Is Online Yoga Teacher Training Worth It?

Hey beautiful soul. I’m guessing that since you’re here, you have been playing with the idea of signing up for an online yoga teacher training and you’re probably wondering if it’s worth it. I mean, can you actually learn how to teach yoga online? Is it just going to be a colossal waste of time and money?

How to create an intention

Deciding to do any yoga teacher training, whether it’s in person or online is not only life-changing, it’s a huge time commitment. These days, most yoga trainings are a minimum of 200 hours, either packed into a couple of weeks or spread out over multiple weekends. I’ve taught both intensive and weekend format teacher trainings and now I’m branching into the online world. (Read about why I’m so passionate about this here). To be honest, all of the formats have a fair number of pros and cons. The most important thing when deciding on your YTT is finding a teacher, schedule and price point that works for you. Your 200 hour yoga teacher training just scratches the surface. You’ll be so hungry to learn more, I know I was, and my 200 hour training was fantastic!

Get to Know The Instructor

So is an online YTT worth it? Well, that depends. As with any yoga teacher trainings, or other large purchase, I recommend doing your research. I would hate for you to invest in a YTT (any YTT) and have it basically be a “lemon”. Check out the teacher(s), read their reviews and chat with them on the phone. Who did they train with? What are they passionate about? Is there training more “magical” or rooted in modern science? I would highly recommend speaking to one of their former students. I know that I would happily connect a future YTT student with a former student because honestly, I want to make sure that the students that join my yoga teacher trainings are a good fit.

train to teach yoga online

I think scheduling and flexibility is a huge perk to participating in an online training. A good online training will provide live calls, one on one coaching, and community building activities in addition to their online resources. You don’t want to sign up for a training that is just a series of pre-recorded videos. Interaction, feedback, and discussion on online calls and in closed forums are invaluable. Check the call times and figure out exactly how many you need to attend to get your certificate. If you need to miss a call, are live calls recorded and available for you to watch? While we’re on the topic of schedules, I would also recommend that you find out if there is a deadline to send in your course assignments. Personally, I like deadlines because they hold me accountable, without them it could take me years to send in that final assignment. So, know if you do better with or without them.

Get A Sneak Peek

If possible, ask the instructor if you can see some of the material. Is it presented well? Is it professional? Or does it look like it was slapped together in Word. Ask to see a chapter of the manual, a module, a workbook page, or video — whatever you’re comfortable asking to see or are most concerned about. The more you know about the course, the more you will know what to expect AND you’ll know if it’s actually a good fit for you.

Unlimited Access to Materials

There were so many powerful, engaging lectures and discussions from my early trainings that I wish I had recorded copies of them, just so I could go back and review the material or sink deeper into the knowledge and wisdom provided to me. Another benefit of joining my online yoga teacher training is that all of our calls are recorded and available for you to view, review, fast-forward, rewind and rewatch.

Online Yoga Teacher Training Fits Your Already Busy Life

One of the beauties of online yoga teacher training is that you can show up exactly as you are… sweat pants, crazy hair, toddlers hanging off your hip. You can hop onto your calls from home, the beach, or a cafe. You can listen to your video lectures on your morning commute, while you’re making dinner, or after the kids are in bed. Training to become a yoga teacher online fits into your daily life… no need to add commute times, no need to hire a babysitter, no need to take copious amounts of time off of work.

In my experience, a well thought out online yoga teacher training or online workshop is totally worth it. They provide flexibility, community, and access to the materials anytime you want them. In the not too distant past, training to become a yoga teacher online was looked at as being “less than” training in person, but I’m here to change that. I’ve been pouring my heart, sweat, and tears into this project. And it’s ready to share. Registration is open for the February training.

