thoroughly enjoyed Fiona's one to one yoga class
in a tranquil outdoor setting at the yurt retreat.
I found Fiona to be very informative and the yoga
was perfectly tailored to my needs.'
Sarah Fishman, yoga teacher - UK
sacred syllable Aum
came into my life when I was in my late 60's, when
I moved to a small quinta in central Portugal to
try to start a new life after the death of my husband.
Now I am very happy to say that meeting Fiona and
attending her wonderful yoga classes has been one
of the most important and pleasurable aspects of
my new life. After a lifetime of bad posture, stress,
high blood pressure, and aching bones and muscles,
I am slowly learning to live at peace with my body.....
gently correcting years of neglect by the calm and
gentle techniques I have learnt from yoga classes.
Adho Mukha Svanasana
thoroughly recommend the yoga classes given by Fiona.
As an older person I thought yoga would be too difficult
for me but a year on I am far more flexible and
supple than before and really enjoy the whole experience."
Dennis, Serra da Alvorge, Portugal.
am always open to the experience of others/students,
and what they can offer. Creating a practice that
is appropriate to the individual is an important
and integral part of the yoga tradition. The practice
of yoga is ultimately an individual experience,
as a yoga teacher we can only point the way for
the practicioner back to themselves, to eventually
find their own practice, and proceed on their path.
am constantly learning from my experience as a practicioner
of yoga, a teacher of yoga, a mother (where most
of my learning occurs!) and as a being at this time
on this planet. I very much enjoy sharing my learning
I left England to come and live in Portugal one
of the things I really missed, as well as my family
and friends was my yoga teacher. After a couple
of years I was introduced to a jewel, Fiona. Her
classes are a joy, never boring, always lots of
variety, very imformative, not too much pressure
and the relaxations at the end should be bottled."
classes and yoga holidays at Portugal Yurt Retreat
- Fiona Macleod.
Fiona is a mother of two - Myra and Elsie, a painter
and a certified yoga teacher. She has been been
practicing yoga for over 13 years (see
more) and teaching two regular classes
a week in the local area. She has also taught classes
for Portuguese teenagers, and private classes at
Yurt Retreat. Fiona started teaching
friends in 2008 and soon realised the necessity
for formal training particularly in anatomy, physiology
and yoga therapy. Fiona completed a 500 hour teacher
training RYT (Yoga
Alliance) in Australia at the Byron
Yoga Centre, Byron Bay, Australia in
2009. Fiona continues her professional development
and has attended intensive Jivamukti Yoga workshops
in London, 2009, 2010, a pranayama weekend in Lisbon,
2010, and is currently completing a year long Yoga
we offer yoga classes for guests on a class by class
basis, please mention when you make a booking if
you are interested in yoga classes.
In 2014 we will start offering specific yoga retreat
weeks through the summer.
believe that the practice of yoga can be made accessible
to everyone, and that we all have the right to this
ancient practice if we desire it - all bodies, all
ages, all 'limitation'. I lead sessions according
to the individuals I am teaching, with awareness
of seasonal changes, the temperature, and cycle
of the moon. The practice of yoga is a practice
of connecting - connecting with ourselves, our loved
ones, humanity, life around us, our planet and our
do not have a dogmatic approach. I teach an alignment
based vinyasa practice, I believe that detailed
attention to alignment prevents injury, and can
aid the focussing of the mind. I find that vinyasa
practice (the practice of moving with the breath
through the postures) offers a much deeper experience
of asana, once the asanas have been properly absorbed
by the individual body.' Fiona
is happy to tailor classes to your needs. Eg- Beginners
week, alignment focus, inversions, vinyasa flow,
or recovery from injury or illness etc. If you would
like to make a booking for a yoga week, and want
a specialised week of classes, please email
with any relevant information. If you would like
to book on a yoga week, please see our yoga
was the first time I took a yoga class and it turned
out to be perfect for those with little experience
(even though some people who had been to classes
before enjoyed it just the same). Fiona would always
adjust the pace to those present (or the outside
temperature for that matter, at 40°C you don't
want to jump around a lot!). I very much appreciated
the fact that we were taught to listen to our bodies
and not force ourselves into postures out of ambition.
Like this, I realised after a while that my flexibility
and strength had increased almost unnoticed.'
Andrea - Pedrogao Pequeno, Portugal
can also offer you a number of relaxing treatments
to compliment your yoga practice with local practicioner.
These include Reiki, Aromatherapy massage, facials,
Swedish massage, Reflexology, Indian Head Massage,
and an energetic spinal realignment technique (Dorn-Breuss).
