Jad wasn’t joking about the benefits of yoga after a day’s kitesurfing. I’d barely done half an hour with Will and was dearly looking forward to the neck stretches, spinal twists, the works. Word had spread, and now there were nine of us joining in the class, six adults and three kids, from KAPALEI, PELIZENO, INDIAN SUMMER and INFINITY. Rather more than my initial estimate of “maybe a couple of others…”, but Jad had graciously taken it in her stride.
The day before Jad had gestured towards a garden behind when indicating where the yoga class would be. I expected to unroll my mat on a patch of grass, instead there was a wooden yurt festooned with a rainbow array of Hindi prayer flags, multi-coloured swathes of chiffon draped and a wooden sign painted NAMASTE at the entrance to welcome us in. In the courtyard surrounding, tortoises leisurely moved from shrub to scrub, as though yogic guardians of the space. I got a wee bit excited at the site of a central wooden pole. Too thick to climb circus style, but a great support for a quick headstand inversion to get that rush.
Then came the lesson. A series of dynamic flow postures that stretched and challenged us as desired. Jad was totally zen, but she took no prisoners when passers by nattered too loudly or the street cleaner started hoovering up the leaves. Firmly and authoritatively she ensured that for an hour or so nothing would distract her class. The other kids popped by for a good stare, but respectfully, as quietly as possible. Even Catherine! I sensed a mosquito buzzing nearby by while I was balancing on one foot, eyes closed, in tree pose Vrksasana. I wondered for a moment if it wasn’t sent, Karate Kid style, to further test powers of focus and concentration. I caught the eye of PELIZENO Lisa’s sister-in-law Simone next to me, and, as ever when on best behaviour to take things seriously, had to stifle the giggles welling up.
At the end of the session, when we we each sinking into our mat in corpse pose - Savasana - Jad came round to each of us in turn, pressing lightly to open out our shoulders, silently massaging our temples… and that was the moment we floated off to Nirvana. Happy Island here we come…
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