Yoga Boot Camp

Trip Start May 04, 2011
Trip End Oct 08, 2012

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Where I stayed
Casa Maria

Flag of India  , Goa,
Sunday, December 11, 2011

If Goa was notorious for being a party scene, I wouldn't know it. My day starts at 5:30AM with a Neti cleansing or "saline nasal irrigation." Basically I shove a little plastic teapot shaped contraption filled with warm salt water into one nostril in such a way that the water runs out the opposite nostril, then repeat. In yoga it is used for extremely powerful physical, psychological and spiritual benefits. In the modern world it’s the best solution for clearing the sinuses. I depart Casa Maria around 6:10AM, hop on my “Miss India” bicycle with no gears and pedal 200 meters to the shala. Keesho, our philosophy and meditation teacher starts us off each morning with an hour and a half of pranayama (regulated breathing) and meditation. Keesho, an Indian native greets us daily in his white longyi with tikka on his forehead. He has an extensive English vocabulary but it’s often difficult to understand his Sanskrit like pronunciations. Still he is so adorable; imagine a seven year old in a mid-30’s body. He has a repertoire of expressions that when said with his high pitch intonation, we all laugh in adoration. For example when we were failing terribly at learning the 10 or so mantras we sing each day, he assured us “we’ll break it and make it.”

At 8:00AM we get to counter the long stretch of sitting with a two hour Ashtanga, power vinyasa class. The teacher was good but I still haven't found anyone that matches the talent of Andrea Marcum from UStudio Yoga. Aside from the 20 TTC students the Shala fills up with another 10 or so drop ins.

By 10:00AM we are all starving so it is a good thing that we have a system in place to pre-order our breakfast from the kitchen downstairs.  From 11:00-1:00 we are back in seated position learning about either philosophy or anatomy; anatomy is often spent coloring, don’t ask.

We have a siesta or lunch break from 1:00-3:00PM at which time I’m lucky if I get an hour on the beach to read or copy my notes before rushing back for the 3:00-6:00PM session. The afternoon is split between either an hour of anatomy or philosophy and then alignment and hands on teaching. The practical application of teaching is worth the course fee. It helps to build confidence and gauge where I am in utilizing what I’ve learned.

I've gotten into a daily pattern of eating veg Thali at Fatima's little cafe, the same Fatima that owns the Guest House where the course is located and the same Fatima who owns another 50% of Agonda. If I can stay awake until 9:30-10:00PM, I'm busy with homework or a quick internet session.

As grueling as the schedule is, I have to admit I am grateful to have structure back in my life. Additionally, maintaining a consistent workout has done wonders for me physically and mentally.

Outside of classes and dealing with a rat eating through my suitcase, I have had very little time to enjoy the mile and half stretch of beach. But one thing I am sure not to miss every night is the gorgeous, red sunset as it drops down behind the huts lining the beach, as seen from my room at Casa Maria. 
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