Part of a new breed of retreats, Oceans & Flow's next-level adventures combine movement with the healing effects of water to unlock deeply held fears and awaken dreams in some of the globe's most spectacular water-worlds.
Watching the grace and passion with which Violeta Lapa moves in the ocean, it’s hard to believe that she grew up terrified of water, unable to swim until she was 35. It was this fear, and her desire to overcome it, that inspired her to launch sustainable travel company Oceans & Flow 2 years ago, after learning to swim during a dance retreat in Thailand.
WHAT IS OCEANS & FLOW?
Now in its second year, Oceans & Flow curates intimate experiences in some of the world’s most spectacular water-worlds, from Thailand’s Koh Chang in 2016 to the Portuguese Azores’ Islands in 2017 and now the Grecian islands of Amorgos and Cape Sounion. Each journey serves as the inspiration for a film to raise awareness about the location and environment, with last year’s edition ‘Dancing into your Dreams”, being presented at 18 global film festivals and winning a number of awards. Using the element of water to work with the subconscious and connect with deeply stored fears and dreams, each adventure combines dance and movement practices with yoga, meditation, free-diving and snorkelling.
WHAT MAKES IT SPECIAL?
Oceans & Flow founder Violeta Lapa brings years of event production experience and out-of-the-box creativity to Ocean & Flow’s intuitive approach to programming, inviting clients on a journey of discovery enriched with surprises. “Whether it be watching sunrise from the middle of the ocean, dancing inside a volcano, or visiting a national park at night, when it is open only for us. The experiences we create are like mini-moving festivals and for each edition, our production capacity is significant. For example in the Azores islands, it took us 6 months to get the permits to swim in the Ilhéu de Vila Franca, a volcanic crater in the middle of the ocean. Renowned as one of the Azores’s islands most spectacular spots, it is usually over-run with 600-700 people per day, but we managed to arrange it just for our group.”
For each episode, Violeta partners with locally-based masters, using these adventures to foster the creation of an Aquatic Movement Culture, creating connections between water-based communities, artists and therapists across the globe. Capturing this new movement on film, the first episode will be inspired by the story of Greece’s 2018 edition, while the second will delve into Brazil’s spectacular natural paradise island of Fernando de Noronha in 2019.
The Azores Vila França as seen from above
WHY DOES WATER HAVE SUCH A POWERFUL IMPACT?
The Earth is predominantly composed of water. We are 70% water. Our inner worlds are constantly shifting, yet often we get stuck. Stuck behind desks and in our lives, not knowing how to move forward, how to activate our dreams or tap into our core creativity. Water is a particularly potent tool to connect with and manifest our deepest dreams because it connects to our emotions and the subconscious. When we connect intentionally and therapeutically with water, we release subconscious blocks, allowing us to connect more deeply with our truth and the liquid womb of our mother. Through water, we let our bodies learn, perhaps for the first time, what it feels like to truly live in flow.
For their next edition Greece-Meraki, Oceans & Flow travel to Amorgos, the furthermost Eastern islands of the Cyclades, a corner-stone of ancient civilisation and one of the Earth’s most magnetically charged points. Amorgos is a mecca for yoga, wellness and diving enthusiasts thanks to its powerful rejuvenating energies, its abundance of therapeutic herbs and striking views. But what makes Amorgos a dream location for Oceans & Flow are crystalline waters that extend to 70 metre visibility with striking underwater landscapes and its heritage as the legendary location where ‘The Big Blue’ was filmed. In addition to sunrise meditations in sacred spots enveloped in the crystalline Aegean sea, and daily Hatha-Vinyasa yoga classes, expect contact improvisation across land and water, movement, underwater dance, snorkelling, free diving and boat-trips.
Stay Tuned for Oceans & Flow's up-and-coming adventures, including Thailand and Brazil's Fernando do Noronha in 2019.
WATCH (below): The trailer for the up-and-coming Meraki - Greece Edition and Gustavo Neve's film on Ilha Dança, shot during Ocean & Flow's Azores edition.