Hello wellness travellers,
One of the “to do” items on my list while we were away was to attend a yoga class. I can happily report I did four classes and the hubby actually did two.
Our first class was in Chiang Mai, Thailand at the Wild Rose Yoga Studio. We attended the class called Mindfulness Yoga ~ A Moving Meditation. We did have some challenges finding the place however we had an amazing TukTuk driver who was determined to get us there. We arrived just in time to change and calmly enter the room. The studio is in a tradionitional Thai house made of wood. The windows opened into an ally that was filled with trees. The 1.5 hour practice was amazing. The instructor led the class while the owner assisted you with your poses if needed. The energy from the owner’s hands during assistance was calming, gentle and powerful. She had healing hands that sent energy into your practice. After the class, we walked around and stumbled upon an amazing TerraCotta statue studio. All the pieces were outside and covered with moss. It was peaceful and calm.
The second class I attended in Chiang Mai was at The Yoga Tree which was a five minute walk from my hotel. This time the hubby wanted to work out at the gym so I attended solo. The class I attended was; Gentle Hatha Yoga: Expansion into Softness. The instructor for this class was a wonderful lady who also suffers from balance issues and taught me some new poses to add to my practice to assist with balance. The class was held in a more traditional studio that was quite large. One wall was mirrored but had sheer curtains, while two other walls were covered in windows that looked out to beautiful gardens. A lovely peaceful environment. During the class the instructor used a large weighted bean bag to assist with stretches and it was amazing how much the extra weight enhanced the stretch. I walked back to my hotel after the 1.5 hour class feeling refreshed and alive. The hubby suggested a swim in the pool when I got back and all I could think was I must be in yoga heaven.
The third class I attended was in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia at Upward Yoga with Ninie Ahmad-Forget teaching the class called Breath, Stretch, Heal. The class was open to all levels and many of the people in the class were quite advanced. Ninie did an excellent job of leading a practice that ensured everyone felt welcome while working with all the levels in the room. I might just add that Ninie is 7.5 months pregnant and was excellent at leading the class through our posses. Based on how fit and full of energy Ninie is, I would suggest looking into yoga if you are pregnant. It was an honour to practice with Ninie as she is a very accomplished yoga instructor. Upward Yoga is a modern yoga studio with excellent Manduka mats for student use. There was one wall of windows that looked into the trees. Ninie ends her class with jugs of home-made fresh fruit infused teas that have cooled during the practice. A wonderful way to end a gratifying practice.
The final class I attended was again at Upward Yoga. This time the hubby joined me. We were in for a 2 hour workshop on Ashtanga Yoga lead by Kiri Sutherland from New Zealand. Kiri is one of 200 certified Ashtanga instructors in the world and we felt very blessed to have Kiri lead us in our practice. Whenever an Ashtanga leader passes through a country, they connect with other yogis in that country. The host country helps arrange accommodation and the yogi teaches a few classes in the host country. Kiri taught a class the day before, but the hubby and I were poolside so missed it and it was not for beginners. The workshop was ideal as it broke down moves and allowed us to get a better sense of what an Ashtanga practice would look like. I was pleased that I accomplished a full bridge – even though it was assisted. Ninie attended the practice too so it was a double honour to be in class with two outstanding yoga instructors. After class ended, we enjoyed the fruit infused teas and chatted with the other class members. In a small world experience, a lady in class was from Pembroke, Ontario and knew my Aunt and cousins. In fact, my cousin Bridget usually spends part of Christmas day with her sister’s family. That is a small world experience for sure.
Our yoga experiences in both Thailand and Malaysia were wonderful. From deep breathing to deep stretching, we felt enriched and blessed to able to part take in all the yoga classes. We met amazing people and our bodies thanked us for keeping up the practice while away.
May your travels include a fitness activity that encourages you to breath deeply and express gratitude.
Jo-Ann Blondin, your 9CupChallenge partner