Skyros, Greece

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Friday, 4 February 2011

Skyros in Thailand by Kate Lester

To be honest when I searched for a holiday this winter I wasn’t thinking of personal development – I was thinking of warmth and escape from the cold British winter. So I searched for Yoga holidays in Thailand and Skyros came up. Now I had heard of Skyros – a friend had subscribed me to their brochures many moons ago – but I was a younger, more corporate me and the thought of all this hippy nonsense just didn’t do it. But after 3 years of recession and a feeling that it was time I did a radical life rethink I was ready to give Skyros a go. So I booked and found myself less than a month later in sunny Thailand.

The Sofitel in Bangkok is great – I felt like I was having a 'Lost in Translation' moment gazing out over the multicoloured cityscape of Bangkok whilst I enjoyed the first of many splendid meals in Thailand. The next morning I touched base with my companions for the next 2 weeks and we enjoyed a fairly painless transfer to the beautiful island of Koh Chang. My middle class sensibilities were amply pandered to at our atmospheric 5 star resort – and the room was perfect – great views, lots of space, nicely appointed.

The next day, the week was set out for us – Yoga at 07.45, then a variety of meetings, which would become the backbone of every day, then our morning session hosted by the inimitable Malcolm Stern, and then an evening course in singing. Evenings could and would be organised if we liked or we could our separate ways and explore Koh Chang. Bit more than the anticipated yoga break!

In for a penny, in for a pound I thought and decided to cast away my standard cynicism and participate. And participate I did. And I can’t believe what a revelation it has been. The yoga every morning was a great way to start the day. The Oekos group provided me with support I didn’t know I needed, the Courage to Change has brought about revelations that mean I can find a more authentic way of being, to be happier and more fulfilled, and the singing… oh the singing!! Well if I tell you I haven’t sung in public for 25 years and found myself on a stage doing a rendition of 'Summertime' by the end of the course you will understand that Sarah Warwick is an illuminating teacher who has the ability to inspire and motivate, not to mention the voice of an angel. Quite simply the whole trip was bliss. Amazing, thought provoking, sometimes controversial but truly life changing.

The only way I can describe the impact of Skyros is to give you a before and after picture of me. In all honesty before the course I was very stressed, at a crisis point in my marriage, career and facing my children going off to University with dread. Since Skyros I feel like I have found my self again – had 2 weeks of sunshine, am very bendy and feel that with continued practice I can create a more fulfilling life. In addition to that I have been massaged to the point of bliss, eaten the most glorious food and made friends I look forward to seeing again.

Try it. I can’t recommend it highly enough.

Kate Lester

e joined Skyros in Thailand for celebrations over the New Year. Skyros-in-Thailand is hosted in the exquisite Aiyapura Resort and Spa on the magical island of Koh Chang. The holiday included courses such as life coaching, singing and yoga as well as optional spa treatments, snorkelling and elephant trekking. To find out more about Skyros holidays, including holidays in Greece this summer, visit

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