Coral Island Yoga

I had managed to avoid yoga for over fifty years. I was convinced it was only really for Real monks who had trained since birth or neurotic housewives “trying to find themselves” between the shopping and the kids.

The two of us, Heidi and I, were anchored in the beautiful Pacific atoll of Tahanea hiding from Covid and the world in general. We were busy harvesting coconuts and enjoying the aquarium below our boat. Real stress was when two sets of neighboring crews turned up together for a coffee and coconut cake. Life was good!

And then Aimee let drop, at a dinner party, that she was a yoga instructor who was just “drifting through” on her way from teaching in Mexico to New Zealand. Not surprisingly every one wanted to “give it a try” and Heidi convinced me that it probably wouldn’t kill me and there was a tiny chance that I may enjoy it.

The next day we students were arranged in a half circle around Aimee in the most stunning location that has ever been the scene of a yoga lesson. A sand spit of white coral sand, fronted by the azure blue lagoon and backed by swaying palms. The sky was deep blue from horizon to horizon and in the background we had the music of the Pacific swell in the distance crashing on to the reef. We were relaxed even before we experienced the first of Aimee’s signature smiles.

Surprisingly, at least for me, there was no chanting of mantras in ancient languages, no bowing our heads to the ground and we weren’t expected to wear flowing robes. Maybe I have been watching the wrong films! Instead there was a confident, smiling, lady who explained exactly what we were to do, demonstrated everything and offered alternatives for those of us “over forty”. No matter what we actually achieved, she praised our efforts and gently suggested improvements. The lesson was instructive and (I admit) great fun.

Of course I watched Aimee and thought that what she was demonstrating was impossible and of course I stretched things I haven’t stretched in years but she ensured that I didn’t stretch too far and after each exercise that I managed to return to my normal shape. Aimee’s love of yoga was infectious so the next day, and the next ten days, we returned for more.

As we followed the trade winds West, we moved from beach to beach but all ensured that we were anchored off the same reef as Aimee so that at half past three we were all ready for the next lesson. With us all telling others about our amazing instructor, the class grew and one afternoon there were eleven nationalities present following Aimee’s clear commands – they have to be clear when almost everyone only has English as a second language.

Tomorrow it appears that our routes part so it will be our last session with Aimee but she has prepared us an “instruction manual” to follow so that even when we are alone at sea or on a far way, uninhabited island we can still enjoy “Yoga with Aimee”. 

We are hooked. Thank you!

Our instructor – Aimee Norton-Taylor – can be contacted at

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