Drawing from a family of yoga practitioners and teachers, Jon was introduced to yoga early but took his time to fall in love with the practice and make it his experience. That love was initially propelled by the physical practice...
Ancient teachings, modern approach
For many of us, our day-to-day reality is a demanding job and endless social obligations. New technologies that were designed to make our lives easier & simpler somehow have added more to our already overflowing plates (and iCals). We’re expected to be available & accessible more and more, and as each day ends, we find ourselves with just a sliver of personal time left over.
Our culture tells us that being ‘busy’ is somehow a good thing. We associate being busy with being in demand, sought after, and successful. Whether we see this busy-ness as self-imposed or not, it’s harder than ever these days to align ourselves with the person we want to be.
When was the last time you felt fully recharged? When was the last time you had the space to really dedicate yourself to the things that are truly important to you? The Sacred Fig retreats are specifically designed to realign & re-calibrate. To step away from our day-to-day dramas, and get a greater perspective on ourselves, our goals, our desires, & our friendships.
At The Sacred Fig retreats, expect sunrise meditation, and afternoon naps by the pool. Expect lovingly prepared, nourishing meals every day, and world-class yoga asana, taught by qualified, experienced & inspirational teachers. Expect to create new bonds, share surprising conversations & laughter… and still plenty of time for self-reflection.
Portugal’s beauty is subtle and understated - the magic here is witnessed only when you slow down. Portugal's beauty is lived + experienced.
The area were heading to is called Coastal Alentejo, and you probably haven't heard of it (that's a good thing). It's far removed from the coastal tourist culture of the rest of Europe. The beaches are windswept and untouched. As you move inland, golden rolling hillsides give way to a rugged coastline, traditional whitewashed villages, and majestic medieval towns.
Traditional farming here is a way of life. Cork production still continues. Even at our property, the eggs come from our chickens, the cheese from our neighbors sheep, and olives from an olive grower down the road. The birds here are some of the most majestic you'll see, and the walking paths, like the Costa Vicentina, are world renowned.
The world is (finally) catching on to Alentejo. Get there before it does.
The Retreat Center
Cocoon is a 275 acre farm and dedicated retreat center on the Atlantic Coast of Portugal, offering inspiration + community for the modern traveller. It's also pure magic, where between the oversized hammocks and the freshwater lake, you'll start to lose track of time. The kind of place where each morning is a celebration, practicing under the canopy of old growth pines, but so is each evening, with incredible farm-to-table meals and elevated dinner conversation. The Guardian recently rated Cocoon "One of the Top 20 Yoga Retreat Centers in the World" and Yogascapes voted it "Top 10 Retreat Centers in Portugal."
Check out this gorgeous 90 second video of Cocoon, which was actually filmed during one of our programs!
Cocoon is situated on the breathtaking Atlantic coast of Portugal, near the charming fishing village of Vila Nova de Milfontes, in the Alentejo region, which is known for its long stretches of untouched coastline and charming white-washed villages. From Lisbon, its roughly two hours drive south, entirely dependent on how many espressos you’ve had. The ocean, with bluffs, trails, and sandy coves, is a 15 minutes drive.
There are two yoga shalas at Cocoon. The pine shala is nestled under the canopy of old growth pines, with the occasional sheep or goat roaming around nearby. The pine shala is a dream for morning mediation and practice, especially as the morning fog rolls in. The indoor shala is lightfilled, with high ceilings and traditional hand-made Santa Catarina tiles, which are a joy to practice on
Expect three healthy, lovingly-prepared meals each day. Strong coffee (yes, coffee) and herbal teas are available throughout the day. For breakfast, expect homemake granolas, greek yogurt, local honey, homemade jam, frittata, chia pudding, fresh local fruit, and slow-rise breads. Lunch is typically lighter, like a bowl of ancient grains. Dinner is served family style, expect things like curry, ancient grains, salads, and soups. Our menu is always changing, depending on what's available. Local Portuguese Wine is available for purchase at a reasonable price. We fly in a different chef each year, and so the menu changes according to their personal style. The menu items listed above are just to give you an idea!