Vishuddha Chakra

vishuddha chakra
Photo by Freepik

Vishuddha- especially pure
Chakra- wheel

Our fifth chakra, known as our throat chakra, is all about our ability to stay true to our personal truth and our ability to interface with the world around us with honesty and integrity. When our fifth chakra is balanced, our actions and are aligned with our words. If you often feel like you can’t express yourself freely for fear of judgment or criticism or you find it difficult to speak up for yourself and the less fortunate, your throat chakra may be blocked. If you find that you often talk over others, overshare or have difficulty listening to others your throat chakra may be overactive.

We meditate and do throat chakra practices to cultivate our inner trust, to bring ease to our communication, to embrace our creative self-expression and manage the quality of our thoughts. We learn to practice ahimsa, or non-harming, and satya, truthfulness in all of our actions and thoughts… at least to the best of our ability. We are human after all.

“Watch your thoughts; they become words. Watch your words; they become actions. Watch your actions; they become habits. Watch your habits; they become character. Watch your character; for it becomes your destiny.”

Upanishads
chakra colors

Vishuddha Chakra at a Glance:

  • Location: Front of the spine at the throat pit
  • Element: Akasha (ether)
  • Color: Turquoise Blue
  • Lotus: 16 petaled
  • Bija Mantra: HAM
  • Aspects: Communication, sound, creative identity, self-expression, finding your voice and speaking your truth
  • Sense: Hearing
  • Vayu: Udan, the upward flowing air of the throat and head that aids in the production of sound
  • Planet: Jupiter
  • Kosha: Vijnanamaya Kosha
  • Associated with: the throat, thyroid, parathyroid, hypothalamus, mouth, and cervical spine

“Every choice we make, every thought and feeling we have, is an act of power that has biological, environmental, social, personal, and global consequences. We are everywhere our thoughts are and thus our personal responsibility includes our energy contributions.”

Anatomy of the Spirit by Caroline Myss

Vishuddha Chakra’s 16 Petaled Lotus

The yantra of the throat chakra has 16 petals of smoky purple color. Each of the petals has a vowel written on it. Each vowel, when combined with nada bindu or NG creates a seed sound. In addition to the vowels, each petal is associated with one of 16 different vrittis (mental fluctuations). Most of the vrittis associated with vishuddha chakra are musical in nature. The seed sounds on the lotus petals include Om, Ong, Swaha, Namah and many others. These sounds are associated with different deities and their characteristics.

The Element Akasha and Vishuddha Chakra

Vishuddha chakra is associated with the element of akasha, also known as ether, space or the void. According to Ayurveda’s five-element theory, Ether is the subtlest of the elements and it precedes all other elements. The throat chakra is linked to our ability to hear and our ability to speak. In Harish Johari’s Chakras: Energy Centers of Transformation, “Akasha is generated by the tanmatra of sound.”

The Bija Mantra for Vishuddha Chakra

The bija mantra for the throat chakra is HAM, sometimes spelled HUM or even HANG. The variations in spelling and pronunciation vary from region to region in India.

Take a moment to chant the sound of HAM and notice its vibration in the region of your throat. The bija mantras are used to awaken the chakras and their various characteristics.

The sound HAM is carried upon the back of gaja, or elephant. The gaja carries all the knowledge of the earth and its plants and it teaches self-confidence and patience.

Photo by Yanalya at FreePik

Panchavaktra Shiva and Shakini Shakti and the Throat Chakra

The throat chakra is associated with Shakini Shakti, the embodiment of purity, the bearer of higher knowledge and great siddhis. She reveals her teachings when we’re in a deep dream state. She is associated with memory, peace, intuition, wit, and improvisation.

Panchavaktra Shiva represents all of the Shiva energies. Each of his five heads represents the five tanmatras and the tattvas that emerge from them along with their corresponding Shiva energies. Panchavaktra Shiva is the bestower of fearlessness and is also commonly referred to as the Great Teacher.

