OOO i Grekland...

Vad händer om man yogar på en OOO i…

…Chania på Kreta?

I vår serie “In the wOOOrld” så har turen låtit mattan landa i Grekland som andra inlägg!

Vi hittade Nektarios Mitritsakis och hans shala på Kreta. Det var ett väldigt oväntat möte som skapade mersmak och ledde oss dit 2 år på raken.

Grekland, Kreta, Chania, Ashtanga & Nektarios Mitritsakis
Kreta + sOOOl!

Kreta är också Europas sydliga utpost i Medelhavet, och de varma vindarna från Afrika gör att kvicksilvret kryper högt upp juni-augusti. På grund av det heta klimatet är därför vår och höst bästa tiden att besöka Kreta.

Kreta är 260 km lång och 60 km bred och därmed störst av de grekiska öarna. Ön är Medelhavets femte största ö och har en yta på 8 261 km². Kreta ligger längs 35:e breddgraden, vilket är i jämnhöjd med bland annat norra delarna av Marocko, Algeriet och Tunisien. Cirka 50 km söder om Kreta ligger den lilla ön Gavdos som är världsdelen Europas sydligaste plats.

Det finns fyra stora bergskedjor på Kreta: Lefka Ori (Vita bergen), Psiloritisbergen (Idabergen), Lasithibergen och Sitiabergen. Kretas högsta berg finns i Psiloritisbergen; berget Ida eller Psiloritisberget, som är 2456 m högt. Det finns många högplatåer i bergskedjorna, där jorden är bördig och odlingsklimatet gynnsamt. Där odlas bland annat oliver, vindruvor och apelsiner.

Kretas längsta flod, Geropotamus, är 45 km lång. Den längsta bergsklyftan är Samaria-ravinen i Lefka Ori. Den är 17 km lång och faller 1200 m. Det finns bara en insjö på ön, sjön Kournas.

Kretas största stad är Heraklion, som är Greklands femte största stad. Strax söder om Heraklion ligger det minoiska palatset Knossos. Kreta har ett stort antal turistorter, framförallt Chania med dess omnejd samt Rethymnon. Mindre turistorter är Agia Pelagia, Agios Nikolaos och Hersonnisos som några exempel.

OOOm du vill yoga.

Kreta erbjuder flera alternativ till yoga.

Sök runt och du kommer hitta fina retreat med bland annat svenska Maria Boox i södra delarna av Kreta.

Vi hamnade slumpmässigt hos Nektarios på hans Ashtanga Yoga Crete. För den som vill ha mycket hjälp, så är detta stället. Shalan rymmer inte mer än max 10 personer och Nektarios har ett engagemang som överträffar det mesta vi mött. Han är också mycket intressant som person.

Klimatet är även väl anpassat för yoga, dagarna är rejält varma och sköna. Nätterna i juni är helt ok, men grekerna själva tycker att juli och augusti är tufft. Någon gång har moln med lätta regnskurar svischat förbi, men aldrig har det varit långvarigt. Så det är rätt solsäkert. Vinden kan vara kylande om den kommer från “fel”riktning. Men man blir varm när man yogar… 🙂

I den här värmen är det en fördel att ha en halkfri yogamatta som förblir halkfri även när det kommer fukt och vätska på den. Här gör OOO-yogamatta ett grymt jobb!

När man yogar blir man även sugen på god mat! På Kreta finns ju naturligtvis underbar grekisk mat. Oliver, fetaost, tomater och mer!

Hamnen i Chania är ju en plats där man hittar en del. Men vi vill tipsa om stranden jämte Nea Chora Beach – man får mer genuin mat och till halva priset. Manos är ett bra ställe där. Fast på andra sidan hamnen finns en slow food restaurang (vegansk) där piren når hamnen. Tror den heter “Coconut” – toppenställe!

Nektarios har en del retreats där han erbjuder vandring i bergen och yoga. Ta gärna en titt på hans Sociala Media – ser fantastiskt ut!

Det skulle vara grymt att delta där – kanske blir det du som gör det!

NEKTARIOS MITRITSAKIS – BIO:

Nektarios Mitritsakis was born in Chania, Crete.

In 1998, his interest in Indian classical music brought him to Varanasi, India and eventually to Vedic astrology and his first yoga class. Since then, yoga became an integral part of his life.

Each of the following years, while in India and in parallel with his studies in music, he pursued to deepen his practice by working with various yoga teachers, by coming in contact with many practitioners and by studying thoroughly the classical yoga scriptures.

