Oh sweet paradise. Amorgos. How you treated did me well.
Just a couple of short weeks ago I spent one full week on the Greek island of Amorgos. This prolonged moment of solitude and grounding nailed my two feet to the ground. Amorgos came to me by virtue of Aria and Gus, my yoga coaches, for a retreat that I will never forget. I discovered the mystical Warrior Yoga at my Parisian yoga studio, when I stumbled upon this rather intense, very cardio style of a vinyasa flow. It was love at first flow. The combination of abs, vinyasa and inversions was my happy place. Such a happy place that I was quickly swept away to Puglia in Italy for my first yoga retreat. Amongst laughter, fun and sweat I came back to Paris with a new vision on my life, one that I would fully discover a couple of months later when I decided to leave the fashion industry. I came back mentally lighter, and lacking my passport and cellphone which were consequentially stolen at the airport …yeah. I must haven feeling pretty zen if I was able to singlehandedly have my beloved iPhone stolen for the first time along with my passport. Praise B for my carte de séjour, which saved the day – it let me cross the French border.
So really strangely enough when I came back, surely based on my new outlook and good vibes, things started to turn around and change in my life. Things started to really come together. I found love, my true passion in life (hey Savoir Vivre by JJ) and genuine happiness. A yoga practice of 4 (ish) days a week turned into 7 days a week. I was becoming a really really devoted yogi. Aria and Gus remained a constant part of my life (when they were in Paris that is), so it was pretty much a no brainer for me to take off with them to Amorgos when they announced the upcoming retreat.
Taking back off with a group of 35 strangers (with the exception of only a few that I knew from Italy) was again a oh so unforgettable experience. By virtue of my first experience, I could see how much I had grown and evolved since. I found my attitude softer, my brain calmer and all around freer. I happily shared a room with a friend (I don’t think I had ever shared a room before, except as a freshman in college, it wasn’t my brightest moment), I actually enjoyed staying out and getting a minimal amount of sleep, and felt truly bienveillant. While yoga has an impact on my everyday life, these retreats have made an impact on the real big picture.
I know it may sound strange to think of a yoga retreat as “me” (“The Parisian Well-being Guru”) stepping out of my comfort zone, but you know what, it actually really was. It forced me to let go, it put me in a situation where I was not in control and I was emotionally vulnerable. But guess what? It made me better. It made me grow. It made me learn. It made me cry. It made me GOOD and truly thankful. Thankful for who I am today, all that I have and every waking moment on this absolutely beautiful earth.
Photos by Joel Capillaire