Travelling Yogi

“Travel is such a condensed life journey that occurs over a period of time”. This is what I texted my beautiful yoga friend Ellesse while I was overseas.

Everything changes when you’re on holiday – who you interact with, your schedule, your perceptions, your plans. On the other side of the world, my eyes observed different colours and shades, and my skin adapted to different temperatures. I moved with a different purpose.

I took a long time in planning for this getaway. Lists galore!!!! To do lists for myself, for the yoga studio, for the yoga retreat, for yoga teachers who were filling in for me, for home life, for the schools where I teach, for my private clients. Luckily, I love the process 🙂

The joy I feel and the love I have for Greece is undeniable. This country has a pulse, a magic thread running through its earth, ocean and sky. History is everywhere. I love its rhythm, its honesty and its life force.

Yoga is like that: pure connection, pure love and pure heart. It envelopes you, it cradles you. You have a space to breath, to nourish, to just stop. (And also like Greece, yoga with me can be crazy, unpredictable and hot!!!!)

Greece yoga retreat

‘Adventure before dementia’ is something I would often repeat to my Aussie yogis Paula and Angela, who joined me for a yoga retreat in Greece.  I’m sure you have heard that or seen it printed somewhere. Mine is printed on my luggage tag.

While the retreat was an amazing exploration of yoga, health and Greece – and one that the three of us will remember for a lifetime – there are two stories which stand out (if only because Greece and yoga with me are crazy, unpredictable and hot!!!!)

 

Before departing for Chios from my place in Kaisariani, I planned with the Aussie yoga girls a day of bushwalking, sightseeing, yoga at Ymittos to look at all the cute turtles, as well as going to Galopoula for Spanakopita (spinach and fetta pie) and of course cold coffee (Freddo Cappuccino, mmmm sooooo good!!!) Unfortunately, none of that happened. Due to the intensity of the day’s heat, entry was denied due to the high fire threat. Instead, we practiced yoga in the grounds of a monastery. So beautiful.

Driving in Chios was also an experience.  On another day, we had visited these beautiful villages, and we were recommended by a local how to get to a beautiful, secluded beach.  What we had not counted on was driving so close to the edge of the mountain on a road where one car could barely fit – with cars speeding towards us in the opposite direction. All I remember is the FEAR and someone screaming in the back seat! Eventually we did a u-turn and headed back (although not before buying the yummiest sweets to celebrate my Mumma Regina’s birthday.)

If you’re interested in joining me in 2019, dates for the next Greek Yoga, Health and Discovery Retreat will be advertised in December 2018. There will be  7, 10 and 12 day options, with an early bird special.

 

Celebrating 13 years

With the craziness of travel, I also had no time to mark the studio’s 13 year anniversary. In case you haven’t noticed, I have already added two specials on social media this month and if you have reached this far into the blog and are still ready, here is one last special just for you:

Share any post of mine from Instagram or Facebook with a caption you like, and the best four shares will receive a 30% on a 10-class pass (which you can keep or use as a  gift for someone). Conditions of expiry still apply as normal and you can start at any time in October.

Thank you everyone for your beautiful feedback and messages while I was in Greece as well as checking up on me with the tragedy of the fires that occurred in Greece. It’s something I will never forget.

Xoxoxoxoxo
Eleni

Auditing Yogi

Hey everyone, we jumped over the half year mark of 2018!!!! I cannot believe it.

With June and July comes the end of financial year, where our attention and planning are needed for tax time. We assess what we make, spend, save and invest. We have bodies such as the Australian Tax Office with power and authority and accountants, financial advisors and bank managers who help us with this assessment.

Then we have yogis like me and you. How do we assess our yoga life, our spiritual journey and reflect on how far we have travelled in 2018? Do we assess our yogi life? Our human quota of love and support? Do we reflect on our physical and mental health? How do we manage our happiness and self love and care for ourselves, families and community? What keeps us truthful? Who picks us up on terrible behavior, self sabotage or when we head to a channel that will not support our health and beautiful life journey?

Believe me, this blog is not the place where I will be giving you any magical steps and exercises to find these answers! I’m actually so disheartened that everyone has become an “authority”, “coach”, “guru” who can help me live a so-called more powerful, happy life which can only happen if I lose weight, buy these products, read this book etc (the list is endless). There are too many untruths and lots of money to be made by making us feel more insecure, needy and helpless, and of course not feeling like we are enough.

