Grace in Greece
Having recently returned from an amazing to trip to Greece for a yoga workshop, and since it was impossible to bring you all along with me, I thought I would share some of my experiences with our wonderful IPY community.
When I first booked the trip with my daughter Caroline months ago, I was a little skeptical about sending the final deposit. Greece had been constantly in the news with dreadful reports about the economic disaster and possible collapse of the government. Fortunately for me, I didn’t listen to these warnings, sent In the money, and off we went!
We only spent 24 hours in Athens, visiting the acropolis, walking around the city and stopping for dinner at a lovely outdoor cafe.
What struck me most was how normal everything seemed. Stores were open, cabs and buses were running and life went on. People were friendly, people were busy, people seemed to have hope.
When we asked our waiter about how life had changed under the new austerity it was a fairly typical answer. The tourist business had dropped some but the main change was that the Greek people no longer visited the restaurants and cafes. Business that used to bustle well into the wee hours were now shuttered at 9pm. Very sad.
But even through this sadness there was this great pride in being Greek, almost a sense that they were so lucky to have been born in this magical place and they were not ready to give up. I expected to find anger, bitterness and rage but was given laughter, kindness, hope and grace, definitely grace.
We spent the majority of our time on Santorini and Mykonos. The islands are even more beautiful and magical than any photos could capture and fortunately are relatively unscathed from the current economic woes as tourism is still very strong.
The yoga workshop was amazing, set in a pristine white washed low, rambling hotel clinging to the side of a cliff high above the sea. The views were dazzlingly beautiful.
The two hour morning yoga classes were on the terrace.
The Afternoon classes were on the tennis courts, somewhat shaded from the sun.
The instruction was incredible as the classes were split between Kathryn Budig and Tiffany Cruikshank each with their own very different teaching style that gave their classes such personality.
The food was delicious: We had Greek salads (who knew!!!) every day as well as everything thing else that we wanted. After all, we were doing 4 hours of yoga a day!!!
That still left time for lots of exploring. Caroline and I joined a gang!
Lots of beach time.
And lots of laughs and memories.
Yes, the Greek people have a tough road ahead of them. But if the beautiful people that we met are truly representative of that Greek spirit, then there is hope. They were the true yogis, displaying grace, warmth and peace amidst a sea of uncertainty and turmoil. As you can see by our faces, we can’t wait to go back!