"YOGA that sends you to another level for all ability levels."

"You do yoga, you, really?"

One look at my rather round rump and my thunder thighs offers no hint that I am a yoga fan. And when I tell people I have been attending some incredible classes they look at me in disbelief. And I don’t just like it – I DO YOGA.

That’s right, moi, rotund moi with thick thighs and big butt.  I go to classes and I have even spoiled myself with a wonderful retreat in Costa Rica this past February.

Why? Two words- Lucy Hamel

Now let’s be fair-Lucy has been my dear friend for 25 years so I may have a slight bias toward her. She has instructed me in fitness on and off throughout that time—aerobics, personal training and now yoga. She has watched my body expand and helped me to shrink it back down again with artful sculpting. (Currently I am in the “expanded” version of fluctuating body weight!)

I can tell you that she has taken me on many a journey of self-exploration and introspection throughout our relationship and it has always helped me to effectively see me. This summer, on a sabbatical from retail, I have had time to attend her yoga sessions at the Aphrodite Beach Hotel. 3 times a week, from 7 until 8:30 pm, on a Monday, Wednesday and Friday, she leads her students through a journey of increasing their confidence in themselves as they learn to control each area of their bodies through thoughtful breathing. There are all the usual yoga poses and movements of flow, but it is in the small quiet things she says during the class that force you to transcend to another level of thought, as she reminds you of voices from the past, challenges you have met in the present and focusing on future hopes. I often find myself dripping profusely in sweat as I try to hold a pose or perform a difficult movement, and yet I am grinning from ear to ear as I enjoy my own thoughts and taking pride in my progress. And progress is a loose term—I have gone from daily medicating chronic back pain to being medicine free for more than a month now. 

She is a true teacher and healer; she observes you closely, points out a weakness or a strength and helps you to improve. She is aware of nuances in your body by simply watching how you move, and she adjusts her program accordingly to let each student participate at their own level – whether novice or experienced. She will show you how to make small adjustments in a movement that is troubling you so that you can succeed.

The beauty of Lucy is … she travels and takes her talent and intuition with her. She is in Mykonos Spring through to the Fall. You can come to one of her yoga classes at Kalafati, or you can schedule a one on one session with her. At the end of September, she will run a retreat in Mykonos entitled, “An Ageless Life,” at Panormos. In November, she is off to Verona, Italy for a weeklong retreat exploring discussions of love (after all, this was where Romeo and Juliet gained infamy.) From January until March she will be back in Costa Rica, with a retreat scheduled for the end of February.

Take a look at her web site to really get to know what she can offer you as well as the specifics on her retreats. One or two sessions with Lucy and you will be sold.

No, you will probably not find me doing a hand stand anytime soon, or dropping the extra kilos I have been carrying around with me too long now—I would have to stop eating well and drinking with my pals—and that is definitely not going to happen! But you will see I have plenty of energy, more bounce in my step and my endurance remains steady—after all, last month I made it to the top of Mount Kythnos on Delos and down in 105 degree temperatures!

Stacey Harris-Papaioannou

August 2017