Yacht and Yoga- you mean you do yoga on a yacht? We get this question so many times so we decided to explore what we mean with a 'yoga sailing holiday' with the very person who inspired it- Giorgos, the skipper who will be our captain for our Greek adventure over Easter.
"Sailing is synonymous to freedom for me. It's a liberation from modern daily rhythm and habits, bringing you one step closer to our true human nature."
If you are a Yacht + Yoga fan, you'll know that our founder concocted the idea of combining yoga and sailing after a sailing holiday, when she asked the skipper how he kept fit- both physically and mentally- while on a boat for long periods of time. Of course yoga was the answer! Yoga is ALWAYS the answer ;)
Sailing is often used as a metaphor for life, and it is a fitting one. You discover new places while off the your familiar ground, following the winds, where forward-planning only takes you so far. There are a lot of unexpected surprises- from gorgeous sunsets, swimming dolphins and mind-blowing sunrises to the beautiful tyranny of the wind- too much, too little, just perfect... you have to be ready for whatever comes. Yoga is very similar: you have to let go to move forward; you are often with your feet off the ground, treading in new territories with your body, breath and spirit. What Giorgos says about sailing is also true about yoga: "Sailing is synonymous to freedom for me. It's a liberation from modern daily rhythm and habits, bringing you one step closer to our true human nature." Just replace 'sailing' with 'yoga' and it works just as well.
About our skipper
Giorgos is originally from Athens in Greece, but has sailed all around the world. We've asked him a few questions to get to know him better.
Where do you sail?
Usually everywhere in the Greek waters. But I have sailed in Thailand, Burma, Italy, France and Cuba.
What’s your sailing experience?
I am a licensed RYA Yachtmaster Offshore skipper and have logged about 40.000 nautical miles on consecutive sailing seasons in different destinations around the world.
What would you say are the 3 most important things to bring on a sailing boat?
Bring your laughs, your sunscreen and your book.
What’s your favourite spot in the West Cyclades?
The island of Sifnos (pictured below).
What happens if the weather is not good during the holiday?
If we have bad weather during the trip, we modify and adapt the route so that we make the most out of the experience anyway. Sailing is about being flexible in your mindset and having always a plan B. Maybe we spend more time on land in more weather-proof places. I remember some big time fun trips with weather far from ideal. It all depends on the group dynamic, the mood and the local knowledge of the skipper.
What’s your definition of happiness?
To be open and calm enough to be able to accept our human nature and feel ourselves. Having our friends around to share this with.
What’s your motto?
Make the most of the time given.
Making the most of the time given
Such a great motto! Yacht and Yoga's unique way of implementing it is taking a week to sail around gorgeous Mediterranean islands and doing yoga twice a day, with swimming, hiking and making friends thrown into the mix.
The idea is that you are on holiday, want to have fun but keep healthy and in peace with your inner self. We find that sailing promotes mindfulness and creates a beautiful connection with nature, so it is very conducive to relaxing and thinking. Many big life decisions were made on a sailing boat. Equally, having the sea as you private pool 24/7 is just so much fun. If one day you don't feel like doing yoga, that's fine. If you'd like to have a private session and really focus on your asanas, that's also good.
We start the day with a 30-minute gentle flow yoga session in the morning to wake up (not too early, don't worry- you are on holiday after all!). After a healthy breakfast on deck, we set sail for the islands, where you can snorkel, swim, dive, go for a hike on the rugged coast or just soak up the sun. After a day of spotting dolphins, sunbathing and relaxing, you are taken to a nice little beach for the blissful experience of yoga at sunset. Dinner is served on board or enjoyed on land in local restaurants. Some nights you will be staying at marinas and some others in secluded bays, just you + the stars.
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