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Sunday, 19 December 2010

Day 237: Yoga for the inspired but achey

Ooooh it was an achey morning indeed! Was it my over-zealous approach to yesterday or does it only hurt if it's working? I don't know but hopefully the later...either way this mornings' class felt much harder than yesterdays. This time it was taken by a guy and instead of moving through postures in a flowing kind of way like yesterdays sun salutations, today there was much more of finding a relatively easy pose and then holding it for so long it became uncomfortable (see below - she's making it look good) There were again easier and harder variations given and I felt a little bit sad that I sometimes had to do the easy ones.

It just goes to show that Yoga is a wide and varied field and no two practices will be the same – in a way that's probably one of the best things about it, apart from when you can't feel your left ankle any more :)

Obviously 3 sessions was never going to be enough to 'get good' or even scrape the surface of Yoga but The Yoga Barn has given me a fantastic introduction to something I am (at least at the moment) keen to keep up. I haven't always looked after my body in the most diligent manner and this feels like a good way to try and reverse some of the damage already done and keep it functioning smoothly in the future. Maybe I'm just getting old?

Anyway, since I did only have 3 classes under my belt and what I was also seeking was some instant relief in the neck and shoulder region, I decided to invest in an Ayurvedic Crown massage. Ayurveda is – and I'm quoting from the pamphlet here – 'the sister science to Yoga', it's a 'traditional system of natural medicine practised by Indians for over 5,000 years.'

We had heard all about it during our time in India but never actually tried it and so, with the window of cheap Asian massages closing in front of me, I delved in. And it was incredible.

Oils were rubbed into my scalp, face and neck in soothing strokes and vigorous vibrations before water was added to the mix to create a paste that sounded like squelching through mud and smelled like heaven all over my hair. Warm towels were placed over my shoulders and my head was wrapped in some kind of stiffened material that no doubt looked ridiculous but felt great.

Then the real neck and shoulder massage kicked in – I can't even describe how good this felt. It even extended to my fingertips before a hot wet towel was introduced to rub the excess oil off my skin.

My hair was washed through and I emerged an hour later feeling all shiny and new and enjoyed the carefully selected tea on the balcony overlooking the paddy fields.

And all this before 10AM.

These two days, just me and the ancient arts, have been exactly what I needed. Though it may sound crazy to the average 9-to-5er; travelling can be tiring, both physically and mentally. 8 months of constant moving, battling with language barriers and the ever-present quest to not get ripped-off or robbed can wear you down. So a little bit of "me time" was perfect in the run-up to Christmas.

I mentioned in my previous post about Ubud that this would be an excellent place to holiday, to this I would now add that it would also be an excellent place to escape to and unwind.

1 comment:

  1. Trish says:

    Two comments: 1) Can't believe you reckon you haven't done much exercise in 8 months. Walking with a loaded pack/jungle treks have to be pretty strenuous?
    2) So understand how tiring travelling can be!

    The yoga sounds fascinating. I'm a pilates fan myself these days, but very envious of the neck and shoulder massage!

    Trish xxx