'When you put your hand in a flowing stream, you touch the last that has gone before and the first of what is still to come.'
Leonardo Da Vinci
Frequently Asked Questions
Contacts, Booking & Cancellation
In case of emergency, how can I contact Yoga Sutra Shala?
In case of emergency please do contact us by calling us on:
0034 682 57 26 36 (Sunday-Friday)
0034 642 50 27 89 (Monday-Saturday).
What is included in the fee?
Your fee includes accommodation; all organic, plant-based food and drinks; all yoga and meditation classes (including private sessions); use of the facilities, including swimming pool & gardens; guided hikes; and workshops.
Please note that flights and transfers and massage treatments are not included.
Is it possible to have a shorter stay?
To get the most out of your stay with us, we advise you to come for the whole 6 days (Sunday to Friday) as your first class on Sunday provides a foundation for the progressive classes throughout the week. Not only will you miss classes by coming later or leaving earlier but you will also miss valuable time with your fellow retreat guests, in this wonderful, peaceful location.
Often guests stay a night in Alicante or Valencia before and/or after the retreat to make use of the Alicante shuttle bus transfer (the quickest, easiest and often the cheapest way to get to & from the retreat) or to use public transport from Valencia.
How do I book?
You can see all retreat and course dates and their room options and make your booking here:
Select the date you would like to come, then choose your room and the number of people you are booking that room for.
Scroll down to fill in your registration form and click on the button at the bottom marked "Register Now". This will lead you to a page where you can make your 30% deposit to reserve your room.
The balance is payable in cash on arrival. If you prefer to transfer the remaining amount let us know and we will send you the transfer details.
We have no credit card facilities at the retreat centre, though there is a cash withdrawal (ATM) machine just 10 minute walk from the retreat. It is possible to pay the balance by Paypal before arrival but we need to charge you 10% more in this case, to cover the commission we pay to them. A cheaper method is via Transferwise.
How do I book my flights?
Is it possible to arrange transport from Alicante Airport (ALC) to Yoga Sutra Shala?
Yes, we arrange a private shuttle bus transfer, costing 30€ per person, per journey, that you can request when you make your booking.
For retreat guests, this leaves ALC on Sundays at around 13.00 and on Friday at around 13.00 from the shala (for flights after 16.30).
For course students, this leaves ALC on Mondays at 09.15 and calls at Alicante train station at 10.00. At the end of the course there is a shuttle bus that leaves the retreat at 16.00 (for flights after 19.30).
If you arrive outside of these times, we can arrange a taxi for you.
If you want us to arrange transport for you please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to give us your arrival and departure details as soon as your flights are booked.
Please inform us of all flight details including: flight dates & times; flight numbers; and the airports that you will be using for your arrival and your departure journeys.
Please note that you can also spend a night in Alicante and then take the C6 bus from the city centre to the airport to use the Shuttle on Sunday.
What are the best flight times to join the shuttle bus?
Arrival at Alicante airport by 12.30 on Sundays and departure after 17.00 on Fridays are best.
This way you can join us for the welcome lunch on Sunday and for the farewell brunch on Friday.
FOR YTT COURSES:
Arrival at Alicante airport by 08.45 on Mondays and departure after 19.30 on Fridays are best.
The course begins on Monday at 12.00 (midday) and ends at 16.00 on Friday.
What if I cannot find a suitable flight?
It may be easier for you to arrive one day earlier, depending on where you are travelling from.
If this is an option for you, we recommend that you book a hotel in Alicante and then on Sunday you make your way to the airport using the local C6 bus to arrive at ALC before 12.00, to then catch the private shuttle bus.
If you are flying out of Alicante airport on the Friday evening, our shuttle bus can drop you in the centre of the city and you can then take the C6 bus to get to the airport for whenever your flight is due.
I plan to come a day early or leave a day later. Can I stay at the retreat?
As much as we would like to offer you this possibility, we do not accommodate guests in-between retreats: The retreat is closed from Friday afternoon to Sunday at 14.00 in order that the retreat team can rest and the place can be cleaned and refreshed, ready to receive the new retreat group.
Where can I find a good hotel in Alicante?
If you are looking for a nice place to stay before or after the retreat you could have a look on:
Trip Advisor , Booking.com or Air B&B. There are some lovely places to stay in the historic centre of Alicante.
What can I do in Alicante?
You can visit the Provincial Architechtural Museum and the Museum of Contemporary Art; see the old town known as the Barrio Santa Cruz; visit the local beaches such as the Playa de Guardamar; walk along the Passeo del Puerto; climb or take a lift up to the Santa Barbara Castle to see some of the breath-taking panoramic views; enjoy some of the lovely local tapas; or go to one of the delicious and healthy vegetarian restaurants there.
What will the weather be like during my stay?
You can see extended and monthly weather forecasts for Benissivà on the Accuweather website.
What is the Cancellation / Postponement Policy?
If you enquired about our retreats and courses via Book Yoga Retreats, please check their website or contact them to find out about their cancellation policy.
