Dreams of yoga and Thailand

Roman and I used part of our Goa beach break to plan our next few moves. We’d already had it in mind that we would go to Thailand next. What we’ve decided is that I will fly there ahead of him.

I’d been thinking of finding some yoga in Thailand.

Ironic, I know, daydreaming about doing yoga in Thailand while I’m wandering around the birthplace of yoga itself…

I was open to trying some yoga courses or even going to an ashram while we were in India, but doing research while still in Switzerland, I couldn’t find anyplace that interested me. I’ve been spoiled in my practice; I’ve been lucky to have some amazing teachers over the years. And having done the teacher training course at Air Yoga a few years back, I have a decent amount of knowledge and have become a bit of a stickler for proper alignment and attention to detail in the asanas.

From what I’ve heard, this focus in a yoga practice is often more of a western phenomenon. There probably are plenty of teachers in India that instruct with an awareness of anatomy and injury prevention, but from stories I’d read and been told, it sounded like the standard yoga lesson in India involves less explanation and more just doing it. Certainly the couple of classes I took at the hotels in Kumarakom and Rishikesh confirmed this.

The teachers were sweet and earnest and clearly passionate about yoga, and I enjoyed the practices with them. However, there was very little explanation given about what we were doing and why, and not a word about alignment during any of them. I had to fight the urge to offer adjustments or suggest modified poses to some of the first time students in Rishikesh who of course couldn’t know the intention of the poses they were doing.

Finding improved alignment in poses in my own practice completely transforms my experience of the asanas. Practicing with awareness and with the breath is what makes the practice yoga, rather than just exercise. So I wasn’t going to sign up for just any yoga program simply because we were in India. I’ve kept my eyes open while we’ve been traveling though, in case anything might catch my interest, but I never did get that feeling of “Wow, I really want to do that” from any of the programs we came across during our stay here.

My body has been seriously missing the practice though. The time in India hasn’t been particularly active, and, especially during the more sedentary portions of the trip, I’ve felt my joints starting to complain while my muscles have begun dissolving into jelly.

So – some healthy living is needed. Some yoga is in order. Some yoga in Thailand.

This I have heard good things about. There’s aparently all sorts of western style schools, programs and retreats there, often with teachers from the west. Ritu mentioned one particular spa hotel that a friend of hers had just been to and highly recommended. When I read that they teach Anusara inspired yoga (my favorite style :-)), I thought this might be the place for me. When Ritu said she’d join me for a retreat there, the deal was cinched. 🙂

So, a nearly two week stay there will be my birthday and Christmas present to myself and especially to my body. As you may have noticed from my posts, I’ve been very indulgent on the food front while we’ve been in India – with good reason of course 😀 – and this place also focuses on healthy eating, with things like raw food and juice fasts available. So that should be great too.

We’ve decided that Roman will fly to Thailand to meet me at the end of my time at the spa. Yoga is not his thing at all and two weeks at a spa would just be too long for him. Beyond that, there are still parts of India he is keen to see. Although I am still loving what we are experiencing and am looking forward to all we have planned for the next week or so, I feel like I have “eaten my fill” of India – figuratively and probably literally too 😉 – and feel ready for something new.

It’s also a conscious decision that we build in parts of the trip when we do separate things. So far it’s been even easier than I expected traveling with Roman, but we still have the majority of our adventures ahead of us (Amazing!!), and it’s healthy and probably necessary to mix things up from time to time.

Although Roman pointed out this means that for the first time since the start of our relationship, we won’t be together for New Year’s. We have a pretty exciting treat in store for Christmas at least though: we’ll be celebrating the holiday together on a houseboat on the Kerala backwaters. Not a bad way to spend Christmas or to bring to a close my time in India! 🙂

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