  1. Aghora, lord of the North. Aghora resides in the cremation grounds and is associated with the tattva akasha or void.
  2. Ishana, lord of the Northeast. He resides in the shrines and is associated with the tattva water.
  3. Tat Purusha, lord of the East. He appears in meditation and is associated with the tattva air.
  4. Vama Deva, the eternal Shiva. He is associated with the tattva earth.
  5. And finally, Saddyojat, the lord of the south. He is associated with the tattva fire.

An Out of Balance Fifth Chakra

We fear being controlled or not having control, being trapped, or feel like we have no say in the world around us.

When your throat chakra is underactive you may find it difficult to express your thoughts and opinions for fear of judgment or failure, whereas if your fifth chakra is overactive you may tend to speak over others, or struggle to listen.

A Balanced Throat Chakra

When Vishuddha Chakra is balanced, your words and actions become aligned, and the words you speak come from the heart and speak directly to the heart of those around you. Prayers, songs, and mantras spontaneously arise from the depths of your heart.

Your sense of self-knowledge is strong and unwavering and you express yourself freely without fear of judgment or reprimand. You’re able to communicate with clarity and ease AND you pick up non-verbal communication just as easily as verbal communication.

The fifth chakra is often associated with a spiritual rebirth, a transformation of the spirit.

How to Balance the Throat Chakra

mantra meditation throat chakra
Image by Veronica Bosley from Pixabay

Meditation on the throat chakra is one of the most powerful ways to bring about its awakening. Chanting mantra through japa meditation, kirtan, and song are all beautiful ways to cultivate an awakened fifth chakra. Sing in the shower, chant in the car, go see live music.

If you’re feeling stuck, tongue-tied, your creative juices aren’t flowing you might find it helpful to get your words, thoughts and ideas down on paper. Buy a beautiful journal and get in the habit of journaling, whether it’s one sentence, a bullet list or a full page, just start. Other suggestions to awaken your fifth chakra are to read a book or take up a new creative hobby like painting, drawing, or even dancing. Find something that inspires you and start there.

Practice deep listening. Listen with full presence and curiosity. Ask questions. Repeat back what you hear. Listen without thinking about how you’ll respond.

Two mudras for the Throat Chakra

Hand mudras can be used to heal and awaken the chakras and balance our energy. Here are two hand mudras that can be used to awaken your fifth chakra.

Udana Mudra | Upward Moving Air Gesture

Udana Mudra cultivates the energy, or air, of Udana Vayu. Udana Vayu governs the space between your chest and your head. It is an upward and outward flow of energy and is the basis for sound.

We can cultivate Udana Vayu to help awaken our fifth chakra, improve our sense of self-worth, and increase our creative self-expression. This mudra is also often practiced to create more joy and optimism in our lives.

To practice Udana Mudra, bring the tips of your ring, middle, and index fingers to meet the tip of your thumb. Extend your little finger long.

Shunya Mudra | Gesture of the Void

Shunya Mudra helps to balance the excess of ether. If you’re having trouble listening, you’re feeling flighty or ungrounded then Shunya Mudra can help you feel calm, clear and capable of listening earnestly and communicating clearly.

To practice Shunya Mudra, fold your middle finger down toward the base of your thumb and wrap your thumb over the top of your middle finger. Extend your little, ring and index fingers long. This mudra is the same for both right and left hands.

Crystals for the Throat Chakra

throat chakra crystals
Image by TessaMannonen from Pixabay
  • Turquoise (communication)
  • Blua Apatite (personal power)
  • Clear quartz
  • Blue Agate
  • Selenite
  • Lapis Lazuli (truth and awareness)
  • Sodalite (harmony)
  • Aquamarine (courage)

Yoga Poses for the Throat Chakra

  • Bridge Pose
  • Shoulderstand
  • Camel Pose
  • Fish Pose
  • Reverse Warrior
  • Warrior One or Crescent Lunge with the gaze lifted
  • Locust Pose with hands bound behind the back
  • Humble Warrior
  • Extended Side Angle
  • Triangle Pose
  • Wild Thing
  • Wheel Pose
  • Mountain Brook Pose (restorative)
  • Supported Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle)
  • Jalandhara Bandha
  • Kapalabhati
  • Brahmari

