from a yoga teacher named Marija who was inquiring about a possible collaboration. Marija informed us that she had just returned to her homeland in Macedonia after spending many months in Mysore, India, where she underwent a Hatha and Ashtanga Advanced Level 2 training at IndeaYoga, under the guidance of Yogacharya Bharat Shetty, for whom she was given an internship to serve as an assistant. With her impressive background in mind, I was keen to have a conversation with Marija to investigate further the possibility of a collaboration for 2024, but, by the end of the chat, I was convinced that Marija would be an excellent addition to our visiting team of teachers this year. Here is the interviewed I conducted with Marija for our blog, in order to introduce this interesting and multi talented yogini to our readers. Please tell us a bit about yourself: My name is Marija Velichkova and I am from Skopje, Macedonia. My family, from my father’s side are from Serbia, where I have lived three months annually since I was born. In 2008, I began my adventure of living abroad; my first move was to Greece. After some time, I relocated to London, where I worked in Hospitality as well as Modelling. In my free time, I travelled to Southeast Asia for a few months each year. I moved again, opening and managing a restaurant, which happened to be part of a Yoga school. One year later, I found myself living in sunny Portugal where I trained and became a Yoga Teacher. The months in between, I would spend at home, in Macedonia, engaging in Photography, and working at a hostel. My travels then brought me to Mykonos Island, where I learnt the interesting skill of Skippering, whilst working as a First Mate to the Captain of a luxury yachting company. Having always been a dreamer, I enjoy engaging myself fully in any activities or roles that excite me. How did you get into Yoga? It was the summer of 2016, Arugam Bay in Sri Lanka, the famous surf spot. I’m not keen on surfing, so whilst there, I signed up for a yoga class. It was to be held on the rooftop of the hotel next door. It all began with that feeling of bliss I experienced after that class. It was addictive!
What was your life like before Yoga? My life before yoga had no structure. I have now found my grounding and my purpose, all because of a steady yoga practice.
What would you say is the one best thing about Yoga? The best thing about Yoga, for me personally, is the grounding you can find in a busy world. My feet are now firmly on the ground when I walk. I am present. What was your best class teaching / group event experience? Teaching Mysore style classes, back to back, with my teacher, Bharat Shetty, in Mysore India, was my absolute dream come true. Besides yoga, what is your favorite thing? Besides Yoga, I am a very keen swimmer. My passion for cooking and photography are also still present. How do you hope to enhance the retreat experience at Suncokret with your particular offerings? What I offer to Students is a safe approach to any goal. In Yoga, we should always play and never fight. Many Students rush into ‘Instagram worthy’ asanas, where their chances of getting an injury are very high. During the retreat classes, we will focus on Body-Breath-Mind coordination and mindfulness in our practice, direct from the teachings from one of the the oldest accredited schools of Ashtanga Yoga in India.
Is there any ideal way retreat participants can better prepare themselves for their retreat time with you? My suggestion is that all participants attend practice with an open mind and open heart. Each body is individual and we teachers are present to support and guide each one through their journey. Yoga is a journey to the Self. Marija will be collaborating with us during the following events in August 2023: 5 - 11 August - Yogi Explorer
12 - 18 August - Balance & Bliss
20 - 26 August - Yogi Explorer Sign up for an event with Marija here. If you are interested in learning more about Marija, you can check out her biography on our Team page here and follow her on instagram here .
6 Things Yoga Has Taught Me by Tanja Novojevska
I have been practicing yoga since 2016, or, speaking the truth, I thought I was practicing yoga in yoga classes taught at the gym before I did my first yoga teacher training in 2020. Since then my life and view of yoga have changed completely and forever. Liberating, empowering, inspiring, uplifting, encouraging - these are the words that come to mind although they are not enough to describe the fullness of what yoga has done for me. Here are the 6 main things I have learned through my yoga practice and studies: What you want wants you : your deep heart desires are there from above. They are there because you are destined to make them true. Life is so conditioned and there are so many voices around calling us in different directions that it is very easy to get lost if you do not stay closely connected to your heart. What is right is always deep in your heart . You might try to take the hard decisions with your rational mind, however, since there is so much unexplainable magic in this world… If you follow and trust your heart, no decision or question will be hard for you to resolve. The happiest and luckiest unexpected outcomes in my life happened when I took the craziest, most unreasonable decisions. Because my heart was calling for it. And it always paid off. Always.
You are worthy of what you want just the way you are . It has never been about fixing something or doing something right to get it, it has never been about becoming worthy. You are already worthy of what you want.
Surrender is safe, letting go does not mean giving up . Trusting that the right things are happening to you right now. And while you are lying there in your savasana in total peace and silence, the Universe is working, gathering all the components for your dreams to come true. There is a power inside of you that water can't wet, fire can't burn, wind can't blow down, and earth can't crush . All of us have received this power from birth. Yoga teaches us that we have received divine power. You can eat! Without gaining weight. And you should eat what your body asks for at this very moment. It's all in your mind. We are putting so many restrictions on ourselves and creating so many “rules” for ourselves we then start to believe and which is then bound to become true in our life. This is what I created as a belief to myself: “if I eat this, I will gain weight. I am not allowed to eat this because this makes me fat”. During one of the yoga teacher training sessions I did, it came to me that I can liberate myself from the restrictions I put on myself. And to my biggest surprise, without doing anything, I lost 6 kg in the following month :) This is what my yoga is about. Yes, I teach ashtanga, Vinyasa, Hatha, Yin, Yoga Nidra, Breathwork, and Meditation… But most of all I teach empowering, liberating, encouraging, uplifting yoga. Yoga which is not about flexibility and handstands but which teaches you love towards yourself. Tanja will be back to co-host two signature events at Suncokret in 2023: 10 - 16 June 2023 - Yogi Explorer
18 - 24 June 2023 - Slice of Paradise If you are keen to experience the magic of a retreat with Tanja in June 2023, you can sign up for one of her 2023 events here . Want to learn more? Check out our interview with Tanja here . And, you can visit her website and follow her on Instagram .
Meet Bethany Demelza, the newest member of our team!
