I’m flat on my back being licked by the rays of the early morning sun. I can hear palms swaying, a stream flowing and a Grenadian accent whispering instructions to me. It’s 8am and I’m having a private yoga lesson. We’re in a pavillion which is nestled on a hillside overlooking the whole of La Source resort, Pink Gin Beach and the harbour of St George’s beyond. I feel like I’ve just learnt how to breathe.
It may be a cliche but it is also the truth. After 24 hours at La Source I already feel like a new woman. On the plane coming here I looked in the mirror and was frankly horrified with what I saw: a fresh crop of grey hair, a lip blistered with stress induced cold sores and a bloated face which I fiercely hoped wasn’t mine. It seems I had been a bit busy lately with travel, work and life in general to deal with such mundane issues as health and happiness. I had jumped at the chance to try the MindBodyReformer programme at La Source because it aims to deal with these exact issues plus much more. Already it is everything I hoped it would be, and much more.
Five minutes after leaving the airport my taxi was drawing up outside La Source. Standing amongst numerous staff members ready to greet guests was a 6ft 3 gentlemen wearing lycra and bulging muscles. He looked frighteningly fit. He must be Andy, I thought. For the minutest of seconds I considered getting back in the car (training with a Grenadian boxing champ for a week Jayne? You must be mad? – said my self-conscious conscience). But the ripped giant was extending an extensive sized hand and a beaming smile, one member of staff was proffering a fruit punch and another handed me a cold towel. I had arrived.
Andy told me to make myself comfortable in the bar but his clipboard was making me nervous. Sensing my apprehension about what the next few days had in store he took me through the general plan like a teacher with a new pupil. He had meticulously planned out my next 6 full days with a healthy balance of personal training sessions, breaks and spa time. He told me that tomorrow we would mainly stretch. On the agenda there was a total of 3 hours dedicated to ‘the stretch’; I wondered if I would be going home as tall as Andy. Induction complete, Andy left me with instructions to meet back in the bar at 7.30 that evening for dinner with the singles.
La Source attracts a lot of solo travellers and so each night a member of staff hosts a table of ‘singles’. I found myself dining with a lady who was on her 28th (yes 28th!) visit to La Source (speaks volumes about the place doesn’t it?) and someone who had set themselves a travelling challenge shockingly similar to mine (if you are reading good luck with the 100 before 100!). Whilst the other guests were handed a menu and swiftly supplied with wine, Andy had made sure my name was marked in all the restaurants. The chef had specially made me a fish and brown rice dish according to Andy’s diet instructions. It was served on a giant green leaf and tasted divine. This was healthy eating made easy.
I woke at 6.30am to find the sun lighting up the beach beneath my balcony. I had slept like a princess in my palatial room with higher than average bed, it’s a fair ‘stretch’ getting into it! At 7.06 a very apologetic member of staff arrived at my door with a freshly made health smoothie which she had intended to deliver at 7 – I only know the time as I checked in confusion when she mentioned being late (bless!). I downed the concoction of carrot, celery and who knows what else and made my way to the breath-taking yoga class venue.
No sooner had the yoga class ended then out pops Andy from seemingly thin air. “You ready?” he asks, bouncing on the spot.
I spend the rest of my morning receiving Andy’s undivided attention. He teaches me key stretches and exercises to strengthen my inner core, tools which will help me during the programme for the rest of the week. When I think I can’t do something, he gently but authoritatively pushes me into position whilst chanting, “You’re doing it!”
Andy is a natural motivator and whilst chatting over breakfast (where he steers me away from the naughty buffet items) I discover he is an inspiration too. Using his reputation as a boxing champion he has worked a lot with youths (or ‘the yoot’ as Andy says) in his country to get them to focus on health and exercise. He has dreams of taking his programmes to poor areas in Africa. I feel privileged to be working with him.
Then suddenly it is the afternoon and I am left to my own devices. I could chose from activities like archery, tennis or volleyball but I’m on holiday so I stretch out on a poolside sun lounger. At 5pm I make my first visit to the spa. All guests receive 1 spa treatment everyday of their stay, ranging from massages to wraps and facials. My treatments are extra special as I am a MindBodyReformer and the very first one on my schedule was a Balinese massage – one of my favourites. The petite Asian masseuse kneaded the knots which Andy’s stretches couldn’t reach and as she moved onto my head and neck area I began to doze off. A gloriously self-indulgent way to end the first day. I can’t wait for tomorrow.