A couple of weeks ago I did something rather impulsive. I don’t consider myself an impulsive person, but when it comes to travel and adventure I’m keen to take on pretty much anything you throw at me, even- or especially- when it’s planned as a last minute experience. The yoga studio I train at in my overpriced and overrated neighbourhood full of foreigners, of whom many call themselves ‘expat’ – and if you want to know what I think of those, please check earlier posts on my life at the African Med- had organised a yoga- sailing retreat around the Maltese isles. As I am considered a loyal customer- and if you like yoga and know what hot yoga exercise costs in London Town compared to this island, you would be too, I was invited to join the enterprise at last minute for a very friendly price. My corporate jailers looked upon me favourable and I was released for a week to go on a yoga- sailing adventure. There were a few firsts for me, which I didn’t quite realise until a couple of days into the retreat. Although I am a keen yogini I had never been on a yoga retreat. I had never been at open sea on a sailing boat that small- the yacht had space for 10 sleepers- and I never had been on a boat for more than a full day.
The Retreat I went on- I bought it
What first became apparent was the clientele. As sailing is not a cheap hobby and inexpensive yoga retreats in Europe are very thin on the ground, most of my sister yoginis- as yoga tends to be a chicken fest- where boss-women with salaries to match. Think Destiny’s Child’s
“All the women who are independent
Throw your hands up at me
All the honeys who makin’ money
Throw your hands up at me”
Some of these honeys reserve plenty of time and funds to go on retreats as a solid investment into and for the betterment of themselves.
What’s Water Got to do with It?
Besides the boss-women honeys, there is the fact that one is on water and if you are used to steady land at all times, this can feel quite unfamiliar and unsteady. On our first day the sea was unusually rough for the time of year and I got sea sick for the first time . Then there is the space, or the lack of it. Space on floating vehicles tend to be limited, unless you’ve booked a luxury cabin on a floating city. Although people are my favourite animals, I am a closet hermit, who needs her space and to some this can come across as anti-social or moody behaviour.
Beware the Zombie Collapse
As most of the power honeys were terribly attached to their mobile phones I was forced to deal with my pet peeve and what I consider socially accepted anti-social behaviour. It can be considered weird by some to physically remove yourself from a group, yet for most it seems totally accepted to mentally remove yourself from the group by finding the pettiness – in most cases- on you mobile device far more interesting than the people around you. I don’t get how real, face-to-face human interaction could every win it from interaction in cyber space between profiles, that are often just fabrications and half truths in an attempt to make oneself look good in cyber space, because one fears that the real ‘thing’ will never do. You might think I’m exaggerating, but the zombie collapse is here and it ain’t a joke.
Sailing, especially sailing for several days in a row in summery settings, forces you to connect with water. When it comes to the zodiac, I am an earth sign and I have been told that both the moon and the rising sign at the time of my birth within the same system are fire signs. For what this knowledge is worth, there is not a lot of water going on in my character. I both admire the wideness and depths of the sea and, as I am not a confident swimmer, they fill me with trepidation at the same time, but that trepidation might be a common sentiment amongst sailors and other sea-folk. Despite this sense of fear I believe that water has healing and transcending powers and that connecting with this element could be good for me, especially after getting rather frustrated after a sup yoga session, which is yoga on water on a longboard.
The Salt of the Earth
When I came back home, which was never far away, I felt that something had shifted and wondered what is in a holiday that can make you ‘shift’? What is in a challenge and what makes people change? Holidaying seems a necessity of life and it doesn’t seem to matter whether you work or lead a life of leisure or whether you love your occupation or vocation or not. As human creatures we seem to like a change of scenery and as everyone- who can afford it- seems to be doing it, it could be considered weird if one preferred to stay at home. Although we might be creatures of habit, I seem to learn and discover most if I break with my current routine. Besides not going to the corporate prison, this can entail engaging with people, you might normally not engage with or choose to live on water when you’re used to the steadiness of land. Or do yoga in the outdoors, where you can be effected by the elements, let it be wind, the sun or mosquitoes at dusk.
I’ve always considered Malta an interesting and pleasant Rock one needs to escape from ever so often. For this adventure I didn’t escape from Malta. I just saw the islands from a different perspective. For now, it’s my salt of the earth as it has given me well-being and great experiences and above all; it reinforces the idea to stick to the written word to set me free and avoid the smartphone zombie collapse in the process.
Namaste, sisters and brothers.