Nazi Yogini

I’m usually pretty mellow. Take things in stride. Make it work. Last night’s Restorative Yoga Class tested my limits. Some people just shouldn’t teach. From the get-go there was a weird vibe in the room. I can only describe it as tension. Nobody seemed at ease. About 20 people turned out for the class and we were seated expectantly on our mats. The instructor began by saying that she had nothing really planned, we would just “let it go where it will.” Well, that’s fine, I do that all the time. Nothing alarming yet. But soon it was clear there were issues. Her manner was condescending. Her suggestions came across like commands. There was no easy flow. It was a painful.

Then, in the middle of who-knows-what, she wanted us to do some partner yoga. Nobody was even remotely interested. She lost a couple of people on that one. They exited without even putting away their mats. My flesh was crawling and I seriously wanted to bolt! But my eyes connected with the young woman next to me and we managed to do the partner thing that was being required. Somewhere in the midst of it all I had the blinding flash of insight that it probably wasn’t all about the teacher. Some of this discomfort was about me. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Okay. That’s what it’s all about, right? Self-discovery. I’ll work on the ‘me’ part later. Right now I just want to go on record saying that she was one really terrible yoga teacher!

It was finally over and I ran.

This morning dawned bright and clear and I headed out to Early Bird Yoga. There was a fabulous instructor! Lovely class! My faith is renewed.

Tonight I by-passed Nazi yogini’s class and opted for a luxurious massage at lovely Pertenin Spa instead. Smart move! Then stopped at Atman Kafe for a Vietnamese Chicken Salad and some great people watching.

After two, blissfully pleasant hours in the Cafe, listening to conversations in five different languages, I left for home. It is a spectacular night and my pathway is well lit. I can hear music playing, children laughing,and some confused nocturnal rooster crowing.

The moon, flanked on either side by stars, illuminates the night sky.

I know, no one in paradise should be allowed to complain. Sorry. I just needed to vent. Thanks for listening!

Obedient Slave

There’s only one drawback to traveling alone…it’s a little tougher to get photos of yourself! But I am here…really I am!

One of the first things we talk about in my Writing for Self-Discovery Classes is the importance of listening to your body. Way too often the mind runs the show, deciding where to go, what to do and when to do it without ever consulting the body. The body, obedient slave that it is, goes along and goes along and goes along until one day it has enough. The ONLY way the body can get the mind’s attention is to get sick. Suddenly the show stops and the mind is 100% focused on the body.

We aren’t used to consulting our bodies. So much illness could be avoided if we listened to body promptings. And I’m the world’s worst! So, the purpose of this trip, along with working on my novel, is to teach myself to slow down, be present, and pay close attention to my body.

On Friday my mind said, “Oh! Yoga is perfect for slowing down and becoming mindful of your body.” So I dragged my body through 90 degree F temps and equally high humidity the 15 minute walk to the Yoga Barn. The Level One class was not easy, but it was do-able.

This is the entrance to the second floor studio at the Yoga Barn. Whisper Zone. Those are the cleaned and drying orange yoga mats hanging on the railing.

Bing took a better photo of the inside than I did, so the Bing Search Engine gets credit for this one! It’s a huge, beautiful space, wide open to the outside. There are bamboo shades that can be rolled down in case of winds or intense sun. Just being there makes me feel uber healthy and fit!

When you’re flat on your back in my personal favorite, Corpse Pose, this view of the ceiling is equally as amazing as the rest of the space. Our yogini was a petite Indian woman with a big personality. She cracked jokes a mile a minute, some of them I got, some of them I knew were jokes because she was personally very amused. After a sweaty hour and a half I once again hauled my overheated body along narrow roads with no sidewalks where scooters, cars and trucks were zinging around curves and honking frightfully at the lone pedestrian.

But I made it and was rewarded by the sweet refrigerated air of Pertenin Spa. My mind knew that a massage is a perfect way to relax and unwind tired muscles. Wayan, woman with magic hands, was there to greet me. I climbed the curving staircase to the most exquisite chamber where soft music and exotic scents welcomed me.

An hour later, oiled and kneaded to a fine rag-doll finish, I hit the streets again, passing a monkey so close to me her hair brushed the side of my leg. She continued on, up the steps to a women’s dress shop where she looked longingly in the window, her little hands pressed against the glass. The door was open, she could have gone in. But exercising incredible restraint she allowed herself only to admire from afar.

I trudged in greasy slowness back to my room, showered, and headed out to Cafe Kebun for a little something. It’s a hoppin’ place on Hanoman Street and there were no free tables. My server lead me to one occupied by 4 women and an empty chair. I took the chair. Two were from Australia, one was from Delaware, and one from Toronto. We talked for a couple of hours. It was 9:30 when I got back to my sweet room. At 3 a.m. I awoke with a scratchy throat and stuffy nose. Uh-oh. I shook 2 packets of Emergen-C into my water bottle and drank it down. Better. Then went back to sleep.

Morning dawned, snot dripping down my upper lip. Body has gotten my attention. Then mind made a very astute decision: we (my body and me) will rest as long as we need to. Of course body was all the while screaming, “Don’t you dare try to take me anywhere until I’m good and ready to go!”

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