Sunday, January 28, 2018

New Year, New Experiences 2, Yoga and Zumba

French Village Diaries at The French Yoga Garden and ZumbaPoitou
The French Yoga Garden Café who serve a delicious brunch

Following on from part one of my New Year, New Experiences (see here), once back in France, continuing my active start to 2018 was still on my mind and I was keen to get back to our weekly village gym class, even if my legs always ache for a few days afterwards. 

I also discovered The French Yoga Garden run a monthly Yoga Brunch session at the Moulin de Chantegrolle in Charroux, which although not that local, the opportunity to do a Sunday morning yoga class, followed by a delicious home cooked brunch, wasn’t to be missed. When I arrived I discovered the yoga studio was in fact a yurt in the garden, where the sound of running water from the millstream drowned out all modern world noises as we cocooned ourselves in a warm and cosy yoga bubble. It was bliss. I was so in the yoga zone that my inner blogger disappeared and I forgot to take any photos. Thankfully you can see lots on the Retreat in France website here, of the yurt, the café and the accommodation in a converted water mill.

Lucy is my fifth yoga teacher and the fourth I’ve discovered in the last six months, the other three being travelling yogis who come and go, but I’ve noticed a similarity; they all have an aura of calm about them. I’ve decided you can sense a good yoga teacher before the class begins; they are relaxed, happy in the here and now and radiate peace and tranquillity. 

Yoga with Lucy didn't disappoint and yoga in a yurt was another first for me, I know I will be back. Having sampled the poached eggs and fresh pancakes of brunch, I’m also looking forward to the official opening of their café, The French Yoga Garden Café, which I’m sure Ade and I will also make good use of when out on our bikes.

French Village Diaries at The French Yoga Garden and ZumbaPoitou

They say things go in threes and my third new sporty experience has surprisingly turned out to be Zumba. I have quite a few friends who go to a local weekly Zumba class and they have all tried to persuade me to go, one has been trying for about five years. Despite my reservations, I finally gave in and gave it a go. Coordination isn’t my strong point and neither is my sense of rhythm. Give me a yoga pose to hold and I hold it, get me to dance to music and I’m all over the place. I also have a fear of communal sweating, so when I was advised to bring a towel, in case of ‘drips’ (shudder), I nearly didn’t turn up. But, turn up and try my best I did, and good fun it was too. I know it will take me quite a while to learn the dance routines, but I’ve bought a ten-session ticket to prove my commitment and I’ve even coped (so far) with the public sweating.

French Village Diaries at The French Yoga Garden and ZumbaPoitou
ZumbaPoitou Why am I the only one with my arms in the air?

With the weather so far this year being wet, day after day after day, I haven’t been out on my bike since getting back from the UK, dog walks have been hit and miss and the garden is a soggy, muddy mess that I’m avoiding for fear of getting sucked into the mud. It is just as well that I’m keeping active in other ways, but I’m still looking forward to spring and more time spent outdoors. 

My next blog will contain more news, but book related rather than sporty.

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