My wife, Wendy, and I just returned from a week’s Bikram Yoga retreat at the beautiful Punta Serena Spa and Resort in Manzanillo, Mexico. The retreat was hosted by Bruce Kessler and featured international yoga champion Courtney Mace and Leticia, owner of the Bikram Yoga studio in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
We had a great time in Mexico – and it was nice for me to be able to put aside (at least some of the time) the court struggles I’ve had with my stepmother for custody of my father (who has later stages Alzheimer’s). I did 2 classes a day four of the days and Wendy, did them 3 of the days – and we both did at least one class every day. Wendy and I both took lots of sodium tablets and drank tomato juices laced with salt (and lime), so our hydration & minerals were much more in balance than the week of advanced training we took last June in Las Vegas.
There were 22 students, but only 3 men so we were really outnumbered. One of the guys won the hula contest one night at the resort. He also won the Most Improved Award – and probably dropped a good 10 pounds during the week. He invited us all to his place for Mexican food in NY, so we may take him up on that some time. I was probably the 3rd oldest person there, but as you can tell from the photo – even though I turn 54 this month, I still have the body of a 52 year old.
It was an amazingly beautiful place with quite good food, though some of the amenities were not quite up to U.S. standards. And despite covering myself with both Deet-based and natural insect repellents, I single-handedly fed most of the area’s mosquito population. Even though Wendy didn’t use any repellent of either kind, she only donated a drop of blood to two tiny mosquitoes that were already full from feasting on me.
Although Wendy is far, far more competitive than me in these types of things, I think everyone who attended would agree that my yoga percentage improvement was higher than hers. For those of you who know Bikram, you can see my posture is one of the 26: the Awkward Pose. This is my best posture, although I admit I don’t quite do it correctly. Still, at least I did a real posture. Wendy’s posture on the other hand, is clearly just a fancy gymnastics split while holding her hands in prayer position. The Bikram instructors were impressed, but they’ve probably been too busy with yoga to ever watch gymnastics.
Courtney Mace performed some phenomonal postures for us. She got distracted in her final class, though, because she could see the naked men out by the pool. It was clothing optional, but I did manage to convince Wendy to keep her bathing suit on (at least while I was around). During our last class, a few dolphins were swimming in the waves outside and visible from the studio room which was a really cool way to end a fantastic week.