My throbbing foot wakes me up at 7am. I wander out of my room to yogis laying their mats for morning Yang class. A group of four of them are going to be teaching. I limp down the hallway into the kitchen for a mug of tea. I’m reminded of the wana (that’s the Hawaiian name for black sea urchin) that has yet to release its spines from my foot. I imagine it holding on tightly to my flesh, not ready to let go just yet.
Yang class is amazing; challenging but comes in waves of effort. Lina is warm and loving, Marita sweet and soft, Abbey grounded and gentle and Seva (one of our only two males in training) is tranquil and meditative. In Savasana I get a neck massage and melt completely into the earth as if surrounded by hot sand.
After breakfast I teach a Yin class with three others: Chanel, an adorable artist who’s tiny and covered with tattoos, Sonya, a fearless and loving Canadian that lives in New Zealand, and chicka Trish, whose calm and cool as always. I begin the class with introducing the theme of Loving Compassion. Leading the yogis through a meditation I drift into an alternate universe of my own.
At lunch the pain has travelled from the ball of my foot to my upper thigh. I must hobble around instead of putting any weight on the foot. Roman, the Russian surfer who saved me when I had the initial incident came to give me a massage. He had said he would bring coconut oil though arrives with three-foot eucalyptus branches and a litre of honey. I giggle for a second until it sinks in that those are for me. In the car ride when he saved me, Roman had told me of his half-carpenter, half-masseuse profession. He had told me he worked closely with a Tibetan healer who taught him ancient techniques. One such technique is a sort of nail acupuncture. This, he says, he will do on me while also brushing the eucalyptus across my body so the oils of the plant can be absorbed by the skin.
I lie in a bikini and shorts on the massage table while Roman begins to squeeze honey and massage it across my legs, arms and back. I thoroughly enjoy the treatment, until I have to roll over. The honey on my skin has dampened the white cloth under me and when I roll over I notice that my body has a sheen to it. “This is new for me!” I say to him, slowly lowering my back to the cloth. He smiles and looks at me with compassion and understanding. Later he massages my stomach, face and hair. I let all reservations go, as I don’t have much choice in the matter. When it is over and I reached my feet to the ground he quickly asserts that the honey will attract fire ants, which bite, so I need to be very careful about wiping down any surface I step on with honey feet. I am sure to wipe off my feet before taking another step. I head to the shower and rinse off before class begins. I notice that my skin feels extremely soft, my back relaxed and shoulders loosened. Roman asks to take a picture and then says he’d like to show me around while I’m on the island. I nod excitedly. There is no romantic connection with him but there is some strong cosmic pull. His energy is extremely calm and I feel overall content and unnerved in his presence. I thank him again and head to class. Though I have showered completely, I spend the rest of the day smelling faintly sweet, like raw honey