Sandra Brborović is a creator and a leader of the 'On the Way Up' program.
At the position of President of the related association in Zagreb, Croatia, she promotes a mindful approach to outdoor activities and mountaineering, quality lifestyles and self-development, thus developing a mindful hiking concept in Croatia. She organizes the 'On the Way Up' mindful hiking workshops and trips, which are synergy of hiking and yoga, where the attenders reveal their potentials and experience moving their limits, in powerful mountain environment, by consciously connecting with nature.
Sandra is a qualified guide, licensed by Croatian Mountaineering Association, strongly attached to nature and mountains. Mountains are her inspiration, her means of growth, a training field for moving the limits and a place of mindful being. She has been mountaineering for 15 years; she has climbed many attractive peaks in Europe, including a number of summits above 4000m in the Alps. She experienced as well a pleasure of mountaineering at the heights of North Africa and above all - the mighty Himalayas.
In addition to her mountain climbing, Sandra has been practicing yoga for 15 years. She has become skilled to teach yoga by attending Yoga Teacher Training, registered by Yoga Alliance, in India - the cradle of yoga. After attaining a university degree in Tourism & Hospitality she worked for years in hospitality industry with upscale service and gained a lot of management experience. She has professionally been engaged in education and consulting in domain of Hospitality Sales & Marketing.
She has united her passion for nature, mountains and human wellbeing with her professional experience in tourism and hospitality, through organization of eco-travel programs and hiking & yoga retreats.
Sindy Slipac is an aromatherapist, a part of the management team of 'On the Way Up’.
In her own specific ways during the program she will share with our guests her great love - the fragrant world of essential oils. Co-leader of the hiking trips during which, with the help of aromatherapy, she leads meditations and opens the way to the inner world of each guest. Sindy is a law graduate, who has worked as a real estate agent, but the stress and negative energy of the business world have prompted the absolute change. She took private aromatherapy lessons which consisted of a combination of a profound study of the essential oils and their application as well as self-development. Trained through other seminars and workshops (Indian head massage, Basics of Ayurveda, Reiki I and II, and the first degree of education for practitioners of Peter Hess sound massage, Silva method of mind control).
She completed her training for aromatherapists and joined the work of the association AromaVita - Institute for aromatherapy in Zagreb, where during the recent years she conducts aromatherapy treatments that combine her knowledge of holistic therapy and powerful impact of essential oils. She actively hikes and practices yoga and she expresses herself further through a combination of aromatherapy and hiking actively supporting the method of mindful hiking.
In her work she uses all techniques of application of essential oils, expert knowledge, empathy and intuition, to revitalize the body and mind of her clients, to balance the emotions and energy and awaken the joy of life and creative energy.
Jagdeesh Kaur is a Kundalini yoga teacher.
With her personality and life choice, she is encouraging others to awake their energy and passion for life. She went through education to become KRI certificated instructor of Kundalini yoga, as taught by Yogi Bhajan. Her teacher is Nirmal Singh, the owner of a Kundalini yoga center “Amar Das” in Vienna. With this experience, she has also got the membership in Yoga Alliance, as Kundalini yoga instructor. Her first yoga experience came 10 years ago with Hatha yoga. She got an extra practical experience throughout the years; working with many teachers from Croatia and also in India, where she was experiencing Iyengar and Acroyoga while travelling there for few months. She also finished a course to become Aerial yoga instructor. For the last two years, she is actively teaching Hatha and Kundalini yoga, holding workshops all around the Croatia.
Yoga is an extraordinary channel that helps her students, as much as it helps herself; in awakening one’s true nature, decreasing stress, contributing to better and easier facing life challenges, achieving deeper sense of inner peace, opening the heart energy, developing vital body, with clear mind and spirit.
Besides yoga, Jagdeesh has another grand passion – cooking. She is a vegetarian who enjoys in cuisine innovations, playing with imaginative flow in the realms of her kitchen. She explores and prepares vegan, macrobiotic, raw food, and specialties of Indian/Ayurvedic cuisine. She brings whole lotta love in the food she prepares. She adores cooking for others, to an immense pleasure and satisfaction, of any sophisticated taste and sense. Jagdeesh exuberantly awaits the guests of the program with her cuisine specialties!
Healthy balanced nutrition is a key to good immunity and vitality; it represents a source of our energy. It is said: “You are what you eat”. The food builds our body, shapes our spirit and emotions. It is our fountain of enjoyment. 'On the Way Up' program will offer a real palate’s delight for guests, a rich harmony of savors, balanced with energy of nature. Carefully selected ingredients, meals prepared with lot of love and care, will assist in balancing our physical and spiritual body and will improve life energy.
Meals will be based on vegetarian cuisine, occasionally supplemented with fish and seafood, prepared tastefully using Mediterranean recipes. Enjoyable assorted meals will be served in vibrant ambiance of Villa Ursula, including breakfast and dinner. In addition, snack boxes will be prepared for hiking trips to make them even more pleasurable and complete.
