Most of our eyes opened way before our “yoga alarm” sounded. 5am is a time many of us hardly ever see. The first few minutes we discovered that we were in a new place and rooming with new people, but soon after the sounds demanded our attention. Songs of many birds, a distant of roar of what could have very well been a gorilla but we’d soon witness was just a little tiny monkey, and of course crashing waves. We all gathered at our new home for a beautiful bowl of fruit to give us energy for what was to come. With a 730 yoga practice time we found our ways to the mat not knowing what to expect but we knew it would be GOOD. Of course by this time we had already met our teacher, Banyan Gallagher, but we all knew the next 2 hours would tell us more. After a short guided meditation the game of yoga began. Banyan’s voice of experience, great humor and steadiness filled the yoga deck. Some of us novel yogis loudly fumbled our way through practice and others moved gracefully. No judgment. No expectations. Just yoga. We all moved the best way we knew how. Our first practice together was equally long, hard and amazing. We all returned Banyan’s “Namaste” at the end of class. Soon after the chatter and giggles began.
Breakfast was wonderful. Beautiful vegetables, fluffy scrambled eggs, fresh salad, yummy coffee or tea with coconut milk and a gluten free loaf to top it all off . After dishes we had a little time to mingle, read, hang out in the hammock or hop in the pool. Before we knew it, it was class time. We all gathered our books and mats and found a spot on our lower yoga deck. Banyan sat at front of the temple with a smile that said, let the games begin. We laughed, asked questions if we were so bold, tried to write down every single word Banyan spoke and together we began to learn about THE YOGA.
The day went on smoothly. 2 hours of class, 3 hours of study, play and more amazing food. Even though it was our first official day of class, a group of us managed to find our way to the waterfall on our break. It was worth walking all of those stairs. We took a leap in, splashed, swam, laughed and made it back in time to start our last 3 hour session of the day.
The dinner tables were filled with chats about the morning yoga practice, travel, stories of where we’ve all come from and again how awesome the food tasted. This was all certainly a lot to take in after most of us had traveled all of yesterday, but the combination of Banyan and Anamaya energized us all beyond belief. As the night fell and we laid to rest we could feel the bitter sweetness of missing our loved ones and home, but we knew we made one of the best decisions of our lives coming here.
Love & Light