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Pure Energy Rx - July, 2003

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PAST ARTICLES: STEVEN HALPERN > KATHY FRESTON > FRANK COPPIETERS > ROZZY KEANNA > NEW YEAR'S GREETING
> ONDRE SELTZER > DR. RICHARD HANSEN > DOROTHY MCDERMOTT > KATHEE ESTEY > GERRY SHIGEKAWA > JESSICA TALISMAN
> MICHAEL REGINA-WHITELEY > BOBI BROWN > BOYD MARTIN
ISLAND RETREAT
by Shay Arave

Shay with Heart at the groomers. Preparing to leave on vacation has never been a very easy thing for me. In fact, there was a time in my life when I truly believed not going on vacation was more restful then going. There are the bags to pack, stop mail and paper delivery, the doggy--yes, we need perfect dog care while gone. There is the frig to clean out and the bills to prepay... I am getting tense about my next vacation just writing this down.

So often as a human being I find myself immersed in the doing of all things that I miss the view outside the window. I don't notice the scent of freshly mowed grass from my neighbor's lawn or the playful pair of squirrels scampering across the fence as the sun begins to caress the morning sky. My head is cluttered with a bunch of details, none of which is going to save the world, or cure cancer tomorrow, so why all the importance?

As I stumble out of bed at 4:30 a.m. to catch a flight to St. Lucia, West Indies, I am convinced I am need of a rest and at the same time convinced I neither can afford or deserve the time away. What if something happens while I am gone that only I can handle? Parting thoughts as I sleepy-eyed crawl into a cab and ask for the airport, yes, I am flying American as my head touches the back of the head rest and I take one more look at departing a potential disaster.

Pulling into Le Sport, arrival time 1:00 a.m. Hmmmmmmmm... what a relief to be here. The gentlemen handling the front desk greets me with a bright smile and a welcome to St. Lucia. My room is ready, so with one large bag I am escorted to the first floor suite, ocean view. Part of the experience of Le Sport was the extraordinary care taken for both detail and comfort. Waiting in my room was a plate of fruit, cheese and sandwiches--given it was a long journey I appreciated the forethought--and a fresh nosegay of tropical flowers. This is the routine of the daily room service.

Julian Felix - trainer! The setting, the people, the food, the entertainment, and most importantly for this woman, was the opportunity for rest and rejuvenation in a tropical setting with as many athletic activities as any one person could possible dream up. I found my first week approaching the Weekly Activities Schedule like a to-do list from the office--X marks the spot: 7:15 to 8:15 - Morning walk to Mount Du Cap, then, off for a morning coffee and a selection of exotic fresh fruit. Total Body Stretch, 9:00 a.m., a complete and great way to wake your body up in the morning, as if the hour walk before was not enough.

Next, weight training scheduled with Julian Felix, Le Sport's personal trainer with a 14th ranking in the Mr. Universe competition. I learned more from this man then with any personal training done in the United States. Felix has the ability to touch and move the body in such a way to identify blockages of pain that in time with effort can dissipate and disappear. I was given a program to use daily to strengthen and tone my body that I could not only use while at Le Sport, but also make use of at home. Part of the beauty of Le Sport is surely its employees, friendly, courteous and always asking, "Are you enjoying your holiday?" My reply was always, "Yes."

LeSport's ocean view... The view from atop the Oasis, where both the Spa and Fitness Center are located, is one of the most spectacular--warm tropical breezes, an array of lush tropical flowers with a backdrop of the Caribbean Sea. The view alone I found rejuvenating, and with each walk up the stairs to the Oasis I gathered more strength while tension began to dissipate into the walkway below my feet.

Le Sport has not only an array of activities for the guest, but also an array of fitness levels, You do not have to be an athlete to find an activity to enjoy during your stay. The water sports are fantastic--everything from being certified in scuba diving, windsailing lessons, kayaking for daily excursions--and, my personal favorite, High Energy Aqua Fitness.

As the weeks passed by I gained a familiarity with the instructors, found a consistently friendly island atmosphere--Le Sport taking the lead in making you feel at home in mind, body and soul. Because it is a vacation destination for everyone, people are relaxed, or at least well on their way after a day or two. So you begin to acquaint yourself with a variety of guest faces, sharing experiences of your stay, with bits and pieces of your life back home.

