Another Adventure

I’m sitting, once again, in the middle of nowhere on a pair of old car seats that have been reassigned as chairs. A mangy dog is sniffing for leftovers and sunburned tourists are snacking on junk food. I left Yoga Thailand at 12:00 this morning (afternoon?) after a last led yoga class in the shala and a brunch of fresh carrot-apple juice, corn pancakes with ghee and honey, and sweet fried rice with raisins. After saying goodbye to my fellow yoga teachers, I climbed into a taxi with four others headed to the ferry dock in Nathon. There I had to say goodbye to them as well, over mango and papaya shakes, since they were taking a train to Bangkok and I’m arriving by bus. Three of them are going north to Chiang Mai and Pai, then India, and one is headed to the Philippines and eventually South Africa.

The ferry ride was nice. An hour and a half of sitting on the deck with the sun shining down and little fish jumping out of the wake. I did some breathing exercises and before I knew it we were pulling up to the Suratthani pier. I boarded a large coach bus, which took us a hour to where I am now… Wherever that is. I was told a hour wait for the next bus that I’m hoping will take me all the way to Bangkok.

12 hours later…

Well I made it to Bangkok easily enough. Only one bus this time (compared to the four it took me to get down to Koh Samui). We were dropped off on a street corner at 5:30 in the morning somewhere in the city, so I was pretty glad that I had made a hotel reservation before I left Yoga Thailand. I climbed into a Tuk Tuk, still half asleep and took a short ride to my hotel, where I am now, drinking coffee and catching up on e-mails. I can’t get into my room yet since it’s so early, but I’m happy to relax until then. Tomorrow I meet up with my Gap Adventures group and begin my journey down south through southern Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia!

Only One Week To Go!

I can’t believe how fast these past three weeks have gone. It feels like I just arrived at Yoga Thailand, but now we’re all studying hard for the final exams. Tomorrow we have our teaching practical where we have to teach an hour-long class to five or six students. Then Monday we have our oral and written exams. I’m not too worried because I feel like we’ve been well prepared and I’ve been studying quite a bit too. It’s amazing how much we have learned, though.

I’ve also gained a much greater appreciation for breath-work – called pranayama. My teacher said something the other day that really made me step back and think. He said, “what if we’re not born with a number of years, but with a number of breaths?” It has been shown that breath-work reduces stress and increases life span. Many of the ancient yogis lived to 90 or even 100. My teacher also brought up the point that a dogs age is compared to a humans by multiplying it by seven. Think about how much panting they do. Whales and elephants, though, take long, deep breaths and they can live as long, or even longer than a human. It’s something interesting to think about. I know my pranayama practice for the past three weeks has definitely helped me in my yoga practice and daily life. My teacher will give us each our own practice depending on what we need, so I’m excited to make that a part of my day too. I need to get back to studying, buy here are a few more photos to enjoy!