My experience and journey so far has been intertwined with the reflections of my students as communicated to me at the studio – and this has made me feel so positive and super inspired!!!

Getting on the mat we stop, start, reboot, continue, settle, move, breath, align, believe and nurture ourselves. We don’t create destruction, or inflict pain. I don’t have to be anyone but me. That’s every time we practice yoga, which is an entire process of self updating and accepting. Being in the moment and doing what I’m capable of doing. Can I breathe without rushing? If I choose to stay longer in this posture will it make my hip feel better or tighter? How will I cope with my thoughts running so fast on the mat?

Time on the mat is time to feel and be. That’s what a yogi does – looks within. Yes, you are guided by a teacher, but then it’s you. Feeling and being there for you. Yoga is about relating better with yourself, which allows us to relate to people we come across every day – better, nicer, calmer, more truthful, pleasant and relaxed.

I process and look at my shitty thoughts or crap behaviour when they arise. I work on affirmations, positive self talk and restraint. Some of my downfalls may surprise you. I pull myself up on the following:

  1. Don’t be jealous!!!! Stop it! Stop it! Stop it!!!!!! (I shout to myself) A yoga teacher I follow on Instagram travels to all the places I want to go, and teaches yoga. Damn it, why her!!!!!!??? What’s so special about her???
  2. I don’t have to agree with everyone’s point of view and not everything has to be right or wrong. Keep it simple and move on
  3. Don’t be harsh and judge others – this is so HARD!!!!!!!!!!! I struggle so much. So many emojis I could add here. So much that I could express
  4. I don’t have to give advice all the time. People’s journey will take them there. If someone authentically wants my help then they will book a private class or homeopathic consultation

That’s some of my negative and non-productive thoughts and from the start of this year I started with small constructive steps: awareness, clarity and grounding, yoga and meditation.

Stay truthful, fun and loving yogis.

xxxxx Eleni

Part 2: Gotta Groove

Gotta Groove. The word is so retro!!!!! Groove is fun, groove is when you seek a non-linear approach. It’s not necessarily to dance, (although how amazing do we feel when we dance and I definitely include in that the “daggy dance!”) Groove is to find that right moment and enjoy the Yoga pose. Enjoying the ritual of moving in breath and being aware and present of the miracle and gratitude of our health.

It’s a pulse. It’s being present and feeling light in your body and breath. That comes also from our meditation. Stop and enjoy the calmness and stillness. When your brain stops over thinking , analysing and judging. It’s pure.

Groove is a smile. It’s when you build up your courage, your self-determination, your self-worth, your inner strength. And it’s not just based on things like how long you hold plank (apparently Cher can plank for 5 minutes and she’s nearly 72!!! Whoooohoooo)

Groove, for me, is wearing something hand-made and not manufactured by a mega chain (this does not include this year’s favourite shorts from Kmart. Yes I’m honest.)

I wear colour, I wear too much jewellery, I jingle and jangle, even when swimming or running. Because Groove is colour, flavour, movement, the sounds of nature, music that makes us fly, seeing a live performance.

Groove is to change one of your daily tasks on your fabulous To Do list and run and do something completely different. When was the last time we called a friend rather than text? Picked up a magazine and pretended you can read Italian or French? I pretend I can read Italian – just check my collection of Italian Vogues.

What is Groove for you, Yogis?

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Escape winter with a yoga retreat in Greece!

Join me for an unforgettable trip to Greece this European Summer, and escape the Sydney winter.

No shuffling in tourist buses – being herded and told what to see, and what to eat. You will be surrendering to adventure , with a small group of women and a fierce leader who is really Groovy (hahaha).

It will be all about amazing experiences, breathtaking beauty a time to celebrate yourself. You will be swimming in beaches that will make you question: is this real?? Am I really here??? It’s about the culture and passion of Greece that you will always remember and make you want to come again and again.

Don’t delay. Say “Yes” and meet me in Greece this August. Packages on offer are weekly and include food, my touring, yoga and fitness instruction, meditation, transport and accommodation.

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Also: thank you all for being so wonderful with your bookings and giving me ample communication when you need to cancel. It has been a great help ?