In May 2022 we had the pleasure of hosting a Balance and Bliss personal retreat experience for a lovely young lady named Bethany Demelza who had come away on retreat in order to process personal loss and take time out to refocus her attention on the next steps of her life's journey. As a social worker, single mom, and part-time yoga teacher who had suffered the loss of a beloved family member, Bethany was in need of a little "me time" where she could contemplate her life and her next steps forward. During the week-long experience, we shared our life stories and discovered many mutual interests, including our passion for yoga and yoga teaching, being moms to similar-aged kids, and our shared affinity for spending time in nature and for soft adventure. At the end of the retreat, we promised to keep in touch and made a vague plan to meet again in 2023. But it wasn't until the end of our retreat season, which is when we take time out to envision what we want the next season to look and feel like, that it became clear to me that Bethany would be an ideal addition to our team. First and foremost because of her positive disposition, which is warm, enthusiastic, and light-hearted, but, more importantly, because underneath that bubbly surface, there is a strong, independent, and compassionate soul whose life work involves empowering those who find themselves vulnerable and in crisis situations, not only through counseling but also by employing holistic technologies. As icing on the cake, she is also passionate about being outdoors and fell in love with the landscape of Hvar during her visit. In my 20 years of leading retreats at Suncokret, the one thing I am sure we are here to do is to provide a safe and inviting space in which people can unwind and access uplifting holistic technology that can support their journey to the center of their soul and, from that platform, help them to discover a positive pathway forward to the next stage of their life's journey. The job of a retreat leader is to facilitate that experience and I have every confidence that Bethany will do an excellent job of it. Therefore, it is my great pleasure to introduce you to Bethany, a certified Yoga and Flow Dance Meditation Instructor who will be co-hosting two events at Suncokret in July 2023, including a Balance and Bliss program, from 16-22 July, where she will be assisting me with the morning yoga Sadhana practice and also introducing Flow Dance Meditation during the afternoon deep-dive sessions, and then a Yogi Explorer program, from 24-30 July, where she will lead us through an Embodied Vinyasa practice in the mornings, followed by SUP and Sea-Kayaking activities later in the day, and evening workshops in Flow Dance Meditation and deeply healing Neurogenic Yoga. So, dear Bethany, please tell us a little about yourself; what else do you do besides teach yoga? How did you get into yoga? I am based in the UK where I live with my beautiful 7-year-old daughter and our little dog Buddy. As a single parent, my life can get busy with school runs and extracurricular activities for my daughter, making sure she is happy and has all that she needs and of course spending that quality time together whenever we can. I began practicing yoga 7 years ago when my daughter was a baby. At this time it was somewhere I could go to come away from the pressures and exhaustion of being a new parent and where I could feel restored after sleepless nights. A year into my practice of yoga, I began to experience a very difficult time in my life through loss and trauma, and for a period of time after this, I felt I was surrounded by darkness with no way out. However, I continued with my yoga practice and it felt as if yoga was the one constant in my life, the one thing that made me feel safe, and slowly it allowed me to see the light once more and helped me down the path of my healing journey. It was at this time that the benefits of yoga really shone through and it became a channel to connect to myself, my body, and the universe. I knew then that I needed to share the healing powers of this beautiful practice with others and this is when I enrolled in a yoga teacher training course in the UK at the end of 2019. In conjunction with my yoga teaching, I have had a 12-year social services background in providing support for vulnerable parents and children, advocating on their behalf, and creating a heart-centred space for them to have a voice and work through unresolved trauma, often while in crisis situations. Through this work, I went onto achieving a foundation diploma in Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP), where I can work with individuals to enable their minds to work in a more positive thinking pattern. Alongside yoga, I have started teaching Flow Dance Meditation which is a conscious dance that invites you to get present and move the body in a natural and free-flowing way. I also provide one-to-one sessions that often focus on a trauma-led practice, where we can work with yoga to release trauma through the body in a therapeutic and safe way. Besides yoga, what else do you love doing? I have so many things in life that I love. I am deeply inspired by music, dance, and movement and I am currently learning to play the djembe drum, which I absolutely love. I also have a passion for being outdoors and in nature, where my favourite things to do are paddle boarding, surfing, hiking, exploring mountains, and finding that perfect view for a picnic. These loves will blend well with co-hosting our Balance & Bliss and Yogi Explorer programs, indeed! Tell me, as a former guest of Suncokret, what did you enjoy most about your experience here? As soon as I arrived at suncokret, I immediately felt at ease and safe, as if it was home. I could feel the tension and stress of everyday life drain from my body as soon as I arrived and slipped into a deep feeling of rest and relaxation. It was one of the most healing and inspiring weeks of my life, from the empowering yoga and meditation sessions to relishing in the delicious and homemade meals, the little daytime adventures to the best spots around the island where swimming and journaling were just the right things for the mind, body, and soul. The wisdom and guidance of you, Evening Marie, as a retreat leader was truly inspiring and I came away feeling more connected to myself than ever before. What do you hope guests will gain by attending your event at Suncokret? How do you hope to enhance the retreat experience with your particular offerings? During the retreat experience, I will be offering a couple of different experiences that will hopefully leave guests feeling rejuvenated, refreshed, more alive in their body, and feeling a deeper connection to themselves so they can get back to their day-to-day life a little lighter and feeling inspired. First, I will be sharing a unique practice called "Flow Dance Meditation" where we will explore meditation in a dynamic, fun new way where I will invite you to let the music and my words guide you on a journey that can CONNECT you more deeply with yourself, MOVE and shift your energy, so you can RELEASE what no longer serves you and find your own unique flow. The class is an un-choreographed, free-moving meditation practice, which encourages self-expression and discovery, and allows you to explore and express how you feel through movement. You don’t have to learn any steps and there is no pressure to perform, making it easier to relax, and allowing the body and mind to get into a state of flow. Flow Dance meditation invites you to get present so you can feel and heal in an accessible, fun, and dynamic way. I will also lead "Embodied Flow Yoga" sessions where I will bring an embodied flow into my vinyasa flow classes and encourage you to find the freedom to move the body in a way that feels right, to release any expectations, and to explore new movement patterns and fluidity.
I have developed a trauma-informed yoga teaching style, making sure each individual feels seen, heard, and feels safe to release, let go, and find that magic. This is where I also bring in neurogenic/trauma release yoga, which allows the body to come into a natural and gentle tremor through certain yoga postures, allowing the body to release and let go of any stored trauma in a safe and supported space. I will also be present with the students throughout the retreat and not just during the practice. This will give us time to connect, share stories, explore the island together, learn and grow from one another, and create that safe space where everyone feels seen to get the best out of their retreat experience. What is the one thing you hope retreat participants will walk away feeling at the end of the events? My hope is that the students will gain a greater connection to their mind, body, and soul and be able to walk away feeling released and free of what no longer serves them. What advice would you give to aspiring yoga teachers who would like to lead retreats? To be your true authentic self always and the rest will follow. Perfect advice, indeed. Thank you, Bethany, for sharing a bit of your story with us, we're looking forward to co-hosting two wonderful events together with you. If you are interested in attending a retreat with Bethany, you can book your spot here. Want to learn more about Bethany? You can follow her on Instagram here.
