I’ve never been what you would consider flexible. Growing up, whenever I had to sit “Indian style” for team photos, I ended up doing something more like a bent-kneed Caucasian. I can touch my toes, although living in Germany for 8 months has made it noticeably tougher.
So when Molly suggested a weeklong yoga retreat in Turkey, I thought why not? Maybe I just need more flexibility practice.
The retreat was a little bit of heaven. Held in the Kabak Mountains of southern Turkey, the rustic, makeshift camp consisted of about 10-15 tree houses and tents but had a bar and several lounge areas with huge pillows, all overlooking a valley that flowed into a small bay on the Mediterranean.
Every day we woke up under our mosquito-netted beds and ambled down to the platform for meditation and some yoga. We spent most days chilling and reading, or going on a hike or for a swim at the beach before coming back for the evening yoga session.
After the first few days of getting over the soreness in the morning, I really felt like I was making progress. Sunnah, the instructor, was really supportive and even tried to cram my legs into position every once in a while.
Although some poses were harder than others, I did notice when I focused on my breathing I could actually get into some of them, but molly definitely whooped me in the headstand department.
Oh, did I mention the group was made up of 9 british girls, molly and me?
We all “got on” really well, learned interesting tidbits about each other’s culture and even had a talent show the last night (apparently in England you do the hokey “cokey” and you turn yourself around).
After a full week of two yoga sessions each day, though, I can say I felt refreshed, in better spirits and perhaps even a bit taller.
But I still can’t sit Indian style.