Hotspots for Yoga Tourism in Athens
Yoga travel is rapidly gaining popularity in Greece as practitioners of all levels are discovering that the scenery of this country has an energy almost magical to offer to the routine of outdoor yoga practice, through a rejuvenating experience of body, mind and spirit on one of the most beautiful places on earth. Yoga, known to be about expanding boundaries and transforming the inner self, can perfectly combine nature and local culture with the major yogic principles of peace, balance, conscientiousness and awareness.
In Greece there are many wonderful natural spots for all yoga types where traveling yogis can benefit from the beautiful natural surroundings of beaches, mountains, hills and other sites where the surrounding energy and aura of the place is transmuted into an authentic experience in harmony with nature.
There is a plethora of idyllic yoga hotspots in Greece, mythical sites where the ancient gods were worshipped, where the aura of ancient Greek spiritualism and serenity embraces visitors, as history meets the divine element and peacefulness finds its quintessence.
During antiquity, Eleusis or Elefsina was one the five Sacred Cities of Ancient Greece, together with Athens, Olympia, Delphi and Delos. Best known for having been the site of Eleusinian Mysteries, one of the most famous secret religious events of ancient Greece, and also the birthplace of the tragic poet Aeschylus, today is a lively suburb of Athens, ideally situated at 20km distance from the capital.
The Eleusinian Mysteries were based on the myth of Hades, God of Death and the Underworld abducting Persephone, the virgin daughter of Demeter, Goddess of the fertility of the earth. Goddess Demeter’s descent to retrieve Persephone from the Underworld is connected to the Eleusinian Mysteries, celebrating the fact that for six months every year daughter and mother were rejoined, during which the earth and agriculture flourished (spring season), to be followed by six months of drought and no productivity (winter season) when Persephone was obliged to remain with Hades, symbolizing the eternal circle of life.
As to the ritual of the Mysteries, connected with the Afterlife and communication with the dead, it consisted of secret, still unknown sacred elements, known as ‘apporheta’ (esoteric, confidential) and feasts around a fire representing the possibility of life after death.
Ancient Greeks used to build temples to worship their gods and deities in places where powerful energy flows were concentrated, with the result for the visitors of these holy places being a spiritual elevation, a sense of well-being and euphoria, reflected in body rejuvenation.
The holiest of all ancient religious sites is the hill of Acropolis, where the splendour and grandeur of ancient Greek wisdom is crystallized in the form of the Parthenon Temple.
Exaltation and divine spirituality are the feelings of the spiritual travelers who visit this place of ancient worship, embraced with the glory and energy of old times.
The hill of Areios Pagos, translated ‘Ares Rock’, northwest of Acropolis, in ancient times functioned as the high Court of Appeal for criminal cases of homicide. It was named after the Greek God of War, Ares, tried there by the gods for the murder of the son of Poseidon, God of the Sea.
The Apostle Paul, during his second missionary journey preached of Christianity for the first time to the Greek intellectuals on Areios Pagos with the known ‘Areopagus Sermon’ (Acts of the Apostles 17:16-34), excerpt of which is carved on a rock at the roots of the hill.
Historic monument of ancient Greek life of Athens, today it still is a magical place, representing a combination of justice and religion. Find some time to climb the rock and let the mist of myth and history wrap you, enjoying the wonderful view over the Roman Forum. It goes without saying that this place carries the absolute ancient Greek spirit in the heart of Athens.
When planning your next vacation in Athens, consider visiting one of these yoga hotspots. You will end up relaxed, centered and more in tune with your body, mind and environment more than ever.