Angela Farmer and Victor van Kooten's Yoga Hall

»Creative Intuitive Yoga«

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Eccentric is how most people would describe Angela Farmer and Victor van Kooten. Creative, free and unconventional would describe the duo more accurately. Angela and Victor, who are based on the island of Lesvos in Greece, have been teaching together since they met more than 25 years ago. Their teaching style; playful, emotionally freeing and deeply personal.

  • What we love
  • Creative teaching style
  • Emotional exploration of Yoga
  • Beautiful yoga hall
  • Mediterranean-style living
  • What to know
  • Don’t go if you want a rigid approach to yoga
  • No accommodation onsite
  • No meals included
  • Why go
  • Deeper emotional exploration
  • Fun creative classes
  • You want to explore your feminine side

Although Angela and Victor teach in various locations around the world, their home base is in the Eftalou valley on the Greek island of Lesvos. Four times a year in May, June, October and September they hold their immersive two to three week yoga courses. These courses are held in a purpose-built spacious yoga hall on their pristine Mediterranean property.

Don’t expect to be silently suffering through a routine in one of their classes. Yoga for Angela and Victor is about creatively exploring the inner body through asana. The classes are fluid, elegant, feminine and dance-like. Forget straining to achieve that perfect pose. Instead, settle into your reinterpretation. Be free, be creative, let those emotions rise up and then see what happens!

Angela and Victor both studied, although separately, under BKS Iyengar. Angela followed the Iyengar for a full decade before she “began to uncover my own approach and practice that has and still continues to unfold.” Victor studied under Iyengar for 13 years before his path also led to a different calling, and to Angela. Why don’t they teach Iyengar, you may ask? The answer is due to the frustration they encountered during their time with him. Yoga - they felt - was masculinized with the unvarying, rigid postures. Where was the feminine, creative, flowing aspect? Hence yoga for the pair became an expression of the inner self achieved through individualistic movement through the poses. Watch Angela Farmer as her spine becomes the snake in downward dog or her back twists in a fallen warrior. Inspiring stuff!

During the courses at Eftalou there are two scheduled classes during the day: from 10-1pm for the morning asana/movement workshops and from 6-7:30pm for the evening sitting/breath-work. On Saturday morning they offer a two hour session for personal and explorative practice when they are present to offer help or guidance if required. A great opportunity to uncover some of your own needs as well as discoveries in a safe and supportive environment. The rest of the weekend is free and visitors are encouraged to explore the exquisite island with the selection of day trips on offer. These include visiting the beaches, hot-springs or nearby villages.

If you can’t get enough of their classes or perhaps can’t make it to Greece, Angela and Victor have both published numerous books, CDs and DVDs, all of which can be read about on their website. ‘Underground Yoga’ is the DVD you should look into if you want to know what it’s like on one of their courses. The 2-set DVD not only guides you through their asanas, it also gives you a glimpse of student experiences during their courses. Angela and Victor present their thoughts and philosophies on yoga and show you the beauty of the Eftalou valley.

Angela and Victor’s courses would be perfect for you if you would rather stay in bed till 9:30am before doing your morning asanas; enjoy the weekend off to explore the treasures of the Island; you feel the need to release your inner emotions through a creative and free class. For them yoga is about undoing, instead of doing.

About the area: Lesvos

The Greek island of Lesvos is the third largest island in Greece and offers sparkling beaches, traditional villages, forests, hot springs, medieval castles and art museums. Being in the Mediterranean, Greece has wonderfully warm weather in summer, yet be aware that in the winter months it can get chilly. Travel to the island is easiest by ferry leaving from the port of Piraeus close to Athens, however the journey can take between 10 or 12 hrs depending on the type of ferry. For a shorter option, take a plane which only takes 50 minutes.

Image credit: Elisa atene http://www.flickr.com/photos/elisa_atene

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