As a wedding photographer I always thought that Tahiti was just for honeymooners. It is such a romantic getaway locale and I never thought that it would be a destination that I would go to as a single person. SO when I had the opportunity to go photograph a yoga retreat there, little did I know that I would fall in love again….with being by myself. It sounds cliché, but the magic of Tahiti is actually a real tangible thing. You find it’s power in everything around you, the water, the sky. I found myself not just on a yoga retreat, but in therapy…color therapy.
I have known Nish for 12 years since I met her as her wedding photographer years ago. Over the years she has become like a soul sister to me and introduced me to yoga and then Tom. She and Tom joined forces for this retreat and each taught classes while we were here. Tom Morley, our yoga instructor from LA, has been teaching for 17 years and has had 46 retreats around the world. His retreats are unique, because it’s not just about doing yoga and getting in shape in a gorgeous location, but it’s about balancing yourself, slowing down, and reenergizing and reinspiring yourself. It is about having fun and not taking yourself too seriously and what I like to call “resetting yourself” which is what I do every time I travel and check out of my “normal” every day existence.
From the moment we landed at the tiny airport in Raiatea and jumped on a boat to take us to the private island of Le Taha’a, I was mesmerized by the dramatic green mountain peaks of nearby islands like Bora Bora. The water was like a rainbow of all shades of the color blue. Our boat pulled up to La Taha’a resort and spa and to our over water bungalows. For the rest of our stay we would be sleeping above water, having room service delivered by canoe, doing yoga, sunset meditations, eating gourmet food, snorkeling with sharks and stingrays, meeting tons of new lifelong friends, having dance parties and slumber parties, watching fire and hula dancers, and just in general being in what Tom called “Color Therapy”.
One morning I found myself walking out into the turquoise ocean. Which you can walk out for almost a mile without it ever getting that deep. Every morning Tom does his “morning ritual” which involved swimming, thinking, and processing the day ahead of him of teaching yoga and giving his energy to all of us. I asked him why he was out there and he said that he needed a dose of “color therapy”. By swimming in, looking at, and being surrounded by the color blue in all shades, it actually calms the mind and body. Blue is found all around you in the water to the sky. Color needs no language and speaks to everyone emotionally. Once I started thinking about the instant effects that being in Tahiti had on me, it was no coincidence that it was because I was surrounded by the color blue.
It has been hard to describe this trip to people back here at home, but I hope that through my images, color, and pure beauty and laughter you see in them, that you will be able to understand just a little bit of the magic that is Tahiti! I don’t really believe in goodbyes, because I know I will be back some day:) Thank you everyone who made this trip extra special and colorful for me. I honestly loved every minute of this experience and was honored to be part of the #Tahititribe 🙂