This quest of his brought him in contact with the Asthanga Vinyasa yoga method and Vipassana meditation and since then he has been practicing it systematically and with great devotion. He has been studying and deepening in this yoga method with Kristina Karitinou. He first met Manju Pattabhi Jois in 2007 and since then follows his teachings. In 2012 he certified by Manju to teach this yoga method.

Significant was also the experience through the time he spend studying with the living  legend Bns Iyengar, mudra, pranayama and yogic philosophy.

As an astrologer.

While studying music & yoga in Varanasi, India he came into contact with Vedic astrology. His first steps in astrology were under the guidance from Margaret Mahan. The following year a great family of Vedic astrologers accepted him as a student. Ram Kumar Mehrotra treating him as a member of his family and taught him his knowledge and experience from the last five generations of Vedic astrologers of the family. For the next ten years, Nektarios was studying with him on a daily basis and later assisting him in his work.

Today he lives in Chania, teaching yoga, makes personal sessions of astrology counseling and share his love for music.
At times, he travels to give Yoga workshops, lectures about the practice of Vedic Astrology and concerts.

Personal Path.

As a young man I was restless and frivolous yet hardworking. I would follow classes at school in the morning and work as a waiter in the afternoon or even during nighttime. My life was different from the people of my age.

As I was growing up, I started realizing more and more clearly that I was not satisfied with my life. I found the things I was involved in unfulfilling and I had no idea what I could do instead. I was confused and angry at life. I was looking for the causes of my problems outside of me, blaming others.

Since then I have changed a lot, following paths I never thought I would ever take. Today I feel reborn. I am satisfied and fulfilled by the things I am involved in, I am around people that I love and love me back, I enjoy a body full of euphoria and stamina, I feel connected to the nature around and in me, while I feel that I am constantly evolving.

Everything began after a concert of some classic Indian music. I was enchanted by the peculiar sounds of the sitar, the uplifting yet calming music, the peace and joy I felt inside.

Without having any experience of any musical instrument I decided to learn the sitar. So since 1998, at the age of 27, and for the following 12 years I was spending all of my winters in Varanasi, North India, trying to improve in playing this unique musical instrument.

Varanasi had been a great school for me. Living in such a different place brought me in contact with people, sceneries and experiences that played an important role in my life. In parallel with the fascination of music, living in such a different and unique place, I found myself discovering and developing qualities in me that previously I was not aware of having.

In this magical place and in a rather amusing way I came in contact with yoga for the first time. My body is by its nature stiff. Sitting on the floor holding the sitar for hours in order to study was for me a tedious task. Following the advice of a good friend I went to a yoga sala. Having no clue about yoga and being totally unprepared of what to expect I was terrified by the pictures hanging on the walls showing people in the most peculiar postures. “Why should someone do this to himself?” I wondered and asked the teacher to just show me some exercises exclusively for the right foot, the one that has to bend in order to hold the sitar properly and with no strain. The teacher smiled at me and took me to his class, fortunately, not paying attention to my request.

Eventually, and in a short period of time I started feeling the benefits of practicing yoga. This led me to revise my former beliefs and to engage more in yoga and its practices.

For the next few  years I  approached my practice with a carefree depthless manner. It was sufficient enough to just do my practice and enjoy the consequent tranquility and stamina. I met several teachers and I came in contact with various approaches of yoga. At some point however, the profound realization of the potential that yoga has to offer made me approach my own practice in a more refined and thoughtful way. I started studying classic scriptures such as Yoga Sutra, Hatha Yoga Pradibika etc, and practicing daily by myself.

While experimenting with the various kinds of yoga I came across Asthanga Vinyasa yoga and I was tempted to give it a try. Starting with the first series I came to realize that gradually positive changes in my body, mood and attitude were taking place. This realization was so deep that after only one month of daily practice I decided to devote my efforts to this system specifically.

I had never expected that someday I myself would teach this method and if I now do this it happened as a natural outcome of my deep belief that this system can benefit others the   same way it has benefited me. I am grateful to all of my teachers for everything that lovingly and devotedly taught me. I am grateful to every student that gives me the opportunity to further explore and advance my interest in yoga and its various potential. I hope each and every one will give a fair opportunity to this method as it is my strong belief that its practice has the ability to transform.

CONTACT NEKTARIOS

Nektarios currently lives in is home/shala in Chania, Crete where he teaches from his shala all year around. Please email ashtangayogacrete@gmail.com if you are interested in visiting to study yoga.