My husband and I have been taking the long road home for the past 4 months whilst relocating back to Jersey from Grand Cayman.
You don't need me to tell you that travelling to new places and experiencing different cultures is inspiring, challenging and even life changing (there are far superior travel bloggers out there who will explain it much better I ever could!), but the sharing of a universal love of movement has been a highlight of our trip.
I was fortunate enough to have been taught by no less than 34 different instructors in 19 different studios across the globe.
For this blog I have written a few words about each instructor. I apologise as there are a handful of individual names which have escaped me, but the memory of their teaching is absolutely vivid!
This trip was an education in so many ways, and each country was so different to the next. However, if I look at it from a movement perspective, it is clear to me that we are no different wherever you go. Be it at my Pilates 'home' in California, or taking class entirely in Japanese, I experienced that sharing a love of movement has no boundaries and we all speak the same language! And maybe (and yes, I'm feeling dramatic and emotional because we are flying home tonight) just maybe, it could bring us closer together and has the power to change the world.
To the movement teachers who shared their knowledge, passion and hometowns with us:
Zen Yoga, San Juan Del Sur
Zen Yoga is a haven amongst the hectic hustle of San Juan Del Sur! We were taught by a lovely novice instructor who set the tone for the rest of our time in Nica - many many Chatarungas!
Ashtanga Yoga Nicaragua, Ostional
This was where we spent 24 days completing our Yoga Teacher Training. The people listed below are some of the best we have ever met.
Edwin Lacayo - The man who showed us a whole new side of yoga. Getting in touch with nature, the importance of community and getting to know yourself.
Harriet Urlich - You are a refreshingly humble, nurturing, but adventurous person who kept the group together.
Michael Chann - An inversion king, who got us through living in the very basic accommodation with positivity and great humour.
Kaja Nicholaus - Your teaching is precise and impeccable, and it's teamed with the most gentle delivery and a smile that lights up the room.
Nicola East - You have the most wonderful 'yoga voice'. And the best one liners; "What's Sanskrit for 'Pass the Banana Chips?'"
Jennifer Poh - You are an inspiring demonstration of commitment to the practice. We can't wait to see where life takes you, but our money is on Mysore!
Cafe Cicada, Giganate
Andrew - You were light relief we needed after the intensity of our YTT. You brought humour and inclusivity to the Primary Series.
Conscientious Pilates, San Jose
Natalia Solano - You exude class. In your teaching, movement, business acumen, and as my friend.
Bodhi Tree Yoga, Nosara
Yali McGregor - The creatively in your vinyasa classes are yet to be surpassed. It was a joy to learn from you, and soak up some of your knowledge.
Pilates Nosara, Nosara
Page Sieffert - Thank you for welcoming me into your utterly unique studio. What an amazing thing you have created. I can't wait to get back and have the opportunity to take class with you!
Anne Magee Nichols - The fluidity of your sequencing and cueing demonstrated your enviable experience and knowledge.
Kate O'Brien - One of the most thoughtful, diligent and humble teachers I have ever come across. And I found a great friend.
SER Om Shanti Yoga, Tamarindo
Lindsay - My first experience of a yoga instructor who carefully asked each participants about their current health and fitness, and then applied it to the class! I will never forget you!
Tiziana - I think you get the crown of 'Hardest Yoga Class we've ever taken". Not because we sweated the most, or did the advanced poses, but because you challenged us holistically!
Renaissance, Indian Wells
Jeff - An alignment junkie who made the foam roller meaningful in a yoga class!
Pilates Method Alliance
Brett Howard - Quite simply this was Classical Pilates at its best. And I will never forget the footage of you on the Wunda Chair. Beauty in motion.
Michelle Larsson - Hearing your stories of Eve Gentry was a privilege, and your humour was unexpected and I loved it!
Brett Anderson - Your knowledge and integrity is incredible, and I hope to learn more from you in the future. You made movement science simple and applicable and have changed my way of thinking.
Wendy LeBlanc-Arbuckle - You made me question what I knew, but didn't make me feel I knew nothing. The coolest and most beautiful almost 70 year old I've ever met!
Erik Franklin - You made my brain hurt, but in the best kind of way!
Rael Isacowitz - I will never stop being grateful to be mentored by you, thank you for everything you do.
Modo Yoga Vegas
Tierney - Fantastic transitions, and you got rid of our Vegas hangover! Thank you!
BASI Japan, Shinjuku
Iyo - This was one of the most memorable experiences of the the whole trip. It demonstrated to me that movement is a language and you were so welcoming.
Sunset Pilates, Berawa
Vianca - I loved how the class was an equal split of matwork and reformer. The best of both worlds! Your studio is just beautiful. Thank you to you and your employees for making me feel at home and delivering great, varied classes!
Samadi Yoga, Canggu
Charlotte - This was our first Ashtanga class after a few weeks of Vinyasa, and you made it feel like coming home! It was fantastic to experience the Primary Series with modifications which made it applicable and meaningful to the whole room.
Bali Pilates Studio, Seminyak
This was the most challenging Pilates class I took whilst away! So much creativity and a really fun delivery.
Radiantly Alive, Ubud
Dylan Werner - I learnt and achieved more about arm balances in 3 hours with you, than I have since starting yoga 3 years ago. Believe the hype. He is a master teacher without a doubt.
Serenity Yoga, Nusa Lembongan
This was a fantastic, thoughtful class with great cues and modifications for all.
Yoga Shack, Nusa Lembongan
A really fun class, with some challenging pranayama at the start!
Yoga Dunia, Nusa Lembongan
This was our first introduction to traditional Yoga which was practiced before the westerners got hold of it! An interesting 90 minutes!
Morning Light Yoga, Uluwatu
Katherine Lindsey - One of my favourite yoga teachers ever. You delivered such well balanced classes, and we had so much fun. Thank you.
Jessica - A master class in delivering a solid vinyasa flow.
Teddy - Your attention to alignment and your hands on adjustments were top class.
Shanti Morada, Goa
Shailendra Gupta - Doing yoga in India deserves a whole separate blog post! Please see the next one for more on my experience with a yoga guru!
Thank you to all the studios and teachers listed above. What a privilege to have met you.