Cyprus Mail

Ready your mind body and spirit for the summer

By Alix Norman

The long, hot summer is threatening to kick in – and we could all do with a bit of preparation before it arrives. So here’s an event that promises just that: an opportunity to ready your mind, body and spirit for the exhaustive months ahead. It’s also a great chance to take a relaxing break, get away from it all and focus on your own fulfilment. Intrigued? Then head down to The Roots of Awakening festival this coming weekend.

Taking place at the studio and in the extensive gardens of the Body & Soul Space in Larnaca, The Roots of Awakening comprises two days of yoga, music, therapy and dance – everything you need to really revitalise yourself, both mentally and physically. “The festival is all about bringing like-minded people together,” says organiser Rachel Petrou, professional yoga and Pilates teacher and creator and director of The Body & Soul Space. “It’s about getting a nice vibration and a positive energy going through the use of the healing arts.”

Now in its third year, the festival brings together yoga teachers and aficionados from all over the island: “North, south, east and west,” says Rachel. “But there are all sorts of complementary events going on at the same time, it’s a lot more than a mere yoga retreat!” As well as the yoga classes, there will be talks and meditation sessions, musical interludes and various therapies on offer, as well as a supervised craft corner for children and a special dance performance. There’s even a man with a didgeridoo!

“The programme for the two days is based on the yoga sessions,” Rachel explains. “We’re offering lots of different yoga styles with different teachers, so there’s something for all levels and ages.” Thus Rachel herself will be teaching a class both on Somatic meditative yoga and Dynamic Yoga fusion level 2, while renowned practitioner Emma Michael will be covering Anusara Yoga, and the highly-experienced Elina Pavlides will be hosting a Hatha Yoga session. The Peter Vedanta Centre will lead participants through a Sivananda based yoga class, which includes asana and pranayama; Ruby Harris will present an introduction to the Second Series of Ashtanga Yoga; Irmak Behzatoglu will be covering Vinyasa Flow level 2; and Peter Petrou will give a class on Sivananda Yoga and Pranayama.

With Hatha Yoga for All by Danielle Baily, a Jivamukti Open Class from Naile Soyel and an Introduction to DAO Yoga with Samantha Kruse, all the yoga bases certainly seem covered. But there’s also a host of other activities going on over the two days. An introductory talk on Tesla – hosted by George Logos Georgiou, president of the Nicola Tesla society – will focus on the great man himself, and include a short biography, some quotes from his writings and a few working models of some of his discoveries. The discussion will also be taking a look at some of Tesla’s more spiritual aspects, and this, says Rachel is where the link to yoga comes in.

“Tesla had similar thoughts to many of those who practise yoga,” she says, by way of explanation. “There are links between his work and mandalas – sacred geometry and so on. It’s amazing how it all fits in.” In previous years, she adds, the festival focused just on yoga, but there are so many similar areas that it was clearly time to expand. “Music, for example, is a real celebration of life and a great form of therapy,” she continues. “So we’ve planned a wonderful musical evening on the Saturday.”

With Navid Gholipour on the didgeridoo, and Heleniq and her group on the drums, the musical interlude promises to be quiet spectacular. “I think it will be quite different,” says Rachel. “It’s very unusual to hear a didgeridoo played live, it’s an incredibly powerful sound but it really fits in with yoga, with the awakening of earth energies. And at the same time, Demmiie Da Costa will be giving a special dance performance, entitled ‘Ophiolites’, to the music,” Rachel adds. “It’s all very dramatic!”

Acoustic reggae band Blackout will be providing light entertainment for those who prefer a chillout vibe, and the festival also incorporates a number of therapies (massage, reflexology, shiatsu, pranic healing and Bowen) as well as jugglers, henna tattoos and the promised kids’ corner. With Caribbean-themed refreshments throughout, Roots of Awakening really does have it all. So book your ticket now for what promises to be a truly revitalising, reenergising and, of course, re-awakening weekend.

The Roots of Awakening Festival
May 23 and 24 at the Body &Soul Space on Stasikratous in Larnaca. Various ticket packages are available, and readers of the Cyprus Mail will receive a 20 per cent discount on request. For further information, booking details and a full programme of events, call Rachel on 96 336977, email [email protected], visit the Facebook page ‘The Body & Soul Space’, or the website

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