What a season it’s been! Mainly as a result of my policy of saying ‘yes’ to everything that came my way, I’ve been wonderfully, absurdly busy. All well-intentioned plans for a weekly blog entry fell firmly at the wayside (wipe that knowing grin off your face…). Any moment of personal time became an unapologetic dive for mental downtime and recovery (read series and inane Instagram scrolling)...hopefully now things are winding down I can put this to rights!
Since I last wrote, I’ve run two thoroughly enjoyable ‘Not Just Yoga’ retreats at the Bigstyle Atlantic Lodge (more on the lodge later!). There were a fantastic variety of ages and genders, intentions and personal scenarios, and tears and dancing! It was such an honour to be able to lead so many inspiring people into a state of greater self-awareness and self-appreciation. (Or just plain old fun…!) I hope to keep in contact with many of the participants to hear the amazing things they achieve on a personal and professional level in the future.
My all-round involvement with BigStyle continues at a rate of knots - from Adventure to Kitesurfing Weekends, corporate groups to charity benefit trips, it’s been anything but dull! Not only that, but I rounded off the season with my BKSA Kitesurfing Instructor Course. Involving a week of highly informative study and practical demonstration, I am now officially qualified to teach kitesurfing! Huge thanks to Will Benett of Atlantic Riders Kite School for overseeing the course and Kris Goodbody of BigStyle for all my past teaching experience and the generous sponsorship. Can’t wait to share this amazing sport with future students!
We closed off the season with the exciting news that BigStyle will be relocating to the Ocean Lodge in Killadoon, just outside Louisburgh, Co. Mayo. With the blessing of the open-minded owners, we’ll be bringing the Style’s trademark pizazz to the fore with an exciting refurb next spring before opening in early April 2019. With everything from a dedicated yoga room (no more chair lifting!) to wood stove chill area and everything in between (Ben Mc Donald, Designer In Chief, has promised the moon) all just a short hop to the sea, I can’t wait to see the place up and running…watch this space!
On my way home to Bristol (involving not one, but two van breakdowns!) I dropped in to Facebook’s European HQ in Dublin to teach a workshop on stress management and mind/body awareness to their Recruitment Team. Despite only getting three hours sleep after the aforementioned breakdown odyssey, I had such a great time hanging out in their office (the food is incredible!) and teaching that it wasn’t until that evening that I felt the inevitable energy slump. Huge thanks to Elly Whittaker of Swell Yoga for assisting and Suzie Kelly for the organisation. Corporate workshops might sound like a dry affair to some, but to me it’s a wonderful opportunity to gain access to people who mightn’t usually seek help with their mental and physical wellbeing. There was some really positive feedback so hopefully a few minds have been opened to the amazing benefits of yoga and mindfulness/meditation.
I now have a week of quiet reflection (and neglected personal admin to tackle!) before heading to Taghazout, Morocco to assist with Swell Yoga’s Yoga & Surf Retreat. Very much looking forward to some sunshine, blue skies and space for reflection on the year to date...oh, and getting back into my summer wetsuit for a few clean waves!
Stay tuned for upcoming posts on BigStyle’s Tanzanian Kitesurfing & Yoga Retreat, my selection for WildBound’s ambassador programme and tips on how to go about resisting those dreaded winter blues. Might just be a few exciting announcements in the pipeline to boot…
Stay barefoot (at least indoors!)