So here I am, sitting in my little hut, hearing the noises of flies, or maybe they are mosquitos and contemplating whether I should put my mosquito net down or wait until a little later… I have arrived at Atsitsa Bay on the island of Skyros. A tiny bay, with a house (that apparently they host weddings at) and a retreat centre comprising of several outdoor areas for activities, around 48 wooden huts in what they call ‘Hut Land’ and a house where guests can also choose to stay.
This is my home for the next 2 weeks. Separate from the world, teaching 2 weeks of retreats with the guests that are here.
Strictly speaking this isn’t just a yoga retreat, guests can come and partake in a range of different activities or courses. They range from making mosaics, to acrobatics and silks to novel writing. With some yoga thrown in.
I have been getting myself together trying to complete my lesson plans in time for the classes that I will teach, I am sharing the Yin & Yang of Yoga, and taking those who sign up to my course through a little bit about Patanjali’s eight limbs of yoga and how this can be integrated to take yoga home with everyone to fit into what ever their schedule might throw at them.
Funnily enough I’ve been spending a lot of time reading, refreshing & contemplating the ‘yin’ part of yoga. Most people maynot realise that our very ‘yang’ asana practice is only one part of what ‘yoga’ comprises. It is in many ways a union of the yin and the yang, of movement in order to be still, of acknowledging the darkness in order to find your way back to the light. And yet the moment I found out that there would be no phone reception and very little internet access whilst here I lost my cool, and kinda freaked out.
To bring in this year I went away with absolutely no reception, for 4 nights, and was absolutely fine, in fact I was very much looking forward to spending a few days without social media, without the internet and without access to the outside world. But this time it has hit me a little harder. I’ve just finished teaching my first ever week long retreat that I ran and organised in Croatia, I’m currently organising 3 more weekend retreats to take place in October and November this year and need to finalise all of my workshops and classes that I’ll be sharing for the final 2 months I’ll be in London and on the Isle of Wight when I return, so I kind feel like this is bad timing. I guess it was also a shock. I didn’t know until I was in transit in Athens that this beautiful, tiny island was known to be without phone reception and internet, and to be honest am still mentally calculating how I will get some access in order to finish my business planning that I so desperately need to catch up on.
So here I am, no access to the internet, no reception, no way to let anyone know I’ve landed safe. I have attempted to get wifi at a local café which is a 20 minute walk away and that too has not provided me with any connection to the outside world. I guess it’s a sign. I think I need to take a deep breath.
It’s interesting actually because before I came here I was reading Rachel Brathen’s newsletter and she spoke about shutting off from the world, that although social media provides a great way to connect it is not the only way in which we should interact with the world.
What’s also difficult to balance is what I perceive to need vs. letting go. I run a small business, I need to advertise, to keep in touch with my followers and with those who attend my classes and workshops. It’s hard to be out of touch but equally I need to let that go. What will be will be, and hopefully those who do attend my classes will look out for the updates as or when they are able to be shared.
So for now… I am letting go, I am grounding down I am finding my space and am allowing myself to be less distracted, more present in order to better manage my own expectations.