Yoga Holiday, La Gomera
Jan 25, 2015
Its 4am on a cold and frosty Saturday morning in January. I sleepily defrost my car, promising myself the next 12 hours travelling will be worth it. La Gomera is an hours ferry journey from the island of Tenerife, so along with a 4.5 hour flight, an hour and a half wait for a ferry and just over an hour on a minibus to get to the other side of the island, I will finally arrive at Finca Argayall at around 5pm this evening.
For 18 months I dithered over going on a yoga holiday on La Gomera. Argayall looked like an amazing place but the travel time put me off. I finally decide to take the plunge and go, and now I am back for a second holiday. You see once you have done the journey for the first time it does not seem so bad. In fact the only challenge for most is the twisty winding mini bus leg of the journey over the mountains which renders the most hardy traveller feeling a little green around the gills.
Argayall is set in the shadow of a magnificent rock face which surrounds it on three sides in a large semi circle facing the sea. You cannot escape the sound of the sea any where here, it lulls you to sleep at night, greets you in the morning and soothes you whilst you rest in the sun during the day.
Argayall is run by a small community who all live on site. They have created a sustainable eco environment with stunning gardens, their own solar power energy, vegetable gardens (although this is supplemented with purchased vegetables), and fresh spring water which is delicious. There are two swimming pools, a coffee bar, eating area and kitchen where prepared teas are available for you to help yourself; this is all centred around the most amazing 45 year old rubber tree which reminds me of the Tree of Life in Avatar.
Kate McKenzie is our yoga teacher for the week and we are a group of 18. Unlike other yoga holidays I have been on, we are not the only group at Argayall. There are other holiday makers who stay for a few days whilst taking time to walk the many walks on the island. I like the the fact that we are not the only people here, it mixes the energy up and seems to be a good place between the intense energy and release that some of us feel during the week and a feeling of being on holiday which we are!
Our yoga teacher is the main reason why I am back here, she is amazing and I have been on four yoga holidays with her. Kate guides us through our two yoga sessions a day, encouraging us to listen to our bodies, drop down into childs pose when necessary and generally to be kind to ourselves. She helps us to work on and open up our Chakras over the week with a mixture of hatha and kundalini yoga, song, meditation and breathing. Her yoga style is her own and I am continually amazed by her ability to work with us all on so many levels. I generally come back from my weeks away with powerful messages. This time is no exception….I now feel strongly that 'Life is okay. No matter what is going on around me, everything is/will be okay'. I am very thankful for this.
This year I am staying in a garden room over looking the gardens. May 2014 I was in a garden hut in the gardens and so I spent the first few days of this holiday yearning to be back in the garden. But it was not meant to be and eventually I was glad to be in my little 'cave' when the winds blew angrily one night.
If I return again I will most certainly stay in a garden hut again. To be in the gardens, connecting with the island was such a wonderful experiance for me. Being able to sit quietly in my little private garden was bliss and to lie listening to the tree frogs as I drifted off to sleep made the experiance all the more perfect for me. The photos below were taken May 2014 when we had a little more sunshine and the garden was in full bloom.
Before I close this post I would like to share the photo below. This was taken in a small secluded spot where I would sit and meditate. The flower pods on these plants were amazing. It always suprises me how nature provides everything in harmony. In this instance the cactus growing next to these plants provides the support for the magnificant flower pods. This reminds me of the support, friendship and love our group gave each other. It was a priviledge to spend my week with such a diverse, interesting bunch of people who allowed each and everyone of us to drift in and out of conversations, to sit in silent companionship, to laugh, listen and support. I have come home all the better for spending time with them and look forward to my next adventure and hopefully bumping into them again.
Waves crash on the volcanic island rocks
The powerful sound follows me around; morning and night, in my dreams and my waking hours
I am called to the sea whilst the solid red rock formations say STOP, stay a while and ground yourself softly into the earth
Breathe in the greenest of the leaves, allow the song bird to soothe your soul and stay, still, grateful and at peace
Finca Aryayall, La Gomera 16.01.15
Finca Argayall, La Gomera, Yoga Holiday, Kate McKenzie, Yoga On A Shoestring, Yoga, Sunshine, kundalini yoga, Hatha Yoga