I always enjoy the time between Christmas and New Year as it is gives the space to reflect on the year that has been as well as the one to come. On New Year’s Day I stopped at Newgale, a beach near home to take a photo. It happened to be a lowish tide and miraculously there was a blue sky after days of rain. The beach looked washed clean and there was a solitary figure walking across the sand. It made me think of the old year having washed away with the tide and now the pristine beach offering a blank canvas to make new imprints and new steps.
The beach is always somewhere I am drawn to and for the second year running I held a workshop during the summer on a Pembrokeshire beach. This has started to become an annual event as it has proved to be such a favourite with my students. Once again we were blessed by the weather gods who held back on the summer rain on our chosen evening when the tide was just right. At one stage we were sharing the beach with a ride from Nolton Stables as well as dog walkers but everyone agreed that along with the background sound of the sea, they all seemed to enhance the experience of doing yoga outside.
Then I was lucky enough to have the chance to practice in warmer climes during September on a trip to Barbados. It was a lovely reminder of how easily my body moves when it’s warm and how possible it is to get up with the sunrise! It was wonderful to practice on the beach in the early morning or just as the sun went down.
In November I had the pleasure of working with a retreat group who were staying at East Hook Farm, near Martin’s Haven. The weather was wild and stormy but the retreat space was cosy and warm and it was lovely to batten down the hatches to focus on yoga and Ayurveda themes relevant to balance the cold and windy conditions outside.
As for 2018 – I think it’s going to be an exciting year. I am holding my first weekend retreat at St Non’s Retreat Centre, near St David’s in March and then in November I am taking a group to the Indian Ocean island of Chole for a week’s retreat. Chole is one of my favourite places in the world, where time seems to slip into a different dimension. There will be yoga and meditation at dawn and sunset and in between there are tree houses to view the world from, sandbanks to laze on as well as whale sharks to swim with. It might not be that easy to come back!
These are some of the imprints that I am really looking forward to making over the course of the next year…