The rooms are clean, bright, and simple. Cocoon has 10 bedrooms and 10 bathrooms.There's different options for different budgets. You'll have your own bed in either a shared double or triple room, your preference. You can have a room with an en-suite bathroom, or share a bathroom between two rooms. Please keep in mind this is not a resort - it's a Portuguese farmhouse. If you are looking for a JW Mariott with staff, central AC and turn-down service, this is NOT the retreat for you. If you appreciate understated beauty, barefoot adventures, a freshwater lake, peacocks, pine forests + salty air, then this PERFECT for you! The property is so spacious, with many places to relax, chat or study - and that from our experience people really only use their rooms to sleep.
How To Arrive. Fly into Lisbon. Rent a car, and enjoy the two hour drive to Cocoon. Stop at Camporta Cafe for a fabulous lunch and a swim, and check in anytime after 3pm. If you don't feel comfortable renting a car (or just don't want to), we can pair you with someone else arriving at the same time, so that you can drive together. Renting a car in Portugal is extremely easy & affordable. If you have time before or after the training, we highly recommend a couple nights in Lisboa!
8am - 10am
A deep morning practice with Anton or Jon. Morning practice will be a mix of rigorous movement, breath-work, and meditation.
10am - 11am
Enjoy a healthy breakfast. Expect local fruit, greek yogurt, eggs from our chickens, slow-rise bread, homemade jam, and strong coffee.
11am - 2pm
Chill out by the lake, adventure to the beach, or take a nap on one of the hammocks.
2pm - 3pm
A light lunch.
3pm - 5pm
Some days we will have planned activities, some days will be more free for you to enjoy as you wish.
5pm - 6:30pm
The afternoon activity varies. Often times it's a yoga class taught by one of our teachers, and some other days we'll go on an outdoor adventure. It varies depending on the direction of the group.
7pm - 9:30pm
Plant-forward, farm-to-table dinner. Local wine is available at a very reasonable price.
Sleep, stargaze, or enjoy a glass of vino.
Jon Ziff Sint
When not standing on his hands, most of Anton’s adult life has been spent travelling the world, with the common thread linking his varied life experience being a search for the extraordinary. From founding a sustainable footwear brand, to working...
I've been to Tuscany and Costa Rica with The Sacred Fig and cannot thank Anton enough for spiking my interest in yoga retreats. First of all, his teaching style is genius; technical and fun. The co-leaders he selects bring valuable contributions to the retreat. It's been a year since Tuscany, but I'm still using Amber's Nidra (physic sleep) download if I can't get my eight hours of sleep in NY. Grace helped me not only learn yoga but both her and Anton were the perfect mentors when we went horse-riding in the beautiful & wild Costa Rican jungle. There is never a dull moment on these retreats, I only wish they were longer! Personally, I have enjoyed every moment. I've learned how to make Tiramisu in Italy, and Tamales in Costa Rica. Yoga away from routine life provided me with a new perspective, it has opened my heart and calmed me down... it's just what these retreats do. I cannot wait to experience another new country (and new poses!) with The Sacred Fig - the best!
I find that when you meet a spirit with an exceptionally radiant, guiding light, you feel the desire to surround yourself with their presence. And if you’re fortunate enough to find this light source, it’s a gift. Anton Brandt, founder of The Sacred Fig, has a sparkle that exudes from an authentic place of ease and happiness deep within.
I took off the day after Christmas to head to Costa Rica for my first Sacred Fig retreat... AMAZING doesn't begin to describe it! Being on a Sacred Fig retreat was simply the best medicine for my soul. The location was magical. Even being a beginner yogi, I immediately felt very comfortable, and Anton was the best teacher I could have asked for. I highly recommend joining a Sacred Fig retreat!!
what you get
- A shared room for the duration of the retreat
- 3 farm-to-table vegetarian meals per day, for the duration of the course, including spring water, coffee and local teas
- Access to the entire 275 acre property, including lake, bicycles, animals, and wifi
- Twice-daily yoga classes with The Sacred Fig faculty
- A few planned adventures during the week!
All inclusive of the above:
USD $1800 (Single bed in shared triple room w/ ensuite bathroom. Full payment due by July 26th, 2020.)
USD $2000 (Single bed in shared double room. Bathroom is shared between two rooms. Full payment due by July 26th, 2020.)
USD $2400 (Single bed in shared double room w/ ensuite bathroom. Full payment due by July 26th, 2020.)
USD $3800 (Private Room w/ shared bath. Full payment due by July 26th, 2020.)
USD $4000 (Private Room w/ ensuite bath. Full payment due by July 26th, 2020.)
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