A leap of faith: saluting the holiday sun

Sarah Lambon had never tried yoga before, but a holiday in the sun with yoga as its theme sounded like a golden opportunity to escape her high-pressure city lifestyle. Journalist Brett Travers finds out more.


Sarah Lambon was living and working the London life; she had the stressful job and a hectic social life but wanted to strike a balance and relax more.


The intensity of life in the city persuaded Sarah to book a yoga-based holiday on the volcanic island of Lanzarote, a bold move for a yoga novice.


She explains: "An activity-based holiday appealed to me; I had read about yoga and was keen to try it out. A holiday in the sun with a chance to try yoga sounded perfect, so I booked up with Holistic Holidays."


Sarah's holiday experience, hosted by Lynne Oliver and Stuart Forster, was shared with two other guests, both of whom had limited yoga experience. "We all wanted to get away from our busy day-to-day lives and were keen to learn yoga for its well-known health benefits," Sarah added.


Experienced yoga teacher Lynne Oliver taught a combination of breathing techniques, and a mix of Hatha and Iyengar. The focus was on slow controlled movements and relaxation.


To her surprise, Sarah found the yoga quite difficult at first: "I thought I was relatively fit, but found that on the second day my whole body ached from the yoga session the day before."


"Lynne was a very patient and warm tutor. She was incredibly flexible, seemingly able to hold the yoga poses without any difficulty, which could have been intimidating to a novice like me, but her style relaxed us all."


The benefits of daily yoga were soon apparent. She says: "We all felt we had made great progress in the space of a week. Before I went to Lanzarote I could barely touch my toes, by the end of the trip I could almost put my hands flat to the floor. More importantly, I felt really relaxed."


The holiday provided plenty of free time to explore the island and generally unwind -each day beginning with a yoga lesson at 8am. A series of breathing exercises were followed by an hour and a half of yoga.


The fantastic weather enabled Lynne, the host, to take the lessons outside on the lawn for all but one of the days, when instead, the group headed down to the beach to practice.


After morning yoga, a breakfast of fresh fruit, yoghurt, muesli, juices and (herbal) tea was provided . The rest of the day was theirs to do as they pleased. Lambon shared the hire of a car with another guest took some trips to explore the island. "My favourite afternoon was spent body-boarding in the ocean", she enthused.


The villa had a stunning panoramic view with a nice swimming pool, a welcome relief from the hot Lanzarote sun. Therapies such as shiatsu massage and reflexology were available to guests, at additional cost.


Sarah explains: "Stuart and Lynne were always on hand to offer guidance on places to visit across the island, or to recommend places to eat. We went to some lovely restaurants serving fresh seafood for our evening meals. Generally we all turned in quite early in the evenings - I slept like a log every night!"


The gamble of a yoga novice trying out a yoga holiday paid off; Sarah had a fantastic week. She sums up: "I felt totally relaxed and ready to face city life again. I still have the passion today for yoga that I discovered on this holiday."


Brett Travers is an investment writer specialising in producing sporting profiles, in particular interviews with cycling personalities. His work has been published on websites and in international cycling magazines. Brett is currently expanding his portfolio to include other areas of interest. www.brett-travers.com



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