If you contacted us directly to enquire about the retreats and courses that we offer and you are unable to come on the retreat or the teacher training course that you have booked, please notify us at least a month before you are due to arrive and we can either:
1. Refund your deposit payment minus a 50€ administration fee.
2. Allocate your deposit to another retreat or teacher training course date that you specify at the time of your cancellation.
If you cancel or postpone your retreat or teacher training course within a month of your arrival date, your deposit payment will be kept by us to cover administration costs and to contribute towards the costs for filling your place. The deposit payment will be due on any subsequent booking that you make.
What if I am travelling from / to Valencia?
For those travelling from Valencia there are the following options for getting to the retreat centre:
For timetables and tickets see
We can arrange a driver to collect you from Oliva (30€ each way) and bring you to the retreat in time for the opening.
What is the current situation with retreats, due to the Corona virus?
As of Monday 22 March at 19.30:
All retreats up to the end of June have been cancelled and guests are invited to rebook for a future retreat.
We intend to reopen at the end of June.
I am a solo traveller. What are my room options?
For solo travellers there is the option of booking
1) the single occupancy room (called Tossal Gros, that has a double bed, ensuite bathroom and it's own balcony, or
2) any room for single occupancy (this is the "non sharing" option), or
Usually twin rooms are for same-gender individuals to share, though if you are willing to share with a person of any gender, please let us know.
The retreat centre & what to bring
What is the difference between a retreat and a holiday?
A retreat is a place that allows you to get away from the stress of normal life and embrace a type of living that will help you go home with a more positive and peaceful outlook on life.
On a holiday you can simply relax. However, on a retreat as well as relaxing you will learn wonderful tools that can help change and improve your life. All we ask is that you work on keeping a positive attitude and a lot of enthusiasm for learning whilst you are at Yoga Sutra Shala, as this will help you get the most out of your retreat stay.
Why the name Yoga Sutra Shala?
The yoga sutras are an ancient manual that teach us to use yoga to take the practitioner to a deep level of meditation. The yoga sutras were documented by an ancient sage named Patanjali. One particular sutra states 'Yoga Citta Vritti Nirodha' which means that yoga is the cessation of the fluctuations of the mind. At Yoga Sutra Shala the system of yoga teaching is designed to bring the mind of the practitioner to a point of inner silence and inner peace. It is this inner peace that brings the practitioner to a state of mental and physical health, happiness, relaxation and meditation.
Why should I come to Yoga Sutra Shala?
Our intent is to provide an authentic experience of spiritual development - to allow you to grow and to find your true self. In India we have an ancient saying ‘Atithi devo bhava’ meaning ‘Revere your guest as God’. This saying goes back to our ancient scriptures of the Vedas.
We want you to really feel the spirituality and reverence that we speak of in our greeting 'Namaste', which is a Sanskrit (ancient Indian) word that means that “the spirit in me bows down to the spirit in you.”
During your yoga retreat at Yoga Sutra Shala we want you to really awaken the spirit within yourself and to feel alive not just in terms of health but in terms of spirituality too. We hope that our welcoming spirit makes you want to come back to your yoga retreats again and again, perhaps also with the people you love and care about.
Are the yoga retreats suitable for beginners?
Yes, the yoga retreats are suitable for students of all levels including beginners, as all the classes are personalised to the student’s needs during each particular yoga retreat. Our aim is for you to move at your own pace - at a pace that you enjoy and feel comfortable at.
Are the yoga retreats suitable for me if I have never done Vinyasa Yoga before?
Yes, they are. The Vinyasa Yoga taught here at our centre uses “vinyasa” or ‘movement’ to flow from one posture into the other, bringing your awareness to the breath and bringing you into a meditative state. No matter what your yoga background – everyone can experience the benefits of meditation and inner silence by practising Vinyasa here with us.
Which language will the classes be held in at Yoga Sutra Shala?
The classes here at Yoga Sutra Shala will be held in English.
Why are silence times necessary at the retreat?
In yoga practice we believe in 'Antar Mouna' - 'inner silence' - which is developed by first observing outer silence. The experience of Antar Mouna deepens your meditation and helps you maintain this state of mind. This then intensifies by the end of your retreat, as you continue to practice each day. Generally our silence times are in the morning and the evening.
What is the maximum number of students on each retreat?
We can accommodate a maximum of 15 students on each retreat. This allows for us to give a lot of personal attention to each student's development.
Can I come if I am pregnant?
If you have a regular yoga practice and are more than 3 months pregnant it would certainly be lovely for you to practice here. Remember to consult your physician first to see that he or she is comfortable with you coming to a yoga retreat and also remember to check with your airline if they are okay with you flying during this period.
Is Wi-Fi available during my stay?
Yes, you will have access to WI-Fi here at the centre. However, as we are in the mountains, internet access is limited so it will not be possible to download music or videos. Also, we do prefer you to remain mindful and limit your internet access to the essential contact with family and friends whilst you are here.
