This is my 5th Escape to Shape retreat I’ve taught on; and I just can’t believe how incredible and unique each one is. I first joined Erica and Francesco (the fabulous founders of Escape to Shape), in Sicily back in the fall of 2007. I remember teaching our little group of yogis in a fabulous Villa, eating incredible food, taking Italian classes, hiking Mt. Etna and watching Mt. Etna erupt the day before we left! After that first adventure, I was hooked.
I joined Erica and Francesco again in Marrakesh where we stayed in a Kasbah, visited souks, berber villages, the Medina and hiked the Atlas Mountains. One day as I was teaching outdoors, a donkey came up beside me and stayed for class.
In Cartagena, we stayed in Castle, ate some delicious local cuisine, took salsa lessons, cooking classes and even bathed in a mud volcano.
My parents came on the St. Petersburg, Russia escape with me, making it one of the most memorable. Being able to share my teaching and classes with my mom and dad was incredible. The site seeing was magnificent. The canals, Peterhof garden, Hermitage museum, to name a few, were just breathtaking. We would never have been able to navigate our way through a place like St. Petersburg if it weren’t for Escape to Shape and Erica and Francesco.
And now, I am just coming off my trip to Puglia, Italy. I can’t even explain how magical it was. Our group bonded immediately. We stayed in an amazing Masseria, visited magical villages, drank incredible wine, ate delicious food, made homemade pasta, went to the Mediterranean, lounged by the pool and took advantage of each moment in a good way. The week just flew by!
My older brother, Kraig, and his wife, Kara, came on the Puglia retreat. I am brought to tears by their support and unconditional love. Kara loves yoga and Pilates; but my older brother hasn’t experienced many of my classes, besides doing an occasional DVD of mine. Kraig also wouldn’t consider himself a very flexible person. He came to every one of my classes, though; and by the end of the week, he was doing forearm balances, Pilates roll-ups and touching his toes with great form in forward bends. He even mentioned how much looser he felt and how much he enjoyed it. He made the trip a blast with his awesome sense of humor and go with the flow attitude.
Each time I go to teach on an Escape, I discover an incredible new place, I meet an amazing group of new students from all over the world, I get to connect more with my personal students who’ve joined me from NYC; and most importantly, I discover more about myself. I walk away a better yoga teacher, listener, traveller, friend, daughter and sister. I can’t thank you enough Erica and Francesco for making it all possible. And, Kraig and Kara I love you infinitely, thank you so much for coming with me.
“We travel, initially, to lose ourselves; and we travel, next to find ourselves. We travel to open our hearts and eyes and learn more about the world than our newspapers will accomodate. We travel to bring what little we can, in our ignorance and knowledge, to those parts of the globe whose riches are differently dispersed. And we travel, in essence, to become young fools again-to slow time down and get taken in, and fall in love once more.” Pico Iyer