Monday, January 16, 2012

My Yoga Retreat - Koh Samui

I'm shattered.  As I write this I am lying in my bed, about to take a nap, thoroughly exhausted.  Over the last 6 days I have done over 11 hours of yoga and I've been on a pretty strict diet.

About a week ago I took out a one week unlimited pass to Absolute Yoga, Koh Samui's premier yoga retreat.  The retreat is 5 star, has its own bar (non-alcoholic and smoke free), infinity pool, massage and health centre and is designed much like a moroccan village.  The villas are a rich turmeric like colour which is completely different to anything else on Koh Samui, which I have seen anyway.  The retreat offers a variety of packages, but most revolve around either the yoga sessions or the detox program. There are about four yoga classes a day, in different styles, and a meditation/breathing session.  They also have 3 detox programs going on.  The ultimate Cleanse, a vegetarian detox and I think the other one was a liver cleanse... not sure.

Anyway, after checking the prices, I just wanted the yoga.  A full week on the detox program and the yoga was 45,000 THB, about 1,500 dollars.  An unlimited pass to the yoga classes is only 2000 THB.... you do the maths.  Also, I used Noi to get me a great deal at a 5 star villa, I used a private taxi (more expensive than the public ones) AND I ate at my 5 star restart restaurant instead of their astoundingly expensive restaurant and I managed to get the overall cost down to about 50% of what they were charging.  So you could easily get it down less than that if you wanted to stay and eat somewhere cheaper.

But anyway, the yoga.  I am about as flexible as a dried stick.  My health otherwise is quite good.  I normally eat quite well and exercise a few times a week.  I just can't touch my toes to save my life.  I haven't been able to properly cross my legs since I was 12... I can't do downward dog, or twist around so I look like a pretzel... something most of the other people in the class seem to be able to do with little difficulty..  In fact, I was so bad I had cushions placed around me to get me into the right position so I could feel the stretch it was a bit frustrating, especially when I had to move in and out of poses, and use the downward dog as the "rest pose"... I had to move all the cushions do the poses quickly to keep up, then back into the next pose... and more cushions...

Actually, that's probably a little exaggerated, but I did find some of the poses quite difficult, even with the help of said implements. Actually, I speak no word of a lie here, during one of the classes I ended up sliding along the floor... wait for it... on my shoulders... it gets better... with my feet touching the floor..and the corker... until I hit a mirror.  I was so sweaty I slid about 2 metres across the floor on my head!!! Embarrassing much??  :)

I have to say though, after six days my body does feel much better. I actually do feel more limber, I have lost about 2 kgs this week, and my body looks better.

Here are some freaky things I learned about myself, or yoga.

1./  Some of them do absolutely insane "cleansing" rituals.  No joke, one of my teachers had swallowed a rag, with a bit in his mouth, left it for half an hour, then pulled in back out again.  WTF?????   Oh, and something else, e said he had seen people swallow things, long rags I guess, leaving some in the mouth until it came out the other end and they pulled it ALL THE WAY THROUGH THEIR BODY!!!! That's filthy!!!

2./  Apparently, if you have high knees when you sit upright and bring your feet into your crotch it means you are holding in a lot of emotion from either this life or past ones, which has been traumatic.  Yeah, that upper middle class life was TOUGH!

3./  I can easily sweat out a litre of fluid in an hour and a half.  My yoga mat and towel were disgusting.

4./  Not all yoga teachers are hot... or even sane... but they are fun!

But, at the end of the day I highly recommend the experience.  I was trying to use my pass as much as possible so did quite a few classes which probably wore me out more than most, but I do feel great for it.  So whether you book and stay at Absolute Yoga, or somewhere else and just get a weekly pass it worth doing.

Until next time,


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