Tropical flowers spice up the view... Singles are more than welcome at Le Sport. It is a honeymoon spot for some, plenty of older couples as well, but the accommodations also allow a comfortable ambience for people traveling solo. In the formal open-air dining room each night tables are set aside for singles. Make a request of the host at seating and a spot will always be found for you. I enjoyed many evening visiting with the different guests, many from England, Australia and Eastern United States. Le Sport has a 70% return rate, so many of the guests I visited with were returning guests; some as many as five times in the last two years. With each review, it was always the same: the food is always delicious, service is excellent, and many book their return visit prior to their departure.

Le Sport has a world-class chef whose daily preparation is not only delicious, but meticulously displayed--sprigs of fresh-cut herbs alongside seared Mahi-Mahi with a hollandaise sauce flavored with capers. Local flavors like Creole mixed with pilaf or lightly steamed vegetables, sautéed ginger beef--this list could go on for a fortnight. My point is, whether you are a light eater or a robust eater, it won't matter because the food planning is designed for both. Le Sport is a full pension resort, so once you are there you need never pull your pocketbook out again.

For myself, I made the decision to avoid the dessert table and any thing that looked like potatoes, rice, pasta or bread. Because the selection is so satisfying in both taste and visual appeal, each meal was a perfectly divine experience and I was completely unchallenged by my commitment to make healthy eating choices during my stay.

Fitness expert Louisa Pond at LeSport (in white). Spa treatment is a part of your daily experience at Le Sport. On my first day the treatment was a Deluxe Coconut and Spice Sea Salt and Oil Body Exfoliating Scrub. Each treatment taking an hour, and during that hour, mind and body go to another place--a place where there is nothing to do and nothing to say, total relaxation and rejuvenation. On the second day an Aromatherapy massage, my tense upper back began to dissipate, and all the thoughts and concerns of my life back in the States seemed miles away and of no significance. A rejuvenating facial is next; a much-needed treatment if you spend much time on the sun-drenched beaches of St. Lucia, and as each day past with activities of self-care and enjoyment my soul began to replenish.

If you like nightlife, but would rather avoid the cab ride into town, Le Sport offers live music nightly. Each night a different local band with a dance floor filled with beaming faces--faces that are relaxed and enjoying the local beat in an open-air clubhouse. The formal dining room offers a quieter affair with a piano bar and weekly Salsa dancing for the fun at heart.

By week two, I had settled into a groove of balance between exercise, nourishment and quiet relaxation. I began to see that life is just a process; part of that process must be directed towards self-care. I saw that although my daily yoga practice is a form of self-care, it had landed on my list of things to do during the day--another task. It took an adjustment in thinking; taking it from a task to a fully integrated part of my being, just like drinking a liter of water a day. Yoga becomes just another part of me, no longer a task--like breathing--something necessary for life.

For me, it took the Le Sport experience to be reminded of the most important space. It is the space where silence resides. The space that allows one to do an inventory, an inventory of life skills, the pluses and minuses that make up one's life. With that inventory one is allowed a perspective on life. What is in the now, is what is most important. Self-care, slowing down, getting a perspective, allows us to live bigger, to live better, and most importantly to love others more deeply, more profoundly because we have taken the opportunity to do that for ourselves.

JUMP TO:
My Beginning Yoga Experience, by Boyd Martin
August Newsletter


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PAST ISSUES: AUGUST > SEPTEMBER > OCTOBER > NOVEMBER > DECEMBER > JANUARY > FEBRUARY > MARCH > APRIL > MAY > JUNE > JULY
PAST ARTICLES: STEVEN HALPERN > KATHY FRESTON > FRANK COPPIETERS > ROZZY KEANNA > NEW YEAR'S GREETING
> ONDRE SELTZER > DR. RICHARD HANSEN > DOROTHY MCDERMOTT > KATHEE ESTEY > GERRY SHIGEKAWA > JESSICA TALISMAN
> MICHAEL REGINA-WHITELEY > BOBI BROWN > BOYD MARTIN


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