Book Recommendations:

Burn the F’n Boats

I’m sorry. I went dark for a few months. I didn’t go to a dark place, don’t worry, but I’ve been absent from all the “things” recently. I’ve been absent from Facebook, email, and even my beloved Instagram. And it has been glorious, but I’ve missed hearing about your summer trips and all of the fun things you’ve been up to. This past “winter, spring, and summer” was one of my busiest retreat and teacher training seasons and it was important for me to take a pause this month. A very big, delicious pause to rest, recharge and enjoy a bit of summer before buckling down again.

womens yoga retreat in oregon

I want to share a moment of insight I had during the Back to Nature retreats in July. For those of you who have not been on the Back to Nature retreat (yet), on our final night we do a fire ceremony. During the fire ceremony, we let go of old stories and dramas and release our old belief structures (fear, self-doubt, etc.) and turn them over to Spirit, Source, Universe, God. It is both cathartic and healing to burn the ties that bind us… all in a safe, supportive circle of strong, beautiful women. And we call in exactly what we need!

I’ve sat in many circles. I’ve been apart of many fire ceremonies. Each one touches on my heart and my soul in a different, unique, and beautiful way. This time was unexpectedly different. I seem to release the same things over and over again in different layers, like peeling back the layers of an onion or bulb of fennel. And what I released was more of the same patterns I continue to work through, but what I called in was even more important! Straight from my soul, with no filter, with no mask, I asked Spirit to “Burn the F’n Boats!” Yep, I swore in circle and I meant it! I meant it wholeheartedly and I still do.

You might be wondering what the heck do you mean by “burn the boats” and if you know where the saying comes from, you might be even more confused. Why is my yoga teacher talking about war strategy? Sun Tzu shared the strategy in the ancient military treatise, “The Art of War”, Alexander the Great used the strategy when his Greek army arrived in Persia, and as the legend goes, Spanish conquistador Hernan Cortez also employed the strategy when he arrived in Mexico in the 1500s. Okay, and…Burning the boats removes the escape plan, the fall back plan, it removes the thought, “well if things don’t work out, I can (fill in the blank with xyz)” Don’t get me wrong, having a plan B is a great idea BUT if our fall back plan isn’t painful enough or scary enough we don’t give our all to achieving our goals, dreams, desires. When plan B is pretty cushy we stay in the status quo, we fall back into old habits, we procrastinate on our dreams, we don’t push as hard through the tough times, we don’t do the hours to make our dreams our reality. Our dreams are ours. Let’s take ownership over them. When you burn the boats you ignite a burning desire to succeed, you light a fire under your own bum! You say YES to living the life you want. A healthier life. A joyful life. An inspired life. You make it priority number one. There is no other choice.

So why am I telling you all this? I’ve always felt like I do a “pretty good job” getting things done, but if I’m really being honest, I spend a lot of my time distracted, messing around on YouTube and social media, cleaning the house when I don’t need to, pinning on Pinterest, excessive planning… when I could be a bit more focused. And this next stage of life requires that I am all in and that I do, in fact, burn the boats! I want to stay connected with my yoga tribe. I want to travel more. I want to spend more time with the people I love. I want to spend more time in nature. So what does that mean?

1) We’re moving… again. (Myself, Steve and our furbabies will be back in Bend in October)

2) Finding Thrive, my online course rooted in Ayurvedic self-care practices and habit evolution launches in January 2020. If you’re feeling stuck with your diet, your sleep, your lifestyle… this course is for you. I don’t even know if I can call it a course because it’s so much more… you’ll learn the tools you need to succeed, you’ll have access to an awesome support tribe (let’s be honest– we can’t do it on our own), and you’ll receive one-to-one and group coaching. <3 More details will be available by the end of September.

