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Meet Katrina & Eyia Retreats: A Wellness Retreat Advocate in Greece

4 min read

Katerina Paraskevopoulou Eyia Retreats

Meet Katrina, a former neuroscientist and bio-psychologist turned wellness retreat advocate, and the visionary behind Eyia Retreats. I connected with her last year, intrigued by her inspiring narrative. Katrina's decision to leave California and embark on a new beginning in Greece, driven by her love for well-being and our beautiful motherland, is truly admirable. Join us as she shares her journey and imparts valuable advice. You won't want to miss the insights she has to offer at the end of her interview!

We are thrilled to have you on our blog and share your journey. Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

Thrilled to be here! Thank you for sharing wonderful Greek women-owned businesses!

There is so much to share, and I’ll start with the fact that I’m Greek-American - also ¼ Japanese and ¼ Spanish - and passionate about wellness, travel and Greece. I have the absolute pleasure of living in Greece now! My husband, 2 cats and I moved from California to Greece in March 2023 and it’s been a dream come true. I run several businesses that are all under the umbrella of wellness and helping people live a life that they love and truly feel good doing it. Eyia Retreats is a boutique retreat and travel company specializing in trips in Greece. We host luxury, small group wellness retreats and travel tours, as well as offer custom travel design and planning for trips to Greece - honeymoon, anniversary, summer vacations, wellness travel, and more! Eyia Wellness is also a corporate wellness company that brings wellness and positivity to employees so that they can bring their best selves to work. We support organizations of all sizes with consulting, virtual wellness events and programs, and team-building activities. Lastly, I offer personal coaching and mentorship through 1:1 coaching and group programs. I love supporting women to live a life they love!

From California to Greece! How did you find your purpose and decide to offer retreats in Greece?

We came to Greece for a variety of reasons and one of those reasons was Eyia Retreats! Wellness, science, the human body, nutrition and psychology have been my passion since I was 14 years old. I studied Neuroscience and Biopsychology in college and continued adding on education in fitness, nutrition, psychology, coaching, meditation, and more. My other passion was and is Greece. I loved traveling to Greece in the summertime to visit family and truly found so much peace and healing there. In 2016, I thought ‘what if I combined wellness & Greece?!’ Thus the idea of wellness retreats in Greece was born, but it wasn’t until 2019 that I finally put it out into the world and hosted my first sold-out retreat.

Eyia Retreats interview with Zelos Greek Artisan

Why Eyia? Explain for our readers what eyia means and what made you name your business after it?

Eyia is a greek-lish name (pronounced ee-yaa) and is a simplified spelling of the Greek Goddess “Hygieia” (Υγεία) who was the Goddess of the personification of health. I had a big vision for the retreats and wanted it to extend far and wide supporting many people on their journey. I needed a name to embody that. It was also in 2019 when my partner, Alex, who was born and raised in Greece, and I were on the island of Naxos and started brainstorming possible names. It was there that Eyia came to life.

I’ll play devil's advocate. Why should I take one of your retreats? What makes them special?

We love that we create truly unique retreat experiences in Greece. Our wellness retreats are a balanced blend of wellness, fun and adventure, peace and rejuvenation, food and culture, and nature. We aren’t ‘just a yoga retreat’ nor are we a touristy tour company with cookie cutter tours. Each retreat & small group tour is a special vision come to life!

We want our participants to really feel like they are in Greece and be in touch with the culture, while also having balanced itineraries to allow for holistic rejuvenation.

Our priority is our retreater experience. This means we have vetted each location, accommodation, activity and partner for each retreat. Every detail is considered. We value premium boutique accommodations and also offer luxury stays. Our retreaters often travel far to be with us so we want to make sure they are more than comfortable.

Lastly, our teachers & hosts are amazing! Our retreats are truly life-changing!

Share your favorite place to visit in Greece and why?

Such a hard question! I have so much more to explore and hope that within my lifetime I can feel content having seen most of Greece. I love the Peloponnese because it’s the perfect mix of grounding (earth), sea, and history & culture.

Eyia Retreats participants

Where in Greece do you find peace and balance?

I find peace in many places in Greece. Anywhere in nature, both on or near the sea, as well as in the olive groves and pine forests. I also find peace traveling and learning about our incredible history and culture. I feel so overwhelmed with gratitude to be connected to such a beautiful place. Lastly, I feel peace with my family. I’m lucky to live close to my family (my father’s side), and that gives me a lot of peace.

We are a food site, so what’s your favorite Greek food?!

Greek food is simply the best food. What I love about it is that even the most simple ingredients taste so delicious. One of my favorite Greek foods is Tiropita or cheese pie and specifically Kourou, which is made with shortcrust pastry.

And I love a summer Greek taverna table spread: Psari, lemoni, horiatiki, tirokafteri, psomi, and kolokithokeftedes (grilled fresh fish, lemon, Greek salad, spicy feta dip, fresh bread, & fried zucchini balls).

Before we go, what’s your advice for people that feel overwhelmed?

I’ll keep it simple. When I’m completely overwhelmed, I like the affirmation “nothing is wrong.” If you’re feeling overwhelmed, make a short list (1-3 things) of actions to take for the day. Only list the highest priority and biggest impact items, and only do those things. Allow yourself to be focused and present with each task. After that, allow yourself to feel progress and even celebrate your completion!

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