Yoga was never something I thought would mean so much to me.
As a kid, I was always far too energetic and crazy, and I actually enjoyed the way my life became crazy, spontaneous and somewhat chaotic. I believed I loved the drama and unpredictability of life. And I did… I still do! But only to a certain degree.
I loved living a fast-paced life, and assumed being “busy” meant “progress”. I couldn’t find confidence in my body, clarity of my mind or the ease of my soul. I always felt like there was more I needed to be doing, or more I needed to possess in order to create the life I desired.
Yoga introduced me to a new way of seeing, thinking, feeling and being. It was the first time I had ever allowed myself to surrender to the mayhem and madness of my mind, truly get in touch with my physical body, and even the first time I’d taken the time to do something good for me simply because it FELT GOOD.
Yoga taught me to breathe. (I thought I had been breathing everyday of my life, but it turns out I could have been doing it more efficiently!). It taught me to be mindful, selfless, compassionate and kind.
I’m not saying that my life is now all rainbows and hippie dancing around a bonfire! But it has changed significantly, and opened up pathways for me to alter the direction my dance takes me.
In saying that, I also never thought I would become a yoga teacher!
And never in my wildest dreams ever think that little old me would be hosting a yoga retreat in the worlds no.1 Resort Nihiwatu, and arguably the most beautiful place in the whole world, Sumba island!
But there I was. Standing on the beach at sunset, the waves tickling my toes and the breeze moving my hair like the ocean tide moves seaweed.
About to begin hosting my first ever retreat!
Given, I wasn’t hosting it alone… I was blessed enough to have one of my best friends Rod Cooper co-hosting it with me. I would teach the yoga classes, and he was leading everyone through some movement workshops and playtime! (Movement is a mix of everything between gymnastics, wrestling, body weight movement, strength training, games, acro yoga, parkour, dancing etc).
So every day was scheduled to be fun, exciting as well as relaxing by allowing guests some down-time to soak up the sunshine, go surfing, take beach walks, go horse riding, have a nap or two and eat the most delicious food!
When day one started and the guests arrived, it felt surreal. It didn’t really kick in what we were doing and just how blessed we were to have such a great opportunity until about halfway through.. I was teaching a yoga class up on the Nihiwatu Yoga deck, overlooking the entire coastline at sunset. I had the guests in a guided meditation, and couldn’t help but take a moment of complete joy, throw my head back to the pink clouds above and smile wider than my face knew it could!
Every guest who came on the retreat bought their own personal twist of exotic flavor to the mix, and the week ended up being one of the most fun, memorable and extraordinary weeks of my life!!
I met some of the most amazing people, made some beautiful friends, and tried as much as I could to bathe in every individual moment, truly absorbing it for everything it was and all the magic it brought in to my life.
The retreat was not only (hopefully) good for the guests though, it taught me so much about myself, and my own practice too. It deepened my awareness of presence and ability to surrender. It challenged me, and most of all it only made my hunger for yoga grow deeper and deeper.
Everyone I meet has such a unique story, and I am always so inspired by every new being I meet. Everything I learn, teaches me how much more there is for me to learn, and that awareness only makes me more eager to increase my knowledge.
I had the best time as a yoga instructor, and also as a student to the lessons the guests shared. And whether or not they are aware of it, they have each had such an impact on me too.
I now feel like I want to go to India to really immerse myself in yoga and the world it enables one to live in. I want to soak my body in the spices of life, let go of expectation and allow the confusion of life to guide me to the place I am meant to be. Hopefully, increasing the knowledge and practice I can then share with others!
As a fairly new teacher (I did my teacher training start of 2016) I am constantly surprised by my fellow yogis, and the energy we are able to create in a space. I want to continue exploring all of the unknown together with my students, and see where it leads us!
I was so humbled by the opportunity to share my heart, love, time, practice and knowledge with others, and I cannot wait for the next time!
I’ll let you guys know when I plan on doing another one! Hopefully in the not-too-distant future!
So maybe you too can come join me in absolute paradise!!
Love and light,