3) Online Yoga Teacher Training starts in February 2020 (If money is tight, please reach out. I will be offering a few spots at a special *very discounted* rate for beta testers. You get to take the online course for cheap, in exchange, you give me feedback about what you liked/didn’t like from each module.) More details will be launching soon.

4) My YouTube channel will be blowing up with new yoga practice videos, meditations, yoga nidras and tutorials, starting ASAP. Check it out!

5) I would love to come visit you and maybe even host a workshop at your favorite local studio. <3 Nowhere is off-limits. Email me!!!

6) My 2020 Retreat schedule is coming together nicely.

Love and Light,

Autumn

Padma Mudra: A mudra to honor your inner beauty and light

Lotus Seal

Padma mudra, is known as the lotus mudra or lotus seal and it is a beautiful mudra to incorporate into a meditation or asana practice. In Sanskrit, padma is commonly translated as lotus. My favorite translation is “sacred lotus”. The sacred lotus is a reminder of the divine within and our own inner beauty and light.

Lotus flowers grow abundantly in South Asia and Southeast Asia. (pic by Dietmar Dorsch)

Lotus symbolism and imagery is common throughout Hinduism, Sikhism, Jainism and Buddhism. A lotus flower takes root down in the muck and mud and rises up through the water to blossom unscathed at the water’s surface. You can think of the path of the lotus as the journey to enlightenment. It is the journey from the darkness to the light.

The mud and muck represent our ego, our habits, our stories, our dramas. It represents life’s challenges, our shadow, and even inertia. The water through which the lotus must rise is cleansing and purifying. It is our yoga practice and our personal development. It takes action and awareness. The lotus flower’s rise from the muck up to the water’s surface requires action, and fortitude, it is a period of growth. And the fully bloomed flower represents our fully awakened self. Pure and beautiful.

Padma mudra is often associated with the Hindu goddess Lakshmi. Lakshmi is the shakti of all types of good fortune and abundance, both spiritual and material. She graces us with the gifts of auspiciousness, grace, compassion and love.

How to Practice Padma Mudra

Lotus mudra
Padma mudra

To practice padma mudra, bring your hands to anjali mudra, or prayer mudra, in front of your heart center with the palms of your hands touching. Keep the heels of your palms touching, your pinky fingers touching and your thumbs touching as you peel the palms of your hands, index, middle and ring fingers away from one another. The three middle fingers of each hand blossom away from one another like a lotus flower in bloom. Hold the mudra for five to ten minutes.

One of my favorite lotus mudra practices puts a little spin on the traditional mudra. Sianna Sherman calls it prayer wheel padma mudra. I personally like to add either pranayama or mantra to this version.

From a traditional version of padma mudra, you begin to spin the fingers away from your torso, you roll to the backs of the hands until the pinky fingers touch again and then come back to lotus mudra. I often incorporate this version into my Lakshmi practice and chant “Om shrim maha Lakshmyai namaha” or simply Lakshmi’s seed sound “shrim”. I will often do 27, 54, or 108 rotations.

Benefits of Padma Mudra

  • Padma Mudra helps you remember that your very essence is love, radiance, and bliss.
  • the lotus seal inspires purity and perseverance
  • Reminds you of your own inner beauty
  • It is calming to the mind

Affirmations for Padma Mudra

I rise above life’s challenges with ease and grace.

My inner light shines brightly.

My heart is pure.

The Yogi’s Guide to Athens, Greece

This blog post was originally intended as a simple guide for my Greek Island Yoga Retreat attendees, but why not share the love. I’ve been to Athens a handful of times and each time I visit I discover a new gem. In this post, I’ll be sharing my favorite restaurants, yoga shops, Athens yoga studios among favorite wine bars, sights to see and places to shop.

