There are many of us I am sure, who love the idea of exercise but just don't quite get round to doing it. In my head I go for an early summer's day run before work, or play a game of tennis Sunday afternoon with friends. But the hard truth of it is - it's my perfect dream world - in reality I just cannot commit. I'm exerphobic, if there's such a word. Probably not!
However, a tweet caught my eye in a weak moment. A day of yoga at Barnham Broom Hotel, Golf and Spa - a yoga day. Hmm, said either way I was actually very excited. So I booked before I could wriggle out of it and what an inspired choice it turned out to be.
As I arrived at the hotel, quite by chance I met the yoga teacher (mat in tow gave me instantly away) who introduced herself – Jackie. Jackie took me under her wing and led me to the group. It was a harmonious meet; I was instantly put at ease and welcomed into the fold, most of who seemed to know each other. The room was on the first floor; airy, light, with big patio doors opened onto a balcony overlooking the golf course – it was extremely agreeable for a yoga day, plus the sun was shining!
Jackie was marvellous; gentle, caring and softly spoken as only a true yoga guru can be. She explained how the day would unfold. Three hours of yoga followed by an hour for lunch then a further hour of candle gazing medication and breathing exercises – I nearly passed out with joy.
Image: Barnham Broom
And so yoga commenced. I have to add at this stage I was with weekly yoga goers and I myself hadn't been near a yoga studio in many, many years, but ... it did not matter. Each pose was clearly and positively explained and practised – there was no competition, we were invited to do as much as we could without strain or injury. And unbelievably I fell back into it quickly. It felt good to have great stretches and poses such as Warrior I and II, Extended Side Angle and Extended Triangle and the welcoming soft breeze from the open doors and the beautiful view of the hotel grounds were very much appreciated. Three hours passed quickly; within this time we had practised, put the poses together then tried supported head stands and finally hand stands against the wall. When we stopped for lunch I realised how hungry I was - I felt relaxed and so very very good!
Lunch was a civilised affair; 3-courses and waiter service with herbal teas, iced water and (for those who always require caffeine), coffee. The menu was fixed; we started with a very tasty spicy red pepper soup with a selection of homemade herby bread, followed by a super-salad of spinach, avocado, quinoa, vegetables and seeds. Dessert was a platter of fresh fruit; pineapple, kiwi, blackberries, strawberries, grapes, blueberries and melon. Never has such a healthy meal tasted so good. And we were full.
Candle gazing meditation was the pièce de résistance. Meditation is such a skill, and opportunities are rare to be quiet with no distraction. The benefits for meditation are huge. With the lights off, curtains shut and the candles flickering we were instructed to gaze at the candle without blinking until we could gaze no more then shut our eyes until the image of the candle in our minds was gone then start the routine again. When practised properly candle gazing meditation can lead to a profoundly deep state of meditation.
The day ended with breathing exercises on the floor, it was amazing; I felt relaxed, calm and very, very peaceful.
Make more of your day by following your yoga with a spa treatment. The Barnham Broom Spa is one of only two places in Norfolk to stock Espa natural skincare products.