Yoga

I tried “Flamingo Yoga” in the Bahamas

Doing yoga with animals is nothing new (see: goat, alpaca, cat and dog yoga for some examples). If you’re an animal lover, any activity is infinitely better when paired with a furry friend – Above all when their cuteness serves as a distraction as you balance yourself in a yoga pose. But the Baha Mar resort in the Bahamas pretty much demonstrates that flamingos — yes, flamingos — are the best natural yogis. (They have a pose named after them, after all). Guests at the luxury property — which consists of SLS Baha Mar, Rosewood Baha Mar and Grand Hyatt Baha Mar — can channel their inner zen alongside the resort’s three-year-old flamingo “ambassadors,” Luca, Baha , Indy , and Lynden, affectionately named after the Prime Minister of the Bahamas who guided the nation to independence.

Of course, you’re probably thinking, “What’s so relaxing about doing yoga next to a group of 4-foot-tall honking birds?” I understand. But at my recent bachelorette party at SLS Baha Mar, I personally couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate the end of my celibacy than training with a herd of gorgeous single men – at least, probable men. (I’m working on assumptions here since the only way to sex flamingos is by using DNA extracted from blood samples). So my friends and I scheduled a $600 private session at Sense, A Rosewood Spa with yoga instructor LaKrista Strachan in the hotel’s lush tropical garden. Resort guests can also attend a weekly flamingo yoga class at ESPA Baha Mar Spa, which takes place every Saturday morning for $60.

I still don’t know if his gaze was critical, snide, or perhaps embarrassed at how hard I was trying to keep my balance.

Our mats had barely touched the manicured grass when a small parade of three birds – led by the station’s chief flamingo officer, Shaquille Wilson – arrived. Baha, Indy, and Lynden have done this before, apparently, because they didn’t need any hanging prompts: they made themselves at home on the extra mats, stamping their feet on the moss and crushing it with their massive beaks. According to Wilson, flamingos are incredibly curious and love to investigate unusual objects and textures.

Alexandra Owens; Cindy Zhang

This is something our group discovered firsthand at the start of the session. Almost as soon as Strachan led us into child’s pose, Baha, Indy, and Lynden slowly approached us to inspect our towels, rugs, phones, and even our hair. The coffee mugs were of particular interest. Unlike goat yoga, where the teacher often places a kid on your back or brings an animal to you in order to elicit interaction, the flamingos actually seemed to enjoy being around us — or, at the very least, finding each other. entertaining.

We worked our way through the slow and stretched basics of Hatha yoga, such as downward-facing dog and triangle pose, enjoying the island breeze and sometimes being startled by a honking horn. very strong bird. When it came time to move on to the tree pose—a flamingo’s specialty, of course—Indy stood up and gave me a close look. I still don’t know if his gaze was critical, snide, or perhaps embarrassed at how hard I was trying to keep my balance. We can’t all be natural, I guess.

Admittedly, it can be hard to stay present and aware of your breath when three lanky flamingos are swirling around you. At one point, while we were lying completely on our backs in savasana, the birds took the opportunity to chase each other in circles and jump over our lying bodies, almost like little feathered children jumping on too much sugar. Yes, it does take some getting used to, especially if you’re the type to instinctively duck whenever a bird almost flies through your head (thanks to the New York pigeons). But for anyone who finds the natural world and animals calming, as science claims, the experience is nothing short of rejuvenating – which it may not be. this surprising considering we were surrounded by elegant flamingos, sunshine and swaying palm trees. While I can’t say it was the hardest yoga class I’ve ever taken, I know I’ll be dreaming about it – and laughing about it again with my friends – the next time we meet. cram into a sweaty workout class in a crowded room.