The studio, which was made with a lot of love, is the realization of my dream, my own path, my way to share my experience and my truth …

the idea

September 12th 2011… I am in one of the rooms of the Supreme Court attending the oral exams for Magistrate candidates. It is Monday and I am supposed to take the same exam on the Friday of the same week.

Exactly 11 years before that, on September 12th 2000, I graduated from the Law School of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, filled with emotion, pride and the ambition to  conquer the world of international law! In fact, those ambitions started to be realized, beginning with a good master’s degree in international law at the University of Athens, a collaboration with a professor who I accompanied in the Hague Academy of International Law – the most reputable educational center in this field – a Ph.D. in international arbitration, a scholarship to the Hague Academy of International Law as well as to the Swiss Institute of Comparative Law in Lausanne. Without a doubt, my future in the world of law looked highly promising. At the same time, I worked as a lawyer, collaborated with a big law firm in Athens, returned to my birthplace, Thessaloniki where I also practised law.

In the midst of all this high social status, I was constantly looking for a way out. The court system never suited me, it always seemed so phony, a façade of unhappy people, devoid of depth or genuine smiles. To make it through all this, I had to keep returning to my true self and not lose it entirely amid the suits and the high heels of courtroom dress codes. For years I used painting and classical as well as modern dance to escape from all this. In this way, I managed to handle the sad routine of courtrooms.

In 2009, having already spent 9 years in the field of law, I took a break from dance – or so I thought – and tried Yoga. And then everything changed… The magical world of Yoga opened up the door for me and I got lost inside it from the very first step… I never took up dancing again. Instead, I attended Yoga seminars one after the other, keen to delve as much as I could into the philosophy I had just discovered… From the moment Yoga came into my life, my daily contact with the courtrooms was getting harder and harder. On New Year’s Day 2010, I find myself in Barcelona, attending an Acro Yoga seminar, surrounded by incredibly warm and radiant people, and I get acquainted with Thai yoga massage. Returning to my daily routine feels like a head-on collision! What a transition from genuine looks to fake smiles, from warm hugs to cold handshakes with colleagues! Neither success nor scholarships or social status could really fill me up. I am not satisfied with my life, I close the door behind me every night and I am unhappy. I go to sleep feeling empty and I wake up sad. Yoga is my only truth.

Throughout those years my body was sending me warning signals. An atopic idiopathic eczema – according to modern dermatology – first made its appearance in 1989. It begins to manifest itself mainly on my hands and flares up at times. The sadder my job makes me, the more intense the symptoms become. In an attempt to find myself, and knowing my determination to succeed in any exam I take, I decide as a last resort to try becoming a state judge. While preparing for the entrance exams to the School for the Training of State Judges, my hands become rigid! What else could my body do to show me I was in the wrong path? Despite all this, I pass the written exams and all that remains is take the oral ones.

September 12th 2011, after 11 years in the courtrooms, I find myself in the same room of the Supreme Court. I’m stifling, as if the air is not enough… I text my best friend wondering what I’m doing there… I need air to breathe, I feel like passing out, I get out just in time and taking my first deep breath I burst out crying to help myself breathe… I cry for about two and a half hours before I start to feel better and suddenly everything is simple, as if a veil has been lifted: my mind is made up, I’m giving up law and I’m taking a break to figure out what fulfills me. 1996 – 2011, 16 consecutive years of studies, distinctions, and examinations. Am I not entitled to a break? In an instant, what has always seemed insurmountable gets to be the simplest thing in the world…

I return home, go to my daily Yoga class and my teacher can tell just by looking at me. She had known it before I did… She helps me see my hands as my asset and encourages me to practice Thai yoga massage, listen to my inner voice and teach Yoga…

I flee to the mountains, attend all sorts of seminars, spend time with myself, find myself on mount Taygetos where I meet “Radiki”, mount Kissavos and I run into “Radiki” again. On January 28th 2012, I am already in Raches Messinia and make up my mind to follow my inner voice…

I never took the oral exams to the School for the Training of State Judges. It was the toughest and best decision of my life. On that critical evening of September 12th 2011, I had to face my family and friends who were trying to talk me into taking the oral exams. I closed my eyes and imagined my life ten years later trying to figure out what would make me really happy: what I saw was myself living in nature, creating a small Yogic community…

The journey has begun and it’s just magical! Every day I’m grateful for having had the courage to reject the role I was trapped in, for finding the strength to listen to my heart and follow it, ignoring the voice of reason and the modern mentality of cold comfort. A little longer than a year after my return to nature, I came back to my own nature, my true self… The Yogic community of our area was already underway… I already had my daughter in my arms… And my eczema had disappeared, never to return…

The studio, which was made with a lot of love, is the realization of my dream, my own path, my way to share my experience and my truth… The journey continues! If you have read as far as this point, I thank you for your time and would be glad to share the journey with you!
Namasté
Alkmini