6 Tips to Find the Best Airfare Deals - updated February 2023
After some years of constant travel I have come to understand that when you’re planning your next holiday, flights fares often play a major role in deciding where to travel. If you don’t know how to book cheap flights, reaching some off-the-beaten-track places like Croatia can be very expensive and you might decide not to go to your desired destination or, at the very least, you might "postpone the trip for another time" perhaps never getting there just because your budget doesn't ever seem to stretch that far. But with a little effort using these quick tips, we hope to help you pack your bags and reach us at your dream destination here on Hvar Island at affordable prices.
1. Search Engines Before going to the major airline websites try searching flights on www.momondo.com, www.esky.eu , www.cheapoair.com , or Skyscanner.net ; you can also download their apps on your smartphone and search from there. These are both great search engines that can help you to get an idea of the initial cost to reach your destination. You can then also check monthly prices, and also try different airlines for the specific route you wish to take. By doing this basic info comparison, you can then decide to book directly with your airline of choice. You can also use such websites to get Flight Deal Alerts. Check out these tips on how to set up your own flight alerts . 2. Flexibility in dates The difference of one day can mean hundreds of euros in savings, so be flexible with your days and, if possible, plan to arrive a little bit earlier or depart a couple of days later; sometimes you can find huge price differences if you don’t set a specific date during your search. 3. Early birds If you are really keen on saving money, you can find early-morning or late-night flights; they are cheaper because fewer people want to travel then. 4. Not your last destination Be flexible also with destinations, for example, If you are coming to Croatia, your main airport option will be Split, but don’t forget to check out Dubrovnik, Zadar, and Zagreb airports too as they just might have better connections with your nearest airport home and better prices. 5. Try budget airlines If you are within Europe, you might want to check one of these options: TUI, Ryanair, EasyJet, Finnair, Turkish Airlines, Norwegian, Vueling, and Eurowings. Or if you are coming from elsewhere, you could plan a brief stay in one of the major European towns prior to catching an intra-Europe flight that connects to any of the above-mentioned destinations in Croatia. 6. Search ticket prices as one person Always airlines will show you the highest ticket price when doing a search for a group of tickets because they will find seats together and show the fare based on the highest ticket price. Instead, after finding the best price, you can pick your seats during the checkout process so you and your travel companion are sitting together. 6. Best time to book The best booking window is 6 to 8 weeks before your flight, or around three months before if you are going to your destination during peak season. In Croatia, peak season is generally considered mid-June to mid-September. I hope these tips help you find better flight deals, especially If you are flying to Croatia. This European paradise has a renewed its offer to become one of the hotspots for travelers all over the world, with thousands of kilometers of stunning coastline, impressive architecture, and of course one of the best places on earth to heal, rest and renew - Suncokret Body & Soul Retreat on Hvar Island.
Introducing Tanja Novojevska
In spring 2021, an instantaneous synergy occurred when two mature yoginis with lots of life experience under their belts - including being single moms, having successful careers in other professions before finding their calling to teach yoga, and having a deep appreciation and passion for the Dalmatian way of life - came together to form a beautiful and meaningful collaboration at Suncokret. Early into my first conversation with Tanja, it became quite clear that she had the life experience, disposition, and passion for all things yoga to be an excellent guide for those on a retreat journey, and I was keen to welcome her to the team. Tanja led her first ever retreat ever with Suncokret a few months later. As with all our collaborating teachers, she followed the structure of our Balance and Bliss program, which is essentially an 8-pillared holistic yoga chakra life mapping journey, and added in her own unique toolkit to make it her own, and dubbed the program Balance & Bliss - "Reborn". I witnessed with joy the retreat participants' mental, emotional and energetic shift during the 7-day event. Each participant left the event in a state of elation and enthusiasm for the future that lay ahead post-retreat, thanks to Tanja's wise, gentle, and compassionate leadership skills. I was keen to continue the collaboration with Tanja beyond that first event and am pleased to announce that we have scheduled in three events with Tanja in the 2022 season: 12-18 June, Balance & Bliss - Born Again with Tanja 19-25 June, Radiant You with Tanja and Evening Marie 2 - 8 October, Balance & Bliss - Born Again with Tanja And now, I would like to take this opportunity to introduce this wonderful lady and retreat leader to our readers: 1. Dearest Tanja, please tell us a about your background... What else do you do besides teach yoga? I would say that everything I do contributes to my passion as a yoga teacher and yoga retreat leader. Besides yoga, I am a fitness trainer, a runner and an IT Manager. I have a full-time job at IT company, an executive role – I am managing a team of Microsoft professionals in an international company. This is an amazing job as it taught me to plan time and manage people, planning budgets and being a leader and a coach. However, all my jobs are about guiding, teaching, leading, motivating, encouraging and inspiring people. Also, all my jobs require constant development and studies, lots of reading, listening to podcasts, trainings. And everything I learn and all the experience I gain are applicable in all my different jobs and passions. 2. What was your life before yoga? Stressed out and lost, disappointed. You see, I have always known there is more than what I see and what people around me see and live. Before starting teaching yoga I spent 18 years in IT and was enjoying my side hustle as a fitness instructor. I managed to succeed in everything I did, I kind of achieved all “must-do’s” - a family, a career, a nice apartment, a car and enough money to travel and afford nice vacations. But this was only the visible, “glossy”, instagram worthy side of my life. I went through a divorse, I was single mom of two, eating a low-carb, low-calorie diet for almost 8 years and struggling with regular binge eating attacks. I never felt I was enough. I never felt I was happy. Shortly before the pandemic both the fitness and IT industries were on the top. Some days I had to work up to 16 hrs and both industries just craved for more. I was in a squirrel wheel and close to a burn-out. I started practicing yoga as a way to recover from my fitness classes and how surprised I was when I discovered that yoga is so much more than just a slow stretching class! Yoga was the space where I could be myself again the way I am and I was enough. The stillness and clarity of the mind achieved by the end of each practice was such a happy place where all the dreams I was deeply believing in were real and possible. And then the pandemic hit. Honestly, when the lockdown happened, I was deeply grateful for this quiet time. I thought: “Finally I have time for yoga, mindfulness, meditation practice. This all brought me back to who I really was and it encouraged my trust in my inner being. I started to follow that little voice inside of me and this is when my life started to change and I finally saw the light, I finally starting to feel that I am moving in the right direction. Following the impulses of my heart, I took the decisions I wouldI definitely felt I was living the life of my dreams and was so much happier than before. No amount of external success can bridge the gap between what we want and who we really are in the long term to truly experience happiness. We need to go beyond the thinking mind into the intuitive heart to discover happiness. Mindfulness, Meditation and Yoga are timeless powerful practices, tools that bring us back to the energy of our hearts, and then we allow our heart to navigate, we start to attract the people, things and moments into our life we need. Yoga as a mindfulness practice is so liberating! We are carrying too much of what we do not need and what makes us unhappy without even knowing that. Most of all that I learned that you can always change the current situation and you can create the life you dream of. Our uncontrollable unconsciousness is our only limitation. Thoughts become things and our present life is the result of our thoughts and beliefs. 