Want to join me for a yoga retreat in GREECE?

Come along to this information night to find out more:
Thursday 5th April
6:00pm at the studio
At the Studio

RSVP to: info@elenisyoga.com.au. I hope to see you there!

Gotta move, gotta groove, gotta breathe, gotta live

Part 1: Gotta Breathe. Gotta Live.

The title of this blog came first, and then I expressed it in writing. 

We hold with bated breath, but, we don’t allow ourselves to stop at times; awaken the senses, go through the motions and practice conscious breathing. Yes you all tell me in class, ‘we’re breathing Eleni, otherwise we would be dead’ BUT are we really breathing? And are we mindful of its true gift? 

Breathing – taking that steady inhalation, is the most thoughtful step you can do for yourself this minute even as you’re reading my blog (hopefully) … 

I become acutely aware of the session of breathing, of the act, every time I have to take instruction, to listen, to teach, to participate, to wait.  

I tell myself to breath when I fear. 

I was paddling from Cronulla Beach to Shark Island with the masters group I train with every Friday. This was my second paddle around Shark Island. But this particular afternoon there was only four of us training and I was on a lighter Board (which for me means of a higher chance of falling off), and if you lose the board you have to swim for a LONG time to get back. I had to be conscious of my breath there was not a moment of doubt, especially as I lost view of the other 3 Ocean Warriors. The only way was to get through was to breathe, to push out fear and not to panic. I had to be clear headed about where I was heading with the waves ahead otherwise I would be pushed into the rocks. 

If you take the time to breathe, to feel the motion of the steady tide and take a breath in and out you can think, assess, protect, fight, run, and work through what’s really going on, instead of holding your breath in anticipation.  

I have become a bit of lover of fear, I thrive on diving into zones of discomfort, but with the knowledge and support of a group, teacher and immense passion with what I undertake. 

That’s the beautiful aspect of being in a class, you are supported by ME, but also the energy, compassion and open hearted souls of the group. It is our breath that will make us go past the big unexpected waves and if or when we get pushed to the danger zone, (I truly wish it never does to us), I know that I will be able to regroup and start again.

You Gotta Live!!!! I love routine and we need routines, but are we really living? Feeling, touching, talking, eating with our hands, rolling in grass, travelling, having blocks of time of freedom to do nothing or everything 😉 Does life begin and end on the weekend?  

Living is such a gift, that I feel should be treated and experienced with such grace, compassion and truthfulness.  

Living is not looking at a Screen all day, both waking and non-waking hours, living is not avoiding human contact or nature. 

Living is can’t be eating and drinking everything from a plastic container. 

Let’s make living exciting!!!! 

I think a realistic start for all of us, is too live and appreciate the present moment. 

You may be in class on Monday but thinking about something that needs to be done at work?on Wednesday. We are missing the now, the present, the fulfilment of this minute, this hour.

I feel that everytime you are in a performance concert when everyone is filming, they are just not enjoying the moment. They are stressing about getting the right angle to film, to post, to #. Ughhhhhhhhh too much hard work. They have missed the essence of the moment. 

For me living is participating in new experiences and actions, that includes every time I plan workshops for the yoga studio, retreats as well as the up and coming trip to Greece for myself as well as yogis who want to join. 

What enhances your Prana, your joy, your daily Living? 

Please write and express to me and I will include it in the second part of this blog: Gotta Groove, Gotta Move. 

