My colleague and I took it upon ourselves to take part in this workshop to find out more about what the package had to offer.
The three day programme consisted of a variety of sessions including yoga by popular practitioner, Kim White, seminars in traditional Chinese medicine by Ken Rosen, as well as meditation with Nikorn Banjerdlert. Set at the beautiful JW Marriott Resort & Spa, I could not think of a more idyllic and peaceful location to carry out the programme. It was the perfect place to allow one to fully reset, unwind and be at peace.
Upon arrival, we were fed a delicious, healthy lunch, getting us ready for the post-lunch Asana Yoga session with Kim. At first thought, I was anxious at the idea of being full-bellied for a work out, but funnily enough we were reassured that the yoga session was not strenuous and was in fact more of a meditation hour.
Many of you will already be aware of Kim’s effective yoga methods, simply because she is a regular columnist for The Phuket News. However, for those that don’t know, her experiences which shaped her career and who she is today are quite inspirational.
Having suffered health problems from the age of three, she was instructed by doctors to wear supportive shoes and told that she would “probably be in a wheelchair by the age of 25”. So, she began practicing yoga to train her body and mind “to hold itself”, which at the time, there was no real certification or existence. After a few years, she became quite a yoga master, and while she was in college she would even help and teach some of her classmates. Her journey with yoga has been so integral to her character that she claims she simply could not imagine life without it. It’s a part of her, and it is not just a form of exercise or meditation that keeps her together, but rather a lifestyle.
“In terms of this weekend programme, I’m just trying to open the doors of yoga for people to see which one they like the most. There’s the meditative way or the physical way, so I would like to give people a better understanding of what yoga means for each person. I use a little bit of creativity, movement, and education,” Kim explains.
We walked into the large room where individual mats were laid out for each person. We all set up home and lay down on the mats and covered ourselves with a blanket. The idea of this class was to relax and focus, but not fall asleep; a concept which I found hard to comprehend!
Throughout the hour, Kim walked around the room while we lay there, telling us in a quiet,peaceful voice to imagine being in the desert, or perhaps reflect back to a relaxing time in our lives, all the while reminding us that we were not allowed to fall asleep.
My colleague unfortunately suffers from insomnia, so as you can imagine, did not struggle with this concept. Admittedly, it wasn’t long before I dozed off. I tried quite hard not to, but alas, it was beyond my control. It was only for fifteen minutes or so, as I woke up to the sound of Kim ringing a drum-like bell. After the hour past, Kim explained to us that the purpose of this Asana Yoga session was to help us use our mind to take control. If we ever felt like we needed to relax, or if we struggled to fall asleep at night, this was a type of yoga which would be effective in using our mind to help us focus.
Following the session, we were treated with a 60 minute aroma massage treatment where we had the generous options of choosing which kind of oil we wanted them to use for example, as well as other detailed questions.
After the most relaxing and refreshing massage we gathered for the most delicious dinner at one of the hotel’s restaurants. Overall, the attention to detail was admirable. Indeed, from the staff, to the food, to the methods, to the service, it was all a reflection on how professional and organised the weekend was; a positive for anyone else that would have taken part. Each of the practitioners were inspirational and all had something strong to contribute. It was a well-worthy weekend and a great way to learn and get involved in some of the most challenging, motivational and unusual yoga classes.