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Monday, January 02, 2006

yoga and travel

i've been noticing a lot of ads being posted for yoga retreats. i find them everywhere i turn -- on studio walls, in yoga magazines, on yoga instructors' websites. and they do look enticing, i must say. tahiti, mexico, hawaii, costa rica, greece... it would be magical.

when you go on a yoga trip, you know you're going to get your yoga needs met. you also know that you're going to travel and do some sightseeing, maybe even participate in some other outdoor (and/or indoor) activity.

however, i usually find myself in the reverse situation. most of my travel has been marathon-related. on these trips, i definitely get the travel and sightseeing, but i don't necessarily get the yoga.

take the time i ran the maui marathon last september. i googled "yoga maui" and found some places, but they were either too far away from where i was staying or the class schedules didn't fit in with mine. so i ended up snorkeling and playing golf (which were actually quite enjoyable, so i didn't feel too bad about missing out on the yoga).

a month later, i traveled to bar harbor, maine for the mount desert island marathon. and despite the fact that there were far fewer things to do in bar harbor than there were in maui, i managed to find a studio called cattitude yoga tucked above a souvenir store a few blocks from my hotel.

the place was small; the room pictured on their website is pretty much all there was. plus a bathroom, thankfully. there was no reception area, no boutique, no office, a far cry from the large yoga studios we have out here in LA. the teachers and my fellow students were very low-key, also unlike the "scene" at some places i've been to. it was rainy and around 40 degrees outside when i showed up for an iyengar yoga class. surprisingly enough, the students asked that the windows be left open to keep the room comfortable (not realizing that me, the weather wimp, was used to warm and airless rooms in warm and airless southern california). so i had to put up with the chill because, as they say, when in rome...

on wednesday, i'll be leaving town once again, this time for a family reunion. destination: makati, philippines. since i'll be dependent on others to drive me around (have you ever tried driving in a country where drivers make up right-of-way rules as they go?), my choice of yoga studios could be extremely limited. in fact, i've been googling like crazy, and all i've come up with are a few places with very sketchy information. no schedules to browse, no email addresses to ask for information. i guess i'll have to figure things out once i get there.

in the meantime, i'm working towards OD'ing on yoga, just in case i end up with a week-long dry spell...

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