Finally our amazing yoga teacher is here. Lauren Engleman and her beautiful newborn daughter Willa arrived very late last night, but luckily Lauren was up in time for a 7am beginner lesson and an 8am advanced lesson. Since waking up before 7am is something I am not very good at, I chose to attend the 8am advanced class. The class was FANTASTIC! A class with Lauren is truly a remarkable experience. While the class is very advanced and challenging she is aware that not everybody can achieve new positions on their first try, so she provides options that make the moves easier but still provide the same stretch or peacefulness that you could accomplish with the original position. The class incorporates Pilates and meditation into the yoga so you really start the day with a terrific workout and can really feel yourself be more open and mindful throughout the day.
Today the program started its first scheduled day. By that I mean that students were given private and group coachings with our staff. I spent the day in the office with Francesca Aguado and Elizabeth Anderson, our incredible administration. The schedules had been sent out to the singers the night before, so everything ran very smoothly. Betsy Bishop ran a warm-up in the morning for the young and emerging artists to get a start on the day. Once everyone was ready, they were sent out to their classes.
When you come to this program, you aren't here to be bored. With that in mind, students have full schedules with coachings, acting classes, Italian lessons, and masterclasses. Of course, in the middle of the day we took the siesta. We sat down for lunch at the same place as yesterday but the food was so different. The pasta had different sauces that made it seem like you were eating many different plates in one meal. Unfortunately I wasn't too hungry, so I left lunch early and took a lovely walk around Greve when the town was quiet and the people were eating or sleeping. I pretty much had the square to myself!
At 4:00 the work began again, but not for long because the wine tasting began at 8:00. Although there were many different wines to be tasted, it turned out to be more of a dinner with pizza and wine. There was nothing to complain about though because it was all delicious. In fact, a few of our young artists discovered a red wine called the Chianti Classico which they found to be delicious.
After the wine tasting was calming down, I joined some singers at the Casa De Popolo (House of the People), a local bar/cafe. They have outstanding Aperol Spritzes for only three euros!!! I got to meet and get to know some singers I didn't really know before, and I loved it. The people are so sweet and lovely, and I am so excited to be with them for the next month! All in all, it was a really great day and the perfect way to start the program.