My Spanish Yoga adventure
In December 2002 I went to Kovlam India to study Ashtanga under Lino Miele. It was New Years eve and I was on the beach when I had a life changing moment; I realised I could no longer work for the bank, I felt I needed a more ethical path and the only thing I wanted to do was to teach Yoga. I wanted to teach in a warm country which had to be accessible from the UK to enable me to run Yoga holidays and Retreats. I would investigate Southern Spain.
In March 2003 the scene was set and my oldest school friend, Mike, who speaks Spanish said he would come to Spain with me for a few days. I thought he was the ideal person to help me as I am the World's biggest optimist and he is the World's biggest pessimist, he would temper my enthusiasm if I got carried away!!!!!!!!!!
Serendipity led us to the village of Comares where we met an ex-pat estate agent. I enquired about property prices and he replied "I only deal in 500,000 euro and above". We made to leave but as we headed to the door he said "I might have something!". We wandered down a mule track to see the house, Mike remarked "perfect peace" as he gazed across the valley; these words were to change my life. Mike did nothing to discourage me or advise me to look at other properties. With no words of caution ringing in my ears I was all guns blazing. The house needed extensive renovations, or as Claire would say 'the house was a ruin and needed rebuilding'.
I returned to the UK, negotiated a voluntary redundancy package, put my house on the market and asked Claire to join me in Spain. I moved in March 2003 and Claire joined me eight months later. Two days after her arrival the heavens opened. Andalucia experienced the heaviest rainfall for decades, waterfalls appeared from nowhere, there were rock slides and the rivers overflowed. The house had no kitchen or bathroom only a toilet and wash basin, the windows in the house had wooden shutters but no glass. One night Claire woke up feeling water drops on her nose to realise low lying cloud had come in through the window!
Along with the builders we grafted: stripping beams, cleaning ancient terracotta tiles, plastering walls, man-hauling hard core, gravel, litres of paint and building supplies along the mule track - with no mule. Things got easier as the warmth of spring arrived. We would leave a camping shower in our secluded garden which we would hang from the beautiful carob tree, oh the luxury of a shower at the end of the day - that is until Claire realised 'the hills have eyes'. She then rigged up an outdoor cubicle!
We now have a beautiful Spanish farmhouse rated 5 star on TripAdvisor that accommodates 8 with an impressive yoga studio and large terrace with stunning views for outdoor yoga.
You may like to hear this recent interview I did with Radio Surrey.
Yours in Yoga,
Read next months blog which will be available on the 10th December for lots of great Christmas ideas