‘ow, that bloody hurt…’
I’ve shifted from Samui to George Town, Malaysia for a week of food and wandering however before I get to the foodie overload I’ll just finish up with Samui.
The rest of my time on Samui was a more of the same pattern of wake, eat, yoga repeat until Tuesday afternoon when in the middle of moving to a warrior 1 my left side rebelled and sent my back into spasm and me to the floor in a puddle of pain. As the remaining two yogis moved through their paces I hobbled off bent double to try and stretch it out, not that that’s ever worked before…but still.
Wan and the cafe ladies onsite covered me in tiger balm and with finger pads of steel massaged into part of the paining and just for a laugh they then had me on the floor legs wide open with Wan’s feet into my calves pushing them wider still and holding my hands pulling me forward. It proved I could do a wide legged fold but not much else. Somehow I returned for the remaining 20mins of the class not doing anything that involved back bends, arms lifted, lowering down, and any forward bends were with knees bent. E.g less yoga and more ripple maintenance.
Thank god for Thai pharmacies and their willingness to dispense drugs based on vague descriptions of pain and spasm, done through the medium of mime and partially upright hobbling. Anti-inflammatory and pain relief in hand all I could was rest up and no sudden movements (which is unlikely for me at the best of times).
Luckily the weather was suitably shite on Wednesday that I could sit and inhale copious amounts of caffeine whilst undercover of the coffee shop awning watching the sea churning up and the heavens open. Apparently it’s been the worst weather in Samui for 5yrs. That didn’t deter at least one person wandering into the cafe in just a bikini – I think I missed the note that wearing just a bit of flimsy between you and your bits was perfectly acceptable dress wear for an eatery.
If Wednesday was shite, Thursday was calamitous. I woke up to go and try yoga before a massage and it was chucking it down. Foolishly I decided to wait it out in reception only for it to double in intensity, you could even see the end of the pathway it was coming down so hard. The photo below doesn’t do it justice, the video on Instagram gives a better impression, but both are pre-calamatious downpouring.
Wading through it onto the track by the neighbour’s step, I watched a little line of flip flops float by me, heading off on an adventure all of their own. No drainage meant ankle deep water, whilst out on the paved road it was calf deep. I think it’s suffice to say I was a bit wet by the time I got to Yogarden.
It was just me and Kom, the teacher and also my masseuse for the yoga class. His yoga teaching is very straightforward, a man of few words – ‘Han in fron of shess, shan Om free time’ is how we start, and a deceptively rigorous set of yoga moves, that invariably end up with you leaning on one shoulder and a few toes with your other leg and arm up in the air, and if you’re lucky enough you don’t roll over onto your back as he slowly counts you to 5, or if he’s in a funny (haha) mood, then 10. He also checks how you are moving, body wise – when my neck was stiff from sleeping awkwardly I got attacked with tiger balm and a Spock-like vice grip to release it.
Luckily as it was just the two of us, it was less yoga and more yoga massage in preparation for the torture session afterwards and by the of it I was able to backward bend and move the ol’ hips again, I’ll never be Shakira with these rickety things but at least I was less representing the first stage of man attempting to walk upright. From the relative relaxation of the yoga massage we moved onto the real massage – it’s been a long time since I’ve shed tears of pain from a massage but I can confirm that is exactly what I did, along with a fair bit of snot. If you’ve ever had someone attempt to excavate your pelvic region with their thumbs before, you have my empathy. This man had an instinct for where the knots were and each one was relentlessly hunted down and then ground down. Me and my muscles having been pulverised into submission went off home for a bit of a more gentle psoas release and a few hours snoozing.
Friday night / Saturday morning there was the sound of sudden explosions – was it a coup, a plane crash or something more irritating??? Ah yes, a quick google ogle and it was revealed to be Chinese New Year, and time to be setting off firecrackers at dark o’clock, or at any point of the day to be honest.
By Saturday I was almost back to normal (physically, we know mentally it’s always going to be a challenge), as was the weather. Yin yoga with lots of stretching and a Kom yoga class with a bit of last minute Acroyoga thrown in for laughs and then it was beach for a few hours in glorious sunshine, cloud free – a reminder of what Samui should be like in January.
Early night followed as an early start beckoned – back to the mainland by ferry then a minibus manic race (for no reason other than the driver could drive like a loon) to Surat Thani airport and back to Bangkok for a night near China Town and Hua Lampong station ahead of the overnight train that brought me to Malaysia.