Way back in Ubud two of my teachers told me I needed to visit Yoga Thailand and take classes at from Paul Dallaghan and Neil Barker. As luck would have it they have just relocated to a new facility and I was fortunate enough to sneak in with the inaugural class. Yoga Thailand offers everything from the chance to drop in for a day or two to month-long teacher trainings and it seems to me that more than a few people have just decided never to leave and now work for the center.
Paul and Neil are well known for their knowledge of pranayama and yoga anatomy, the retreat center was reported to me to be the most amazingly calm, healing and wonderful place. After the King’s Cup I felt more than ready for a solid week of yogic education and healthy living.
The retreat facility is located on the island of Koh Samui in the Gulf of Thailand and just like Bali there is a quiet side and a raucous side. After the all-day somewhat adventurous bus/ferry ride to get here from Phuket I ended up exploring the raucous side for a night. So much for healthy living.
About two hours out of Phuket the bus to Koh Samu filled with smoke, after the attendant surveyed the issue, fire-extinguisher in hand, we were all assured there was nothing to worry about. Another hour down the road we pulled into a middle-of-nowhere-garage which miraculously had bus-sized tires and was able to replace what was once a tire, but had since transformed into molten lava and which was the culprit of the previous hour’s smoking episode.
While the bus tire was being repaired I stepped out for a few minutes to view the giant golden Buddha behind the tire place, in these fleeting few moments Jason managed to befriend the couple sitting behind us, a seemingly nice set of Western Canadians, Ashley and Dallas. I tried to warn Jason that Albertans are trouble, that I speak from experience here, but alas we fell pray to their charms and shared interest in making the trip more fun by drinking beer and conjuring up our own dialogue for the really bad Thai movie that was playing on the TV.
Hours later the bus and we boarded a ferry for the hour-long sail to Koh Samui. By this time the Canadians were our new best friends and we were all well on our way to inebriation. The Canucks opted to stay at the same hotel as Jason and me and this is how I came to spend the night before my yoga retreat at a trans-gender cabaret in Chaweng.
Better judgment and lack of clear memory prohibit me from recounting all of the night’s details, but sufficed to say I left a lot of money, a smidgen of my soul and fair bit of my liver on the dressing room floor of that cabaret. On the upside, when I left I had a feather boa and one heck of a makeup job to show for my efforts.
The lesson here I think is to avoid Western Canadian and young Australian traveling companions at all costs… no matter your nationality, Irish, Russian, German, you cannot hold your liquor next to the likes of a Northern Albertan and an Australian, learn from me and keep your internal filtering systems safe.
The next morning I managed to wake up in my own hotel room, still in possession of pretty much everything I had the day before, and having gained at least half a brain, or so it felt - no other way to explain the unbearable pressure inside my head. Mercifully my first yoga class wasn’t until 5pm, plenty of time to flush my system and recover my moral compass before having to bend over, touch my toes and suppress my gag reflex.
Some days I feel less yogi than others…
Begin at the Beginning
What do you want to do? A seemingly innocuous question, and yet one that has become the bane of my existence over the last six or so months....
- ▼ 2008 (58)
Visit Rachel at her new studio The Yoga Bar in the heart of Cincinnati, Ohio Yours truly living the dream in her new home of Cincinnati,...
Dear Readers: I am busily working on my first non-fiction book, Yoga Drunk . As such the frequency of posts here will likely suffer. Curre...