A short story about my stay at Kathy’s Island Retreat

This is an interview with Camille on her stay at Kathy’s Island Retreat, Karpathos in Greece. She stayed there in August 2021 for 21 days. The interview was done at Dio Pigadia – our small permaculture farm in Greece.

kathys island retreat at evening time

How did hear about Kathy’s Island Retreat?

It was a time of my life where I decided to invest on my growth and my personal projects. At that time, I was practicing yoga for many years and I decided to do this teacher training for self-development.

There was a platform called BookYogaRetreats that kind of lists all the retreats of the world. I found this program, saw the pictures, the very nice reviews and I didn’t doubt about it. It was clear for me to go there, so the choice was made in about a few hours to participate at the payed teachers training.

How did you get in contact with Kathy’s Island Retreat?

Through the platform you just write a message to them. But before you apply, they make a call with you to be sure you both are align with each other. We had a 30 Minutes Videocall over Skype just to feel the vibes.

It’s a couple who created that place. They act for a bigger vision – the goal is to bring humanity together, to elevate the consciousness of humanity. The teacher training is a good way to reach people so they can spread the teachings. But they are not only doing trainings – during the year they have started an own community so they have many projects going on about the land, building stuff, gardening and so on. Basically, they want to bring people together.

Okay that’s interesting, tell us more about their Philosophy.

The Idea of yoga in the western country’s is mainly for sports. But the real philosophy of yoga goes further than that – it’s about how you approach life. The teacher training is not about knowing the perfect poses, their focus is to share the philosophy and the real roots of yoga.

One big part of the yoga philosophy is karma yoga which leads you to act for causes that go beyond your own interest. This is also what inspired me to join adventures as a volunteer.

This place is really a place that allows growth. The people are very supportive, you feel very safe being there. But Growth is not easy all the time. You face your dark sides, the limitations of the mind and your ego. It’s not vacation, its challenging – you really work on yourself. The teachers are always by your side to give you the tools to overcome the challenges. The teachings go wider than yoga, the teachers share also personal knowledge such as Bach remedies and sound healing.

21 Days sounds short to establish the teachings…

These 21 Days were really intense, it was enough to turn everything upside down. Teachers are aware that’s its short, that’s why they offer their support during the following year. It’s a weekly video gathering to talk, share and support each other. It’s really a dedication from them, expecting nothing in return. I am really thankful for that. You can really feel that they are doing it from the heart, for the vision and not for money.

Can you tell us a bit more about the Accommodations?

We had two different types of accommodations. Mainly we were sleeping in a house with several bedroom. You can share the room or can be on your own to have your privacy. If you don’t sleep in the house you can sleep in nice caravans. Everyone in the house had his own bathroom and comfortable bed with a beautiful sea-view. I was sleeping very well.

How did a typical Day look like?

  • We woke up for our first yoga class from 8 – 10 AM
  • Then we had a little breakfast.
  • After we had yoga philosophy class for about 2 hours until lunchtime.
  • We had around 3 hours of free time to enjoy.
  • Depending of the day we had different lessons in the afternoon.
  • After dinner we often had yoga related movie nights, singing, music, games…
the housing area with seafew

Here at Dio Pigadia we cook ourself: How does it work there?

There were about 5 volunteers (they are actually looking for volunteers) who cooked three meals a day for the 20 people. There was a rotation for the volunteers so in their spare time they could attend for free the morning yoga class as well.

The food was vegetarian with vegan options. It was organic, local and fresh – this was super delicious food!

What did you do in your spare time?

It is a remote place where the nearest village was 15 minutes away by car. It is located in front of the sea. You can enjoy swimming, beautiful sunsets. There are also big mountains for hiking.

We didn’t go out of the area during the week because of the packed schedule (we did 200 hours of training in 21 Days). Though on Sundays we went on different expeditions to very nice places with beautiful beaches and light-blue water. We also went to Olympos, a very traditional village in the mountains.

So you are still in touch with the other teachers and students?

The experience with the group is very intense so you build very strong bonds. The exchange was very deep so I have still contact with a lot of people from my time there. You developed true relationships so for me and for all the people I know it was a life changing experience. It inspired me about community living.

In Dio Pigadia we are also living in community with volunteers. What attracts you to this kind of lifestyle?

I love the idea of creating something together, to grow with nature, to have deep connections and also to work hard together for a bigger vision. Sharing with people and learning from others. It’s a lifestyle that allows me to live in full presence, away from the craziness of society.