A word „yoga“ has its origins in Sanskrit and it means: to join, to yoke. Nowadays, when we greatly cherish the methods and techniques that will improve our health and wellbeing, practicing yoga has become one of the ways to establish harmony with our environment and with ourselves. Yoga asanas have holistic effect on balancing our body, mind, consciousness and soul. 'On the Way Up' program comprises morning yoga sessions supported by aromatherapy and scents of essential oils. Hatha, Vinyasa and Kundalini yoga will be practiced and guided by qualified yoga teachers. Yoga sessions will be held outdoor, beside the Villa Ursula’s swimming pool, or alternatively, in case of a bad weather, at the covered terrace or in the living room. Moreover, yoga is an important part of hiking excursions. In order to encourage the balance of energies stimulated by physical activity, each hike will end with selected yoga asanas experienced in mountain environment.
Aromatherapy is a holistic discipline that makes use of essential oils in a controlled way in order to balance the health of body, mind and spirit. Essential oils are herbal products with rich composition, strong aromatic smell and therapeutic properties. Essential oils influence the body's energy system in order to raise the energy of the body. The excursions of mindful hiking during the program ‘On the Way Up' are supported by aromatherapy in nature through the inhalation of selected essential oils during relaxation and meditation with the aim of deepening contact with nature and raising the energy of the body.
Personal aromatherapy treatment during the program Every guest will also get a personal experience of aromatherapy consisting of a relaxing aroma massage in duration of 60 minutes, which is a very pleasant, fragrant and relaxing treatment for deep relaxation. Treatments will be done by a trained aromatherapist in the private area of Villa Ursula. Relaxing massage is a gentle treatment of the whole body, face and scalp, during which a deep relaxation of the body is achieved with the help of relaxing essential oils in order to unify the energy flow and balance mind and body. It reduces the level of stress and fatigue, relaxes the muscles, eases breathing, relaxes mind and body. Conducted with relaxing music and scent of essential oils, it will take with each guest even deeper into the world of peace, harmony and lightness, where nature and human are united in harmony.
Additional aromatherapy treatments available during the program (surcharge)
Indian head massage - A nice combination of gentle and soothing touch to the relaxing music
Indian head massage is a specific massage technique that involves various movements that resemble a comb, gently pulling the hair roots and movements that mimic the spider walk. The movements cause an immediate sense of relaxation and unblock the flow of energy through the body. By opening the chakras, body and spirit, this treatment helps to preserve the flow of life force and increases natural immunity.
Duration of the treatment is 30 min
Aromatherapy massage - A targeted and balanced treatment of the whole body
One particularly important technique used is aromatherapy is aroma massage that provides many benefits to body, emotions, mind and finally the spirit. It is a targeted use of essential oils through superior massage technique. Aromatherapy massage is composed of elements of Swedish massage, connective - tissue massage, lymphatic drainage and acupressure.
Aroma massage of the whole body is extremely pleasant, fragrant and relaxing and it is used for preventive purposes as well as for health care, as an excellent way of treating certain problems. It is ideal for improving circulation, elimination of toxins, tension and deep relaxation.
Duration of the treatment is 60 min
Workshops - Afternoon or evening program lasting 2 hours
Small home aroma pharmacy
The workshop where the guests in a lovable and convenient way get to learn about the magical world of essential oils. The workshop presents the basics of aromatherapy, the modes of application of essential oils in everyday life, with the presentation of 5 essential oils - helpers for every home, from small home aroma pharmacy for natural healing and care. With useful tips for selecting good quality oils, for making your own scented blends and introducing the methods of application of essential oils, we will present you characterology of essential oils and their energies. A gift for each guest will be one of the essential oils from the aroma pharmacy!
Mandala coloring for mind relaxation and meditation
Mandala means “a circle” in Sanskrit. With its round shape, according to teachings from the East, mandala has the power to encourage relaxation, to balance body energies and to help in with expressing creativity, even of the ones “without art skills”. The circle is a symbol of integrity, connectivity and life cycle, for which reason its drawing helps in focusing on inner impulses, emotions and spiritual energy. Coloring mandalas will encourage stillness and focus on the present moment, yet it will entertain and remind us of our inner child. According to the color therapy teaching, coloring is also a healing method. To further support revealing our creativity and intuition, coloring mandala will be accompanied by aromatherapy and scents of essential oils.
Meditative music workshop
Music is the elixir or life. It has been used through centuries to raise body frequency, to relax and to regenerate our mind and soul. We will float into beautiful sounds of music, let our body and spirit go with the flow, we will dance or simply listen. We will listen to the sound of music, release our thoughts and try to hear our inner voice.
Nature has always been one of our greatest teachers. However, stressed by demand of modern life, constantly chasing time and success by all means, we tend to forget the primary power of nature. There are so many messages in each of its forms, colors or scents. The moment we mindfully step into its paths and get focused on its details, the nature will open the way to our inner world and reveal the wisdoms of life. „Look deep into nature and then you will understand everything better“ Albert Einstein
The mountain is a powerful form of nature which forces us to look at the world from above. It will satisfy our need for moving up, our need for struggle, shedding sweat, opening the exhaust valve… it will relentlessly unfold new perspectives and open up horizons. Climbing mountain is like climbing our inner steps, raising our own bar. The feeling we get on a mountain top is like a gift of full consciousness which puts us in a present moment. It is our moment of self-realization.
