It was the right time for Croatia.
It was the right time for yoga, too, which is how I found myself in Croatia on a yoga retreat last September. I had done a few yoga classes over the years, but preferred a ‘real sweat’ achieved through running, weight lifting, or Zumba, versus what I thought yoga offered.
Then I found myself in a downward dog amongst strangers, led by a friend, and emotions threatened to rush out of me like the surprise sweat trickling down my brow as I struggled to hold the pose.
I met Erin online almost 9 years ago (or maybe more), back in a time when all expats blogged (can you believe this site is almost 13 years old?) I organized an expat blogger get-together in Florence and was able to meet her face-to-face after I’d ‘met’ her online much earlier. Years later, I remember sitting in a coffee shop with her in New York, on one of my random business trips, and talking to her about these yoga, food, and wellness retreats she was starting to lead.
I’m sure I spouted a lot of business, social media, and branding advice at the time (I talk business and tech on my other site, if you’re looking for that sort of thing) but I didn’t think I’d ever be able to take one of her retreats myself. Plus, yoga wasn’t my ‘thing.’
Fast forward to Croatia. As I laid in savasana, corpse pose, at the end of a particularly strenuous hour of yoga on the retreat, those emotions finally did rush out in the form of tears streaming down my face. Afterwards, I asked the others, seasoned yogis and some of them yoga teachers themselves, “Is yoga like this?” And they nodded.
Maybe I am a little bit yoga.
The retreat wasn’t all yoga. There was meeting Croatia, where I’d wanted to visit for such a long time, and after a first day of a little gray, the weather was beautiful. Croatia has an incredible amount of coastline and the retreat was just near Dubrovnik, so close so we could get to the city in the evenings for a drink or a walk unencumbered by tourists (highly recommended!):
…and far enough away that we could have views like this out of our window:
I loved that private garden.
It was also about eating good (and delicious) food —such great seafood there!— and luckily, forming some great relationships with the other participants on the trip.
The wine of course didn’t hurt in forming those relationships. Where there is wine, there is wine tasting! Croatia’s wine scene is growing and the producers are catching up to offer tasting experiences to visitors and tourists.
We gelled quickly as a group, sharing experiences and our stories, and had a lot of fun together. By the time I had to leave I was very sad to go.
The trip stayed with me for a long time, as did the feelings I had while doing and learning yoga. The geek in me couldn’t resist researching it more, and it turns out it’s not just a coincidence: The Scientific Reason Why You Suddenly Got All Emo During Yoga Class (spoiler: it’s about tension and muscles and release).
The Eat Pray Move Croatia trip in May is sold out, but many of her other retreats in wonderful places around the globe (like Puglia, Italy; Iceland, and Morocco) are still available, so don’t wait! I’m particularly attracted to the Iceland trip next. Check out Eat Pray Move, and tell Erin I sent you. :)
Disclosure: Nothing to disclose, not a sponsored post. :) I paid for the trip with my own money, and would gladly do so again!