On Sunday, I wake up with a sore chest. The pain stretches from my sternum to my neck and across both sides of my chest. I am sore through my shoulders and legs as well. I decide it’s from ecstatic dance, and force myself out of bed at 5 min after 7 am to prepare for teaching my very first yoga class.
I head to the grow room with my notes and music device, lead myself through a personal practice, and create my playlist before running through the planned sequence of my class. Chloe, Brooke and Georgia stagger in late, tired from the night. I feel slightly nervous but lose all fear once I begin talking and leading them through an opening “Om.”
In Savasana I massage the girls shoulders, foreheads and temples. I even give some love to their earlobes. They look so serene that when they emerge from their wakeful sleep it is as if they are still circling in a trance.
“That didn’t seem like your first class.” Brooke says to me after. Chloe and Georgia echo the sentiment sweetly. The calmness and contentment I feel from them instills a sense of confidence in my teaching. I thank them for coming. “That was so beautiful,” Georgia says to me. Georgia is someone who has felt very familiar to me ever since arriving though I cannot place why. When I mentioned it to her, she surprised me by echoing the sentiment. “I guess we are soul sisters of some sort,” we decided. After my yoga class I am sweaty myself though satisfied. With the energy in the Grow Room palpable, and still yet to dissipate, I decide that my first class was a success.
We have no work or chores and so when Jo sends us all a message that he is heading to the beach, we all gratefully join in. We drive in the back of his black Corolla pick up truck, watching the passing scenery as we travel out of the jungle and back onto the highway towards Hilo. After about an hour we pull off the highway towards a sign for the Boiling Pots, which are a group of waterfalls just outside the city. “We’re here,” Jo says to us once stopped. We shake off our leg cramps and jump out to stand by the view. In the distance, brilliant falls rush into an expansive body of water. “So I usually go down there,” Jo says, pointing to a path leading towards the water’s edge and the basin collecting below the falls. “Want to go?”
Without the proper footwear for such a hike we shakily descend down a rugged trail towards the bottom of the falls. We walk like a colony of ants, one by one, Jo of course taking the lead and Chloe, Brooke, Erica, Elise and I following. It takes some careful maneuvering at times, before we arrive safely at a flat area of grass. The girls lay out their blankets and towels and Jo asked if anyone wants to go swimming. Before I get a chance to answer I have kicked off my shoes and plunged deep into the dark waters. Elise jumps in too and Jo follows. We battle the rushing water towards the foot of the falls. Standing on a rock island, I let my head inch towards the white water cascading down. When Jo begins climbing up a cliff we follow curiously. Then we watch from the top as he strides off into the dark waters below. Before I have a chance to freak out I follow him, letting out a releasing scream as I plummet into the pool. I watch from below as Elise does the same.
When we swim back it is time to go. We climb again into the trunk of Jo’s Corolla and head off to the beach. I come across two sea turtles swimming in the calm and translucent waters. I watch them as they sway with the gentle tides and allow myself to do the same.