It's a hard life being a yoga teacher. Especially a karuna yoga teacher. You see, once a year I have to attend a residential teacher's workshop to keep up my qualifications. It's a good time to meet up with old friends , make some new ones, help new students with stuff and refresh a few things one might of forgotten.
Doesn't sound too bad you may say.... but for my yearly stint, I decided on the Sunny Greek isle of Lesbos. What a terrible place to be at this time of year! The sea is really warm, there's colourful flowers everywhere and lots of exotic insects and animals going round doing their thing.... it was just dreadful and I had to put up with it for a whole week!
This is the town of Molyvos (Mithimna) where I stayed.
Ok, so you got me, it wasn't all that bad at all... in fact it was lovely!
Lesbos and especially the seaside town of Molyvos, is just amazing. It's a tourist destination, but it's all very relaxed and easy going. No loud bars and nightclubs and that sort of thing, just very laid back and civilised.
The town itself is set into terraces with one main street heading down to the small harbour and othe smaller cobbled roads winding upwards amidst quaint shops selling all sorts of quality tourist type things (anything from leather products, affordable and incredibly not so affordable jewelery, shops with organic soaps and scents made from olives, wooden bowls carved from olive wood.... yes, lots of types of olive oil as well!)
The resteraunts are amazing and scattered everywhere. Some perched on the edge of the terraces on balconies that give an uncanny view of the streets below and others squeezed in cozily along the harbour, so if you arrive at the right time, you can watch your fish being unloaded from the small fishing boats before it's taken to the restaurants.
sitting at "the captain's table"
But I guess I'm getting slightly away from the point, which was yoga!
The morning session begins at around 6;30 for most, with the class proper, starting at 7. We warm up with some Asanas for about an hour and a half, do some pranayama, meditate for a while, then we have a break anf finish off with another ninety minutes of yogasana. The senior trainee teachers usually adjust people during the yogasana practice.
Sunrise over turkey.
It's 11;30ish by now and time for Breakfast! Obviously we're all hungry enough to eat old shoes at this stage and there's lots to eat! Plenty of vegetable dishes, eggs and sausages and bacon (for the meat eaters!) and lots of greek yoghurt and fruit.... most yogis have at least seconds if not thirds as it's a long wait till dinner!
The afternoon is free time then, so it's down to the pool for a swim or along to the beach even. There are volcanic hot spring baths about thirty minutes walk away and these are just an amazing de-tox! You jump in the sea first and then into the hot spring bath (it's over 120 degrees so it takes a while), only a couple of minutes in the bath really and then slowly out and back in the sea... this gets repeated about three times and it's just lovely!
Back to yoga again!
There's an hour of teacher training from four till five (I'm qualified so I'm not obliged to go, but there's always something new to learn!)
And then my favourite bit is the talks, from five till six. John White studied Advaita (learn more) so the talks can be very spiritual and incredibly opening for the heart. People gradually start to open up and tell their different stories to each other and for me it just brings me closer to realising we are all inter-connected.
Dinner then! A short walk or taxi into town to find a restaurant. Sometimes the whole group heads out together, but mostly we break off into different groups chosing particular places to go.
After all that, there's no arguement about having an early night so that we're ready for the next session!
sunset over Turkey.
visit me at yogitobye.com
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