It’s 6 AM on the third day of my vacation in this Instagram-perfect corner of Southeast Asia but instead of sleeping peacefully I have stretched myself into I don’t even know what shape and I am miserable.
All I wanted for this much-needed trip was to lie on a beach and then take a boat to another beach where I would lie out some more and drink 300 Pina Coladas and then take another boat to another beach and eat and eat and eat and lie out again. But after seeing so many dumb stock images of beaming women doing the pigeon pose in the middle of lush mountains or secluded beaches, I convinced myself that, “Yes, that could be me,” and booked this fucking sunrise yoga class.
Sure, the views from this bright green cliff overlooking a balmy, palm-tree dotted shore are maybe the most beautiful goddamn thing I’ve ever seen. But it would be more beautiful if I just sat and enjoyed it instead of trying to contort my extra cheese and pepperoni pizza of a body into shapes it hasn’t made since I tried a gymnastics class when I was seven.
I should have just taken my rightful spot among the hordes of tourists trying to see the one thing that everyone comes here to see — I’m not better than them and I don’t know why I thought I was.
“Oh look at all you peasants, buying bus tickets for the attraction where you’ll just stand, shoulder to shoulder, with all the other tourists,” I said to myself at 5 PM yesterday, as I headed to bed because I had to get up at 3:30 AM since this spot is two hours away from everything.
“Not me,” I thought, bloated with self-importance. “I’m waking up five hours before you all so I can go make body shapes on a hill with my eyes closed and enjoy the views on the inside of my mind since they’re definitely not terrifying and totally not a reason I even needed a vacation in the first place.”
Now, I totally love new experiences and enjoy traveling to new places to just, ever so slightly, push myself out of my comfort zone. But my instructor is from Florida, we’re all wearing Lululemon, and the big, green Buddha statue she placed beside her feels more offensive than authentic. It also just got like, a little cloudy.
I basically paid to take my normal, once a month, yoga class on the other side of the world. So if you factor in flights, hotels, transportation, food, and the new outfit I bought specifically for this purpose, I’ve essentially spent $3,000 on a yoga class that costs $20 back home and is four blocks from my apartment
In the past, I admit that there have been moments where I’ve felt a little annoyed at those people who say Westerners are destroying this historical practice since it’s like, “Okay, but child’s pose feels so fucking great.”
But being here now, surrounded by a bunch of variations of me from other Western countries I’m like, “Okay, I see your point.”
I feel like we should leave the Purvottanasanas to the pros and go burn our designer yoga pants as a sacrificial thank you to the ancient powers for not striking us immobile with a neck cramp or pulled back and go find this country’s equivalent of a mimosa like the universe has always intended us to.
Because honestly, I just don’t — holy shit, the Instagram of me doing Warrior II on this bluff just hit triple digits. I’ve never gotten more than 100 likes on a photo before. I think maybe a travel influencer just started following me. I should probably sign up for the sunset class.
I’ve never felt more fulfilled.