3. What would you say is the one best thing about yoga? Yoga is about love. When I say I am a yoga teacher I always say I teach love. Bhavagad Gita, a “Bible” of yoga, teaches us that all of us has the divine expression inside, a “highest self”. Yoga means “union” and yoga practice brings us into this “union” – union of me and my highest self, union of me and the divine in me. God is love and when I practice yoga, I connect with this divine love. Thus, when I do yoga, I do love. 4. What did you most enjoy most about your experience as a guest teacher at Suncokret? Do you know the feeling that when you are looking for something, for example, new apartment or new office space, and you find the one you know for sure is 100% right? This was the feeling when I came to Suncokret first to see the venue and meet Evening and Stipe. It leaves no doubts it is the perfect place for a retreat. Peace. Equanimity. Beauty of nature. Harmony. Bliss. I love everything about Suncokret! Every moment is such a bliss. ❤️ The Nature. The beauty of Hvar and Croatia. Indescribable beauty... I love the studio. The Light and white... I love the rooms. Each one named after a chakra. And the cottages named after the elements. Me, personally, I felt like a princess in my room 3 (the "Manipura" meaning "City of Jewels" Room). I love the spirit of the retreat itself. So authentic. I love the location and the possibility to visit and see a new place every day of the retreat – Hvar, Stari Grad, Jelsa, Vrboska, Soline, while, at the same time, there is always a beach we can go to, so there is plenty of time to enjoy the sun and sea while also experiencing new towns and villages. And the delicious food, of course, thanks to Stipe! And the feeling of connection, of togetherness with all the retreat participants, that can really be established in the cosy and intimate space that Suncokret provides. 5. Why would attending your events be beneficial to the participants who join? This year, I've re-named the "Reborn" event to “Born Again”. “Born Again” is a holistic yoga lifestyle course where the yoga science of 7 energy centers meets neuroscience and neuroplasticity. During the course retreat guests discover their "SELF" through conscious yoga practice, meditation, journalling and mindfulness practices to discover a new, desired "SELF" version. This is why this program is called “Born Again”. In this program I am using the practices and wisdom of ancient yoga science and also the teachings of modern psychologists and neuroscientists, and this is what is special about this course. Thoughts become things. Our present life is the result of our thoughts and beliefs. Neuroscience research proves that 95% of who you are by the age of 35 years old is a memorized set of behaviors, emotional reactions, unconscious habits, beliefs and perceptions that function as a computer program. Neuroplasticity proves that you can always change, you can always reprogram yourself - which means you can re-program your life to a better, desired present and future. Ancient practices of yoga are teaching us of the same and during week of “Born Again” we will learn how we can apply these ancient and modern teachings to live a more fulfilled and happier life. I'm also excited to be co-teaching the "Radiant You" event, which is an upgraded version of previous year's "Radiance" events. Radiance was a dedicated holistic yoga and face yoga retreat, whereas "Radiant You" offers a more rounded holistic wellness experience that provides workshops in Hormone Balancing practices, Ayurvedic Marma Points Self-Massage, "TYT" (Transformational Yoga Technique), Reflexology, Mudra practice, as well as basic Face Yoga, with the intention to help to revitalize and renew your entire being from many different angles. “Radiant You” is all about making space for a new and beautiful mental and physical self. During “Radiant You” our students will be invited to purify and detoxify with the help of yoga, breathing and meditation practices. It is so important to cleanse ourselves from the toxins we are carrying, which do not serve us on both the mental and physical planes. Speaking in terms of the physical body, we will focus on practicing yoga and breathing methods that cleanse away toxins from our body, and, speaking in terms of the mental body, we will focus on practices that will help us let go and say goodbye to the things we do not need anymore so that we can welcome in better thoughts and feelings. This is what “Radiant You” is all about – the opportunity to cleanse, detoxify and shine. 6. What are your plans for the future? I have a lot of ideas! I really want to help people to understand that they are born to enjoy life and be happy. And yoga is one of the ways that can help. I will definitely continue to do the retreats. I am currently working on two other programs for future retreats, one is called “EAT. PRAY. LOVE – one’s search for everything” and “Alchemist” so I will definitely do new programs and new retreats. My biggest dream is to have my own retreat venue, but I would love not only use it for retreats but also I dream of one day teaching other teachers. Thank you so much for all your feedback, Tanja. We're really looking forward to continuing the collaboration with you this season! Update: Tanja will be back to co-host two signature events at Suncokret in 2023:
10 - 16 June 2023 - Yogi Explorer 18 - 24 June 2023 - Slice of Paradise
If you are keen to experience the magic of a retreat with Tanja in June 2023, you can sign up for one of her 2023 events here . Want to learn more? Check out Tanja's latest article 6 Things Yoga has Taught Me . You can visit her website and follow her on Instagram .
Photo Memoir: Appreciating Life's Little Treasures During a Pandemic
It certainly has been a very challenging year for so many of us, and that is exactly why it's more important now than ever to count our blessings, no matter how big or small. When we look back at our lives, it's exactly those things, especially the precious moments when we are able to connect to ourselves, to others, and to mother nature, that we experience the great blessing of true abundance. In honor of World Happiness Day, may this photo memoir fill your heart with feelings of joy, wonder, and inspiration, as it does ours.
Meet Kristina Pejovski: Content Strategist, Social Media Maven, and Published Advertising Copywriter
Kristina is the latest member of the Suncokret Team who is collaborating on our newly-expanded "Life Empowerment" retreat program called " From a Mess to Your Best in 28 Days ." The program is quite unique to others we run, as it is made up of four individual week-long events that each build on the other to deliver participants through a complete holistic lifestyle makeover that then propels them full throttle into their newly envisioned and refined professional pathway, which then acts as the foundation for the remainder of their hopes and dreams to manifest, within divine timing. Who is Kristina and how did she come to collaborate with Suncokret? Let's find out more about her in her own words: Q: Tell us a little bit about yourself. What do you do aside from writing and creating advertisements?
