I’ve just returned from my mediterranean working holiday as a yoga teacher and massgae therapist in Italy. This is my blog, written from last years’ experience in the picturesque medieval village of Sperlonga. Sperlonga is a coastal town in the province of Latina about halfway between Rome and Naples. Surrounding towns include Terracina to the West, Fondi to the North, Itri to the North-East, and Gaeta to the East. The things that stood out for me the most were the narrow cobbles streets, the delectably destinctive aromas of jasmine and rosemary. Beautiful bougainvillea in all hues of purple and pink. The warm turquoise sea, aloe vera plants, beautiful mosaic tiled walls, wild cats, little lizards and stunning scenery.
The place was stunning. The first day I had a walk across the beach and found my way around. The yoga classes were to be held at the Truglia Torre. The fortress was built in the Truglia Torre, in a prominent position on the headland between the two rivers at the mouth of the marina. It was erected on the ruins of a Roman tower but was razed two years later, from the hordes of pirate Kair-el-Din, called Barbarossa.
Rebuilt in 1611, he was again demolished by Turks a few years later, to be set up again the next century as a lookout station.
The barbarian invasions are still remembered by the name of the Valley of the Corsairs. Keeping out the pirates, arghh. An absolutely stunning venue for the yoga sessions overlooking the sea.
The viewpoint allowed us to watch dolphins, view storms and really feel part of the beautiful and changeable Mediterranean weather. We certainly embraced all types; strong winds, storms, sunny and rainy conditions, but all in a mild, warm climate which made it all the more thrilling yogic experience! One particular session I remember, we were doing an evening meditation session, to keep the mats from blowing away. We had to either lie down or sit to keep the mats pinned still. We had blankets to snuggle with. It was an extraordinary, exhilarating session doing nadi shodhana (alternate nostril breathing) gently breathing with a strong wind against us.
The views of the mountains, spectacular storms and getting hit by lightening! Yes, my friend, had a near death experience…Francesca loves the wild outdoors, we couldn`t resist the temptation to walk out in the storm. Francesca had an umbrella up (with a steel handle) it was thrashing it down, loud thunderous roar of nature and lots of lightening! The bolt hit the umbrella and Francesca immediately threw the brolly to the ground! Luckily she was wearing rubber soled shoes! Oooh how we laughed, it was very exciting, a bolt don`t get storms like that in the UK!
The yoga retreat’s daily activity consisted of yoga every morning 8-9.30am which included chakra meditations, asana, Celtic weaving and yoga energy medicine techniques. I also incorporated somatic movements to ease people into their yogic asana which everyone enjoyed. Learning new techniques and movements enriches the sessions. All students came with aches and pains and a different background of yogic experiences. Many friendships were established during the retreats here. It was fascinating to me, how all students embraced the unknown with grace, humility and humour. It really was all about the students and how they made the most of their yoga sessions. I also was their massage therapist; with an understanding already from their practice I was able to do a treatment that suited their imbalances. I did many wonderful treatments, all were different. Aromatherapy, ayurvedic marma point massage, bamboo treatments and many more. The students were able to unlock their tension and restore and rejuvenate. With the added benefit of the Italian fine food and wines, fantastic sea swimming and breakfast on the beach. It really was a holiday to remember. I am so very lucky to have the opportunity of doing it all again next year , I really can’t wait!Who`s with me?
For more information on fabulous Sunflower Yoga Retreats like this one, click here