Discover yoga at Six Senses Zighy Bay
Let me start at the end. I’m surrounded in every direction by spectacular views, including the glorious orange-red Hajar Mountains and the warm waters of the Arabian Gulf.
However, I see none of this, for I’m flat-out on the floor, arms flopped by my sides, my mind drifting towards a place it hasn’t seen in a while – one of peace and tranquility. I am, as they say, “here to reconnect with myself”.
I’ve always found the Six Senses trademark “barefoot luxury” appealing. Oman is at its best right now: its jagged rocky peaks with varying flora and fauna, hazy beaches and sky-splitting sunsets, offering much-needed time out from the hustle of city life.
I start my day’s test-drive of the ordinarily three-day Discover Yoga programme at Zighy Bay in Oman with a private session with my yoga “observer” (she doesn’t like to be called a teacher). The course is aimed at novices to help understand how our bodies engage and how we can enhance natural intuition. My observer speaks to me like she knows my type.
“My aim is for people to come in and to let go of the preconceived notions of yoga. So many people come to me frustrated – it is this whole concept we have now of: we fail, we lose.
“We want to get back to the mind of a child. A time where we try everything and anything without fear, by working on bringing you back to your body and your breath.”
No sooner have I said hello, I’m informed we need to do some work on my shoulders – making me rather paranoid about my apparent Quasimodo posture. A stiffness, she tells me, most likely caused by years of competitive horse riding and, more recently, from sitting poorly for hours in front of a computer.
For the next hour, we focus on just that. It’s incredibly freeing – my arms feel like a well-oiled windmill after a multitude of restorative poses using a block to enable my chest to open.
By removing “can’t” and “won’t” from our vocabulary, and by following the unplugged-and-off-the-grid philosophy at Six Senses, if only for a weekend, I start to imagine things are possible. All they ask is for us to be still and to get to know our body. That shouldn’t be a battle.
To be honest, all I ever wanted from exercise was a hit of adrenaline and a skinnier bottom. Yet by late afternoon, things that seemed awkward and unnecessary start to make sense. Maybe I’m not quite at the stage of opening my heart to a nirvana of love, but I can genuinely say that my head is clear(er), my shoulders soft(er) and my inward eye-rolling (somewhat) subsiding. At night, I lie awake, my muscles almost twitching in anticipation for another go.
A three-day Discover Yoga programme at Six Senses Zighy Bay (www.sixsenses.com; 00968 2673 5555), offering a yoga consultation and session, guided meditation, massage and reiki treatment, costs from US$545 (Dh2,002) per person, including taxes but excluding accommodation and meals.
Updated: January 29, 2015 04:00 AM