Photo by Simply Greenhttps://www.simplygreen.gr/travel-mat-poio-na-dialekso/

Where to Buy Yoga Pants and Yoga Mats in Athens

Yoga students and yoga teachers… if you managed to lose or forget your yoga mat, block, incense or mala beads head over to Simply Green. Simply Green is actually an online shop, BUT they do open their doors Monday to Friday from 10 am to 6 pm. They carry great brands… think Manduka and Jade, they have plenty of travel mats in all colors, and tons of other bits and bobs you may have forgotten at home (like a refillable water bottle, yoga towel, mat cleaner, etc.). It’s amazing and it’s located pretty centrally, so it’s a win-win! Location: Simply Green 73 Ermou Str. Monastiraki

If your yoga pants have blown away then check out the Nike store at 1 Ermou, this is probably your best bet for finding a variety of suitable leggings. Simply Green has a few leggings styles as well. Athens Yoga on Louizis Riankour 65, would be a bit of an expedition to get to, but if you’re in a bind or feeling adventurous you could head out to their location. There are also two H&M stores on Ermou. H&M stores in the states typically have fitness wear… just check that your leggings are opaque!

Niyamas Yoga Mat would be another option for picking up a yoga mat. Their mats are known for being nice and sturdy. They’re a local brand and they’re located a little north of the city center on Leof. Konstantinoupoleos 78-80 in Peristari.

The Best Yoga Studios in Athens

If you’re arriving in Athens a few days before your yoga retreat you may be seeking out a yoga studio in Athens to get moving and breathing after sitting on a plane for a dozen hours.

There are a surprisingly large number of yoga studios in Athens. Here are a few to check out:

Abhaya Yoga offers classes in English. At the moment, they have the following types of classes on their schedule: Bhakti, Anusara, Abhaya hatha, Alignment based yoga and Yin-Yang. Check out their website for their current schedule and pricing www.nysystudios.gr or give them a call +30 210 3232004. Location: Aiolou 43

Enjoy a class at Spa-like Anahatashuddhi yoga studio in Peristeri, Athens

Anahatashuddi Yoga Studio is a little further away from the center, but it’s gorgeous and well worth the effort. They offer floor yoga, aerial yoga and pilates in Peristeri. Reach out to Eva via email at eva@anahatashuddhi.com or give them a call at +30 210 5744162 or +30 694 6941126. Location: Emiliou Veaki 36

Swaha Yoga Kallisperi has super friendly staff and a large range of class offerings, including: ballet, pilates, aerial, and floor yoga. Check out their site www.swaha.gr or shoot them an email at om@swaha.gr Their phone number is +30 210 9229251. Location: Kallisperi 11

Other Yoga Class Options:

Where to Eat: Vegan, Vegetarian, Organic and Sustainable Restaurants in Athens

Okay, there are loads of great places to eat in Athens, but when you’ve had enough of the meat, cheese, bread combo give these restaurants a try.

Avocado Vegetarian Cafe Photo credit: Avocado Cafe

Avocado

So Amazing!!! Loads of delicious vegetarian meals from falafel, to crispy tofu to veggie burgers. This restaurant has a surprisingly large menu. They even have a few gluten-free and vegan options — which let’s be honest… Greece is not super friendly to vegans… not that the Greeks are mean, because they’re definitely not, but because the options for vegan food are seriously lacking. Definitely check out Avocado for your veggie and smoothie fix. It’s one of my favorite vegetarian restaurants in Athens. Location: Nikis 30, Syntagma

Indian Haveli near the Acropolis metrohttp://www.indianhaveli.gr/en/

Indian Haveli

I might be biased. I love Indian food and it is one of my comfort foods. AND there are usually plenty of vegetarian options on the menu, which I love. Indian Haveli is conveniently located near Syntagma Square (2 minutes from the Acropolis metro) and it’s affordably priced.

