Amorgos Island is like going back in time! The villages here haven't changed much, and people live much as their ancestors have for hundreds of years! The authenticity of this island is a result of not being connected to the grid until the early 90's! There are few cars on the roads, few people on the beaches, and lots of wild flowers, sheep, goats, greenery and shades of Mediterranean blue. It's about a 9 hour ferry ride from Piraeus Port in Athens. I was swept across the sea in a super deluxe ferry, that stops in Naxos and various other islands on the way to Amorgos.
Pulling into the Port of Amorgos Island was surreal. We were promptly picked up and escorted by one of Aegialis Hotel + Spa's employees. He was a friendly old man and pointed out the island's highlight's, the ports, the windmills, and the island just offshore Amorgos that is home to 25,000 goats and sheep! There are only about 2000 local residents on Amorgos! We had to stop for the 'local traffic' to cross, a flock of sheep! He escorted us into the lobby, carrying our bags effortlessly and the friendly staff greeted us in English. We were immediately offered raki, the traditional Greek wine, which is made from local herbs, so each town wine has a different taste! Amorgos' was strong and sweet!
We checked in to our posh room which had a stunning view overlooking the pool, the Aegean Sea and the surrounding hills. My friend Lara arrived to our room first and greeted me. We were so excited to see each other since it had been 5 years! We met in Tulum, Mexico. She is also a Yoga instructor who focuses on Trauma related Yoga Therapy! Stay tuned for continuing education workshops Lara and I will be offering in the future!
The View from my room
There was little time mingle with other participants except during meal times and excursions. The tables were set up family style and we could choose from a wide variety of foods from the buffet. The meals offered something for everyone from the vegan to the meat lovers palate. So don't worry, you non-veggies, there is food to keep you satiated. There were local foods all made with Greek flair and love! The wait staff is so sweet and accommodating as well! The hotel is a family run business and they certainly made us feel like family!
David and I offered our workshop in a 3 hour time slot. It sounds like a long time, but when you are exploring yourself deeply in this class, you lose all sense of time.
David + I
teaching Chakra YOga Aromatherapy
with Sound Healing
I also offered a lecture on the subjects of Ayurveda + Aromatherapy. I could speak for days, weeks, months about the subjects of Yoga + Ayurveda + Aromatherapy! These a 3 of my passions! These subjects work so cohesively together to create a whole system of complete wellness. There was another woman who taught a Yin Yoga + Essential Oils class that I went to. I was interested to see how other Yoga instructors incorporate eo's into their classes. Dionne is a wonderful instructor who led us through a sweet, deeply relaxing practice. She is the one I met in the Paris airport. We became instant friends after discovering that we both love Yoga, Ayurveda and doTERRA! As we talked, she ended up joining my doTERRA team and is now building this as business with me. I love how life works!
Mid week, Mat organized a hike to a local village, Tholaria, and brought us to a local essential oil distillery! For those of you who know me well, you know, I was stoked! I love everything about plants! Mat introduced me to Vangellis, who learned about herbal medicine from his mother. He harvests many of the local 600 indigenous plants, to distill in his tiny workshop, to make essential oils and essential oil based products! I may just go back there next year to help harvest and distill! It was a great learning experience and the first essential oil distillery I've had the pleasure to visit! I spent €140 in his shop purchasing EO's I can't purchase from doTERRA! It was a completely elevating and delightful sensory experience!
A few days later, Mat organized an excursion to tour the island. For the adventurous, we piled in vans and caravanned to the famous monastery called, Moni Panagias Chozoviotissas, built deep up into the cliff side 300 feet, overlooking the sea! We got to see the relics and icons sacred the Greek Orthodox. Then we went to a little chapel called, St. Valsamitis. It was once famous in years long past for the oracle within the holy walls. There is a spring that wells from the heart of Amorgos and pools into a vessel built to contain the sacred waters. In the Byzantine age, people built this chapel over it to convert people from Paganism to Christianity. For centuries, people would come from all over to have the local nuns, read their future or fate in the small pool of water that only those nuns could scry. It is even mentioned in Homer's epic Greek tale, The Iliad and the Odyssey. This chapel was abandoned for decades until Sister Irini came to live here. She single handedly is restoring all the faded religious paintings. The gold leaf paint she uses really makes the images come alive. She lives there alone and I could tell she was delighted to have us all as guests. She offered everyone raki and snacks and lots of stories. She was a real sweetie!
Sister Irini and I at St. Valsamitis Chapel
After a while I felt the pull of the group and began weaving my way downhill through winding neighborhood alleys, imaging what life would be like here in such a still and quiet place. HEAVEN! I looked into buying real estate there I love it so much! I reunited with my friends and we all drove back to the Aegealis Hotel together for our dinner.
The last night of the convention was "Greek Night" so needless to say we ate Greek food which is one of my favorite ethnic eats! Lots of celebrating and thanks were given but no broken plates! There was live Greek music and we danced well into the stars. We were surprised by a firework display and blessed by a closing meditation and kirtan! Such a powerful ending to a life changing week! We hugged each other tight and parted ways, knowing our paths will cross again. For there is no such thing as goodbye....