Thursday, November 25, 2010

Le Yoga Retreat

There has been much popular demand (six people!) awaiting my report on my September yoga retreat. Dear readers, your wait is over!

After the chaotic Israel trip, I decided that I needed a relaxing vacation. I was thinking of places to go when I received an email from one of my yoga teachers about a retreat he was running in the South of France in mid-September. I immediately contacted him and signed up to attend. So I packed my yoga clothes, called Delta and off I went to France.

The plane ride there was not fun. Delta’s finest had traveled through time from 1974, replete with comfortable seats and one TV screen for every 30 seats. Alas, I did not have a view of the tiny 2-inch communal screen. Moreover, the guy next to me was wearing the exact same outfit as me. No, I was not dressed like a man. I was wearing a blue-and-white checked shirt and white pants with a blue scarf. (I wore it better!)

My seatmate took our his-and-her outfits as a signal that he was supposed to talk to me the entire flight. I know what you are thinking – I should be onboard with talking. I can talk with the best of them. However, I had taken a little pill to take the edge off, but due to the Delta seats and this guy talking about clubs he wanted to go to in St. Tropez, I did not sleep a wink.

The yoga retreat hospitality manager picked up my roommate-to-be and me at the airport and then drove us to the villa in Tourette, where the retreat was held. The villa was beautiful and my room comfortable.

Upon arrival, I was informed that there was a brunch, yoga class and dinner scheduled for that first day. I had a few hours to spare, so I decided to take a little nap. I asked for a wake-up call about a half-hour before brunch. When I awoke as the sun was setting, I freaked and ran to ask the hospitality manager why he had not awakened me.

Apparently, he had tried, but I just kept sleeping.

Having jolted myself awake, I was tired but frenzied as I tried to speak to my fellow yoga retreaters. I felt like an idiot for being the only person to sleep the day away. I blame my seatmate.

I went to bed hoping the next day would be better … after looking for flights home. I calmed down and looked forward to a fresh start in the morning.

And a fresh start it was. The next day and the rest of the week were fabulous, one of the best weeks of my life. I ate healthy food that actually tasted good. I had a vaguely invasive massage, but my shoulders never felt better. I saw some fantastic contemporary art at Maeght Foundation (yes, Grandma, I went - it was the first planned excursion), toured French towns and swam in the Mediterranean. Most importantly, I met some great people. One read my palm and another of whom did my zodiac chart. Another became my personal financial advisor and followed from store to store reminding me of the recession.

Despite the rough start, I loved the retreat. If any of you are looking for a great week of yoga, contact me, and I will share the details.