Williams Yoga provides private 1-2-1 classes and group yoga classes in West London notably Kensington, Chelsea, Notting Hill, Holland Park, Shepherds Bush, Chiswick, Bayswater & Knightsbridge. Along with yogi & sailor husband Dominic, for many years they have been running overseas yoga & sailing holidays in Kerala & Goa in Southern India, Kabak, Dalyan & Faralya in Southern Turkey plus UK based one day yoga & sailing holidays retreats. New for 2017 they will be running yoga and sailing holidays to Mykonos & the Greek Islands.
Over the years, Elisa has participated in on-going yoga training with many leading international and UK based Yoga teachers from Iyengar Yoga, Ashtanga Yoga, Dynamic Yoga, Structural Yoga Therapy and Restorative Yoga backgrounds. Elisa has 27 years of yoga experience and has been teaching since 2002
Amazing teacher!" "Elisa is a wonderful teacher. She has a great depth of knowledge and an intelligent approach - but what makes her really special is the warmth, humour and personality that she brings into her teaching. Her classes are friendly and inclusive, with something for everyone. Very highly recommended!" Emily Coleman
HAPPINESS & HOLIDAYS
We have been running yoga retreats & sailing holidays for many years and have come to realise what a special part of our year these weeks of yoga, sea, sun and relaxation have become.
Of course it is always a joy practicing yoga or sailing on the open seas as as a group in any location, everyone working at their own level and pace while developing stamina, flexibility, strength and a deeper understanding of themselves and the natural world.
However one of the most best parts about planning our retreats is finding the perfect spot.
One such find is the little slice of heaven on earth we stumbled upon a number of years ago in remote village of Kabak in Southern Turkey. Another, the remote boutique hotel in unspoilt Northern Kerala.
No-one ever fails to be moved by the incredible landscape of the Turquoise Coast in Turkey, viewed from the vantage point of the yoga deck that the owner built for us when we first met, set high on the Lycian way. The drama of the mountains tumbling into the sea, their colour changing throughout the day and gradually building to a crescendo when the sunlight burnishes them pink and orange hues at dusk. Their vertiginous slopes abundant with lush vegetation and green forests. Beyond, we look out towards the hazy horizon where the sea and the sky seem to blend seamlessly into one another. The sea punctuated by occasional sails and fishing boats while the sky serves as a back-drop for soaring birds of prey, dramatically silhouetted cloud formations and luminous jet trails cross-crossing the canopy above.
Meanwhile in the winter months the vibrant colour, warmth and sunshine we receive in Northern Kerala begins with a big welcoming smile, a garland of flowers and a refreshing fresh cool coconut juice. The swathes of deserted Keralan beaches washed by the blood warm Atabian sea, beautiful landscaped gardens of our beachside resort and the swaying palms have all the hallmarks of an undiscovered tropical paradise.
Of course then there is also the food. The regions where we choose to run our yoga retreats & sailing holidays are places where the locals and visitors alike eat like sultans. After each yoga session we dine morning and night on delicious locally sourced fare shaded in the daytime under grapevines and umbrellas or tropical palms. At night bathed in moonlight under a kaleidoscope of stars.
Lazy afternoons are spent enjoying wonderfully healing massage sessions, visits to the local villages or spa or simply lounging with the lizards soaking up the sun and enjoying the panoramic views from the swimming pool.
Meanwhile some in our number when in Turkey, channel their inner mountain goat and trek down to the nearby coves to sunbathe or swim in the clear warm Mediterranean waters. The more adventurous hike to the waterfall or local mountain villages. Other days guests hop on to local buses or drive in open jeeps to the bustling port of Fethiye. A colourful place to trawl for goodies to take home from the friendly traditional souk, or buy fresh organic produce at the weekly farmer's market followed by a delicious lunch at Reis's, our favourite restaurant in the bustling fish market.
The Kerala guests enjoy watching the local fisherman pull in their nets, stroll the miles and miles of deserted beaches and glide in canoes bird watching in the tranquil backwaters. Participating in a vibrant & colourful Theyyan festival is a must too.
Another highlight of our yoga weeks is when we charter a local boats. In Turkey, the lovely crew headed by their improbably named skipper 'Maradona', take us to secluded coves and bays, where we can swim and snorkel and enjoy a barbecue lunch onboard washed down with local chilled rose or Efes. In Kerala we usually plan a sunset and daytime cruise of the backwaters with wonderful lunch & dinner on the water.
New experiences, peace and relaxation and the camaraderie of sharing stories and learning about each other's often very different lives are an essential ingredient of this kind of group holiday. For us organising them, it is one of the most rewarding feelings to sit and observe the smiles and laughter of our newly formed yogi family, as they sit over breakfast and make their plans between them for the day ahead - where perhaps the hardest choice is whether they should do a little or less.
We also love the balmy warm evening with often up to 20 of us sat together at long tables beneath the vines or tropical palms lit by candles twinkling in coloured lanterns. The sweet natured, hardworking hotel waiters always ready with a smile and countless plates of lovingly cooked food from the kitchen and hot bread from the cavernous wood burning oven.
Homemade soups, mezes of grilled aubergine, feta, crostini heaped with plump juicy sweet tomatoes. Fresh fish, steaming vegetable tagine and richly flavoured unctuous pulses and grains. Fragrant rice and bowls of fresh herb salads bejewelled with pomegranates and olives, accompanied by carafes of the owner's country wine and freshly juiced seasonal fruits in Turkey. While our Keralan chefs cook up a storm of fragrantly spiced Southern Indian food, all made with fresh ingredients with a medley of locally caught fish, delicately flavoured pulses and vegetables.
It is wonderful to listen in on the animated conversations of our yogi guests, now bonded and
laughing together like old friends. These mixed groups, all strangers at the beginning of the week now destined to return home with hearts heavy with happiness and memories to sustain them through the winter months until the next time. While each group is quite uniquely different from the holiday group before, it never ceases to amaze me how the dynamics always seem to work so well.
Perhaps this is a testimony to the unifying glue that is yoga & the uplifting proximity of sea.
Many a time we have found ourselves sitting under the inky sky late at night, all our yogi guests tucked up in their comfortable beds or our sailing crew in their cosy cabins and found ourselves thinking. "So why do we organise our yoga retreats & sailing holidays?" They're a lot of work and can be stressful to get off the ground sometimes - especially for when we took up teaching yoga & sailing to avoid office admin!
The answer is simple. They make us happier people and we know that's the best feeling in the world.
Elisa & Dominic Williams upcoming retreats take 26th September - 3rd October, 3rd October - 10th October 2016 in Kabak, Southern Turkey and 18th - 25th February 2017 in Northern Kerala, India and 20th - 27th May Mykonos, Greece. India.
Dates for 2017 sailing holidays await confirmation and can also be privately arranged on behalf of family group or friend by request.
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One word frees us of all the weight and pain of life: that word is love. Sophocles