My flight to Madrid this weekend has been cancelled. I was hoping to rendezvous with a New York friend who is also, by chance and by walking life’s askew road, a yoga teacher. But the cancellation and the snow fixed my resolve to book my tickets for a weekend yoga retreat in June with Kristina Karitinou-Ireland, the wife ofthe late Derek Ireland who was probably yoga’s most colourful, characterful yoga. His obituary in the Independent says he did: ‘demonstrations in designer knickers and his own yoga practise... wearing only a thong. On his daily run he generally wore nothing but trainers, the thong and a personal stereo’. He had the body of Adonis and knew it. His phenomenal strength drew a lot of people to yoga. He clearly practiced with joy. He must have been scintillating to know.
David Swenson spoke affectionately about him recently and how he would do his yoga practice wearing weights. As the obit says, he got rid of the weighted jacket after he did a handstand and nearly killed himself: “it slipped down and hit me on the back of the head”. He was the teacher of many great teachers including John Scott who I have written about before, a few times, Petri Räisänen the phenomenal Finnish teacher, Hamish Hendry of Ashtanga Yoga London, and Kiros Tzannes who I practice with in Kythera. Kristina Karitinou-Ireland says: ‘Derek's students were actually the ones who made Ashtanga so popular in Europe’. She will be in Kythera on June 1st- 3rd. Let me know if you fancy joining me.
Here are some reasons you should book a yoga retreat...possibly with me in Kythera in September! Go to a place of beauty; a place where the soul can breathe. Surround yourself with good company and a great vibe. Get to know the local community. Do lots of yoga. Swim, trek, run and take other lovely pastimes in the sun. Discover different tavernas and bars. Be a tourist and learn something about another little location on this planet. Wake up with determination, go to bed with satisfaction. If you don’t feel like you are the ‘type’ that would do a yoga retreat, then try this one...
My retreats are on Kythera, Aphrodite’s own Island. Yes, she was born there! Kiros Tzannes told our first retreat yogis that Kapsali Bay is shaped like an ‘Om’ and has healing properties. It’s the perfect place for relaxing and recharging, reclaiming the person that you could be. If you’re interested in the retreat of September 9th – 16th, get in touch.
Week after week new yogis come to my lucky Home Studio. If you don’t want to practice with colleagues at work, if you don’t want big classes, if gyms don’t turn you on, if you can’t decipher yoga studio class descriptions, if a small group is what you’re after, if you want to get to know others in class and not be a stranger, come and have a go. See what’s available here. Book here.
Yoga in the News
The Telegraph tells us: ‘Ringing the changes: why gong baths are the new yoga’. The writer helpfully tells us that participants “move into different states of consciousness as different sound waves affect their bodies. During a session, they can move from a normal waking state (beta) to a relaxed consciousness (alpha), to rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, deep meditation (theta), and deep sleep (delta) where internal healing naturally occurs”. Here’s some feedback: “In most cases a gong experience feels like a psychedelic journey, without taking any psychedelics”. Cool, eh!
Here’s a sweet thing. It’s Yoga in the News if you include blogs! I received an email this week telling me: ‘I would like to personally congratulate you as your blog Good Times Yoga has been selected by our panellists as one of the Top 100 UK Yoga Blogs on the web’. It’s only number 25. Onwards and upwards!