Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Yoga at Moses went on holiday. By River

Hey guys

As some of you might know I get a little homesick from time to time for the little gem of an island on which I was born.  The island of Barbados. This small 14 x 21 miles bit of coral protruding miraculously from the Caribbean and Atlantic seas is a Tropical Paradise.  From the moment you get off the plane the heat hits you, slam.  Warm and moist, every muscle relaxes.

The tropical heat brings a sinuous ease to your practice. Twists, backbends, forward bends, hip openers all come so easily.   Tensions of the mind and body melt away assisted by the sultry tropical days and frequent sudden intense and short rain showers to warm and moisten the sinews. Imagine getting into those forward bends and impossible twists just because your body temperature is constant all day. Or, resting after a sweat inducing practice in Shavasana with the sound of the ocean. Surpasses the ticking of the clock or the desire for more. When your eyes open they are hit with big blue sky, big blue sea, huge big leaved big bodied vegetation and blousy flowers and people who like me, embody the phrase, “Soon come.”

My Dad (in the photo with Josh below) has this intimate little coral stone villa that he renovated as a young man on the South Coast of the island. The villa is adorable, with its own sundeck, overlooking a gently curved stretch of cove.  It's called Jarrow and people go back year after year cos it's so lovely. The entire South Coast is known for its tranquil seas and vibrant night life, just a short walk across the beach and you enter St Lawrence Gap, a bustling mile long stretch of bars, resorts, clubs along a stretch of the softest white sand and sparkling blue sea on the island.

The island is one heaving rock of activity and there is so much to do.  A mid morning practice of cleansing asanas easily prepares for afternoons snorkeling with Sea turtles, boogie and surf boarding in the waves or gently swimming in the clear and warm Caribbean Sea, water the same temperature as the air around.

I guess this little piece of coastline has some sentimental value for me.  I practically grew up along this stretch of the island, Mum worked on one of the Hotels and to me life was all about bustling and smiling and hearing the music of people dancing until 3am in the morning.   The Gap is a little quieter these days, but it is still a great place to shake down a little and drink one of Barbados’ famous and delicious Banks Beers or tasty Rum punches (ask Andy!).  He loves this area too and managed to remind me every day that he once scored a century at the local Cricket ground when he was 18 on a school tour.

I really enjoyed staying a week in my Dad's place by the beach, waking up and practicing mid-morning, lounging and snorkeling with the kids in the afternoons and spending the evenings watching the little fishing boats, dancing all night with the family on the deck or with Andy in a bar and walking back bare foot along the beach swinging hands in the early hours.

The sunlight, ocean air and warmth, huge boosts to health requiring no effort on our part.  An island heated yoga practice seriously cleanses the body of all previous forays.  It’s been 7 years in Europe since I was back last and I forgot just how naturally healing a Caribbean island climate can be. I am not complaining about the European climate (currently loving the endless rain here filling up the water tables ready for the summer heat plus the cold killing the bugs!) It was just interesting to notice the natural healing properties of my little tropical island.

So, it got me thinking. There are probably quite a few people I know back in Europe that would really benefit from a week or 2 in Barbados. Maybe we should run retreats there during our winter off season. Share the joy of the island I am from.   Hang out in the Caribbean with us, stay in a cute coral stone and wooden villa on the beach, practice a little yoga, have some deeply therapeutic massage in the tropical heat, eat my Mum’s home cooked healthy scrumptiousness of freshly picked local fruit and veg and daily catch from the sea, sunbathe on the beach then snorkel on the reef to cool off,  jiggle a dance or two in the Reggae Lounge at night, go see the world renowned Harrison’s Caves and take a dive to Finding Nemo land in a submarine.

In fact that's exactly the holiday we just took and it’s done us the world of good. It would be downright mean not to share the experience. So watch this space. We’re toying with the idea of something like this for Christmas 2013.

Yoga Retreat in Barbados, December 2013

Sharing twin room in beach front Jarrow villa, my Mum’s Island Brunch and Light Supper, 6 Morning Yoga Classes  on the veranda and one full body massage treatment with Acupuncture, Airport transfers – US$1, 000 per person per week (not incl. flights) 

There’ll only be 6 spaces per week. And it would be an awesome yoga holiday for a group of 6 too.  So email me at vonettawinter@gmail.com if you think you might like to come this Christmas. When we get dates finalised, I’ll write to you first before we advertise it on the web.

A happy new year to you all.


P.S. Don’t forget your ear plugs, we islanders like to dance until 3am on account of the fact we don’t leave the house for a night out before 10pm!