A: Aside from practicing yoga for over fifteen years, I gravitate towards the bountiful outdoors--complete with its lush greenery, serene landscapes (all seasons), quiet, calm and undivided inspiration. Rock climbing has served as an extension of that love, and has been the basis for most of my travels in the last seven years. The mindful, vertical meditation, coupled by the extensive warm community of climbers aids in my addiction. While jobs, relationships, towns, etc have changed, climbing has served as a beautiful constant.
When not exploring the rugged outdoors-- touching rock, traversing peaks and learning from mama nature, I can be found reading, studying and immersing myself in mind/body wellness. Everything that ranges from what I ingest to what goes on my body. It’s all consuming and truly an anchor for living in your most positive light. Steeping some indigenous herbs while curling up with Psychology Today or Scientific American is my idea of a relaxing night in.
Q: How did you get into creative expression? Yoga, writing, etc.
A: Ah, where to begin? The fertile mind is a delicate and crazy container, isn’t it? To identify where it began would be an unreachable feat akin to finding a needle in a haystack. What I can say is that I was always a curious little human. There is a story about a day in preschool where I was confronted by my teacher who asked why I broke all my crayons. “Because now I have more,” I replied. And well, that perfectly describes how my brain operates.
I like to see things from multiple angles and I like to study why that is. Yoga, writing, dancing, painting, climbing, etc all serve as unique vessels of exploration into the mind, into the delicate psyche that creates our unique thumbprint-- none of us are alike, and that’s the coolest thing ever. Q: What was your life like before your career path in copywriting?
A: Before diving into the world of copywriting (the poetry of capitalism), I was still a loud, rambunctious, rebellious soul. I attended music shows, consumed classic literature, non fiction and poetry like it’s h20, and endlessly journaled multifaceted topics that to this day need to live in a novel. I still do the above, but life as an adult becomes a little harsher, a little more straight forward and critical.
Creative expression fights with the need for survival and writing to satiate desire gets reduced to multiple copies of the same thing for a quizzical client. All of this is in good fun, and of course a lesson from every angle. These days I have been getting back to moving my pen for my own pleasure and not for the corporate umbrella. And that, my friends, is a powerfully liberating feeling.
Q: What would you say is one the best things about writing?
A: Have you ever picked up a paint brush, a pair of ballet flats, gotten behind a camera lens, etc? Have you felt that freedom? The freedom that exists between you and your medium-- between the body and the act you are executing? That’s the feeling, the feeling of moving a fine-tipped liquid pen across a grainy page. That’s the feeling of diligently typing across a blank square, of printing words of your choosing to build on or disrupt the reader's perception of reality. How powerful, no?
Q: What style of writing appeals to you the most and one that you feel everyone should master?
A: This is a toughie. I can’t simply distill the importance of writing into one style, but can add that all styles must be utilized to give birth to your unique vision. Everything from narrative, analytical, expository, argumentative and persuasive are all vital in channeling your expression. Q: What was your most embarrassing class teaching/ group event experience? A: A few years ago, while working at a buzzing advertising agency in NYC’s Union Square, I was met with a group presentation where I was leading a workshop for the Jr. copywriters. The problem? I was still a junior writer myself! You know that ol’ adage, “fake it until you make it?” Well, I did just that. I had to.
My creative director had faith in me, and I was for sure not going to let him down. To this day, I have so much respect for him. He gave me the opportunity to lead a group of enthusiastic and bright eyed writers that were yearning to learn the in’s and outs of sales copy-- how to get people to buy things they do/don’t really need. I jokingly say that if it weren’t for copywriters’ cleverly positioning products, we wouldn't be roused into fantasising about what that said [product] could be or do. How instrumental is our craft, right? ; )
Q: Besides writing, what is your favorite thing?
A: Waking up with choices--freedom. Seems like a no-brainer, but darn, there are so many unfortunate circumstances wherein people don’t get that blessing. I am grateful that I can choose how to write my story. We are the architects of our own life, after all.
Q: What was your favorite thing about coming to Suncokret Retreat as a guest?
A: Believe it or not, I attended Suncokret as a volunteer and it was single-handedly one of the most transformative times of my life. It may have not appeared that way at the time, but it was one of those experiences that when reflected on, prompt an “a-ha” moment that invites tears and makes you smile from ear to ear. Yeah, that was Suncokret.
I met Evening over the phone during March 2020, a very strange time amidst the COVID outbreak. I was living in Zagreb for a year to secure dual citizenship (on the basis of reunification with family. Mama was born there). After experiencing a terrifying earthquake that logged in as 5.9 on the Richter, and two failed attempts at getting a job permit, I needed to redirect.
I called Evening to discuss a possible collaboration to help her with her marketing angle. Having spent a few months on sunny Hvar, biking en route from the tiny village of Dol to the aquamarine seas every day, I felt reborn. I felt rekindled. I will forever be grateful to Evening, Stipe, Gina, and family for their thoughtfulness and loving nature. They are still an extension of my forever family.
Q: What do you hope your guests will attain by attending your event at Suncokret? A: The biggest takeaway I’d like for the participants to gain is the desire to manifest their thoughts onto paper-- however that takes shape. We will have the opportunity to learn the different styles of writing and how to apply them in a practical sense, and furthermore, how to execute on building your concrete vision. Whether you’re looking to pivot in a new career direction, start a blog, quit your day job and become an influencer, we will cover all necessary topics needed to turn your vision into something tangible. Q: How did you come up with the retreat event theme you are leading at Suncokret? A: I have been working in the advertising industry, alongside creative geniuses since 2012. After experiencing a burnout at 24 years old (young, I know), I left NYC in search of answers (don’t we all?). I found myself in Denver, Colorado where the mountains fed my soul and offered something New York City could never-- easy access to nature. But something was still missing. This indistinguishable thirst for adventure, for the lively exchange between strangers, trying new cuisines, learning about new cultures, anthropological accounts from strangers in faraway lands. Life’s truths hidden, a plane ride away. So I did what any burnt out “kid” with a disposable income (while living with the folks) would do-- I packed my bag and set sail. Literally.
One year abroad turned into a repeat visit to Rome, Italy, where I worked as a translator for Translated, a machine learning/AI company for Airbnb. Following the end of that contract, I decided to move to Croatia and subsequently relocated to North Macedonia, where I currently created a basecamp in a free environment I so very much enjoy.
This past Christmas, I was stirred into taking a new direction in my career and collaborated with Evening to develop this writers' workshop, inspired by a newfound thirst to redirect my career and leave advertising behind. Anything is possible, friends. Anything. Q: Why would attending your particular event be beneficial to the participants?
