Plans & Expectations


Plans & Expectations

There are plans and then there are plans. There are expectations and then there is… reality.

Off for a few days this week to a well-known yoga retreat in the Berkshires, my wife and I, but especially me, had our fair share of plans and expectations.

Take the yoga classes, for example. We knew that there would be two major classes per day offered, one in the morning at 6:30 am and the other at 4:15 pm. Staying over three nights and four days, that would make a possible 6 classes. But there are also smaller yoga workshops provided after breakfast and in the early afternoon. Who knew how many we’d be able to take?

Err, I did two. Two morning classes; that was it.

The first day – blame the snowstorm – we arrived about 15 minutes too late to take the afternoon class. It’s not that we left too late in the morning from our place, which was 8:30 am. After all, Google maps had told us that the trip would take no more than 4 ½ hours, not counting stops. But what if, err, there’s a snowstorm? Someone (I won’t mention who but it may be my partner/editor…) has a terrible fear of driving while it’s snowing, so we rambled down Interstate 91 on the slow side. When the snow got progressively worse as we continued, we drove progressively slower and slower.

So that was one expectation dashed – arriving on the early side.

Then there was the snowshoeing. Three afternoons and three open mornings could mean a potential six trips outside snowshoeing up the mountain. Naomi and I went once. Mind you, it was a splendid outing. Tuesday, there were no clouds whatsoever; fresh virgin powder snow covered the trails ascending a lovely mixed forest and the temperatures were fairly mild. All in all, the quintessential beautiful winter day. Afterwards, we sat on chairs in front of the main building enjoying the warm sun on our faces along with happy worked-out muscles after three hours of exercise both yogic and cardiovascular.

By day four, I couldn’t think of going to the morning yoga class. I was thoroughly worked out. Everything that could be stretched was stretched. I was happy to sleep in, meditate in my room and run down for breakfast right before the dining room closed.

calories-burned-in-yoga (1)

I also had a certain expectation based on previous visits, that the yoga instructors would try too hard during the classes. I’ve endured my share of classes where the teacher not only wouldn’t stop talking as he or she would correct every little tendon out of place, but at the same time attempt to indoctrinate the class in the importance of either being in the moment or being in the breath or in some other strident New Age doctrine that will change our lives forever. But this time, at least for two classes, there was none of that. Instructions were succinct, clear and not overbearing. There was plenty of that sought-after elixir – Inner Silence. I stretched my kikshas out, toned plenty of muscles I didn’t know I had. When we had to balance on one leg, I didn’t even try. My fallen arches have apparently led to weak ankle muscles. (I’ve googled ankle exercises and maybe I’ll start doing them one day.) So this was one negative expectation that didn’t pan out as anticipated.

Still, for now, Naomi’s had it with this yoga centre, at least for the time being. For sure it’s out of the question for a winter visit. I would go down again, but only for a course, perhaps their creative writing course held in the summer. But with the dollar low and this place rather pricey to begin with… I don’t know.

On the way home we ran into another doozy of a storm, much worse than what we had encountered on the way down. The thickly-falling flakes, highlighted by the car’s headlights, made us dizzy and reduced us to a snail’s pace. Again, it took us much longer to get home.

We couldn’t get there fast enough. Both of us expected to be happy to be back in our new home, christened The Chalet, and this time our expectations were thoroughly met.



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