Yoga at Kata Rocks Phuket
Yoga at Kata Rocks Phuket
By Barry Daniel
The practice of yoga is undergoing a global boom these days and maybe that’s not surprising with all the bad news and stress there seems to be out there. We all need an escape route back to inner relaxation, harmony and balance and both Kata Rocks and yoga practice are very well equipped to provide that salvation.
Many people know yoga comprises the physical postures, or asanas, plus breathing practice and focus, or Pranayama. But in the ancient Indian tradition these elements are merely physical and quietening preparations for the mental aspect of mediation which is the true culmination of a yoga session.
Certainly the beautiful, relaxing environment of Kata Rocks on its rocky headland setting, with fabulous ocean vistas and abundant clean fresh air are perfect complements to excellent yoga practice, so it’s hardly surprising that Richard Pope, the resort’s developer, recently invited his long-time friend and famous yogi, Noona Ayres, over to conduct some sessions.
Noona is the epitome of a yogi teacher and Reiki Master. She’s not only slim, healthful and beautiful, but seems to radiate an exciting inner energy that immediately catches your attention and draws you to her. It was exactly that compelling energy that caught my own attention at the glittering Kata Rocks launch party last December – an event with no shortage of exciting energy of its own.
The Kata Rocks development of pool-villas, sky-lofts and opulent supporting spa, health club, restaurant and infinity pool, set on a stunning, west-facing, rock platform on the headland between Kata and Kata Noi Beaches is an ideal place to practice yoga.
If Noona is the epitome of a yogi, then Kate Rocks is the epitome of chilled, modernist luxury and somehow the two do seem to be made for each other.
Noona hails from the UK, but nowadays resides in another of the most sought-after locations in the world, in Juan les Pins between Cannes and Antibes on the French Cote d’Azur. She’s a qualified teacher in the Integral Yoga tradition, having trained at the Satchidananda Ashram in Virginia, USA and Richard invited her to Kata Rocks to be ‘yogi in residence’ during the resort’s official launch while the annual Phuket King’s Cup was on and during the subsequent Super Yacht Rendezvous which Kata Rocks hosted.
Noona describes Integral Yoga as “A beautiful form of Hatha-based yoga, incorporating not only asana practice but also relaxation, Pranayama (breathing) and meditation, all of which leave the practitioner feeling refreshed and peaceful in body and mind”. Noona continues, “The classes I teach are suitable for all levels and I encourage students of any age and condition to explore each posture at their own pace while mindfully observing what arises without judgment. By balancing effort and surrender, the practitioner is able to discover the optimal flow of energy to achieve greater flexibility, strength, poise and mental focus. Besides promoting the health of all the systems in the body, Integral Yoga is designed to draw the practitioner into a physical and mental stillness that leads to an experience of one’s true nature, which is peaceful and happy.”
While that may sound rather idealistic, I must confess that when I took a class with Noona, the beautiful ocean vistas and quiet relaxed ambience of Kata Rocks did indeed help generate a feeling of complete serenity in even such a frazzled soul as mine. Plans are afoot to host a number of yoga practitioners at Kata Rocks over the coming months, teaching several of the different forms of yoga and indeed turning the resort into something of a centre for this healthful and relaxing practice.
Noona is also planning to return to Kata Rocks later in 2015 to conduct a health and wellness retreat and I can think of few better places to get healthy and well……so watch this space!