A: If you feel stuck in your current job or feel like there is creative expression that needs to be unearthed and applied, this workshop will have everlasting benefits. We will learn to identify and to enact on those points, and furthermore, how to sell yourself and your work. The key benefit in this course which distinguishes it from others is the knowledge of applicative writing-- writing that sticks and circles back to convey a point. This is exactly the type of writing that is used to leverage businesses, brands, instagram handles etc.
We won’t just learn about writing, we’ll learn about the psychology behind what we are writing and why we are doing so.
Q: Is there any ideal way that retreat participants can better prepare themselves for the Launch Your Dream workshop?
A: Come with an open mind and your favorite writing utensil or technology to type on. That’s it.
Q. At the end of the event week, what is the one thing you hope that event participants will walk away feeling?
A: Inspired. Yes, it sounds cliche, but it is exactly what I wish for my participants. I want them to feel inspired and charged to start paving a new path for themselves.
Q: What are you most looking forward to experiencing as a co-hosting teacher at Suncokret? A: The participants! I live for cross cultural exchange and am inspired by my students as much as I gain joy from sharing my experiences. The things you learn from people are invaluable. Q. What advice would you give to writers who would like to lead retreats? A: Reading comes before writing. You must learn the art before you can craft it. Q: What are your plans for the future? A: Oof. How much time do you have? ; ) To learn more about Kristina went from a volunteer to event co-host, stay check out our post: " One Thing Leads to Another ." To learn more about the upcoming event, check out our dedicated event page : From a Mess to Your Best in 28 Days. Thanks for reading!
Living with Joy and Purpose in Times of Fear and Uncertainty
In the nearly 50-years I have lived on this planet, in this incarnation, I have been through my share of trying times and fearful situations.
It started with the instability of my family situation during my early childhood years, i.e. things like loosing contact with half my family at age 5 due to a difficult divorce, being moved around from place to place and school to school, and having to look after myself while my mom worked and studied were all part of my norm.
On top of the norm, there were a handful of precarious instances that really made me feel extra vulnerable, like the time I took the wrong bus home from school and had to walk through the slums of 70’s Harlem to get home, or the time I helped a stranger with a “bad back” to carry groceries up to his apartment only to find he had locked me in and it was up to me to get myself out safely using my wits, which I luckily managed (I was 8 at the time), among others...
By the time I reached 10, I began to have a growing awareness and concern for the unstable and downright scary situations that were happening in the world around me, like the unfathomable shooting of a great soul in broad daylight for no obvious or good reason (John Lennon), to the AIDS crisis during my teenage years, and as my 20-s approached, the war in Afghanistan (the first war I was ever conscious of), not to mention the simple task of living on my own in NYC as a university student and having to make ends meet with no obvious security net to catch me if I failed.
At the age of 21, I had such deeply-routed feelings of insecurity and fear that living through 10 days of war in a foreign country (Slovenia) where my then-boyfriend was living and where I happened to be visiting when it started seemed not much more precarious than my life back home in the USA. It was happening and therefore it was just another string of uncontrollable scary events in a series of others to contend with.
My friends and family back home thought I was insane to stay. But I decided then and there that I would rather die happy and with the one I loved than return back to the US out of fear, and back into a whole other string of fearful situations.
What I found by consciously making the choice to stay was that not only does life go on but that it can even go on with a sense of joy if there is an awareness of what I was living for and in the pursuit of my passions and purpose.
I remember observing the quiet fear of the masses, who were flocking to the supermarkets to stock up on quickly dwindling supplies, in sharp contrast to the ironic and certainly defiant attitude of a rather large group of people, made up of artists, intellectuals, reporters and misfits, who would convene together, in spite of the fear, in order to live it up together at impromptu gatherings held at various locations around Ljubljana.
One day, from my boyfriend’s bedroom window, I watched in shock and terror as a helicopter got shot down from the sky, and minutes later, despite my fear, I found myself bravely (or foolishly) following my boyfriend and a stream of neighbours running down the street to investigate the situation first hand. A few days later, a tank had been bombed right off its destructive tracks, somewhere deep in the Slovenian countryside, and we went with a group of friends (mostly reporters) to go check it out first hand.
I certainly would not have gone to investigate these events on my own as I was consumed by fear. But the action of my Slovenian peers showed me there is another way to deal with fear; and that is to face it, on purpose, to see for one self, to make up ones own mind, to bear witness in a state of knowingness. To choose bravery over fear; to choose to live in deep knowing, despite the chances of perhaps dying.
Every big incident that happened during those 10 incredible days of war was proceeded by a collective us, heading out to see for ourselves, in an almost zest- for-life kind of way, what had happened. Those were probably the most thrilling and ALIVE days of my life.
Living in the Balkans with this ironic, “live-it-up-in-the-face-of-danger” attitude has taught me to think differently than I would have and to live outside the box. (And a colourful life outside the box is certainly what I've had ever since, but I'll save that story for another post.)
Don’t get me wrong, I believe in being informed, and I believe in taking precautions, especially because I have children to live for. And nowadays I probably would not run toward or expose myself to dangerous situations on purpose in defiance of fear. However, making a conscious choice to live joyfully and with trust in life, despite whatever scary thing is out there, is the choice I make. I choose to live in a state of gratitude and joy for being able to peruse the things I’m passionate about, and also for the little things like a bright, sunny day, the fresh air I breathe, and the blossoming spring that currently surrounds me. And for the bigger things, like the love I share between family, friends and even Suncokret guests. These are all precious jewels that I honor and which support me from the deepest root in my soul.
I trust that all things happen for a reason and that, even if I can’t control whatever crisis currently happening, it’s important to carry on and go with the flow . Knowing what really matters and continually choosing to live each day I’ve got for that purpose, I remain the champion of my fate, no matter the physical outcome.
I hope you will also consciously choose how you experience and respond to the fears and threats surrounding you, and I hope it will be from an aware and fulfilling place, guided by your heart and soul.
If you are looking for gentle, nurturing support and guidance in learning how to navigate through fear, doubt and uncertainty during these precarious times, consider taking part in Reach Your Highest Potential event , scheduled from 12 - 18 July, 2020 and 27 December - 2 January, 2021 or 6 - 12 June, 2021. If you can't make the events, you can sign up for a Life Path Awakening Workshop , which can be conducted live at the retreat during any of the scheduled retreat weeks, and it can also be conducted online. Contact Evening for a free consultation .