These treatments can be organised upon your arrival.
had only been to a couple of yoga classes before
I stayed at the Yurt and received Fe's instruction.
Although we were beginners, Fe was responsive to
our learning so that we felt we were making excellent
progress. She answered the questions we had and
we had access to her library of yoga books which
further inspired us. Because there was only two
of us, Fe was able to give us much greater attention
than is possible in the big class settings I had
experienced in the past. This made me feel really
safe as Fe would help me to correct my stance and
avoid injury. She was flexible with what she taught;
as we wanted to focus on meditation she ensured
we had the perfect environment for this. I would
highly recommend Fe and I hope I get a chance to
learn from her again.'
Bryn - London
own practice is inspired by many teachers and tends
towards a more fluid, dynamic style. She studied
three years at the Iyengar
Institute in London, and has been most inspired
by the contemporary American teachers, Shiva Rea,
Seane Corne, and the Jivamukti
method. Fiona regards Randall O'leary as
her first and most important yoga teacher. Jungle
an absolute beginner I found Fiona's yoga classes
to be surprisingly beneficial. Before beginning
yoga, I had a recurring back problem and a very
stiff and inflexible neck. Over a period of time
my back became stronger and the problems less frequent
and my neck became much more flexible. Now I rarely
have problems with either.
of the things that I particularly like about Fiona's
classes is that anyone can take part no matter what
their ability and everyone can develop at their
own pace. Fiona is always very encouraging and takes
a lot of trouble to make sure everyone knows the
correct posture and has the confidence to stretch
and challenge themselves'. Jill, Ansiao -Portugal
- finding your seat.
The Sanskrit word asana translates as 'seat' - the
practice of moving the body into shapes or postures.
Asana can also be interpreted as 'connection'; to
the ground underneath you, and to the beings and
world around you. Through the practice of asana
we can relieve our bodies of years of built up stresses
and strains, traumas and stored memories. We can
start to 'disentangle our spirits'. Our physical
body will come to feel more alive, vibrant and dynamic,
gaining in strength and flexibility. Through sustained
practice we come to learn so much about ourselves,
recognise and break through our barriers and boundaries
and find new ways of opening and releasing. These
qualities seep through into our day to day lives
- yoga 'off the mat'.
- getting to know your breath.
The practice of pranayama, generally translated
from the Sanskrit as restraining or controlling
the breath, is a practice that can really put us
in touch with the basic connection of being alive.
Our breath is what keeps us 'alive', if we did not
breathe, we would not live. Before we start to practice
many of the yogic pranayama practices we must untangle
our breath from years of habitual holding. As our
bodies hang on to unconcious memories of physical
and emotional experience, so our process of breathing
becomes unnatural as we grow through life. We all
develop habits of holding, both body and breath,
which we need to unwind and understand before we
can move on.
- being in stillness and space.
We can introduce you to two different meditation
practices if you are interested as a part of a yoga
week or single class. Meditation is something that
will develop over time when the mind has been calmed,
or focussed with practice of dharana (concentration).
It is only through dhyrana that dhyana (meditation)
will come. There are endless techniques for cultivating
dhyrana, one of which is midfulness. A common technique
if the mindfulness of the breath.
- non harming.
The first of the Yama's (or moral code)
in the Yoga Sutra of Patanjali. Ahimsa, non harming
or non violence extends into every aspect of our
lives. When we bring the quality of Ahimsa into
our day to day living, we become aware of every
interaction, physical, verbal, and psychological,
with those around us, particularly our family. Ahimsa
extends to all living creatures, and leads the practicioner
of yoga to embrace a vegetarian/vegan lifestyle
in order to avoid the cruelty caused to living beings
every day in the dairy and meat industries. A good
place to start Ahimsa is to be aware of the ways
in which we harm ourselves, with our thoughts, inner
criticisms or dialogue. In observing this we begin
- withdrawing the senses.
Pratyahara is a drawing inwards, a closing
in, internalising. Closing down the outer sensory
organs and tuning in to an inner space and understanding.
Pratyahara is a quality which helps us to turn our
asana practice into something deeper. When we cultivate
pratyahara, we start to understand asana as something
other than a physical practice. Conscious relaxation
of the facial muscles, ears, nose - those muscles
around our sensory organs will start to develop
are very interested to hear from any certified teachers
who might be interested in spending a summer (2014)
in portugal - please contact
us if this interests you. We are looking for
someone to share daily classes with Fiona and help
out generally with cooking and garden/childcare
in between retreats.