My 2015 holiday began travelling through Turkey with a friend of mine, Nicolette. Two different personalities, Nina, that’s me, a free spirited yogi who likes to be in control, travelling with Nicolette, the pharmacist who is meticulous, organized and always in control.
We did actually travel really well together and explored Istanbul, spent time along the coast,visited Pamukkale and the old city of Antalya. After two weeks of filling our schedule up to the brim, we were looking forward to some R&R on our booked Yoga cruise. I was looking forward to finally having space and being able to get back into a regular Yoga practice, my body was aching for movement again; my travel buddy was a bit more apprehensive and a little more concerned about “would it be okay to have a drink on a Yoga cruise?”. Needless to say we got the best of both worlds on our cruise.
We took a local bus from Antalya to Finike where we met Kathja and Sven aboard The Admiral, (a three masted yacht and quite an impressive sight, even for someone who knows NOTHING about boats, ships, yachts etc). Kathja and Sven run yogacruise.net, they are an awesome couple who we connected with, liked and laughed with the moment we met. These two relaxed, fun loving beings are impossible not to like! Thier vibrant, spunky and happy personality definitely help to make for a brilliant week at sea.
So what do you do on a Yoga cruise you may ask? Well, firstly you check in to your cabin which we found surprisingly spacious given being at sea and the limited space allotted to you. You then begin to meet the fellow attendees, (unless you dashed off to the local pub to watch a Rugby World Cup qualifying match as SA needed the patriotic support after the horrendous loss to Japan).
Wake up call by the sound of the gong, get ready, go on deck, practice a Sivananda Yoga Class led by Kathja. After relaxation, maybe jump into the sea for a swim, shower, have breakfast with everyone and chat and make new friends, relax, read, sun tan, swim more, maybe speak to people, maybe don’t, maybe sleep, maybe daydream. Sometimes day trips were organised which you could join in, or not… anything goes… oh, then it’s lunch, go down for lunch, (carnivores need not panic, it’s not a vegetarian week, you can get your fish and chicken allotment at dinner time).
Then it’s back to hard work where you have a limited number of options, like possibly swimming in the sea, snorkeling, SUPPing, sun tanning, reading, sleeping, chatting to people, or not… Then the bell goes for tea and cookies, (yummie). Then, yup, you guessed it right again, your choice of swimming, sleeping, tanning, reading, writing, chatting, etc… until about 17:30 where Kathja guides you through an evening Sivananda Yoga Class. The evening classes were always my favourite as the sun set, the colour of the sky would always be different and it would lull you from one posture to the next in a pure, peaceful and blissful state. You kind of forget how many dolphins and downward facing dogs she gets you to do!!!. Then around 19:30 or so the gong sounds again, dinner time with yet another massive spread laid out in front of you. Once you’ve had your dinner, you are free to do whatever you want. Most people would just hang out and chat over a glass of wine or beer. Others, (like me who were pooped after a day of hectic relaxing), would grab their bedding and head up to deck to sleep under the stars. Yip, you guessed it, the next day, press play and repeat!
Nicolette and myself met some awesome people on board who helped to make the week a load of fun in the sun. We were in a group of about 26 with most other attendees coming from Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, Amsterdam, The States and Mexico. It was a lovely mix of people, from new beginners, to some who had only done a little Yoga before, to some more experienced yogis and some who were like me, and were teaching regular classes back home.
The 7 crew members who worked behind and, not so behind the scenes, to make everything run super smoothly and efficiently were wonderfully helpful and polite. It made buying drinks at the bar for meal times always an event, (this is where by the end of the week you’ve learnt how to pronounce at least your room number in Turkish if nothing else!)
So for those who are looking for a relaxed, non-pretentious Yoga getaway, a holiday where it is absolutely okay to have a drink, (or a few), where you don’t need to hide who you are or how you live your life, where you get to hang out in the sun and swim in the warm sea, where you get to meet a broad spectrum of international people, and where you sail from one point to the next every day, then this Yoga cruise is definitely for you!
To everyone who attend the cruise, you guys were all such beautiful and unique individuals and a pleasure to meet and talk to, (if any of you are coming to CT, be sure to pop me an email). To the crew, thank you for looking after us so well. To Kathja and Sven, a deep bow of gratitude for putting this all together and for having the insight to offer such a unique experience, for organizing everything so smoothly, and most importantly, for being the awesome, spunky people you are!
To Nicolette, my travel buddy, who I managed to rope into going on this adventure with me, thank you for coming with and for always looking out for me, wasp stings and all!.
To all of you, from the bottom of my heart, a massive, massive thank you. It was an honour to meet you all and to be part of this adventure. I hope to see you all again sometime, be in it Cape Town or elsewhere in the world on a Yoga mat!
A deep bow of gratitude,
For more information, to view more images, to find out more and to to book your next cruise please visit YogaCruise and connect with Kathja and Sven.