It is a great pleasure writing this blog post as I have to go back and restore the magical eight days of the yoga retreat once again. The kind of things that make me feel so lucky to have my own blog corner where I can share such moments. We were a group of 12 and this was our second Yoga trip together with our talented Iyengar yoga teacher Senior 1, Lily Hop Hayun. There are many places to host such a retreat but most of them are booked a year in advance, so it took a while to find a nice place to host our yoga retreat. We were looking for a place to keep us far enough but without a long flight. Our friend Rakefet made a whole long research and eventually came out with this gorgeous place in Cyprus. Just a 50 minutes flight away.We landed in Paphos Cyprus, early afternoon, on June 9th. After a 45 minutes drive we arrived at Aphrodite Beach Hotel, where we stayed for the following eight days. A very welcoming place where the sea hugs your eyes from all over and the owner and staff welcome you with warm smiling faces. It took us just a minute to feel at home. We got our keys and went to unpack. Just like last year, I was lucky to share a room with my close freind (second cousin) Iris.
We had a very comfortable Yoga schedule planned by Lily
We started our days with 2.5 hours early morning yoga class, not too early though 7:45 – 10:15. Morning classes were usually more of a ‘physical’ work. We practiced variety of Asanas to meet our different levels, so each one of us could work to her own personal progress. It was a challenge in some cases with a few successful moments. Yeh to Yoga!!
After the morning practice comes breakfast
Our breakfasts were usually VERY long. We took our time around the table. Chatting and laughing together about our practice and how we enjoyed it. Laughing at ourselves about how we did this Asana or the other. There’s nothing better than laughing at yourself. But in most cases we just enjoyed our time together, around the breakfast table, which took place on a beautiful balcony with an amazing view of the sea. At breakfasts I enjoyed my first knitting session of the day (in most cases). I took two projects with me but eventually I worked only on my Elfriede Shawl by Shannon Cook. I’m using The Wool Barn Cashmere Sock colour: Copper Penny, which is a perfect match for these beach stones.
We spent hours at the beach everyday, enjoying the salty water. The sea on this side of Paphos island is very calm. The water is sparkly transparent where you can see the little fish swim around. The water was perfectly salty. I enjoyed my time in the blue sea more than words could tell. OH and the beach stones, I spent quite a lot of time adoring the beach pebbles. I just couldn’t resist their perfection. In between salty water swimming and stone admiring I enjoyed my beach knitting time and a little beach reading, which I missed so much.
The second part of the day
The afternoon class 16:30 – 19:00 was kind of a ׳lighter׳ practice (if you can say lighter while practicing with Lily :). Usually we ended our afternoon class with Pranayama (breathing exercises) followed by a little taste of the Philosophy of Yoga. We ended our days at the balcony again, viewing the sea, eating a slow dinner, watching the the day light slowly fading out over the salty water. Surrounded by friendly fluffy cats and some other guests and yoga groups from UK and US.
Meanwhile at home
In my daily conversations with my loved ones at home, it was clear that they were doing well without me. With a little help of my mother in law and with our eldest, who is almost 18 spending time home with the young boys. But in general E and the boys made it without any special issues. Everyday in our conversations I told them about my Yoga progress and sent them pictures of the yoga Asanas of the day. A few minutes after we ended our daily Face Time call I got a picture of Minion #3 (9 years old) trying to do the same Asanas. He is really into it, actually he is really into sports and everything related. This guy practice yoga with me every day ever since I came back. I shared some pictures in my IG stories.
Enjoying a free day
Our yoga retreat was planed so we had a single free day that we could spent however we like. Some of us preferred to spend it laying on the beach while others were keen on going out and about. Well one very clever girl took a map and went on a day tracking at the beautiful area not far from the hotel. Don’t be mistaken, I was part of the group that went on a long bus drive to visit Paphos market, which was nothing very special. We strolled around the market area, searching for some local goodies without much success. Some of us found a nice cafe to sit for a drink. Me? I found a nice jewelry shop, on our way to the market, were I hunted a necklace that I wanted to have for quite a while. After all, that ‘eye for details’ couldn’t miss-out a jewelry shop. Go Me for finding something special. We finished our free day laying at the beach, making some yoga jokes on the pebbles, laughing like we lost our minds.
On Friday evening we went out for dinner
Gregoria, the owner of our hotel recommended us to go to Herb Garden restaurant, not far from our hotel. They serve some delicious local food, all made with herbs they grow in their garden. We spent a great evening there enjoying the scents of so many different herbs and some great local food.All in all I had a very relaxing yoga retreat with my yogi friends. A group with a wide range of different ages, different genders, different levels of yoga practice but with the same vital vibes. Luckily we enjoyed our time together and we enjoyed the same things. Well, it’s only me who enjoyed some hooky time but all were very curious and positive about my knitting. Knitting and breathing salty air with the sound of little waves over the beach stones, is there any other better meditation out there? I will keep those happy moments.