The concept of mindful hiking has been developed to bring people the experience of nature, to enable them to climb mountains with as fewer efforts, to inspire them for life. Hikes are attentively guided while the focus is given to breathing techniques during activities as well as to personal senses. We demonstrate techniques for steady ascending / descending, balancing physical stamina and breathing, suggest the useful hiking equipment and balanced nutrition. At the same time we empower the mindful approach and focus on the present moment with outdoor meditations, yoga in nature and aromatherapy. Hiking tours organized within the ‘On the Way Up’ retreat program are guided by a certified mountain guide, tailored for people with moderate hiking experience at average fitness level.
We present some of the hiking highlights included in the program:
Risnjak is the national park, one of the most beautiful and outstanding mountain tops in Croatia. It is situated in the heart of green lungs of Croatia – the mountain region of Gorski kotar. Its peak is 1528m high, striking over mountain forest, offering remarkable views on Kvarner coastline, Istrian peninsula as well as over Julian Alps in neighboring Slovenia. The whole Risnjak area is known for its distinguished flora and fauna, thus being protected as a national park.
Snježnik is a remarkable stony peak surrounded by steep meadows, at the altitude of 1505m, offering one of the most attractive views in Croatia. Its name “Snježnik” comes from the Croatian word “snow”, indicating that snow remains on the mountain top up to spring time, in spite of being close to the sea. Nearby the peak, the hikers can find a natural habitat of karstic edelweiss.
Celestial labyrinths present a piece of art made by a Croatian artist, assembled in 10 formations along a walking plateau 800m long, above Novi Vinodolski. The view from this highland is magnificent, extending over the coastline around Vinodol bay, the town of Novi Vinodolski and the Krk Island. Labyrinths are formations connected to astronomical and cosmic patterns. Their presence has a very positive effect on the entire environment creating balance in the body of the planet Earth. Frequent walks through labyrinths encourage positive changes at all levels; they are generators of peace and positive energy.
„Stony stairs trail“ is a circular walking trail starting and ending at the center of Grižane village. It is about 10 km long and it has been named after 1.300 stony stairs carved and built in the cliff above the village. The environment along the trail is stunning, including the remarkable natural and cultural-historical monuments. Each visitor will be acquainted with some interesting stories from the times when the trail served as the main link in between the surrounding villages and the inner mountain land. The trail was used by locals to carry grapes, figs, cherries and salt from the coast over to mountain area, where it was traded for wheat, potatoes and beans.
‘On the Way Up’ retreat has found in May 2016 its perfect location in a village Grižane, situated above the sea, in the area of Kvarner.
A charming village with a playful history, with its rich cultural-historical heritage, has been built on the ruins of Roman fortress. It is located 5 km away from the coast and beneath striking rocky cliffs. Nestled just behind a popular seaside resort Crikvenica and on the feet of mountains of Gorski kotar, it offers an irresistible sea and mountain ambiance.
Villa Ursula was built in 1906 in Art Nouveau style and renovated in 2013, preserving the centennial shine and historical character from the Austro-Hungarian times. It is a remarkable rustic house on 3 floors, surfacing 300 m2, which brings you back in time, yet providing modern comfort with a touch of luxury.
Villa has 5 spacious bedrooms which can accommodate up to 12 guests, in addition to a lounge with a dining room and a kitchen. Each bedroom has its own bathroom and a magnificent sea view. Beside a balustrade – a covered terrace with a dining table, the main attraction of the house is a swimming pool with a dazzling sundeck, ensuring a superb relaxation and enjoyment under Mediterranean sun.
Mindful Hiking & Yoga Retreat ‘On the Way Up‘ has been designed as a unique fusion of experiences embracing some of the most beautiful Croatian seaside and mountain sights. Take this mindful journey and enjoy sunny promenades along Kvarner bay, continue further up discovering magic hidden places of the hinterland and reach rocky mountain tops of the green inner land of Gorski kotar, while looking at the crystal blue Adriatic Sea. Raise your limits, explore new heights and soak in some profound energy of nature!
We will take you hiking to some of the gorgeous mountain sights in Croatia. We will be walking consciously; observing the magnificent natural forms and receiving messages from nature. We will begin our day with yoga exercises to pleasantly energize our body and spirit. We will then synchronize our walk and breathing with the rhythm of nature and hike through the unique Mediterranean and mountain surroundings. We will boost our mindfulness with a meditation during hike, moreover, we will experience the power of aromatherapy encouraged by essential oils.
We will indulge our senses with delightful and harmonized savors. Selected vegetarian and Mediterranean specialties will be prepared on spot with love and care, respecting natural balance, in order to harmonize our body and spirit. Our connection with nature will be upgraded by amazing accommodation in rustic villa, which is located in the hinterland connecting sea and mountains, in a picturesque village of Grižane. All there is to be experienced and truly remembered will be influenced by nature, people sharing our way and our own energy during that week. Breathe in your decision and dare to join us on the way up!