Eleni 

xoxoxoxooxox

New Year, New Directions

I realize we are way into 2018, but this is the time of the year – right after I have celebrated my birthday and looking at the kids heading back to school – that I get that feeling that a new year is upon us.
New plans, new goals, new experiences, new realisations, new beginnings, new yoga clothes (haha!), new achievements, new shifts in my mental approach to life, new friendships………so exciting.
Welcome to all the new yogis who have started at the studio so far this year. Enjoy your yoga and wellbeing journey.
And thank you to all my students who have rejoined and have kept their classes up over the Christmas and New Year break. You simply rock.
To the clients who have started Homeopathy to support their health of body, mind and soul, I will also be offering home consultations around Sydney two days a week. This will be great help to clients who live far from my base in Bexley North or the elderly or families who have kids for whom travelling is a challenge.
My advice for all yogis for 2018 is: have consistency in your practise. It’s better to attend one to two classes  a week than to come five times a week for a month and then no classes for five months. It’s too taxing and stressful for the body and mind. Keep it real and true to what you can attend and what you can organise around your current working timetable, home and lifestyle.
Thank you for your bookings either by using the booking form on the website, text or messenger. I have instilled a new guide that a minimum of five yogis is needed to run a class. Thank you for your understanding and support.
Our first yoga social this year was a picnic and free yoga class at Nielsen Park. It was just pure magic. Outdoor practise, appreciation of nature at our doorstep, yoga fun, connecting with like-minded souls, nourishing food and my key laughter!!!!! Watch this space for more weekend outings, and yoga retreats.
Next month I will be super excited to host Lara Z, the creator of the studio’s Mandala, for a 2-hour masterclass:
The Infinite Body
Saturday 17th of March
9:00am – 11:00am
Early Bird Price: $50 (book and pay before 25th February
Standard price: $60
Fruit and vegan ball snack included.
Bookings essential.
Reading her bio is extraordinary. She is a true creative soul, who is travelling the world teaching yoga and painting Mandalas of Love. She has currently shifted base from Sydney to Byron Bay, so it will be nice to have her back.
John Smallios from Higher Jiu Jitsu will also be back for another self-defence workshop:
Jiu Jitsu Workshop
Thursday 1st March
7:00pm – 9:00pm
Non-members: $45
Members: Double sticker
Bookings essential.
John is a fantastic teacher and I have joined the Higher Jiu Jitsu Community after experiencing the importance of self-defence at the workshop he conducted at the studio in late 2017.  I’m a proud white belt attending John’s Fundamental classes at his Martial Arts school in Woolloomooloo. I’m loving it but challenged with taking all my jewellery off before a class!!!! (haha!)
Love for all, fearless attitude and smile at the world. It has magic
Eleni
xoxoxoooxoxxoox

My last blog for 2017

Well I have just gotten used to writing 2017 and as we are travelling through December it’s all coming to an end and we’re ready to meet 2018!

What a fabulous year. How would I describe it? The year that I stopped worrying myself to a skin explosion of eczema? (which does not sound very zen, but let me explain…) I learned to not get so overwhelmed, to step back and turn a negative moment or setback into something that does not make me feel hurt. Not everything can be turned into a positive channel, but I have the power that I can sit with and not feel intense discomfort or sadness. I feel that I have had a boost of self-love and self-confidence injected into me.

The biggest change in the studio this year was the Mandala. How amazing is the Mandala?? It sits so beautifully in the space. It took a lot of organizing to get the talented artist Lara Z to come and create it. My task was to choose the colors. I love all shades of blue, white and green but I did not feel that it was going to work for the colour scheme to  to suit the studio. In one of our many emails, I expressed to Lara that one of the colors I was choosing was yellow. Her reply was “hmmmm, Eleni, yellow is one of the dangerous colours to work with.” On the Friday morning when she opened the cans of the glorious colours she was like: “WOW, this is beautiful!” The result? Well you have all seen it. Transformative, pure love brimming or, as the creator of the Mandala named it in her social media posts, OPEN HEART SURGERY. I cried with happiness.

