NAMASTE IN CRETE
Imagine waking up each morning in a stunning Greek villa watching the sunrise over the sparkling, inexplicable blue of the Mediterranean Sea. Even better, imagine all of this is happening while blissfully (or painfully if you’re like me) immersed in yoga.What a way to start your day! Breakfast and Greek coffee prepared by our own personal chef ensues as our refreshed, rejuvenated and, of course, limber group gets ready for the day’s activities ahead on the majestic Island of Crete. This is how every day begins when you’re on a Yoga Gym Escapes retreat!
When one of my best childhood friends, Kirsten, invited my husband Eric (not exactly Gumby) and I on her upcoming retreat in Greece, the answer was undoubtedly YES. Eric and I had planned to finally take our dream European honeymoon in September, which just so happened to be the same month as the retreat. It was as if the stars aligned and it was meant to be. Greece has always been at the top of my bucket list, so this was a great opportunity to cease.
I must confess, I was slightly intimidated by a yoga retreat. Ok, ok. VERY intimidated by a yoga retreat. I am not exactly what you would call a yogi. Let’s just say I can pull a hamstring tying my shoelaces! Nevertheless I was psyched. After some chitchat and getting to know the others on the retreat, it became apparent that skill-level didn’t matter. What really mattered was the incredible journey we were about to embark on together. It was truly remarkable to see how yoga could connect a group of people from all different backgrounds. Having such a talented, patient and world-class teacher like Kirsten definitely didn’t hurt. Her knowledge and eloquence allowed for myself, the group and if you can believe it, even Eric, (a meathead former NHL hockey player) to deepen our understanding and appreciation for the practice of yoga.
I know you’re all thinking, Greece is a long way to travel to just do some yoga! Newsflash… It wasn’t just green tea and chanting ohms!! It was action packed with activities galore. Kirsten's exquisite planning was on point. We took a stand up paddleboard tour in water so blue you can’t even fathom. Got our booties in shape on a 10-mile hike through the breathtaking Samaria Gorge (the Grand Canyon of Europe), which ended with a refreshing dip in the Libyan Sea. However, the winding mountain roads on the bus ride home were not very refreshing and left some group members motion sick, me being one of them…but that’s neither here nor there! Where was I? Oh yeah, leisurely strolls by the enchanting Old Harbor of Chania, and of course stopping for a proper gyro at Thraka. Lastly, how can I forget? An incredible day taking a yacht to our own private beach! It was on that yacht, in a moment feeling lost at sea, when I realized that I wanted to share my adventures with all of you. For that reason I felt like this was the perfect first blog post for Currently Chelsea.
As the day’s activities came to an end, we headed back to the villa for our nightly yoga session and the chef’s freshly prepared authentic Greek cuisine (and lots of local wine). We reflected. We laughed. We bonded. We shavasana’d. Namaste!
If you would like to keep current on future Yoga Gym Escapes retreats, check out @theyogagym on instagram! Her next one is in Umbria, Italy in May 2018 and should not be missed!