Volunteering at Yoga Holidays Turkey has been one of the best decisions of my life, and wonderful in every way. I can’t remember the last time I was so taken care of. You and your family welcomed me with open arms and I immediately felt calm and relaxed. The 2 months I spent with you were some of the most enriching of my life. You challenged me and supported me and took me to a deeper level. This really IS an opportunity of a lifetime. In exchange for help with the guests (which is really very fun) and some housekeeping I was able to participate in ALL the yoga classes, which were INCREDIBLE. I love your style of yoga and how you teach and I love that I have been able to take away from you my own home practice. You taught me how to REALLY connect with my body! Your teaching style is authentic and comes from the heart, this is what makes it so special. And I especially loved your guided meditations. Your Yoga goes far beyond any classes I have attended before. Your energy runs through the room. You a great teacher and a great person to hang out with. You can feel how much love has gone into this little piece of heaven. Being surrounded by like-minded people in a beautiful oasis, living right in the heart of it with all the guests and enjoying all the wonderful Turkish food you prepared, was truly and honour It was really a wonderful time, lots of yoga, friends, beach days, wonderful dinners and lots chill time in-between to read of just do nothing! I cannot recommend this enough! I am grateful for my time with you will defiantly be returning!
Charlene Lendon – Southampton/Ghana
I have just returned from the most amazing month volunteering at Yoga Holidays Turkey with Jo and her gorgeous family. It was a privilege and honour to have this opportunity to be part of your team, to meet your guests and witness their transformations. To participate in your amazing breath-centred yoga sessions, to chill out and of course, keep your lovely home and garden spic and span as well as proof-reading your ebook! I can recommend a stay here to anyone looking to take some time out, to chill, to relax, to practice yoga and experience the delights of Side. Please put my name down for next June – I can’t wait to come back! Missing you, Murat, Kuzey & Kaya, and the whole YHT way of life!
Gail – Leeds
What an amazing week I have had in Jo’s Yoga Oasis! At YHT you feel like a guest, not like a customer and that is a priceless experience. Straight away you feel welcomed and at home, straight away you relax. Yoga Holidays Turkey is not a strict retreat, secluded and remote, the beautiful Oasis invites you to take your Yoga wherever you need it. Yoga classes are held in the Yoga shala with its big windows that look out on a sea of flowers. If you think you need a packed, strict Yoga programme from dawn till dusk for it to be transformative, think again. The three/four hours of Yoga are enough to deepen your practice and yet give you enough time to let the practice sink in, to maybe explore Yoga on your own, and to explore your surroundings: beautiful, vibrant Side, and the amazing Mediterranean sea. I loved, that throughout the week everybody helped everybody. Be it an achey shoulder, a broken camera or an introduction to haggling – everybody contributed, which had a great influence on the dynamics of the group. No one was a just student, no one was just teacher, and everyone was appreciated. Yoga Holidays Turkey invites you to explore your own excellence, it is an empowering experience. You are not left on your own, but you have room to spread your wings, and that goes for the students, but also for the guest teachers, like myself. This weeks stay leaves you feeling ready to make space for more Yoga in your own life back home and I haven’t even gotten to the food yet. The breakfast/brunch which we were served every day, and the food of the welcome and the good-bye dinner were all exquisite. Local produce, deliciously spiced and – oh so yummy. I can recommend a stay at Yoga Holiday Turkey whole-heartedly and I hope to go back there soon!
