A Mediterranean holiday is relaxing by nature: getting away from the pressures of work and daily life, escaping to warm weather, golden beaches, and delicious food, and a place where life runs at a slower pace. In Athens, you can undoubtedly enjoy the calm relaxation of a warm vacation. But if you also want to go a little deeper and restore mind, body, and soul, then Athens also offers welcoming retreats and ways to heighten your inner awareness and deepen your connections.
The ancient Greeks believed in the virtues of excellence that included the mind and body, and those values are still a part of Greek culture today. In the midst of ancient architecture and a landscape steeped in history, modern Athenians are finding new ways to balance Eastern spiritual practices with the deepest of European values, to live lives that are more meaningful and rewarding. If you want to join them, here are some easy ways to experience a deeper quality of relaxation while visiting Athens:
Practice yoga. There are dozens of yoga studios in Athens, offering beginner and expert classes for yoga practitioners of all ages. Whether you practice hatha, ashtanga, vinyasa, kundalini, jivamukti or other yoga styles, or want to explore aerial yoga or pilates, there is a studio to meet your needs. Athens yoga studios also offer classes for children or seniors, or pre- and post-natal yoga classes. Many of them offer morning classes in English, so you can be grounded and rested for a day of sightseeing.
Take a meditation workshop. There are a variety of meditation classes, workshops, and venues in which to learn or practice meditation in Athens. Whether you practice meditation alone or as part of a yoga practice, or want to explore Zen or Buddhist meditation, there are beautiful meditation centers and workshops available in Athens, many with stunning views of the Acropolis. Even if you are new to meditation or haven't done it before, it is a proven way to promote deep relaxation, clear thinking, and reduce stress, and spending some time exploring the practice will benefit you long after your holiday is over.
Visit a spa and wellness center. Inner and outer beauty has always been celebrated in Greece, and the traditions of Turkish hammams and ancient Greek baths are deeply intertwined. At places like Hammam Baths or Polis Hammam, you can experience a variety of body cleansing, massage, and sauna services in stunning, serene environments. Not only are these experiences deeply relaxing for body and mind, but they can be a fantastic shared experience for couples.
A vacation in Athens can be an incredible way to simply relax and get away from a stressful life. But if you have been practicing yoga or meditation, want to take your relaxation to another level with a spa massage, or simply want to incorporate more mindfulness into your daily life, then Athens has many ways to make your vacation even more meaningful and long-lasting. Greek culture has always favored looking inward as well as outward, and there's no better way to experience this tradition than with taking time to cultivate your inner self while in Athens.