East Java (G’land) Surf/Yoga retreat
As I sit down to write this, it’s about 3 months since the East Java Retreat at Grajagan or ‘G-land’ as it is most commonly known amongst the surfing fraternity, and looking through the photos has been a beautiful trip down memory lane.
For any surfer, to experience new waves in foreign countries is a wonderful experience and G’land is one of the most perfect but also challenging left hand breaks on the globe, and being a natural or regular foot (left foot forward) surfer, was not necessarily on my radar until I was offered the amazing oportunity to go there on behalf of Santosha as a surf guide and yoga instructor.
Having decided to take the fast boat across from Bali one day before the retreat, I was immediately awestruck by the scenery of the place. I’d watched many videos of this break but they don’t quite convey the amazing surroundings or actual length of this incredible wave. The jungle comes virtually to the waters edge and one is literally amongst the wildlife that comes with it.
I’m usually the type who cannot take his eyes from the ocean when confronted with such an incredible break, but the scenery was hard to ignore. I was given a briefing which related to not leaving things lying around that monkeys liked because they would be quickly stolen…. apparently monkeys also like zinc (sunscreen) because mine was gone before I’d even finished my first surf!!
By the next morning the guests had arrived and it was 6 days of morning yoga and daytime surfing, with an optional afternoon yoga session. I wasn’t sure what to expect as far as the guests were concerned, I more or less assumed I would have intermediate to advanced level surfers that were beginner or novice level yoga students, and we all know that assuming things leaves much room for error! One guest didn’t even surf but had nearly 40 years experience in yoga. I also had a beginner surfer from the US, and fortunately I quickly discovered there was a great beginners wave nearby so it was a 2 hour private lesson for her each day followed by lunch and a 3-4 hour session at the main break each afternoon.
I felt so fortunate to have such amazing and understanding individuals as guests, they really made what appeared to be a daunting task a real pleasure. I’ve noticed that Santosha often seems to attract these type of people 🙂
At the end of our week together when it came time to part ways, it was like saying goodbye to old friends – I felt truly blessed to have met such wonderful people – all very inspiring, helpful and beautiful individuals that helped me realise that my yoga journey is not only in its infancy, but a beautiful lifelong path with no end.
Thanks so much to Santosha for providing this amazing opportunity to grow.
Twiggy van Ryan is a Santosha Level 1 Yoga Teacher training graduate and surf/yoga retreat host. “Having lived near the ocean my entire life and a keen surfer since the age of 6, I am very grateful to have such an amazing opportunity working with Santosha. Adding yoga to my life has been a natural progression and I’m loving the benefits it brings to my surfing and also to my life on a daily basis. I look forward to meeting you and spending some moments together in the incredible oceans surrounding the magical Santosha locations!”