Volunteering (Workaway, WWOOF … ) is a great way to experience this lifestyle. I am so glad for my experience at Kathy’s Island Retreat and I am really looking forward to have similar experiences on other projects like Dio Pigadia.

Thanks Camille for sharing with us your experience. At Dio Pigadia we support this same Mindset you experienced at Kathy’s Island Retreat. Creating a Community where you can have deep connections to people and nature.

We also aim to create a space for yoga surrounded by nature at our place 🙂 Are you more interested in Dio Pigadia? Check out our Instagram Profile.

What others think about us

  • Avatar We learn as we wander ★★★★★ 8 months ago
    My daughter and I only wanted to visit Dio Pigadia for one afternoon but we ended up staying three weeks. It was a truly great experience for us and we … More both enjoyed taking care of the animals, gardens and veggies on the farm and fell in love with this little paradise. We ate daily together with the other volunteers amazing fresh meals with very tasty vegetables from the garden, helped out at a beach clean up event and even went sailing together.
    Saying goodbye was a hard one here but we both know for sure we want to come back, so it's only bye for now and thank you for everything Jules.
    Lia, Jenny and Tito
  • Avatar Marjal Sykora ★★★★★ 7 months ago
    Dio Pigadia is a very beautiful place between olive trees. The month we was there was the best time of our trip through Greece and south europe. Jules … More is very friendly and he work at this project with all his possibilities and love. Also it was nice to known all the nice people and this way of life. I can tell recommend to go to this place and this people and see how life can work in a good way.
    Thanks for this experience Jules
    P. S. you should try the comfortable compost toilet ;) it's perfect.
    .
  • Avatar gil jarus ★★★★★ 7 months ago
    Such a lovely place! We stayed for three nights and felt home, the atmosphere is peaceful and welcoming, we were invited to help ourselves with everything … More the farm yields - vegetables, greens and eggs. the volunteers were friendly, and Jules hosted us so nicely, he showed us around the farm and kindly explained about the ways he operate the farm and the permaculture approach, he gave us so much knowledge with such a big smile, it was a pleasure!
  • Avatar Lucas Bonnier-Kulik ★★★★★ 5 months ago
    I spent approximately 2 months alongside Jules and many other volunteers and it was for me one of my deepest experience I've never had. You live, … More learn, practice as if it was your family, your shared project that you support, a return to a sober living.
    Thank you for all, I'll never forget. Kiss
    Lucas
  • Avatar Louise Olgiati ★★★★★ 3 months ago
    Had an amazing time at Dio Pigadia volunteering for 6 weeks. It was great to learn about gardening and permaculture, and to be part of such a welcoming … More community !
  • Avatar Séréna Duthilleux Giamoukis ★★★★★ 4 months ago
    A magical place with amazing people, Dio Pigadia feels like a second home, and I can’t wait to be back!
  • Avatar Jonas P. ★★★★★ 8 months ago
    A little paradise and a source of creativity. This place has a beautiful spirit as well as awesome human beings and animals. You have to visit it!
  • Avatar R Bungener ★★★★★ 10 months ago
    What an incredible place where nature and humans work in collaboration to enable sustainable living and agriculture.
    Not only is Dio Pigadia in gorgeous
    … More setting, in the hills between Pylos and Methani, the people there are also really nice. A must visit whether you're a volunteer or visiting the area (they do hope evenings on Fridays!).
    They also have rental cottages (Nectar Pylos) which are a gem to stay in if you're visiting.
  • Avatar Antonia Rappert ★★★★★ 7 months ago
    Truly a special place. There's a lot to learn from this place, a bunch of warm people and many great ideas of how to live together in a sustainable … More (ecological & social) way. I really liked volunteering during the olive harvest, I still often think about the feeling of waking up and feeding the animals first thing in the morning before having breakfast and starting the day together with everyone. Greetings from Bonn :)
  • Avatar Jade Da Silva ★★★★★ 7 months ago
    I've worked as a volunteer last autumn (sorry Jules it took me a long time to write a little review, but better late than never:-) It's a unique … More place in which you will be able to help a common project that makes so much sense nowadays and be part of a family. If you are curious, motivated, eager to exchange and share experiences/knowledge and you want to add a little be of you in this amazing project then go for it. You will discover the pleasure of living the slow life and go back to the essential. I wish with all my heart to come back to this little haven of peace !