#reachyourhighestpotential #keystomanifestation #createyourdestiny #suncokretevents #suncokretworkshops #suncokretexperience #holisticlifestyle #spiritualawakening #spiritualjourney #lovelife #joy #empowerment #lifepathawakening #bodyandsoulretreat #yoga #yogaretreat #chakralifemapping #chakrayoga #Croatiafulloflife #HvarIsland #natureretreat #bodymindsoul
Interview with Špela Koderman, co-host of the Radiance event
We caught up with Spela to find out more about Face Yoga, how she discovered it, her pathway to sharing it and its rich array of benefits for men and women alike. Please tell us a little about yourself; what else do you do besides teach Face Yoga? I love to dance, travel, spend time in nature (hiking, cross country skiing, skiing, scuba diving) and spend time with friends and family. On top of that, I love to keep learning about healthy ways of living and longevity. How did you get into face yoga? At the start of my 30's, when my first wrinkles appeared, I was explicitly looking for a natural way of rejuvenation and that’s when I came across face yoga. I enrolled in a beginner's course and was very positively surprised by the results (both my own and those of course participants) and I decided to step on the path to share face yoga with others.
In 2015, I obtained a license as a Face Yoga Instructor, and, over the course of the past few years, I have been upgrading my knowledge with education and exploration in the field of traditional Chinese medicine, taoism and longevity. What would you say is the one best thing about face yoga? That it is beneficial for everyone, regardless their gender or age. It is great for those who would like to delay and/or improve the signs of aging. Moreover, it is highly recommended for everyone who has just completed a diet or is dieting with the aim of losing weight, as often after weight-loss, the face can look tired, wilted and even ten years older – unless we give it the exercise it needs. Face yoga is also very beneficial as part of post-natal care, as well as for all who have noticed signs of aging on their face and for all who would like to prevent such signs from showing up in the first place. The exercises also help relieve problems with the jaw and have even been used successfully (under clinical conditions) for rehabilitation following strokes or accidents. Face yoga is also recommended for those who have undergone cosmetic surgery as well as those who occasionally or regularly have botox treatments. What is did you most enjoy about last year's Radiance experience at Suncokret? I loved being immersed in the calm environment of the retreat, eating Stipe’s delicious food, doing daily Sadhana with Evening Marie, swimming in the clear waters of Hvar’s beautiful bays, and most of all, being able to give hands-on experience with face yoga practice to every person who joins us! Why would attending your particular event be beneficial to the participants who join? Face yoga is a completely natural face lifting method. We tone our face muscles, diminish wrinkles and lines, get rid of the double chin, lift droopy eyelids and cheeks, bring more volume to the face. By stimulating face muscles we accelerate blood circulation to the face, neck and scalp, enriching every cell with more oxygen and nutrients, increase the production of collagen and elastin, get rid of stagnant lymph and tone our complexion. Performing face yoga exercises has also a direct and beneficial influence on the functioning of our glands, which play a key role in the rejuvenation process, help us to maintain our vitality and energy levels and ensure that our bodies are in optimum working condition. My approach to teaching is based on the fact that each face is unique, so it is extremely important to me that I teach each participant (even in a group course) to know how to perform the exercises correctly, and therefore set a high-quality basis for when they perform face yoga on their own. They can expect to see the first results after 4-5 weeks of regular face yoga exercising done daily for about 15 minutes per day. Is there any ideal way retreat participants can better prepare themselves for their retreat time with you? There are no requirements or special preparations needed to do face yoga. As long as one has an interest to try it and then to see for her/himself what effects it has on one while doing it. Anyone who has already tried face yoga will tell you that we can have a good laugh during the classes, as the exercises can be a bit funny, but nevertheless, it takes quite a bit of effort for each of the face yoga exercises to be performed correctly. Proper execution of the exercises is crucial to activate the muscles in the targeted area of the face and to accurately cover the facial expressions. At the end of the event week, what is the one thing you hope retreat participants will walk away feeling? The biggest reward for me is when I see the enthusiasm and satisfaction of the participants over the achieved change. I am also looking forward to seeing them relaxed and energized after soaking up the sun, sea, great food and daily exercises of face yoga and yoga. And I am sure there will also be a special glow on their faces. What is your favorite place to visit on Hvar? Hvar is a very attractive island with many beautiful places and bays to visit. I really like to combine the visit of enchanting Stari Grad, charming Jelsa, and the lively vibe of Hvar Town and the nearby Pakleni Islands. Is there anything else you would like to add? I would like to emphasize that with regular practice of facial yoga we will not look like eternal 20-year-olds, but we will definitely maintain a more youthful appearance and gracefully defy the force of gravity on the face, while gaining other already mentioned positive effects. Thanks so much for taking the time to share more about your background and about the benefits of Face Yoga with our readers, Spela! We are so excited to continue the collaboration with you! The Radiance Event will take place from 19 - 25 July and 26 July - 1 August, 2020. If you'd like to learn more, you can also check out our recorded Live Chat with Spela which was conducted this past June . #r adiance event #s pelakoderman # faceyoga # holistic#detox#chakrayoga #spiritualawakening #m indfulness #yoga #meditation #b eauty#naturalfacelift#organic#spa #natureretreat #holisticliving #holisticlifestyle #mindbodyspirit #yogaretreat #healing #healingjourney #travel #consciousness #journey #croatia #croatiatravel #croatiafulloflife #hvar #hvarisland #spiritualawakening #holistichealth #wellness #instatraveling #organic #vegetarian #holistichealing
Moving with Shakti, reviving through nature by Edina Husanovic
These photographs are a record of a video collaboration with a Bosnian artist Irfan Brkovic, taken while swimming in one of the most beautiful beaches on Hvar a couple of years ago. For me they symbolize the primal and powerful connection with the local nature and the amazing sea of Hvar, which is the basis of the inspiration for the events Art of Mindfulness and Moving with Shakti . One of the things you notice when you first arrive on Hvar is how time slows down. Free from the trappings of consumerist culture, you notice how the nature takes its own tempo. Art of Mindfulness and Moving with Shakti are both designed to enable the participants to really pay attention to this unique experience of the island, to relax and deepen the connection with nature and themselves through yoga, art and movement. I have had pleasure to collaborate with Evening and ‘Suncokret’ for three years now on these events, which has been made possible through my own connection to the island. These collaborations have complemented and have grown out of the creative workshops that I have been leading on the island for around ten years, from our summer house, which is not so far from the retreat. A moment of mindfulness during the Art of Mindfulness event, 2019 Moving with Shakti during the Viva Shakti event, 2019 The atmosphere at ‘Suncokret’ is wonderful. It is precious to meet so many different folks taking the opportunity to relax and renew themselves through yoga, art and movement. It is wonderful that each time this process is as different and unique, as people who participate bring very unique influences. This year, during Art of Mindfulness and Moving with Shakti , I hope the guests will take the opportunity to take refuge from the pressures of their everyday life, and benefit from the creative, visual and movement-based explorations, designed to foster our own sense of harmony and inner peace.
