Saryangdo with Seoul Hiking Group 3.0

This weekend Seoul Hiking Group took our usual night bus to Saryangdo was pleasantly uneventful.  Little did I know but my 3rd trip to the island would be just as stunning as the first.   A true testamant to the natural beauty Saryangdo possesses.  We arrived at Goseong Dino Park at 5am for a quick hike to fossilized dinosaur footprints and a gorgeous sunrise among the islands.

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As the mist cleared we jumped back on the bus to the ferry terminal.  Arriving early we enjoyed a breakfast of muffins and fruit while watching the calm morning water as locals got to work on their boats.

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Waiting for the ferry

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I’m doing Yoga in a newspaper!

You may have seen my most recent post about Acro Yoga in Thailand and how awesome it is, or maybe you didn’t and should click here.  I mentioned that I’d been to 2 classes with Acro Yoga Seoul and one of them got featured in the Korea Joongang Daily news.  Even more exciting is that Ronda & I are front and center in the photo!

I’d been hoping my next post would be about my awesome new apartment and all the craziness of moving while in Seoul.  Perhaps it was going to be an update on how fantastic my new school year is going (although still quite busy).  Even more interesting would have been the long boat ride around Koh Phi Phi but you’ll just have to settle for me being in the news!

Thanks Mel, Erica, Megan and all the people at Acro Seoul.  Can’t wait to fly with you soon.

Photo from Korea Joongang Daily News

Falling in love with Yoga – Thailand

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Acroyoga, Bird Pose – Ao Nang Beach, Krabi, Thailand

Thailand is an epicenter for yoga.  Especially Acroyoga.  Technically its acrobatic-yoga but as a former gamer I like to think of acroyoga as multiplayer yoga.  Acro is where you get a couple people together for one pose.  You need a minimum of 1 base and 1 flyer (and should have a spotter or two).  I’ll confess I didn’t learn yoga in Thailand but after practicing it on the glistening beaches in Krabi, fawning over weekly acroyoga sessions on Lanta and finding out they do daily acroyoga in Chang Mai I realize that I will not only revisit Thailand but also go to as many acroyoga sessions as possible!

Ronda and I went to our first acroyoga class about a week before leaving for Thailand.  We watched a beginner video and practiced in my apartment before gaining greater understanding & developing much needed technique for beginner poses at Acro Seoul’s meetup.  Acroyoga can be done by anyone but it certainly has a degree of strength needed.  Core strength is crucial for all parties and the base needs strong legs too.

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Tripod Headstand – Ao Nang Beach, Krabi, Thailand

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Acroyoga Bow - Krabi, Thailand

Acroyoga, Bow Pose – Unknown Beach, Krabi, Thailand

Partners need to trust each other.  Before going into any pose make sure to test the weight.  Ronda and I learned this both through Yogajournal’s AcroYoga 101 video and our acroyoga class.  After a few failed attempts at home we got the technique for these basic poses down in the class and were excited to bring that to the beach!

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Acroyoga, Bird Pose – Ao Nang Beach, Krabi, Thailand

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Acroyoga, Bow Pose – Tup Islet, Krabi, Thailand

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Acroyoga, Camel Pose – Ao Nang Beach, Krabi, Thailand

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Acroyoga, Super Yogi Pose – Ao Nang Beach, Krabi, Thailand

 

Don’t let these photos fool you though.  We were comfortable because the sand is soft.  Learning acroyoga is synonymous with falling.  Its great to have that luxury in a padded gym but the most important part of learning acroyoga is to have a spotter!

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Acroyoga, Whale Pose – Tup Islet, Krabi, Thailand

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Acroyoga, Transitioning Whale to Camel Pose – Tup Islet, Krabi, Thailand

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Acroyoga, Camel Pose – Tup Islet, Krabi, Thailand

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Acroyoga, Bow Pose – Tup Islet, Krabi, Thailand

Its an amazing feeling when the base and spotter are in tune but it takes time.  Don’t rush into acro.  Be enthusiastic but always remember to take things slowly.  Any quick movements throw off the balance and can send both parties tumbling!

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Acroyoga, Transitioning Whale to Camel Pose – Ao Nang Beach, Krabi, Thailand

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Acroyoga, Bird Pose – Railey Beach, Krabi, Thailand

 

 

 

A new year begins in Thailand

Ao Nang Sunset, Krabi, Thailand

Ao Nang Sunset, Krabi, Thailand

Starry sky above Ao Nang Cliffs, Krabi, Thailand

Starry sky above Ao Nang Cliffs, Krabi, Thailand

2015 is the year of the ram and my 2015 will be full of challenging new adventures.  Today I introduced 5 new members to grade 4 as the team leader, Brian and I just moved into an amazing new apartment and I’ve been volunteering with Seoul Hiking Group long enough to start planning my own hikes and even international trips!

Welcome to Phi Phi, Krabi, Thailand

Welcome to Phi Phi, Krabi, Thailand

Lucky for me that wasn’t all.  I rang in the Lunar New Year in Thailand with some of my best friends!  Just the other day Brian and I were sitting on a boat watching flying fish flap along the waves as islands littered the horizon.  The Andaman Sea is a wondrous place worthy of repeat visits by anyone who loves fun in the sun.  I know I’ll be back the only question is will I be renting long boats for island hopping or using my new SCUBA diving certificate to explore the deep blue waters teeming with life.

Ao Nang Sunset, Krabi, Thailand

Ao Nang Sunset, Krabi, Thailand

A kayaker beneath Phi Phi's majestic cliffs.

A kayaker beneath Phi Phi’s majestic cliffs.

The Andaman Sea is perhaps Thailand’s most valuable asset.  It was stunning, unforgettable and one of my most memorable adventures yet.  In spite of this awe-inspiring land we often ran into those who swear by “how different Thailand was 10 or 20 years ago.” Subtly saying “how much better Thailand was in the past.”  To this I say “how different was America 10 or 20 years ago?”  The world changes, but lucky for those of us who have had one or fewere trips to Thailand these changes have made it more English accessible.  Sure a minor degree of authenticity feels lost to those who are lucky enough to be nostalgic but even in this modern world Thailand’s southern islands are an archipelago that remain an incredible part of the world.

A kayaker beneath Phi Phi's majestic cliffs.

A kayaker beneath Phi Phi’s majestic cliffs.

Island hopping in Phi Phi Thailand

Island hopping in Phi Phi Thailand

Green fishing lights off of Ao Nang Beach, Krabi, Thailand

Green fishing lights off of Ao Nang Beach, Krabi, Thailand

I’m overwhelmed by everything about Thailand and can’t believe its over.  I’m even more overwhelmed by the thousands of photos I have to wade through as my Korean life goes back into full swing.  Its a great feeling to have so much to look forward to and I can’t wait to share it all with you!

Have you ever been to Thailand?  What was your favorite part?  What are you looking forward to in 2015, the year of the ram?

Thailand – a sneak peek

Koh Lanta is amazing, we stumbled upon a tiny beach village shortly after a whirlwind through Phuket, Koh Phi Phi, & Krabi.  From boat rides & tigers to yoga & sunsets this has been a series of breathtaking adventures. As I look back through my photos I am still in awe of this animated wonderland I’m watching unfold before I snap back recalling that we motor biked to those stunning beaches yesterday and were island hopping the day before.  Enjoy a few early favorites and stay tuned for more while I go learn SCUBA diving!

 

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Ao Nang sunset. Krabi, Thailand

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Welcome to Phi Phi Island, Krabi, Thailand

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On the way the beach

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Sunset Yoga, Ao Nang Beach, Krabi, Thailand