The south bay at Agios Pavlos. This is where we lived for two weeks to practice Astanga yoga. We were tucked in the southern part of Crete in perfect isolation and learning under the notorious and lovely Radha.
The four of us were completely new to Astanga yoga [it’s not too common in the US] and when we arrived we had no idea who Radha was. There were other guests from other countries who had spent years on the mat, and they knew perfectly well who she was. Her reputation was a humbling surprise. She introduced Astanga to Europe and studied from Pattabhi Jois in Mysore, India and now she would be teaching us. She guided us though the primary series every morning for those two weeks. Radha carried herself with such grace – it was immediately calming to be in her presence. I can’t really describe the feeling of doing yoga in the ‘shala’ with her. It was something cherished and personal, and being her student for a while was such a privilege. I couldn’t get enough of her soft English accent, carrying us through the postures and movements that we were learning. I remember the first day she said, “Astanga is demanding, vigorous, and unforgiving. But you will take it with you for the rest of your life.” She taught us the meaning and value behind yoga, and how to connect the mind, body, and spirit. This method of yoga seemed older, more rooted somehow. I will never see yoga as a ‘workout’ ever again. She changed the way I look at yoga and the way I see myself. To this day in my self-practice, I try to hear her voice counting in my mind like a mantra…
When we weren’t doing yoga or Pilates we were left to explore the rest of the island. Agios Pavlos is pretty remote [remote as in having to hike up a hill to get internet service] but the remoteness allowed us to truly enjoy everything else – the people we met, the new food we had never tried, and the black-sand beaches just steps away from the resort. And the ocean – ohmygoodness, the ocean. I have never seen an ocean so clear and blue. We spent hours in that ocean every single day. People at the resort said that the four of us were like a movie – four girls traveling together and having the time of their lives. And we were. We did yoga together, ate together, hiked the mountains of Agios Pavlos, went cliff jumping, swam naked, ate baklava, drank wine, shared thoughts, shared stories, and cherished every minute in Crete together.
“Do your practice. All is coming. Do your practice and get on with your daily life”. – Guruji
More photos from Greece coming soon…xo