Yoga on a Yacht
August 8, 2014
As the class was ending, the sun had set, the boat lights were on and as I laid back in savasana and looked up into the dark sky the bright lights were turned off and there, right above me was a single star dangling in the sky as if it were hanging on a string as the boat lightly rocked back and forth. My heart full of gratitude.
Before I left Norway (and after spending a month on my yoga mat) I was still feeling exhausted from travel, absolutely taped out, and with six weeks of being on the move again through Turkey (a massive country) I was feeling overwhelmed to say the least. At this point, I decided to scrap my plan of heading toward Georgia along the Black Sea as I wasn’t sure I had it in me to stray away from the tourist trail by myself while feeling so shattered, and just as I was packing up and getting ready to move on to Turkey (via Berlin), one of my very favourite people (also my teacher training study buddy) sent me a link to a yoga retreat in Turkey on a yacht. I know, amazing right!? Yoga on a yacht while cruising the Aegean coast… um yeah, can’t get much better than that. So without much consideration I booked it. As I travelled through Turkey (which by the way is AMAZING, and I totally got my travel mojo back), and I told people I was headed on a yoga yacht I got so many questions… who was the tour with (Yogascapes), did you do yoga on the boat or on land (boat), what kind of yoga (vinyasa), where did you sail (along the Aegean coast), how many people will there be (12 including the instructors). Of course, I didn’t know the answer to most of the questions at the time, but now I do and so much more! Here’s the low down…
The boat was stunning, and it wasn’t just any ordinary yacht but a traditional Turkish gulet, which accommodated 12 yogis, and 4 amazing, super eager staff. The boat was massive and despite having very little time on land over a 7 day period, you could still manage to find a space of solitude on the boat. The boat was well stocked with drinking water, tea, coffee and alcohol (not your typical yoga retreat), it was also equipped with yoga mats, books, floating mattresses, water noodles, snorkelling gear, kayak boards and even a sea-doo!
I love Turkey, and without a doubt this country has some of most spectacular landscapes I have ever seen, and the Aegean coastline is made to impress, I have, without a doubt, never seen water as blissful as I have along the Turkish coastline. The dawn brought calm, inviting waters in secluded bays that could only be properly consumed by diving straight in.
What can I say!? I love Turkish food as much as egg nog loves rum, it’s just the way my taste buds work. And despite the pint sized kitchen, the most delicious and plentiful food somehow emerged from this wee kitchen and filled all our bellies (so much so it was a good thing stretchy yoga pants were the status quo).
(aka the bread and butter of any yoga retreat)
I think they might have broke the mould when they made Simon Park and Dan Wilf. No holds bar vinyasa yoga was practiced on the boat every sunrise and sunset, and it was absolute bliss (challenging yoga bliss, but still bliss).
Being a Bikramite I was a bit nervous because, (a) not everyone is Bikram friendly, but also (b) being that Bikram yoga is the same series every class I know 26 Hatha yoga postures really well, but sadly that’s all. So in part, joining this yoga retreat I was hopeful to sort of expand my yoga horizon a bit, get out of my comfort zone and get in to the flow. With Simon and Dan, their passion for the yoga, and their genuine desire to help their students grow on the mat, I was a fortunate and grateful yogi. I learned a lot about where there is room to grow (as a yogi), but also where I have great strength, which more time than not I seem to overlook.
Yogascapes is creating a new generation of yoga retreats, developing trips that will take you to far off lands, in nature with a place for your mat and, well, to have the time of your life. One of the great things about how the trip was led, was that Dan (yogi, co-founder of yogascapes and trip leader) let the group blaze the trail, so whether the group wanted to dance and party all night or take it easy and unwind that was the pace that was set. And of course, if you’re a little like me, and too often meander down your own path, there was space for that too. But of course, as any organized trip goes a large part of it boils down to the people in your group, and so no two trips will ever be the same.
But for me, the best moment was lying on the front deck of the boat, wrapped in blankets, looking up into the stars and listening to this… magic.
Many thanks to our friends at Yoga Cruising for this outstanding recap of our Yoga Yacht Cruise. YOGA CRUISING, founded under “DERİNBEY yachting, Gundogan Turizm Ltd.” by İbrahim Oztop, is an existing since 1986, small family business that has yachts and day trips to many years of experience in performing Gulet Yacht Charter and works in a serious way. Regular guests appreciate the individual design of the tour and yacht sailing ships, small coves and secluded beaches provide a very special holiday experience. Find out more about Yoga Cruising on the web and visit them on Facebook.
Megan quit her job back in the fall of 2012 to become a professional day dreamer (and travelling yogi). This past year she has travelled from Beijing (China) to Bergen (Norway) all by ground transportation, in addition to working her way through the Indian subcontinent, parts of Southeast Asia and Turkey. A true lover of travel, yoga, bikes and chocolate she shares her love for these things (amongst others) on her blog megantasker.com or follow her on twitter @meganatasker.