2017 also marked the 12-year celebration of my yoga studio and its strength in holding itself up and growing. The challenges are always there (just ask any small business owner in Sydney) but the rewards are almost impossible to describe or explain. So how did I mark a 12-year birthday celebration for my business? With a 3-hour marathon yoga session followed by an amazing cake/s made by Regina (aka Mum!!!!)
Since I’ve mentioned my Mum, I should also mention that my beach yoga retreats have been just magical, although I think the true attraction is my Mum. Having her there on the weekend cooking us the most fabulous food and making our tastebuds just purely celebrate life. She has soooo many fans.
I have taught 780 classes in 2017!!!!! YES, 780. Not bad for a 44 year-old  woman. That’s an average of 15 classes a week, not including private classes, classes at schools, etc. How crazy am I????????
Planks –  performed with straight legs have been 4,680.
Push ups – 3,900 (less then other years due to not being able to use my arms due to injuries).
I have executed 6,240 Cobras.
Lunges – both high and on the knees, 9,360
Down Dogs – 10,140!!!
I have Warrior in my soul and I have done 3,120.
Thank you to my body and to my health. Yes, I have sustained injuries which manifested to Tendonitis but I’m feeling fabulous and keeping up rehab.
As to my Homeopathy business: Consultations have been growing steadily and your health concerns make me strive to continue studying further and practising Homeopathy as a mobile practitioner in 2018.
My youngest yoga  students in 2017 were 3-years old and the eldest was 73. I’m sure I channel both age groups with my stories, reflections, laughter groans and chatter. We have all socialised, before and after classes as well as weekends, attended birthday picnics, dinners, outings, bushwalks,  running, swimming, and even wine and cheese night at the studio after class.
Thank you to all past and present students. I’m constantly learning to be a better teacher and I hope that you enjoy all the classes that you attend. Thank you for your unwavering support, loyalty and big hearts. I simply adore teaching. The dynamics of a yoga class are a powerful symbol of strength, love and positivity. You are all amazing yoga practitioners.
Merry Christmas and here’s to an awesome 2018. I can’t wait to tell you of all the new yoga adventures coming our way.
Namaste.
Eleni
xxoxoxooxoxo

My inner reflections #1

Daily life is a dazzling creation of minutes, moments, reflections, events, motions and rhythm of life. We either feel we’re going smoothly, flowing through the day or stumbling. Feeling weary one moment or super excited and blissful.
Although I live and breathe a Holistic Lifestyle, i’m not immune to getting stressed, worried and upset. I feel those waves and they do touch me.
At present I’m able to zone into a peaceful bubble (far easier now than once upon a time in the Eleni world!!!!) My emotional headspace has a few techniques up her yoga sleeve BUT I will not start with the obvious ones.
Part of it is age. Yes, the positive outcomes about age and getting older is that you get wiser and more accepting. You are not bothered or troubled about little things, things that are not important in the scheme of our lives.
What pops in my head is ” I don’t give a ….”
It’s TRUE!!!!!
I have no time for people who are super inconsiderate, rude, resentful, negative, judgemental and hurtful. So i’m cheering about becoming older, and life’s timespan is teaching me to be more humble and accepting of life. I can’t control others, but I can control my reaction to situations. I can turn the stress dial down.
The yoga lessons that come into this are:
* I can communicate with honesty and integrity – hello Throat Chakra-Vishuda. To be able to speak up has been my hugest achievement in 2017. I have my own back and i’m not expecting the Universe to always help out. Part of opening the communication channels has been asking for help when I need it.
* I can breathe, with control, calmness and focus. Anywhere and anytime. In a car, on a plane, in the cinema, while getting a tattoo, while socialising etc.
* work with an affirmation – Don’t fear, breathe and thrive or love and just be
* Meditate at moments through the day (instead of going on a social media wander path)
* Find a positive thread in a situation (part of my personality is that I live for positive vibrations, and to bring the best to my soul as well as the people that I interact with daily)
I have more inner reflections mini blogs coming as we head towards the end of our marvellous 2017.
May we all be blessed with love, health, happiness and safety
xoxoxoxoxoxoox
Eleni

Yoga and homeopathy for a more centred you

There was one moment, a minute, a few minutes in class yesterday, where I was teaching and I felt I was flying. Submerged into a moment were it was all so effortless and dream-like. Where I knew and felt surrendered to the moment. Where I actually couldn’t think, yet words were coming out of my mouth. I was…….in a moment of serenity, a bubble, a cluster of time so so small but so magnificent for me.

