Practicing at Dawn



December 20, 2013.

It’s dark. The air is still a night time cool. The horizon’s color is just starting to brighten with the rising sun. And the moon, the moon still hovers over the Nile River.

In terms of practicality, of winter weather, it seems an odd time to get on the mat. But here in Aswan, with the air so fresh, with students still in bed before the first full day of the retreat, it’s an ideal time to wake, stretch and welcome the rising sun.

Key words today: gratitude and potential as I prepare for my first solo retreat: Ashtanga in Aswan.

Natural Reflection



After two months in monster city like Cairo, Aswan is a breath of fresh air–literally as well as figuratively.

This morning, waking up to my hut dappled in sunlight then practicing on the terrace of the main building in Fekra Cultural Center, to my left was the rising sun and to my right was the blue Nile River (I couldn’t decide which I wanted to salute towards more, so it was a draw!), I remembered how important it is too be in the elements, to be in nature.

I felt how my practice in this setting is very different. I took my time. My breaths were long. I wasn’t in any hurry. I also felt my body differently. I noticed the build up of urban/work tension in a way I hadn’t previously.

Nature allows us to tune into the nature within, it reflects back at us how close or how far we are from that nature. It is a keen mirror, allowing us to reflect deeply on ourselves.

Feeling blessed to be able to share this very special place with 17 retreat participants. We start today’s program at 4pm with an opening circle. The second Ashtanga in Aswan Retreat will be on 24-27 December. There are still places. Message me to join. 

Photo: Island reflection on the Nile. This is the view of a place often referred to as the back of a dragon across Fekra’s grounds.

Give yourself a gift: Ashtanga in Aswan, Batch 2



The response for the Aswan Retreat has been really wonderful. The December 19-22 Retreat is already full. As there is still interest, Fekra Cultural Center and Ashtanga Yoga Egypt have decided to hold a second batch! We’re very excited to be able to extend the program for others, regardless of yoga experience or level.

The second retreat will be on December 24 to December 27. It will be the same set up, starting in the afternoon of the 24th, ending after morning class on the 27th, the full two days will have a morning class, brunch, free time to tour beautiful Aswan, and an afternoon talk/meditation/workshop class.

The retreat cost is 1500L for accommodation, food, and yoga classes.

To reserve your spot, we are accepting full or deposit payments (50%) up until December 14. Call 0122 371 7729 or email me at

Below is the program for the retreats. In the spirit of the Nile, we’ll keep things pretty fluid, but roughly this will be the flow…

Ashtanga in Aswan Program



Ashtanga in Aswan, A Yoga Retreat – Join the Facebook event by clicking here!

December 19-22, 2013. A 4-day, 3-night yoga retreat at Fekra Cultural Centre, El-Shallâl, Aswan, Egypt with Kaz Castillo, KPJAYI authorized ashtanga teacher (Ashtanga Yoga Egypt).
Breathe in the true nature of yoga in the very special surrounds of Aswan. We will explore a holistic view of the ashtanga practice through daily yogasana class, meditation sessions, and other fun and fulfilling activities set in the unspoiled beauty of Aswan.

The Program:
The program 1 yoga class each day in nature’s setting, an afternoon meditation each full day, Accommodation at Fekra Cultural Centre (Two meals/ day), Transportation from Airport, Train Station, Bus Station during arrival and departure day, Fun program during free time includes boat trips, Visiting Philae temple, Nubian night at Fekra and more. Price: LE 1500

The Teacher:
Kaz loves yoga for its transformational power and embraces the constant gifts of change that come with practice. A dedicated ashtanga student, she has been studying at KPJAYI in Mysore, India under the tutelage of Sharath Jois who has given her his blessing to teach the system.She taught at Boracay Yoga in the Philippines up until 2011. Since then, Kaz has immersed herself in the study and exploration of yoga, from the philosophy that fuels the practice to Sanskrit chants and bhajans. She now shares this expansive experience of yoga around the world, from Japan to Europe. Invited by friend and fellow ashtangi Iman Elsherbiny, Kaz is currently teaching for Ashtanga Yoga Egypt.

Fore more about Kaz:
and Ashtanga Yoga Egypt:

The Setting:
FEKRA* is the joining together of artists from around the world with the culture and traditions of Southern Egypt. FEKRA supports those artists in their endeavors and promotes a cultural exchange with the local people.

The Cultural Center organizes traditional and contemporary music and dance events, poetry evenings, lectures and film screenings. FEKRA also offers courses and workshops with local and international artists and facilitates an international cultural exchange.

FEKRA is located on 40’000 sqm of land next to the Nile coves and opposite the island of the Philae Temple, in Southern Egypt. More about Fekra Cultural Center at

by email:
or call: +20 122 3717729