Our Hayley has been knocking around Soul & Surf for a while, so we thought she'd be the best person to describe our Yoga offering, and why it means more to us than just something to tag onto the surf.
Words by Hayley Kably | 15th January '21
I wasn't present the day that Sofie and Ed decided to birth Soul & Surf (I mean – why would I have been with them on their solo trip around the world to find out who they are and what they want to do with their lives?)
But over the years that I have worked for them I feel I have got the gist of their vision for what Yoga is to us as a company, and have thus endeavoured to deliver it to the utmost of my capabilities.
Many teachers before me – and many of us since – have had the privilege of helping to develop, shape and grow the yogic ethos of Soul & Surf, and I am extremely proud to have been a part of it. Because, well, it isn't just some classes that we bung in at the end of the day because we think it's what we should be doing, or what we think it's what our guests would like to do. Some of them prefer a sunset beer on the Kerala cliff top actually (and I can't deny I'm also quite partial to that).
It's Sofie's dedication to her asana practice, and Ed's ever-evolving daily meditation commitment. It's Rachel's continuous study and intertwining of her surfing with her yoga - and the magic that comes from that study when you attend one of her classes. And Becca's turning up one day as a volunteer with us in Kerala – only for us to slowly discover the true depths of her talents: baking, yoga, shiatsu, acupuncture... I urge you to seek out her classes online.
It's the meditation at the start of our weekly meetings, introducing our younger staff members to the benefits of a mediation practice. And discovering how, as a team, practicing meditation made us nicer to each other whilst we dealt with the difficult stuff – bit awkward at first, but we persevered.
You see it's mainly about the people we have, and allowing the real, true authenticity of what they bring to the table to shine through. That's what makes Yoga what it is to us. Much like everything at Soul & Surf, we're a like-minded bunch of people who really know their stuff in their fields of interest – and who all want to share it with our guests.
It’s definitely a difficult one to describe. Much like we aren't really able to describe how we create that wonderful vibe in our hotels…we just do!
We don’t want to dictate to you how to move your body, we just want to encourage you to move it in a safe, fun and knowledgeable way to get the juices flowing and the good stuff emerging – and we have a small bunch of really cool teachers to help you do that.
What does that mean? It means that we like to practice Yoga that is suitable for everyone. Whatever their ability. That doesn’t just mean making it easy for the beginners! It also means making it strong for the people in the room that like it strong and providing all the variations for the people that like it soft.
We’re not offering one-size-fits-all yoga, and that is why having such experienced teachers is so important to us. We want to be able to offer the variations for beginner AND advanced, whilst still creating a super fun flow, adjusting, instructing, telling shit jokes, playing, throwing in the odd bit of philosophy here and there, as well as playing really good tunes.
We can't deny it's tough at the minute not being able to practice with you folks - but we know things will change soon. Barring the current month-long lockdown, our retreat at Portugal is open for bookings and if you're lucky enough to be in India already, Kerala is available to you also.
In the meantime though, we've also got a free pranayama download available for you, which will help manage those stress levels!
[side note - there is an exciting yoga launch in the pipeline right now. If you want news of that our mailing list is the best place to be]