The Infamous Donkey Pose

This shot is a frame grab from a scene during the filming two years ago at Bamboo Yoga Retreat, a revered, beachfront yoga resort on the south end of Patnem Beach in Goa, India. I went to a yoga class today at my new sports club (where they offer 5 yoga classes/day!). It was me, Garry, the Brittish Tai Chi fellow I met swimming the other day, a tall, blonde gal and 20 or so local women in a large room with zero air-conditioning. I noticed that there were a couple of small fans, but for some reason, all were turned off once we began. Yeah, it was hot in there. Almost Bikram hot.

Yoga wise, I’ve been off-course for a few days, so there were audible cracks and squeaks coming from my mat – which was so drenched from dripping sweat, that I was literally slipin’ and slidin’ during most of the class. I’ll be bringing my own mat next time. Over the last four years, I’ve practiced several different styles of yoga, including the worshiped/loathed Bikram Yoga – or, Hot Yoga, as it’s often referred to these days for either copyright infringement reasons, or, because studio owners want to distance themselves from the style’s controversial, sex offender accused (but oddly, never criminally charged) founder, Chandra Bikram.

At Da Nang’s My An Sport Center, they offer Hatha Yoga, which is usually defined as a style that includes a wide range of classic poses, flows, and breathing. I didn’t understand an utterance the instructor said, and oddly, she didn’t even participate actively in the class – which was a first for me. But it was still very clear she knew her stuff.

My only gripe with the class is that I don’t appreciate the exaggerated length spent seated. It was the same in Hoi An. I get that it’s all part of the deal to be thoroughly grounded physically and mentally before getting started with more strenuous standing movements. But here in Vietnam, they apparently extend this portion of a class way beyond what I am used to.

Thing is, the lower part of my body simply buckles under the pressure when sitting crosslegged for anything longer than 3 and a half minutes. I usually manage to pull it off, no pain, no gain, right? But once we stood up yesterday, it took a few minutes before feeling like I’d been riding bareback on a big-ass donkey for several hours, slowly faded away. I think I’ll go swimming tomorrow. Got some of my yoga videos here: