avatar for Mat Turner

Mat Turner

Aegialis Hotel & Spa
Depression survivor , ex Activist, Political Journalist and Trade Union representative and total non conformist It was only a matter time before I spiralled into a place of no return. Sick of being labeled, zomibified by medication and to be honest sick of being part of the rat race I decided enough was enough. After giving away all my possessions, house car and belongings I kept to one side just £400 , I just felt I needed to strip completely and start all over again .

I remember being sat in a cafe with my phone ...I was looking on Google and typed the words " How To Travel The World For Free " .....my journey began that day. The first thing that came up was the Workaway Website it is a fabulous concept whereby you can go anywhere in the world ( once you have found a Workaway Subscribing Host ) and offer 20hrs labour in return for bed and food . My adventures Started in Spain, Bulgaria, Cuba , Argentina and Greece ( Amorgos ) where I was immediately swept away by its energy and beauty .

Irene owner of Aegialis gave me the opportunity of helping out around the hotel, I was infact helping out with the maintenance , painting etc ready for the new season.

A few weeks went by and I could see the hotel and Island coming to life again as guests started to arrive , I found this fascinating and it was wonderful seeing happy faces throughout the day. As time went on I was spending more and more time chatting and to be fair not getting much work done ! One day I was approached by Stavros ( son in law of Irene ) who had noticed what I had been up to and rather than tell me to concentrate on my work he offered my a position 'Baggage Handler' ......
" A what ? "
I didn't like the sound of that but Stavros added a little charm to it by answering
" Turner ".... ( that's what he calls me ) " You will be the first person people see and the last ...they will remember you "
Not entirely convinced I decided to give it a go , I actually loved it , I was spending even more time now chatting and really getting to know about the guests ...perfect .

Most of our guests were Yogis who I had a special connection with , I had done a little yoga before at home but I was beginning to fall in love with it , learning from teachers from all over the world and discovering that I was just like them , in a way I was already a Yogi without the moves . I was surprised how many people had a similar story to me and that we were looking for an alternative from the norm , the world around us , a lifestyle that benefited not only the body but mind .

The more people I met , the more genuine friends I met , each one having a positive impact on my life , I wanted to give something back , I also wanted to encourage others to look into Yoga as an alternative from medication and other methods that are often counterproductive. And so began the Idea of bringing teachers together in one place, sharing this magnificent Island and hotel but most of all a place whereby we could create a community , a group of people that connect, exchange and collaborate , a convention with a difference. I dreamt of something intimate , something that was not about cramming people in a sports hall I wanted people to feel like they were coming home to a family they felt they had always knew . Irene and Stamatis shared my enthusiasm it was also clear to me that having a family feel at the hotel was very important to them , you only have to see the reviews about the hotel. They trusted my enthusiasm and we decided to organise our first ELYSIA International Yoga Convention 2017 . In order to fit it into the year it was decided to bring the start of the season forward by 1 week ( April 5th ) , It was actually October we had the conversation , it was a tough challenge but I had a super little team that worked passionately ..we did it and it was the most beautiful thing I have ever been involved with, I am so proud to see how ELYSIA is evolving and imagine this will continue year after year after year.