SINGAPORE (Sept 10): The floating board onto which I’m gingerly creeping suddenly lurches away from the side of the pool, and I slide helplessly into the chilly water. After several seconds of flailing about, I manage to clamber back on, only to realise that I’m facing the wrong way. Several more seconds go by as I struggle to turn myself around without falling into the water again. Then, I’m finally ready for my first ever yoga experience — with a twist.
The so-called Aqua Yoga Fitmat class involves a series of movements that are supposed to build strength, deepen flexibility and improve balance and coordination — all of which are done on a floating platform no wider than a surfboard. As a rank novice, I can only manage a fraction of what I am supposed to do, drawing sympathetic glances and an occasional eye-roll from the incredibly lithe instructor. Unlike the others in my class, however, I manage to avoid falling into the water again.
I had arrived at the REVÌVÒ Wellness Resorts, in the hills of Nusa Dua in the south of Bali, the previous day for a “Sleep Well” retreat. At first, it seemed like I was headed for a few days of languid luxury. I was met at the end of the jet bridge, and whisked through immigration and customs, to a waiting car with a tray of cold towels and selection of healthy drinks and snacks. But I would soon discover that the retreat was an immersive programme that included a curated diet, strenuous exercise classes and spa treatments. More importantly, there was a focus on developing the “mindfulness” many of us lose while pursuing our ambitions, and that make the years seem to go by too quickly.