I was born in neighboring Bosnia, and then found refuge from the war in the UK where I trained in art and theatre. I was also lucky to be deeply shaped and healed by the experience of Vipassana meditation, which has, together with art, helped me to reintegrate my early experiences of the war. My daily practice of meditation helps me to nurture the qualities of intuition and peace, which are also reflected in my creative work.
Recently, after living for two years on Hvar, I moved back to the UK where I had spent most of my adult life, so that my son could start school. For those two years, living with my young son and husband on the island, I got to know its rhythms and subtle changes and explore its natural environments through drawing, swimming, walking and cycling. The experience has left a deep imprint on all three of us, and after returning I have started to write and illustrate a book inspired by the island. I hope to share this intuitive and intimate relationship to the island with other participants, who, I am sure, will be also spellbound by its beauty. At the end of event week, one thing I hope the retreat participants will feel is nourished by our unique shared experience. During the creative workshops that I have led in Croatia, Bosnia and UK, there are moments that stretch, with incredible beauty, and envelop participants into a shared space of play. These moments evoke for me, an idea of a safe space to dream, rest, create, ‘to feel secure and loved’, or to be ‘at home’. This is my hope for both Art and Mindfulness and Moving with Shakti . Art of Mindfulness will take place from 9 - 15 August, 2020 and Moving with Shakti is scheduled from 16-22 August. Both events are family-friendly. If you'd like to learn more about both events, check out our recorded Instagram Life video chat with Edina. #artofmindfulness #movingwithshakti #vivashakti #edinahusanovic #mindfulness #suncokretevents2020 #yogaretreateurope #spiritualawakening #danceworkshop #yoga #meditation #artworkshops #natureretreat #holisticliving #holisticlifestyle #mindbodyspirit #yogaretreat #healing #healingjourney #travel #consciousness #journey #croatia #croatiatravel #croatiafulloflife #hvar #hvarisland #spiritualawakening #holistichealth #wellness #instatraveling #organic #vegetarian #holistichealing
Celebrating our 17th Anniversary
17 years ago this June, Stipe and I got the stamp of approval from the Croatian court to open our holistic retreat business. At the time, we could not have imagined the incredible consistent effort that would be required to get us where we are today, but what drove us was a vision to live a certain lifestyle together and to have the opportunity to share that lifestyle with others. Our dedication to the vision was the driving force behind our emergence as market leaders. Over these past 17 years, we have miraculously managed to keep riding through the barrel of life's gigantic wave, not hitting peak nor trough by keeping a clear, heart-centered focus while surrendering ourselves in body and spirit to the flow of life and Divine guidance. In retrospect, it seems that our consistent, heart-driven trust and persistence has enabled us not only to survive but also thrive despite our humble, shoe-string budget beginnings, in spite of the devastating stock market crash of 2008, regardless the dreadful Islandic volcanic eruption that disrupted much of European travel during the summer of 2010, and irrespective of the European austerity crisis that hit Croatia hard till the end of 2014... On my 44th birthday in September 2014, we were in for a BIG surprise and discovered that a little soul was on the way to rock our world forevermore! During the months leading up to the big event, we had to restructure our entire business and trust in our ability to navigate successfully through the unknown. We must have been doing something right because we not only survived but continued yet again to thrive, despite the immense pressures and challenges of those very busy days, by entering into multiple collaborations with heart-centered visiting teachers from around the world who helped carry the vision forward together with us. We can not express how grateful we are to each and every member of our amazing team who has helped us carry the torch over these past 5 years! And here we are in 2020, in the middle of a global pandemic, riding the wave still. We took March and April to contemplate our steps forward and, in response to the situation, adjusted our calendar, packages, and pricing to better meet the times. We also prepared our space to be in adherence with the recommended safety standards in order to conduct retreat safely for those who are in need, and we furthermore set up new ways in which to share our toolkit with the world remotely... yet another massive leap of faith forward into the mass expanse of internet ether. Throughout March, April and May, I conducted a series of Facebook Live moments, streaming impromptu Satsangs, nature immersion tours, and Sadhana sessions that included yoga asana flows, pranayama and mudra practices and hand-picked meditations that I felt could help empower others through those very scary days, weeks and months. Then in June, we conducted a series of pre-announced, 30-minute Soothing Saturday Meditation Sessions via Zoom and Facebook Live. And we are currently working behind the scenes on a daily basis to create a range of online courses and virtual weekend retreats that can be experienced from the safety and comfort of home. Boy, it's been a busy 17 years!!! Suncokret is a love story that has always been about fulfilling our highest potential as a couple and as retreat hosts, and now, as a family unit. But beyond our little universe, its mission has always been to provide both the physical space as well as the spiritual space for sharing a holistic lifestyle toolkit to support mind-body-spirit awakening for individuals on the path to personal transformation, self-realization, and harmony with oneself and the Oneness of life. In this "Corona Age", (or Crown Chakra Age), it is more vital than ever to raise your vibration and merge your awareness with Universal wisdom, understanding, compassion, and guidance in order to navigate the waves of the times. We are certain that our rich and diverse offerings, both at the retreat and online, will help you to awaken and strengthen the Sage Warrior within. We are firm in our commitment to continue to empower you to embody your own strength, courage, and wisdom so that you, too, can follow your highest inner vision and so that together, as a global community of lightworkers and spiritually-awakened path walkers, we can ride the waves of the Aquarian Age smoothly, as one advanced tribe, together keeping focus on Aquarian-Age values of community, caring, sharing, loving and supporting one another through the pathway of service and in the name of the higher good of all. Thanks again to each and every one of you for being a part of the Suncokret dream; we hope to see you whenever you feel the soul call to join us for a transformational body, mind, soul experience here on Hvar, or perhaps from the comfort of your own little home oasis! Love, peace, and light, Evening Marie #suncokretexperience #spiritualawakening #bodymindsoulretreat #aquarianage #reachyourhighestpotential #keystomanifestation #createyourdestiny #suncokretevents #suncokretworkshops #suncokretexperience #holisticlifestyle #spiritualawakening #spiritualjourney #lovelife #joy #reiki#empowerment #lifepathawakening #bodyandsoulretreat #yoga #yogaretreat #chakralifemapping #chakrayoga #Croatiafulloflife #HvarIsland #natureretreat #bodymindsoul