Monday, July 30, 2012

Yoga on the Road

Amelia Island
Some people go on vacation and practice yoga in their hotels with spiffy Manduka travel mats, while their travel companions chow on free breakfast buffets.  Some people go on vacation and serenely meditate on the beach, while frolicking children and dogs join them in the surf for impromptu tree poses.  I am not that person.  On my vacation to Amelia Island last week, I was the person who mostly drank beer, ate fried seafood, slept in and napped on the  beach a lot.  I actually have a Manduka travel mat, but it didn't even occur to me to pack it.  To be fair, I'm horrible at packing and my process basically is throwing all of my clean underwear and semi-clean black dresses from the floor into a duffel bag.

However, I AM the kind of person who researches local yoga studios as soon as I have a travel destination. (Well, I research it second, after reading about where I can get the best food.)  And I am happy I do, because it always gives me a chance to try something new!
The studio of my choice this time around was GoYoga.  They are primarily a Baron Baptiste power studio.  Their power classes are heated.  In Florida.  In 100 degree whether.  As I have said before on this blog, I've never done heated yoga.  I really just don't like being that hot and sweaty.  I don't mind when it's natural, but why bake unnecessarily when you don't have to?

However, I really wanted to get some yoga in while on vacation, so under the heating vents I went.  I had a really great practice with instructor Dorie, but the thing about hot yoga was that it made me super flexy-bendy but also kind of dizzy.  I was doing the splits and things like that with no problem, but I could not balance because I kept feeling rather faint.  I totally thought that I was getting acclimated to the heat towards the end; we were jumping up from upward boat to chair, and I was totes I got this!  But I mentioned that to the teacher after class and she said she turned off the heat halfway through because it looked like it was getting overheated, ha!  All in all a lovely class that gave me a serious workout, with very friendly fellow practitioners to boot.  The worst part?  Walking a mile back to the hotel in the blazing Florida sun.  Yes, it's my own fault I don't know how to drive.

While GoYoga is primarily a power yoga studio, they are going through a transition at the moment and one of the teachers there, Gianna, teaches  a Gentle Hatha class (no heat).  I saw on her teacher bio that she has some credits from Kripalu, so I knew I had to give it a try!  I woke my sleepy butt up for her Tuesday 9:00 AM class, which I know is not early, but is early for being on vacation.  I was the only one in the class, so it was like a private.  Gianna led a very beautiful sequence that was completely relaxing and heart-opening.  She is also fantastically knowledgeable about Ayurveda, chanting and all that fun stuff, which she was happy to discuss with me after class.

If you're ever in Fernadina beach, give Goyoga a chance!  Otherwise, how do you practice your yoga while you're on vacation?

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