“Imagine your-self on an island adventure…” Ms. Yoga Instructor croons soothingly. My mind goes into panic overdrive – what kind of island adventure? Is it a walking down a narrow, whitewashed street with a view over an azure bay in the Mediterranean island, a wading, knee deep in tropical waters, fish nibbling at your toes island, or are you in a yellow cab being whisked along Manhattan Island’s grid? My busy mind screams out: “No man is an island!” – but for each man and his tastes there is a perfect island adventure paradise.
Ms. Yoga Instructor was brought up in the Mediterranean and if she’s calling the shots she describes a peaceful island adventure between the bright whites and many hues of blue of Santorini, Mykonos or Amorgos. Her island adventure involves walking from the top of a rocky island cliff overlooking a steep bay, down thorough winding streets and passages, catching glimpses of a sparkling ocean through blue roofs.
In the quiet I can almost hear the sounds of island adventures wafting from the ears of the rest of the class: there’s a preference for the island adventure to be tropical. Palm trees, pale sand and the soft sound of lapping waves all feature heavily, mmmm Fiji, Vanuatu, Prasiln, the Maldives… depending on exactly what shade of bright blue you like your ocean.
From the minds of some waft silence, their island adventures feature peace and remoteness, making the first footprints on the island’s sand, on the beaches of Belize’s Caye Caulker, Fiji’s Yasawa Island group, Madagascar’s Nosy Be Archipelago or even better the alien dark sand of the Galapagos Islands. Or secret dreams of privacy and barefoot luxury. Images of Cousine Island, the Whitsunday Islands and Bora Bora glimmer in their eyes.
From one of the men in the class, in an attempt to reassert his masculinity in yoga class, comes the sounds of Rapa Nui, or Easter Island, where he’s imaging himself part of an island adventure team moving the famous stone idols into place. Ms. Yoga Instructor said that doesn’t sound very relaxing, but if he sees calm in physical labour then it’s not up to her what kind of island adventure his mind ventures towards.
In my mind I flew over all those islands before reaching my own adventure island, rising tall like a granite knife out of shallow turquoise water, with a shock of green vegetation on top like hair. Next thing you know I’m lying below it in a canoe. If I had to compare it to a real island I know about I’d say it looks like Ko Phi Phi in Thailand’s Andaman Sea. But I’ll bet you thought I was going to land on Heart Island in the Great Barrier Reef. It would have been a fittingly zen yoga resolution but I’ve been there, and though its coral is beautiful, there isn’t really anywhere to sit.