When we decided to move here, and found out that I most likely couldn’t work, one of the things I really wanted to explore was yoga. I downloaded a hatha yoga app while I was staying with Mum in Napier, and quickly saw the benefits of daily practice. I was stronger, calmer, and feeling great. But when I arrived here, the app was no longer doing it for me as my only practice. I needed the support of a teacher, and to be around people. So I started researching yoga retreats, thinking that with all my free time, I might take the opportunity for a yoga holiday. Turns out most of those are a little bit expensive for me, but I had fun exploring the options.
Then, as soon as we got our memberships to the Panaga Club, I signed up for the yoga section. When I went in to sign up (this was Friday), I asked whether I needed to do anything else, or whether I could just show up to the class on Monday. Lucky I did ask, because the response: “I don’t know about on Monday, they’re having a course next week” (handing over information and timetables as he spoke).
As we left, I had a read through the information. Not only did the course look amazing (meditation every morning, two classes per day, a workshop every day) and resemble the retreats I was eyeing up, but the instructor was from Bali, from the same place that I most wanted to retreat at. It was meant to be.
When we got home, I quickly emailed to book, and crossed my fingers, half expecting an email back saying “No, fool, this course is full . Why would you try to sign up two days before it starts?” So when I got the response the next morning letting me know that I was booked in (to all except three of the most popular classes), I could hardly contain the excitement.
Along with the excitement came a little bit of nerves. Where did I go? Who else would be there? Would I be the worst? etc. New situations can be tough. On Sunday night, I had nearly talked myself out of the first meditation (“too early”). But this morning I got up with The Engineer, had breakfast, and was ready to go just in time. So I bit the bullet and headed off (with some words of encouragement from The Engineer, and the option to not go in and read my book until class started if the meditation was too daunting).
Of course, none of the worries came to fruition, and any nerves were just wasted energy. (This is one of things that I KNOW in my head, but can’t quite believe in my heart).
The meditation was seated, for an hour (ouch, my back!), and focussed on Gratitude. It was powerful, and not too hard (apart from a few pins and needles/position adjustments). People were friendly, and the instructor was amazing. So far so good.
The Vinyasa Yoga class was great. It struck a perfect balance of challenging and manageable, and I was not the worst/most unfit in the room (not that I would compare). The 90 minutes flew by.
Then I got a little break. Time for a juice in the cafe while I read a book that I’ll be reviewing later in the week, and time for a spot of lunch before the workshop on the five yamas. I had no idea what to expect with the workshop. I have always been interested in the philosophy of yoga, but have never really explored it. I have heard the names of the yamas:
- Ahimsa, non-violence
- Satya, benevolent truth
- Asteya, non-stealing
- Brahmacharya, spiritual advancement by education and training
- Aparigraha, absence of avarice
But I’ve never really understood them, or how they apply to my life. The 90 minute discussion of them was eye opening, fascinating, and energising. I was pleasantly surprised, and the workshop was the highlight of the day (so far).
I’ve still got a Hatha Yoga class remaining today, and four more classes, four more meditations, and three more workshops to take me through the week. I’ve got some new yoga clothes to get me through (it’s a sweaty business, yoga in the tropics). I can’t wait.
And best of all, I’ve got a whole load of inspiration to take into planning my yoga holiday, for which I might have a partner in crime (my wonderful little sister!).
Life is good.