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La Rosa, Puglia, Italy (yoga retreat)

May 2016: “Where are you teaching on retreat next Zoe?” I asked when we returned home from Morocco in Oct 2015, and bingo I booked my place on the La Rosa trip in Puglia, Italy. Ok so it was almost a two-hour drive inland from Bari airport, (so no view of the beach this time!) but the yoga tuition was superb, the alkaline prepared meals very tasty, and the excellent new yogi friends made up for the coldest and wettest May they had had in years.

12 out of 17 of us were either full-time or student yoga teachers, so as you might expect, Zoe included a number of variations (tougher stages than the original pose) for us to enjoy (endure?!) This has been the only holiday that I can recall where I LOST weight.

Of course we did some partnering yoga (oh I do enjoy the last day). This posture is all about trust. You simply lean back, take the posture and let your partner hold your back and head with their feet. Sooo relaxing.

I came home with my carefully chosen Mala beads; which the owner made herself. Something magical drew me towards these cedar wood with turquoise and coral beads, I was informed that these have healing powers. For the first 40 days I wore them every day; after that I almost felt undressed without them! They instantly connect me to my yoga practice, and when I teach breathing and relaxation. My beads are now a part of my life and are around my neck for my daily pranayama practice.

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