DEFINE FIRST

RETREATS

The Define First Luxury Yoga Retreat in Crete is a unique, holistic and personalised approach to body and mind.
We combine breath work, with deeply relaxing and meditative yoga sessions and the Lighten Up chakra clearing system.

The retreat – hosted by Tamar Groeneveld – is a fantastic opportunity to escape for a spell, from the grind of your normal daily routine and will help you gain a fresh perspective. 

Away from your normal surroundings and daily stresses and strains you are given the time to relax explore and rebalance your inner self, re-connecting with YOU and what you really want to focus on in your life.  This is presented to you in a safe, supported environment where you are given space, tools, guidance and encouragement to go as little or as far as you want to take it.

The retreat is limited to 15 places, so you will be part of a small, friendly group and receive lots of personal attention.

By the end of the week you should feel like you are floating on air – happy, relaxed and authentic. More importantly you will return home armed with techniques to help you stay in control of your life and ready to make changes where necessary. It should prove to be a magical experience.

Next dates:
10th to 17th May 2024
4th to 11th October 2024

Define First - Luxury Crete Retreat

Workshops Testimonial

Experience Testimonial

Location Testimonial

SAM CLARKE’S EXPERIENCE ON THE 2019
QUANTUM POTENTIAL CRETE RETREAT
HOSTED BY TAMAR GROENEVELD & KATHRYN ELLIS

I’d never been one for yoga. Having been introduced to the gym in 2004 I’ve spent the best part of six or seven hours a week for the past 15 years (on and off!) on rowing machines and lifting weights.
But when I heard of a week-long yoga retreat in Crete, complete with home-made cooking, I was sorely tempted to sign up. Not for the yoga. In all honesty that was something I thought I could have a go at for a week while on a break from the gym, especially if that break meant that I was visiting somewhere new, with sunshine and, of course, the home cooking.

But how little did I know.

More than “just yoga”, the retreat, organised by Kathryn Ellis and Tamar Groeneveld of Leamington-based Quantum Potential, is a holistic mind and body programme which also encourages you to practise mindfulness, live in the present moment and create space in your mind, allowing good things to come into your life.
Think of it like this – every week, every day, every hour, every minute is a new blank page. The rest of your life starts right here from this moment and how that next page is filled is down to you: your mindset and your approach. But no matter how you have filled your pages up until now, you can always turn a new page and start again.

Through Tamar, we did a lot of work on self-development. More than an hour a day. Learning how we can change our mindset and how little changes for the better create a ripple effect, bringing great rewards in life. Like a lot of others on the retreat, I started the week not knowing anything about it, but we had certainly learned a lot by the end.

The yoga we practised was centred around restorative yoga, suitable for beginners as well as more experienced yogis. A slow-flowing, mindful yoga in the morning and, in the evening, yin yoga – a type of yogawhich uses longer-held postures to help stretch the connective tissue. Both types of classes are designed to help relieve chronic aches and pains in the body.
Other benefits of this type of yoga include helping to calm the mind, reducing stress and anxiety, improving circulation and flexibility and helping to increase mobility in the joints.
Like the mind programme, if I didn’t know anything about yoga by the beginning of the retreat, I certainly did by the end. We practiced for 1¼ hours in the morning and 1¼ hours in the afternoon. And wow did those postures (asanas, in yoga lingo) bring me alive as I felt the benefit of the stretches.
More than this, the joint aches and pains I’d suffered for several months, maybe from years of repetitive movement in the gym, started to subside. This included both of my elbows and a metatarsal bone in my right foot….

…..I was with a group of 12 women for the week, including Kathryn, Tamar and resident chef Marit. The group – aged 21 to 80 – flew into Chania Airport late on the Saturday night.
Kathryn, Tamar and Marit were staying at a villa which was to prove a delightful setting for our yoga sessions – especially the evening sessions which were perfectly timed so we would finish just as the sun started to set.

Meanwhile the nine of us were staying at the equally-delightful, newly-opened Sun & Sea Resort Hotel just a five-minute walk away, in which all guests were treated to a sea view or a pool view. More than a hotel, the Sun & Sea was made up of large individual apartments, each complete with their own cooker, fridge, nespresso-style coffee machine and bath robes!
My apartment was on the ground floor overlooking one of the hotel’s four swimming pools. Take four steps forward from my patio door and I would literally find myself swimming. The staff could not do enough for us and even transported us at no extra cost to another nearby town on the hotel minibus when we decided to go on a trip out for the afternoon.

Kathryn and Tamar had planned the week-long programme really well so that everything ran smoothly and we could totally relax.
The nine of us would usually meet for breakfast at about 8.15am then back up to our rooms for a quick freshen up before starting out on a short walk to the villa en masse for the first yoga session of the day.
After yoga came elevenses, followed by the self-development sessions then straight into lunch – all at the villa. We had three hours of free time in the afternoon (during which most of our group continued socialising) before the second yoga session, drinks and dinner and – most nights – a reasonably early finish of about 10pm at the villa.

Wednesday was a completely free day when we all continued to socialise. While some of us went for lunch or shopping, others explored more of Crete, before meeting as a group in the evening for dinner (and for what proved to be a late but very enjoyable night in which we socialised with some friendly ex-pat locals!!)

Marit’s lunches and dinners were sensational throughout the week, with creative, healthy dishes (meat and veggie) served up day after day. In fact, all dietary requirements were catered for, including gluten-free and dairy-free.
We also dined out on three occasions – the meals out were included in the price of the retreat – with every restaurant serving delicious dishes with overly-generous portions.
The locals in Plaka were friendly and hospitable and on at least three different occasions we were brought free food or drinks as a thank you for our custom….

…..The event was well-organised, extreme fun, and has definitely awakened the ‘yogi’ in me.
By the time we’d boarded the plane home I’d downloaded books on my Kindle, eager to find out more about the history of yoga and its benefits, as well as people’s own stories and experiences of the practice.
Since our return I’ve continued the weekly yoga sessions with Kathryn, which in turn are helping my performance in the gym.

It may have been around for thousands of years but yoga is probably still one of civilisation’s best-kept secrets. But, safe to say, if you know, you know!

And thanks to Quantum Potential – I now do!

Sam Clarke