O Kostas

This may be the best gyro and souvlaki in Athens. A favorite among locals for its simplicity and full flavor. But you must go early, when they run out they close up shop! Pentelis 5, Syntagma

Nice n Easy Organic Bistro in Kolonaki, Athens

Nice n Easy

An organic bistro with locally sourced Greek food ie. loads of organic produce, fresh pasta and sustainably sourced meats. Nice n Easy is worth a visit. I would definitely recommend a reservation. This restaurant has a few other locations out on the islands, so if you can’t get in in Athens, check out one of the island locations (if that’s where you’re headed). Location: Omirou 60, Athens

Athens Central Market

If you’re on a budget check out the Athens Central Market. It’s been in operation for over 100 years and offers plenty of veggies, meats, and grocery items.

Seycheles

This may be the best meal I have had in Athens. Seycheles’ menu has lots of small-ish plates and a handful of entree style plates and they’re all delicious. I recommend the octopus, the tomato fritters and the smoked eggplant! Go with a friend so you can try more things! If you want to eat during prime time definitely make a reservation. The restaurant is out of the tourist zone in an up and coming, hipster-ish neighborhood called Metaxourgeio. Address: 49 Kerameikou street

Couleur Locale

Cocktails, wine, and coffee with a rooftop view of the Acropolis and Plaka. Not a bad way to spend an evening. Location: Normanou 3, Monastiraki

Kiki de Grace

A beautiful wine bar near Syntagma Square. They have about 30 different glasses of wine to choose from. Location: Voulis 38

Favorite places for Coffee

Tailor Made Microroastery

Tailor Made Microroastery is located at Agias Irinis 2. Great coffee, awesome outdoor seating that is perfect for people watching and a fun, social scene. Location: Agias Irinis 2 in Monastiraki. Word on the street is that they have closed. Sad face!

Peek a Bloom

Peek a Bloom is another great spot for caffeine, this little cafe is near Syntagma Square and it’s a perfect spot to tuck out of the sun for a cup of coffee. While I haven’t tried their breakfast, I do enjoy their coffee. It’s down the alley at Lekka 14.

Athinaika Galatompoureko Triantafillou

Okay, there are literally hundreds, probably thousands of places to try baklava in Athens, but trust me, when I say that Athinaika Galatompoureko Triantafillou has the best baklava ever! Hike up the hill to Pagrati and get yourself some baklava. It’s worth it. I promise. Location: Eftichidou 2 in Pagrati

Ohh Boy

This is the best cafe to stuff yourself with sweets and get hyped up on sugar and caffeine while cranking out a days work. Did I say they have super fast wifi??? Because they do. Thank you. Thank you! Location: Archelaou 32

Shopping: Where to Buy Gemstones and Crystals in Athens

Alright yogis, you might love gemstones and crystals just as much as I do, so here are a few spots to check out while you’re in Athens.

Michael Hatzmihail near Syntagma Square at Perikleous 56

Stonestories by Albandakis at Perikleous 44

One of my girlfriends bought a gorgeous Byzantine inspired ring from one of the Konstantinos or Kostas stores (I can’t remember the name, but there are a few of them in the Monastiraki and Plaka area).

Shopping: Best Clothing, Shoe, Vintage and Secondhand Shops in Athens

Simply the best! Closet to Closet

Closet to Closet

Closet to Closet is super cute. They have lightly used high end brands like Laboutin and Manolo Blahnik at a fraction on the cost. And it’s next to the National Gardens… picnic + shopping sounds like a lovely afternoon to me. Location: Eratosthenous 4

Preloved

Preloved is another great secondhand shop between the National Gardens and Monastiraki. Location: Asklipiou 20

Kilo Shop

If you don’t have time to make it over to Closet to Closet and Preloved you can check out the Kilo Shop located right in the heart of the tourist district. The last time I was in Athens one of my friends found an amazing pair of Levis… so jealous! Location: Ermou 120

Olgianna Melissinos Sandals

Get a pair of custom made leather sandals. Olgianna and her husband make fantastic footwear and leather bags!!! All at affordable prices too. Every time I am in Europe I treat myself to a pair of shoes or an article or two of clothing… the quality is always amazing. This year I will be getting my own custom made sandals. Location: Normanou 7

