I’ve got to get used to these hotel practices as I’ll have a few more coming up in the near future.
These past few days, I’ve been in Carmel for the winery’s year-end planning meeting. Or year-beginning planning meeting or whatever. We always stay at a resort of some level of comfort: down pillows, down comforters, well-appointed rooms, snobby service… not too many complaints here from yours truly. Except here’s the thing: yoga practices in hotels suck. It could be so easy, especially in a larger establishment with conference rooms and such… Slip into an unused conference room for about an hour and a half and slip out. And this is what I should have done rather than approaching the concierge and expecting some level of accomodation. “No, we don’t have any open conference rooms.” Well, I know that’s not true, because we just left one, offering a vacancy. I pointed this out without “pointing it out” by saying, “yes, it’s just that I’d like to find a quiet place to practice yoga now that we’ve just FINISHED MEETING IN OUR CONFERENCE ROOM.” This did not phase the concierge one bit: “I’m so sorry, we wish we could be of help…” said with a snarky smile. Who’s we? So here’s the moral of this story: Sometimes it’s better to seek forgiveness later rather than seek permission first.
Hmph. We checked in to our rooms, and I was pleased to see an enormous expanse of space in front of the two beds (comparatively speaking, of course) but as I walked through the door I noticed we had been holed up in what must have once been a basement… the ceilings were less than 7 feet tall. I was lacking a measuring tape, but when I reached my hands above my head, I could place them squarely upon the ceiling, palms flat. Elbows slightly bent. I don’t have extremely long arms. And I’m 5’4″. Oh well, I gave practice a go anyways, but ran out of steam halfway through both times. The carpet was very plush and my wrists began to tire… A few coworkers came by and asked if I wanted to join them in the bar… My roommate/coworker was having a tough time of it after a confrontation earlier in the meeting, and she needed a good listener… So I threw in the towel the first night after standing, went into backbends and finishing. (Practice #16)
The next morning, after an extremely decadent five course meal at Bouchee the evening before featuring at least 16 bottles of wine and the most glorious dessert I’ve had in ages eaten no earlier than 10 p.m. (not to mention about 5 lactase pills taken with dishes dripping with butter and cream), I rolled out of bed and made my way through an intensely uncomfortable primary series, skipping vinyasas between sides and most twisting poses *burp*. (Practice #18) Though I am a foodie at heart, the IBS makes it incredibly difficult to dine in these haute-cuisine establishments without later facing the consequences.
But, I practiced both days. I found comfort in my breath, and silence in my mind, at least for an hour or so.
Strange note: Laghu Vajrasana causes calf cramping for me. Has anyone else experienced this? I’m fine until I get my head down to the floor, and then the calves seize up and pulsate until I come back up and massage out the cramp.