Blissed OutFebruary 14, 2012
You know how easy it is to get in a twist about resort (read: “lame”) yoga when you’re on vacation? Maybe I’m a Yoga Snob, but I end up teed-off instead of blissed out when I waste an hour being guided by incompetent instructors who are well intentioned yet poorly trained and clueless. If you practice yoga regularly, you know exactly what I’m talking about. Better to sit by the pool than risk getting bored, annoyed, and maybe even hurt (uh oh, getting worked up here. Breathe. Breathe…)
And so, I was excited to hear that one of the world’s most legit yoga centers, the Sivananda Yoga Retreat, http://www.sivanandabahamas.org/ the Paradise Island Ashram/outpost of the international Sivananda yoga school, is just down the beach from The Cove. Wow. This place is no joke: you check in for a week of silent meditations, spiritual lectures, vegetarian meals and twice daily intense yoga and you come out tuned-up, skinny and floating on a cloud. Serious? Yes. Spiritual? Of course. Spartan? Well, yeah. And there you lose me a bit. Pampering is definitely not on the menu, and if you’re on vacation, well, that’s the best part!
And so, I was over the moon to learn I could stay in my cocoon of luxury, The Cove, and enjoy amazing yoga without leaving the property. How? Well, Dima Alakhras, the resident yogini at the Fitness Center, trained at the Sivananda Ashram and was certified there to their exacting standards. Perfect! Sign me up, stat!
I am happy to report, my class with Dima did not disappoint. Silly resort yoga this was not. Sivananda-style is top-notch, and I learned a thing or two about perfecting my downward dog while protecting my joints and muscles. It’s a full workout for your mind, body and spirit and the perfect way to stay in teeny bikini shape (which comes in handy when you’re hanging out at Cain.) Fine, I’ll say it: she worked my abs so hard I was practically praying for divine intervention, but by the time we were done I was relaxed, exhausted and happy as a clam. And the best part is Dima holds her private or group classes on the beach or outside in a gazebo…never had setting like that in New York City. The sound of the ocean and the smell of flowers alone realigned my chakras. Now THIS is how to practice yoga. Ah…Or should we say, Om….