V is for Vaclav

Say Formaggio

Oh, it’s here again. Not really sure why I am changing nice cold and dark weather with hot and sunny weather in Italy. Could it be a previous experience which drove me there also in May; an intensive yoga retreat led by Jaqui Wan?

I don’t think so, I’m not a yoga junkie who wants to do five hours of practice every day.. Really I’m not the sort that wakes up at five a.m. to make an early bird ninety minute session of Bikram yoga, followed up by one hour lunch yoga and then  to gym  for weights and an evening of more yoga. Then tops it off with volleyball practice and cycling. No, that’s not me at all.

Vaclav at 06:30, 13:00 and 18:15

I met Jennifer, Shahana and Tony at the airport. I knew these guys from before; strange people – who want to talk all the time about yoga even when people are already poisoned from too much yoga talk and have volunteered to uncoil from their mortal coil by listening to more: they won’t stop. Do I have to listen to this? I don’t wanna die yet. Maybe later after a big gelato, or two of them, or more. I think, I don’t belong to this group… There were also other people, which we didn’t know yet: Mekella, Cobi, Emily and North.
There was one girl who made the mistake of  sending me a text message but I forgot to tell her I use my mobile only once a day when I need to switch my alarm off before it wakes me up. Anyhow, we found each other at the airport in Trieste. Chi called that there was an accident and she is stuck in the traffic and cannot pick up us. She was definitely stuck in some local gelato shop enjoying her ice cream; I know that was actually the accident: these are the facts and no one can tell me otherwise.
We moved to a bus station waiting for a bloody bus. After a few no, no, no there was yes and we got on the bus. While we were waiting for a bus we had a polite yoga introduction conversation with yoga buddies, what’s your name? where are you from?what’s your weight and age? are you single? how long? do you mind? don’t you mind? So we got to know each other a bit…

Group therapy

Our daily yoga routine was very nice. I enjoyed watching sleep zombies doing yoga in the morning;  who were thinking they do yoga just by watching each other. After the morning class was when sleep zombies transformed to normal people.

We enjoyed very nice food from Paola then chilled out, absorbed local gelato in a copius amounts trying to achieve “Nothing left for locals” target.
We were also by the sea and had very nice time playing bowling. I think every moment we spent all together was very nice, relaxing and unforgettable.
The evening yoga classes were more energetic and we tried to put to our practice as much as we can except one gal, Jaqui Wan. She was just walking around and commanding what to/not to do how to/not to do. Who did she think she is? A teacher or what? Actually, she was, forgot this bit again.

By the city

Not sure how other yoga buddies did but I have to admit I improved in my yoga practice but still some muscles were very loyal and stood solid and there was a very strong resistance to get further. Obviously, how can you bend metal?
Doing over five hours of yoga is not easy for everyone but Jaqui interpreted yoga in a way so everyone enjoyed it; we learnt about yoga from other aspects and had lots of fun.
The atmosphere she created (or maybe she mind manipulated us) meant even when things were challenging there was always time for a smile and laughs.
Well done to everybody. Well done to Jaqui Wan. Finally on our way back at the Trieste airport Jaqui and I did a one hand handstand. The security cameras were pointing at us but with no consequences. Maybe they enjoyed the show! Nameste.

Darling Yoga Buds of May

The invitation came from a fellow classmate to join the spring yoga retreat near Udine, Italy. I had no hesitations in going after following Jacqui’s weekly class for over two years. The chance to experience five days of immersive practice under her guidance in an idyllic location away from the noise and bright lights of London could not be overlooked.

Relationships developed quickly in such an atmosphere as we were absorbed in yoga and Italian lifestyle; gelato, sunshine, meals on the veranda, yoga by the lake – what a wonderful setting! Over five hours of yoga per day gave me a chance to experience new postures and also try out Jaqui’s speciality; Acroyoga.

My body may have ached after the first day, but was re-energised by the fourth nearly feeling renewed and ready to tackle my London life style. I think everyone could do with these experiences in life.

By Roxanne Degarie



Although I am freshly squeezed from my yoga weekender in Bath and en route to Germany, thanks to the wonders of technology I’ve just redirected my web site and experimenting with the joys of WordPress. And 10 November 2009 heralds the start of this trial and a blog. In this new beta site over the forthcoming months I’ll be revisiting and recounting the summer’s adventures: stories of Acrobatics, Italian getaways and thrilling European workshops. Plus, I’ll be consolidating all my online media so it is accessible all in one place. To get you started, please enjoy this courtesy of the legend in the making Vaclav Elias (and if you like where all this is going, please make use of the RSS feed.)

Also, it just would not be right kicking this off without giving thanks to all the people: friends, family, students, teachers and colleagues that have made 2009 memorable for all the right reasons. Thank you!

By Jaqui Wan

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