Aerial Yoga in Thailand
It was at the end of my two month back pack trip, and I had come back to my favorite island, Koh Phangan, to live out the rest of my journey before I went back to the states. I had spent the previous day traveling, first a flight to Bangkok, then a ten hour bus ride and finally a three hour ferry to get to this remote sanctuary. My body was knotted, my muscles craved release. After settling into my space, I immediately rented a scooter and rode to a nearby yoga studio. Class started in an hour, so I lounged on a nearby hammock to pass the time.
When it neared class time, I went inside the open air cabana filled with aerial swings. I greeted the teacher, and immediately noticed his American accent. Two other students were in the class with me, and we began joking and creating a fun atmosphere together as we stumbled through his well manicured routine.
At the end of class, I asked the teacher, Eddie, if he taught aerial trainings. He smiled and said he was actually in day one of a week long training, and the two other students (a Persian and French Canadian woman) I had bonded with in class were becoming certified aerial instructors. I enthusiastically asked if he would take one more student and he said, "Well, we are going to three more classes and then have a few hours of classroom time after. What's your schedule like today?"
"Completely open! I'll join. By the way, where are you from?" I asked.
My jaw almost dropped. Of all the people I met during my trip, there were only a few Americans. And this yoga instructor was from my hometown! I took it as a sign to say YES.
The next week was a whirlwind of bonding, laughing, sweating, making swings, practicing teaching from a swing and overall gaining a new skill to add to my toolbox. I remember joking about being "Eddie's Angels" with the other girls as we laughed and shared our stories. Towards the end of our trip we even talked about getting tattoos to mark our time together. We went to a local tattoo artist who could draw them in traditional bamboo, and also had an ink gun. Eddie's Angels discussed the importance of spending our last night together in celebration and watching the sunset, or spending it in the tattoo shop.
We opted for the beach and sunset. That night the girls and Eddie went to an area called Secret Beach to enjoy one last evening together. We were pretty silent that night. After all, what words could really describe what we had just been through? We spent the week together bonding and the next day we were all going in separate directions. We had become a little island family and we were about to split apart. We said our goodbyes and tears and hugs were exchanged.
The swing I made during my time there now hangs on the beams of my cottage, serving as a constant reminder of the friendships made and skills gained all by saying yes and taking a chance. What started as a solo adventure ended as a journey filled with a new tribe of friends living around the world, and one from my very own backyard.