Kristina – Manchester/Germany 🙂
My Volunteer Experience at Yoga Holidays Turkey Love this Liz thank you xo Let me paint a picture – it’s a Sunday in Birmingham, it’s March, a blizzard is in full swing outside, internet is on – and I come across website for Yoga Holidays Turkey – on a complete whim I responded to Jo’s request for a volunteer – it was fate – after a couple of emails followed by a phone call a few weeks later I’d agreed to spend 5 weeks helping out. 6 months later and I arrive in Side – and so my life as a volunteer begins….it really was what I needed, as my life had been a bit hectic for years, so I was able to step off the treadmill, switch off and drop out of everyday life and its demands for a while. So in exchange for…….. A bit of light housekeeping each day (no more than I would do at home), helping out with guests (who really were like having lovely friends to stay) assisting Aba with setting out breakfast (a bonus on pancake days) preparing the yoga courtyard before each session I got…. 2 sessions of lovely flowing yoga each day Free time to do as I please A bonus day off each week Lots and lots of lovely fresh local food To meet loads of great people A birthday celebration that I’ll never forget A simple life away from work, work, work 5 weeks of sun, beach and ice creams To laugh until my sides hurt To meet 2 adorable kids – Kuzey and Kaya So really it was a win, win situation I thought I was going to be a volunteer – but in reality I made a friend in Jo – in fact, it felt like I’d been adopted for 5 weeks! I returned to Birmingham feeling fit, healthy, relaxed and mentally reinvigorated – proof that sometimes, if you are willing to give a little of yourself, then you can get LOADS back in return…… This is just a snapshot of my time in Turkey……a positive result to a spontaneous decision So if you are able to give some time, want a simple life, have common sense and enjoy helping people and being pro-active….then why not try being a volunteer….Nothing to lose – just loads to gain…..
Liz 🙂 Birmingham
My experience with you and your family was above and beyond anything I could have imagined, I still think of you guys all the time. My yoga practice has developed so much, Ive bonded with so many beautiful people while in Side and that has made me grow to a potential I never thought I had. Thank you for an upstanding experience and making me feel part of the family :)) It was heartwarming and still is when I think about it. I’m having a harder time with our cold winter but slowly getting back into it, especially since we had 2 weeks of -30/-40C, now spring is teasing us, but going back to coldness shortly. You would be happy to know that I found my dream job 70hrs after landing back in Montreal, and 2013 has proven to be amazing for me as I’ve met the man of my dreams, and I knew right away just like you said! Me & Lana still talk all the time and feels like no matter the distance we skype regularly, she says the Universe has been in line with me. Ever since my return from this life changing trip of living the most simple lifestyle I could imagine has left me knowing how to deal with stress and this crazy world!! Ive been doing lots of Restorative Yoga and feel more balanced than ever. I sure hope to come back one day. I have never felt so complete!! Much love to you & your family ps. tell everybody I say
Cici xoxoxo Canada
I had the most wonderful two weeks volunteering and holidaying at your retreat. Being able to join in the two yoga classes a day was exactly what I needed to reconnect with my yoga practice. Jo is an inspiring and thoughtful teacher always taking into account the different abilities and needs of her students. I was nursing an old wrist injury but under her sympathetic guidance, I felt able to attempt postures I had up until then avoided and would not have even considered before. I even got up intI o an arm balance for the first time. I have trained as a yoga teacher and Jo was supportive and encouraging to me to take this forward and make my dreams come true. Yoga can be an amazing healing tool and this was for me, both on the physical and emotional levels. Doing yoga intensively like this can bring up a lot of issues for people and helps to clear out stuff we don’t need and enable us to move forward. This is a safe place to allow this to happen with an authentic teacher in Jo. It can be transformational and I think it was for several of the students I met there. It’s a wonderful holiday to take alone as you can be with others as much or as little as you like. And yoga people are always lovely! I’ve practiced with many teachers and Jo is one of the best. I loved her, the kind of yoga she teaches and her delivery style are really great. There’s a balance between taking yourself to your edge, total relaxation, wonderful ancient practices like pranayama/ breathing techniques and yoga Nidra and lots of fun and laughter.The volunteering experience was better than I could have expected. Jo is easy going and easy to work with. It’s karma yoga. I miss my therapeutic sweeping. It was a joy to work in meaningful tasks, all contributing to making visitors’ holidays enjoyable. It felt very worthwhile and I hope I can spend more time their next year. Side is a wonderful place to wander ancient ruins, swim and sunbathe. The Side festival was on at the time and we had the incredible opportunity to see the Beijing Symphony Orchestra perform in the amphitheatre as well as local folk dancing and music, all free. “I cannot recommend this yoga retreat highly enough. I thoroughly enjoyed my time there and can’t wait to get back next summer.