Athens National Gardens

Free Things To Do in Athens

  1. Watch the changing of the guards at the Parliament building. The changing of the guards happens every hour on the hour. On Sundays there is an even more elaborate changing of the guards. On our first trip to Athens we stumbled upon the changing of the guards. It’s cool. It’s free. And you can stand in the shade while you watch.
  2. Have a Picnic in the National Garden. The National Garden is massive and beautifully landscaped. Stop by a market on your way and grab a few snacks and maybe a bottle of wine (I have no idea if you can drink wine in Athens’ parks — might be worth looking into).
  3. Check out Anafiotika. Anafiotika is a super cute mini neighborhood in the Plaka area. The architecture is reminiscent of the Cyclades… narrow lanes, white buildings, flowering bougainvilla, and sunbathing cats are the norm. To get there from the Acropolos metro station, take Vyronos St. pass Lycicrates monument and turn left to Thespidos St until you arrive at Stratonos. Turn right on Stratonos and walk straight ahead. You have arrived! There is also some nearby street art.
  4. Wander through Athens’ Central Market. The Central Market is massive, impressively clean, and fairly priced. You’ll find meats, cheeses, veggies, and grocery items. Everything you need for a picnic in the park.
  5. Wander the historic center. Start at Hadrian’s Arch, wander through Plaka, stop and aww at the archeological sites that seem to pop up out of nowhere.
The Acropolis

7 Must See Sites in Athens

If you plan on visiting multiple sites you should buy the multi-site ticket. The ticket to the Acropolis only is 20 euros. The multi-site ticket is 30 euros… and I would take a wild guess that you’ll be visiting at least one or two more sites. Don’t bother booking ahead, just go early in the day before the tour buses show up. The multi-site pass is valid at the following sites: Acropolis of Athens, Ancient Agora of Athens, Archaeological Museum of Kerameikos, Archaeological Site of Lykeion, Hadrian’s Library, Kerameikos, Museum of the Ancient Agora, North slope of the Acropolis, Olympieio, Roman Agora of Athens, South Slope of Acropolis.

  1. The Acropolis
  2. The Acropolis Museum
  3. National Archeological Museum
  4. Varvakeios Central Market
  5. Ancient Agora
  6. Hadrian’s Arch
  7. Temple of Zeus

Travel to and from Athens City Center

Athens by Metro

Transportation to/from the airport via the metro is 10 euros each way and takes about 40 minutes.

Athens by Bus

Transportation to/from the airport via the bus is about 6 euros each way. The X95 drops off and picks up at Syntagma Square. The bus takes 40-60 minutes depending on where you’re headed.

Athens by Taxi

A taxi from the airport to the city is a flat rate of 38 euros during the day and 54 euros between midnight and 5 am. A taxi takes approximately 35 minutes.

Travel to and from Lefkada

There are four buses a day going to Lefkada from Athens. The first departure is at 7 am. The KTEL bus is 36.80 euros one way or 67 euros roundtrip. If you book online you can save 10%. The bus runs from Kifissou in Athens to Lefkada Town on Lefkada.

LEFKADA– filosofon & Tzeveleki, .31 100
President- 26450 26086
Account Office- 26450 22795  Φαξ. 26450 21827
Information/ Ticket Office- 26450 22364
Store/ Parcels- 26450 26085

ATHENS– Leoforos Kifissou 100, 104 42
Information/ Ticket Office – 210 5150108 fax. 210 5151544
Store/ Parcels- 210 5150108
Ticket Office Omonoias – Vilara (near Ag. Konstantinou)Tel. 210 5246803, 210 5233810

Travel to and from Piraeus

The 040 bus will take you to the city center of Athens in 50 minutes, and costs 1.40€. The express buses X80 or X96 take you to the city center in 30 minutes and the tickets cost 4€.

A taxi between Piraeus and Athens city center will take about 25 minutes and will cost approximately 25€ under normal traffic conditions.