Traveling is an ever humbling act. From squeezing into an airplane seat, through ordering coffee in sign language in a Greek village, I am always reminded of how comfortable I am in my home in South Orange County and how comfort takes a back seat when you travel.
What takes the front seat is meeting people and loving life with all its beauty of scenery, cities, climates, foods and customs. I was blessed with a lovely trip this fall, that started in Amsterdam, then took me through the Greek island of Thassos and now has me writing from the second floor of an old and peaceful house in the suburbs of Sofia, Bulgaria.
I have taken over 2000 pictures since I left, but let me share a few that will give you a taste of what my life has been like for the last few weeks.
Feet of the tribe. The sandy surface is a dune near the shore of the North Sea, Netherlands, now covered in thick forest. The feet belong to my lovely colleagues from the Restorative Exercise Institute or newly certifying trainers. They all came to the annual certification week, where I taught alongside the rest of the staff and our mentor Katy Bowman. Notice the lack of shoes whatsoever on some peeps. Can you spot my feet? (I know, not easy!)
Katy presented her new book, Move Your DNA to a group of 60 journalists and local health nerds in Castricum, Netherlands. She has been a bright light in the life of my family, as both Roland and I now live in happier, healthier bodies thanks to Katy and the practice of Restorative Exercise ™. The work is so powerful and I am super happy to be able to share it with the world.
Tribe arabesque. We took several walks on the shore of the North Sea after classes each day. In this pic it’s quite an international crowd, but we are all moving as one. Meeting these ladies is the highlight of my year. Hawaii was amazing, but the Netherdlands kicked Hawaii’s glutes.
And now to something completely different – a view from the steep hill near our hotel on the island of Thassos. I was there to “work”, leading the annual Art and Fitness retreat that I teach with my Bulgarian partner, Diana. It was stunning, the best water I’ve ever swam in. The Aegean Sea is dreamy. I used to live in the Caribbean and the Aegean kicks Caribbean glutes.
Who needs space to move? One of the principles of natural movement is you need nothing but yourself and nature to feel free and mobile. Do you buy this? I do.
Now this is work. Every morning at 8 my group of students got together for the morning stretching and strengthening. The sand was so soft and warm, it made supine exercises my favorite. Listening to the waves and the birds, time flew so fast.
I talk a lot. Especially when I am lecturing. You can also see most students are sitting on the ground. You should try that too 🙂
During one of our Somatic Experiencing ™ exercises, I was paired with a 6 year old. Never, ever get paired with a 6 year old – she kicked my glutes. All kidding aside, having kids at retreats is a win-win. Modeling movement in a large group is so much easier that trying it solo at home.
I have so many more pics to share, but let’s do that in Part II.
Until then, let it rain.