Saturday, October 5, 2013

Calvi and Down-ward facing Dog.

For a couple of months now I have been experimenting with yoga again.  I have done the practice on and off for years but without an instructor, just a book. 

It started with my parents who introduced yoga to the family.   We did the poses together on the living room floor, all seven of us.  That is, until I hurt my neck and got frightened to do the head stand again.  I was about nine and couldn't lift my head for a few days.   I thought the doctor was saying I had a "rye" neck ( two slices with pickle).  I didn't question that word for years.  But here it is on google:

Wry Neck (Torticollis)is a painfully twisted and tilted neck. The head is generally tilted to one side and the chin to the other. 

That was it!  Anyway, it put me off yoga for quite a while.

But lately,  I have been down to our friendly "salle de gym", Fit Hub, on the port of Nice.... picking up the practice with Camilla.  She is Swedish, lovely and dedicated to training us correctly while insuring we have a good experience. 

It does seem that in her classes I have spent most of my time in "downward facing dog"...but actually she is building all of our muscles equally and I am slowly improving.

 So last month when Colette, the owner and manager of Fit Hub, announced a yoga weekend in Corsica I jumped at the chance.  

It was my first time on the ferry and the trip was only to visit Calvi, but the experience turned out to be delicious in every way. 

For starters, our hotel had views of the sea and the rooms were only 55 euros a night.  It is called Il Tramonto and I  recommend it if you are not accustomed to posh or a spongey bed.  If you like soft, forget it;  I felt like I was sleeping on a plank the first night.  But after that I was so pleasantly tired (and I had found the blanket) that I never noticed.  

And no question, Corsica is a beautifully rustic place... a nice contrast to the city.  A little "toy" train took us to Calvi after we embarked at Ile de Rousse and we were set for our idyll .  Here is some evidence of our fine time:

On the deck of ferry crossing

Janel (Welsh), Laura (Irish), Colette (Irish), Ciara (Irish), Anne (French), Sarah (Swedish)

First views of Calvi from the "trainette"

View of Calvi from train

Tiny isolated beach below the hotel

Anne before morning yoga starts at eight

The girls get cleaned up for a night out

Meals out fueled stories and mirth

Sarah and Colette at sandy beach in town

 It was good to wake up at Il Tramonto to the views of the changing seascape.  The rooms are clean and spacious and the two sisters who run the hotel are friendly and helpful.   Il tramonto is about seven minutes walk from the town center ( bring a roller bag or back pack 'cause its up hill) which means it is quiet. 

What I really loved though, was being thrown together with a savvy and very amusing bunch of young women, none of whom I had met before the trip.  Thankfully we all got on splendidly even though I could have been their mother or grandmother! 

 I probably laughed more that weekend than I have all year.  And Colette is an excellent instructor and her energy and enthusiasm are contagious.  There was no question that I wanted "in" when I heard she was the organizer. 

We did our sessions on a secluded terrace next to the boules court where yoga poses gave us a view of the changing cloudscape.   With a pale white crescent moon peeking through the clouds, it was pretty darn magical.

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