I'm back in Europe for a whirlwind tour, initiated primarily by my level 2 yoga teacher training programme which takes place next week in France. But since I am here, I thought I should make the most of the trip. So… catching up with a few people to connect on matters of the ocean, life and the heart.
My first stop was Hamburg airport, where I was greeted by Curt Teichgraeber, a fellow water spirit and yogi-at-heart if ever I met one! With a night's sleep behind me his wife, Sharanne Wheeler, and I headed off on my first adventure - to Helgoland to dive with the seals there. Despite massive trepidation about the cold water, once in, the playfulness, full-on eye contact and real connection with the seals made any chilliness utterly insignificant - and that's quite a big thing for me to say!
From playing with a buoy rope with one female, to a large male resting his head on my fin, then wrapping his flippers around it and trying to pull me down - 'Come and play, come and play!', he seemed to be saying, every moment was exhilarating and such an utter blessing. Sad to leave but so grateful for the experience, we took the boat back to mainland Germany to prepare for part two of my trip: a 2.5 day yoga retreat for freedivers.
I teach because I believe deeply in the importance of this work - to enable people to recognise and let go of fears that hold them back, and to live richer, more fulfilling and exciting lives. It is such a blessing and this workshop was again all that I could have hoped for. 15 freedivers and two non-divers, everyone invested themselves heart and soul into the work, and some tremendous shifts occurred.
So with the seed for change sown it is now over to the yogis and yoginis to continue the work through personal practice, group classes and remembering again and again, through the breath, to be present and conscious in their own lives. Thank you to everyone - I was often overwhelmed and humbled by the level of commitment and hard work that went on this weekend and I left with tears in my eyes, but thankfully we are already plotting our next dates, so plenty more to look forward to…. Thank you to Sharanne and Curt for being such generous and caring hosts as well as kick-arse organisers!
Fast forward another 24 hours and two days ago I was sitting in the Birdhouse cafe in Battersea with Lucia Keen of Divesangha. I am an ambassador for their new range of dive clothing and was utterly energised by our three hours of green tea and brainstorming - and am now so excited to be planning events and gorgeous freedivers clothing together. If you've got ideas of what YOU would like to wear as a freediver, let me know. We're in the planning phase and open to ideas! Watch this space for news.
Yesterday was my final meeting of minds in London before my yoga retreat - I met up with Greg Downing from the Mind Body Tribe to discuss all things yoga. Yoga is about union and oneness and so I am always excited when other teachers are open to collaboration and sharing - after all, it's what it's all about. Totally grateful to him for meeting straight off his flight from Cape Town and inviting me to a delicious lunch - and more green tea!
The rest of my trip has been filled with joyful family experiences, the highlight of which is always tickle-fights with my nephews (9 and 6), who are becoming worryingly big and strong and I feel that the day is not far away, when it is ME that is pinned down and tickled mercilessly until I pee my pants! That's karma, I guess!