Sunday, January 14, 2007

Yoga Thailand

Koh Samui, Thailand Album

When we arrived at Samui Airport, we were surprised to find out that we were getting right off onto the tarmac. After boarding a trolley-like vehicle, we pulled up to the “arrival terminal”. A completely outdoor airport greeted us. We were truly in the tropics now.

Yoga Thailand was a good 30 minutes from the airport . When we arrived we were greeted, given instructions, and then shown to our bungalow. It was simple, beds, closets, bathroom, no tv or radio, but there was yoga inspired art on the walls. The resort was set-up quite nice., from the driveway you walk down a path to the Namaste House, which is their reception/welcome center. There were three computers, books and local information, as well as, fresh water, coffee and tea. Everyone was required to remove their shoes before entering any structure. To the left of the Namaste House was the Juice bar, where fresh juice, coconuts and occasionally ice cream was served. On the right, was another path leading all the way to the beach. Along this path, on the left were several bunglalows for the guest to stay in. Right before the beach, to the right of the path was a the dining shala, an open deck with a few tables for the buffet meals. And an incredible view of the ocean! Next to the dining shala, along the beach, with the same incredible view was the outdoor yoga shala. This is where we would learn the Ashtanga yoga technique. Behind the dining shala was the indoor yoga center, this is where the more experienced practiced their yoga. Our bungalow was only a few doors away from the beach. Sitting on our porch we had the ocean to our left and

greenery in front of us. There were birds and lizards and butterflys all over the place. This was a very tranquil place, the perfect spot for yoga and meditation.

On the first day of yoga, we all met in the Yoga Center for morning meditation. Shawn and I weren’t sure what to do, so we kinda just looked around and followed everyone else. We grabbed some cushions and a mat for the floor. We sat straight, closed our eyes and listened to the leader, as he led us with thoughts of appreciation for our lives and those in our lives. Followed by 15 minutes of silent meditation. We were brought back with the soft clang of a bell and we ended with three ohms. The beginners were instructed to meet on the outdoor yoga shala. This is where Neil, our instructor, explained yoga, the Ashtanga technique and led us through the first few positions. Although, it was quite difficult, it was a good workout. By the end of class, we had done the routine on our own and we were eager to learn more.

During our down time, we would take swims in the ocean, we got massages for our aching muscules and we got on the internet when the connection was good. We had a hard time trying to connect to their WiFi network, we learned quickly that we would have to go outside on the porch to use it. Which suited me just fine, since I liked working on the computer outside, with the birds chirping and the waves splashing. We also, tried the Vegetarian Thai dishes that were prepared for the buffets meals. After a few days, we really couldn’t take too much more. The breakfast was good with fresh fruits, and whole wheat bread. But the lunch and the dinner were hard to swallow. Almost always vegetables in a mix with sauce, and ginger was used more than a few times. I can’t stand ginger!

Finally, we rented a motorbike and ventured out in search of some real food. On the advice from another couple, we found a supermarket, Tesco! We were able to get some dry food, since we didn’t have a fridge. We drove a little farther and found a small touristy town called Chaweng. There was this small Italian restaurant that had these great hoagies, all the ingredients from Itlaly. It was so delicious that we went back a couple more times after that. Right next door was an Antique Tattoo place, where they do tattoo using a traditional method. We made sure everything was safe and sterilized, so that Shawn could get a tattoo filled in. It was a small thing and very quick, but worth the photos. There were so many tailors along the shopping strip. A book that I had read said that if anywhere is the place for high quality, low price suits, this was is it. So Shawn and I both had suits made for a more-than-reasonable price.

After having a great time in Koh Samui, we decided to extend our stay so that we could make it down to Phuket. This is where we will find some world-top diving spots.

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