Why I Came to Thailand, Pt. 1

I met Echo for the first time about two years ago in Austin. I had been going through a rough week, filled with tears and uncertainty. I was unhappy in my job and experiencing some unexpected turbulence in my romantic relationship. In spite of the sizable lump in my throat that made me want to stay home and avoid talking to anyone, I kept doing the one thing that I knew would remain constant through the hard-hitting emotional crises and pains that inevitably come with growing up; I went to yoga class.

I waited at the door of Sukha Yoga, and Echo showed up right on time. The only problem was that she had forgotten her keys and wasn't sure if we'd be able to get into the studio for class. I didn't mind. I was happy to have found some people who would've practiced in a parking lot, and who didn't have any idea what was happening in my personal life. Even just sitting on the stoop outside the studio in good company beat crying alone in my car. But, as luck would have it, Echo's partner was able to drop off the keys, and we went inside to flow. Like always, being on my mat helped me set aside my perceived difficulties so I could feel into my body and, yeah, throw down a few handstands to alter my perspective. I felt a connection with the strength and style of Echo's teaching, and I think I ended up attending almost all of her classes over the next few weeks before she left on a journey to Japan.

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Flash forward two years into the future, and here I am in Thailand on a yoga retreat with the same teacher. Since we met, Echo has been living in Japan, New Zealand, Greece, and “nowhere” as she backpacks nomadically around this part of the world. It's been a treat to learn from her independent, take charge attitude—she's a global adventurer who seems prepared to take on any challenge. I carry all my teachers with me on this path, but it's been nice get to know one a little better and benefit the glow from her fiery spirit. As for me, I've kept on this long walk toward truth, and I'm certified to call myself a teacher now, too. The uncertainty and turbulence haven't changed all that much, but the girl experiencing it all sure has.

This year, Echo has started leading retreats and participating in teacher trainings around the world. I'm happy that she joined forces with Cole Chance for ours. Cole is a dreamy yoga instructor, Thai massage master, ecstatic dance enthusiast, and general positive vibe exuding being. I'm grateful that even though I never had the chance to meet her during our mutual Austin residences, I somehow ended up with her on the other side of the world. If you're looking for a yoga retreat that includes both meditation and exploration, check out both of these ladies as they plan more offerings near and far: echoflowyoga.com | colechanceyoga.com.