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I love teaching and I love people. I’m loud, love a giggle, and I constantly experience crazy, funny and not so funny moments in my life (like we all do). I’m just more transparent. I tell you everything!!!!
And I love humanity – the human connection is missing in so many aspects of our lives. I love the ritual of heading to a class, entering a space, connecting with music, fragrances of candles and incense, chatter, sharing, to be part of something. As a group of yogis, you encounter this moment, this class. Practising yoga in your own body and breath, but linking Prana with individuals that you may have never met in your normal lives. A yoga class is a self-connection and moment of belonging. Feeling your skin, listening to your breath. You fight your doubts and your myriad thoughts – filled with a random clusters of conversations, such as “damn my hip”, “ohhhh look at that toe!! I need a pedicure”, “Wow I have not paid my phone bill”, “hmmm I should have said hello to him/her.” hahaha does that sound familiar?
Twelve years into running my yoga studio, I would like to thank you all!!! Every yogi from the past, present and future. You have allowed me to live my dream. My confidence in my choice of a career and way of life has resonated well for me. This is my calling.
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My homeopathic practice is moving steadily along, although I am not breaking even with the amount of study and daily investments I put into this modality including the cost of remedies, seminars, the associations that I belong to etc. But not all that we do is for a monetary profit.
I listen and I feel I’m a healer. I connect to your sorrow with the energetic manifestation of homeopathic remedies. I love regular medicine but I believe, like so many of my clients are realising, it won’t always serve your mind and body. It’s like yoga – sometimes we need a few rounds of sun salutes to get our groove, or a longer savasana to just BE.
Homeopathic remedies create a balance were somewhere there has been a halt! If this inbalance is not looked at, other parts of our physical, spiritual, emotional and spiritual body start to suffer.
I treat myself homeopathically-  but I also see my Homeopath (who I have been seeing for the past 11 years). It’s the most amazing feeling. I can express my utmost fear and concerns or whatever has truly upset me. I’m listened to without prejudice – and  a remedy is prescribed to me. I feel that “aaaaahhhhhh” moment.  Super balanced within.
If you have never experienced a homeopathic treatment maybe this is your time (or maybe not).  It’s not about fixing you or detoxing you or a 6,8 or 10 week program. It’s to have you more centered and being the best version of yourself.
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Thank you so much for taking this time to read my blog.
PS. A big thank you to all the yogis who sponsored me for the Cathy Freeman Foundation for this year’s City to Surf. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you.
See you in a class, at the long weekend yoga retreat or on Social Media.
xxxx
Eleni

August reflection

Happy August!!!!!

Many of you are celebrating Leos in your life, or perhaps you are a fabulous Leo like my Mum. Personally I’m celebrating this last month as the countdown to the time we will escape winter and enter Spring. But of most significance this month – is that on 22nd of August 2005, I registered my Yoga studio as a business. 12 years in business. Something which I never even dreamed of.
In 2005 I made the conscious decision that this is what I wanted to do with my life. I wanted to run a holistic health space for yoga, meditation, relaxation, movement, creativity, healing, homeopathy, natural products and anything to support our individual health, which reaches out to our families and friends, our community and the planets. Did I hit the brief??
I started with no financial back up, there are no investors or partners. Doubts and fears, you ask? How much time do you have to read this?
It could not have lasted if these two crucial elements were not present:
1: My mum (Gina, Ginsky, real name-Regina Anna) who has continually given me the support, the will, and the abundant confidence to make me feel like I could do anything!!!!!! When someone believes in you it’s the Biggest Bonus of Life. Believe me, at times I have lost the courage. I have felt so down, so overwhelmed and doubtful. Questioning how I could I continue? Am I crazy?? Love you GIIINNNAAAA!
2: YOU!!!!!! You Yogi out there reading this, you are the reason I am living my dream. Through the years you have recommended me to your closest and dearest. How blessed am I to have students like you!!! You truly are the best. No matter if you have attended my classes for a short period of time, a few months, 7-8 years or even 12 years!!! You have learned from me, but I also have learned from you.
I have built an extensive Homeopathic practise – my second profession and you have trusted me with your emotional and physical disharmonies.
So many yogis are my friends and confidantes. I love it!!
When I started there was no social media, no websites. Just a phone number!!! A world of no Instagram (WT?!)
It’s been an emotional last few days as I have been reading old diary entries about my love of Yoga and teaching, which was unleashed in 2002. Reading my reflections really cemented that this is my calling.
****
Lots of plans for Spring and Summer, so watch out Yogis!!!
On Tuesday 22nd August there will be a Yoga Marathon beginning 5:30pm and finishing 8:30/9:00pm. Birthdays are about birthday cake and I have been in deep thought about what cake it will be 🙂  You can attend as a normal class starting 5:30 till 7pm or stay until 8:30/9pm if you still have the energy. Normal cost of class will apply (I will make sure if you are leaving at 7pm that you will get some cake!)
Oh, and there will be prizes. Super exciting.
Love to you all. Let we embrace Yoga and it’s foundation of unity.
Namaste
Eleni
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx