Having left my husband and two young children at home, I arrived in Skyros emotional and exhausted. My husband had booked me on a workshop called “creative change”, bless him. I lasted two days on this course, as it really was not for me at that time. I changed courses and moved to the other side of the island, where they offered windsurfing and yoga.
The yoga was practised outside under the pine trees and while practising yoga you would occasionally be hit on the head by a stray pine cone. The smell of pine takes me right back to that outdoor shala.
Now to my first teacher and class... The teacher on that two week course was the Ashtanga yoga teacher David Swenson. Although I had worked in fitness for a fairly long time before this, nothing came close to my first class. I clearly remember my arms shaking while doing the downward facing dog and had to sit out a lot of the practice and observe the experienced yogis flow through their practice.
David was a fantastic, kind and gentle teacher who encouraged everyone to be with their own practice. We would do yoga twice a day and a morning meditation which included tree hugging (this was a first for me too, but I haven't pursued this though). The power of breath and movement was amazing. The creative change had come, but not through the course, but rather through the introduction to yoga. Watching my mum take her last few breaths was in a way the instigator to me connecting to my own breath through yoga; thus opening a new chapter in my life.