Yoga Around The World – Part One: Gold Coast, Australia
On a trip spanning three different continents, five countries, and six different cities, there is probably a million things I could choose to write about. Different customs, languages, people, food and drink and all manner of experiences along the spectrum of a massive seven week adventure: from Auckland via Australia’s Gold Coast to Bangkok, Thailand; then on to the capital of the ex-Habsburg Empire, Vienna; then to Paris, France and from there to London. Just to then turn around again and – via a sojourn in Phuket Thailand – (hopefully) arrive back in one piece in New Zealand.
I would be lying if I said that the logistics of this trip (as well as the traversing of four different time zones and several diverging seasons) did not leave me with an array of sleepless nights and lip-bitingly anxious days.
I would also be lying if I said that this is not one of the most exciting things that I have ever done and that the prospect of seeing all these new places (and being re-united with friends and family along the way) is not entirely, completely wonderful.
What is also entirely exciting is that I have decided to set myself a challenge to do yoga in every new place that I visit – despite a probable lack of fitness and some (definitely NOT age related) issues with back injuries, my resolve is that I will throw myself on that mat wherever I go. How different can yoga be in French or Austrian? Or the differences in climate meaning that in a place as hot as Thailand I am sure to be extremely flexible, while a wintery London may require several layers of yet to be purchased Lulu Lemon tights?
With these great intentions in mind I approached my first destination, the Gold Coast of Australia, as a definite yoga destination – after all, the Gold Coast is all about health and buff, tan people running around on beaches with surf boards. Heck, maybe as well as yoga lessons I could take up paddle boarding or have surf lessons? The options for healthy activities seemed endless.
Except that during the four days I stayed on the Gold Coast it rained – almost consistently – for three of those days. And the people I saw were mostly the other disgruntled tourists, congregating in covered areas with their even more disgruntled children in tow. What does one do on the Gold Cost in the rain? The answer was found when some good friends invited me over to their typically Gold Coast-style house (adjacent to one of the many man-made canals infested by man-eating sharks – true story!) and offered a magnum bottle of Moet and Chandon as a consolation.
How could I refuse? After all, it was raining.
The rest of the day went by in a flash (or maybe a blur), and the next day I felt compelled to scrap the notions of paddle boarding and surfing in favour of moving slowly around the house, with periodic rest stops on the couch. While this sounds like an entirely unfit premise on which to embark on an hour of power-yoga at the Gold Coast Yoga Centre, I was truly psyching myself into getting off the couch slowly, when the news of a demonic accommodation-booking mix-up had me getting off the couch much faster than intended, as the hotel manager assured us that we had to check out a day ahead of schedule – as in “right now” – since they had double booked our apartment. I won’t bore you with the details of the ensuing chaos, other than to say that the outcome was a fairly pleasant night’s stay at a five star, beach-side hotel, courtesy of our travel insurance. Oh, and that it was obviously the fault of the double booking that meant that I didn’t make it to yoga after all.
Which is fine, as I still have five more opportunities to not get drunk the night before yoga class, or to not get kicked out of my hotel again – so watch this space.