What can I do in my free time in between classes and after lunch?
During your free time you can enjoy walks in the beautiful countryside or relax in the garden and by the pool, read, or chat with new friends. You can also arrange a trip with a local taxi driver to the local beaches or the surrounding villages.
What should I bring with me to my yoga retreat?
We have yoga mats, blocks and props which you are more than welcome to use. We also provide you with towels. There is organic body wash and organic shampoo for you to use in the bathrooms as well.
Do remember to bring loose clothing for practising the yoga postures. Also, bring a shawl for meditation practice if you have one.
Remember to book travel insurance before you come and to print off your boarding passes.
If you are coming between May and October pack some sun cream if you are going to sit by the pool. We recommend bringing an insect repellent too, just in case.
Please bring your European health insurance card and passport in case you have to see your doctor, as you will need both documents. If you do not hold such a card we suggest getting medical insurance.
Bring walking shoes / boots (or decent trainers) if you want to go for nature walks in the mountains.
As well as this remember your travel adaptor if you are bringing a laptop, your mobile phone etc.
A note book would also be good for writing down all the new things that you are going to learn.
Above all make sure you bring a lot of enthusiasm for learning and a positive attitude as this will help you get the most out of your stay.
What massages are available at the centre?
We have three local massage therapists offering treatments at the centre. Treatments last an hour and cost 60 €. You can read more about our massage therapists here.
How will the current restrictions affect my stay?
Please read about what we are doing to manage the safety of your stay during the current situation, by clicking HERE.
Nutrition at YSS
What kind of meals are served at the yoga retreat centre?
All the delicious, plant-based meals that will be served to you here at the shala are prepared using locally grown fruits and vegetables brought to us from organic farmers in the valley and organic wholefoods.
Your menus have been created by health and nutrition experts, Namit and Maru (the founders of Yoga Sutra Shala), as well as our lovely chef Fernanda and her assistant chefs. If you have any questions regarding nutrition during your retreat, Namit will be happy to share his knowledge with you.
Is meat available during the yoga retreats?
There are no meat, fish or eggs served at the retreat. All the food is plant-based in the tradition of yoga and ahimsa (non-violence). The yoga tradition encourages a plant-based diet during the practice of meditation in order to increase the experience of peace.
What about protein?
Your meals at the yoga retreat centre will contain beans, nuts, avocados, tofu, seeds and other plant-based sources of protein that have been used to build healthy muscle groups by yogis for millennia.
Are smoking and alcohol drinking allowed during the yoga retreats?
Drinking alcohol prevents the mind from reaching deep states of meditation and our aim is to you leave the centre feeling relaxed and rejuvenated. With this is in mind, we ask that you do not drink alcohol or smoke on the premises of the yoga retreat centre.
What options for eating out are there locally?
In Benissiva we have Ta Casa, owned by Fred from Holland and his Belgian wife who is vegan. They grow fruits and vegetables organically in their own garden and offer a range of delicious organic meals, including vegetarian and vegan dishes.
Across the road from Ta Casa is La Placeta run by Ana, where you can enjoy a good salad and the local and famous olive oil (called 4 amigos) produced from olives grown in the valley by her nephew Mohamma.
In Beniali (the village just 10 minutes walk from the retreat) there is Bar Isa, run by Pascual. His cocas (a local speciality, like pizza) are famous and amazing!
Nou Terrassa serve nice salads and local dishes.
Privacy & Security
What about my Privacy & Security?
- Your privacy and the security of your personal information is very important to us. Above all, we treat your data in the same way that we treat everything else about your retreat with us; respectfully, responsibly and with care & attention.
We collect personal data to provide you with information and services. By providing us with your personal information, you are agreeing for us to store and use it as described in the full Statement, briefly summarised as follows:
- Your data is securely stored and never sold.
- Your information is only shared in cases where third party services are used – for example, transfers with drivers, or if you book additional services, such as massage.
- We only use your personal data for marketing purposes with your consent and you can opt out of this at any time
- You have the right to review and change the information we store at any time. You can do that by emailing us at email@example.com
How could Brexit affect my trip?
It's all a bit of an unknown at present, but here are some possible outcomes:
* The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) won't be valid in the event of no deal.
We recommend that you have adequate travel insurance in place.
* UK drivers in the EU will need an International Driving Permit - available from the Post Office for £5.50
* Passports must be valid for six months from arrival date. Here's a useful link for you.
Working with us
Are there any positions to join the team at Yoga Sutra Shala?
If you are a yoga teacher, have good language skills, communication skills and / or administration skills, you love yoga and meditation, and you would like to work hard and share happiness with others whilst working with us, then please have a look at this page and get in touch by email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
What is your apprenticeship programme?
Our apprenticeship programme is open to anyone with a regular and strong yoga practice of more than 2 years, who would like to gain our Yoga Teacher Training Certificate (200 hours) in Hatha, Vinyasa & Yin Yoga, and offer their service as one of our Karma Yogis.
The programme lasts for a minimum of 12 months.