Throw The Leg Over

Posted: July 12, 2011 in Funny Stuff, Sporty Stuff
Tags: , ,

Sairee Cottage where I got bitten alive in Koh Tao

  I went to a Hatha Yoga class at the Shambhala Yoga Centre in Koh Tao in Thailand.  I decided to try it out.  My friend Sarah suggested it as a way to keep fit and de-stress while travelling.  She emphasised the importance of finding the right teacher.  I had tried it once before and didn’t like it.  My back wouldn’t co-operate with all the twisting and bending.  I thought I would give it another shot.  I found out that I still wasn’t very flexible.  They had all these bolsters, ropes and straps.  It looked like an S&M class to me at first.  I longed to put my feet around my head without looking like a chimpanzee about to eat their toes.  I decided to test out the different kinds to see if any worked for me on the road.

  I went to a Bikram Yoga class in Perth, Australia next.  It’s basically hot yoga in a room heated to 38 degrees.  You soon work up a sweat in this heat trying to achieve the 26 postures in order.  I was slipping and sliding all over myself trying to keep up.  It felt like I was in Hell and Satan was the teacher.  A fellow classmate told me “It takes three classes before you really feel the benefits!”  I wasn’t sticking around to find out (excuse the pun).  I decided it was hot enough outside without torturing myself indoors as well.  I did some more research.  I found this Delightful Article (Sign into Times Online) interviewing the leader of the Bikram movement.  It appears that my assessment in class was not far off.  Another good reason not to continue torturing myself…

Sleeping like an unbitten princess in Bali

I decided to try a Yoga retreat next at the Yoga Barn in Ubud, Bali.  Eat, Pray, Love Style… There was a buffet of Yoga classes to choose from.  I picked Power Yoga as my first class.  It was like gentle Yoga on speed.  The girl next to me stood on her head.  A headstand with NO SUPPORT…  I balked.  The teacher asked me “Are you OK?” as I sweated profusely through each posture.  I was definitely in the wrong class.  I had read the timetable wrong.  It said 2 underneath it.  I thought 1 meant first, best and advanced.  Not in this case.  This class was for the more experienced.  A category I did not fall into.  I got a private lesson with my buffet package.  She told me I had good balance and knew how to keep my legs in the air.  I still longed to put them around my head.

  I tried another retreat called Byron Yoga in Byron Bay, Australia.  I had this common misconception that everyone would be hippie, tree-hugging vegetarians and super flexible.  I was happy to be wrong.  The students were women of all ages, some stressed out, some broken hearted, other’s yoga loving and all in need of some healing.  Some teachers were recovering addicts who seemed zealous in their pursuit of Yoga.  A swap perhaps but a more healthy trade I reckon.  This was one of the better retreats I went on.  The teachers were amazing as were the people I met and the healthy veggie food.  You do get the odd nutter.  I always hope it isn’t me… ( exclude picture above as proof)

Sunflower Retreats, Casperia

I went on my last retreat in Casperia, Italy.  Sunflower retreats was an amazing find.  Casperia is a tiny village of 300 people located up a mountain with no cars and lots of steps, only an hour from Rome.  It was picture perfect.  I met the group on the first night.  To my surprise, there was a MAN on the retreat.  He was there on his anniversary with his wife.  He told me he had lost 20lbs since starting yoga.  I was impressed.  Yoga had no effect on my weight and I still couldn’t put my legs around my head….

  I decided to try the Salsa dance option with some of the women on the retreat.  Stefano, the Italian stallion who also gave horse-riding lessons was meant to take us.  There was a sort of Woodstock horse festival on the day of our lesson.  We were to meet him there.  We arrived to find Stefano prancing about on his horse.  He fobbed us off onto his mate, who walked around holding hands with his girlfriend for 20 minutes then got his mum to dress up as a dance instructor.  She couldn’t speak English.  He wanted us to take the lesson on a piece of grass in the corner of the field that had a bit of concrete on it, where EVERYONE at the horse festival could see us.  I decided that I didn’t need to be able to throw the leg over and to stick with the easy Hatha Yoga Class instead…

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