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Patricia D. Pittman, M.D., MBA

Goodbyes & Hellos…3 Weeks In Thailand!

Hello there family, friends & visitors!

As most of you know I have been in Thailand for the last 3 weeks, and it has been a true adventure through-and-through. I apologize for having not been more prompt on updating my weeks here….but to be honest, our days are long and the internet is shady. So, here we go….

My departure from Phoenix was an emotional one…I was a bag of tears, smiles, laughs, and cries. I knew all I wanted to do was to BE IN Thailand. I didn’t really want to remember any of the traveling itself. I left PHX and flew to LAX—>Hong Kong—>Phuket.

Saying GoodBye to Pops!
Saying GoodBye to Pops!
Ready...?!
Ready…?!
Bye-bye America!
Bye-bye America!
The Hardest Goodbye!
The Hardest Goodbye!

The longest leg of my flights was from LAX to HKG…15hrs….WHAT?! I know! I was the most anxious about this flight mainly because of its duration….more than half of a day in one plane, in one seat. Luckily I had stayed up all day the day before and popped a couple of Benadryl before we took off, and within 20 minutes of our flight I was asleep. The next time I woke up….we were 8.5hrs through the flight! I guess medical school really does train you to sleep anywhere. The rest of my flights I dozed in and out and watched some National Geographic documentaries on animal mating rituals.

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Dinnng!

The flight into Hong Kong and Phuket were stunning….so green and lush!

Stretching out in Hong-Kong!
Stretching out in Hong-Kong!
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Hong-Kong!
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Phuket!

I flew Cathay Pacific, a FABULOUS airline. If you ever have to fly to Asia, I highly recommend them. The plane was comfortable (even in economy), the food was good, and the service was exceptional. I had a seat in the first row, so I got a lot of extra leg room. You can never have too much leg room in a plane. And I didn’t have to wake up my neighbor for a bathroom break because I could just sneak right passed them.

We were served bfast, but always had the option for noodle soup and snacks throughout the flight.

Not too shabby for on-flight.
Not too shabby for on-flight.

In total, it was about 24hrs of traveling and sitting in airports. I managed to get here with all my bags, belongings and sanity, which was a win in my book!

When I got to the airport in Phuket I took an hour long bus ride to the hotel where the training is, and as soon as I walked in to the main building I spotted my roommate and hometown friend, Tara. She was such a bright and shining star and it put me at such ease to see her! She had arrived a couple of days early and was beautifully bronzed and glistening in joy! Naturally, we rushed to the beach for coconuts and a quick dip in the beautiful waters.

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Tara!
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Our backyard!

The first few days here were blissful, before all the REAL yoga started.

Just so you know, here’s a quick run down of our daily schedule…M-F: Class @ 830-1030AM, Lecture: 12-430PM, Class 5-630PM, Lecture 930PM-?…and by “?” we usually get dismissed by 1-2AM for a nap before the next day starts. Saturday we have only one class at 830AM and then the rest of Saturday and Sunday are ours to play, relax, and memorize dialogue. Yes, that’s right…in addition to our 11 classes per week, we have to memorize 40+ pages of Bikram dialogue in our “free time”.

Post,-yoga, glow?!
Post,-yoga, glow?!

I do like to take advantage of my days “off”…visiting the beach, going into the market, visiting with friends….all of it’s pretty good!

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Fishing boats

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Canadians!
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Roomie, Love!

I will say that the days can be grueling, but I am SO grateful to be here! I have been wanting to do BYTT since I started practicing and the fact that I get to do it in Thailand is an incredible blessing!

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Our accommodations here in Thailand are pretty ridiculous. as well. We are all in a 4-star resort that sits on the beach…and although it is still a hotel room, somehow it feels homey….

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Bedroom.
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Bedroom.
Balcony view!
Balcony view!

On the food end…we are given two buffets a day….one after AM class and one after PM class. The spreads are generous with lots of variety. I have had to do some adjusting myself to the foods, to the salt, and to the lack of home creature-comforts….but all-in-all I have no room for complaints. We have ample fruits…pineapple, papaya, melons, and watermelon….soups, meats, desserts, ice-creams, a salad bar….there is pretty much something for everyone.

One REALLY nice treat for us trainees comes from Rajashree, Bikram’s wife who has made it possible to have the kitchen provide us trainees with her “magic” concoction to prevent dehydration and electrolyte deficiency. Rajashree says that the best remedy is a mixture of lemon juice, honey and salt in water, and since these items are hard for us to find on the island, she has had this delish treat provided for all of us at our buffets.

Could it get any better??

I am glad you asked….

Being here in Thailand is blissful. I wake up to the ocean and I fall asleep to the ocean, and amidst the day I battle my way through a lot of yoga and “interesting” lectures. But, I have no responsibilities other than to show up to class and memorize dialogue. Our rooms are cleaned 3 times a week and we get new sheets, new towels, and they empty our garbages. Our laundry is taken care of by the folks on the beach every week for about $6 bucks USD.  Also, down at the beach you can get Thai massages for about $15 USD…which happens everyday on the weekends…and coconut-mango shakes that will rock your socks! The coconuts are opened there on the beach, the coconut water and guts are scraped out and blended with mango juice and served back in the coconut. Yum!

Speaking of coconuts…..we also have a coconut stand right outside our yoga class room where you can pay 80Bhat ($2, USD) and they will open the coconut right there for you! Seriously….beats any canned coconut water!

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Coconut mango shake!
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Thai Massage Huts!

It’s almost ridiculous and seems unfair to all those trainees that came before us or that had to go to Los Angeles. But in thinking of my blessings, I believe every trainee is granted the Training that they need at that moment in their lives. Apparently, I needed Thailand!

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Now, to be clear….not all that is Thailand is glitter and gold. Thailand has some “getting used to” in other areas. Getting to a decent grocery store is nearly impossible and most of our groceries come from a little supermarket in the closest town, which carries only the most basic of needs. Some fruits, like bananas, are hard to come across and are expensive when you find them.

Additionally, here on the other side of the world we have been having some not-so-cool earthquakes in the last week…yes, plural…we had two last week in Phuket, both in the range of 4.0+. Luckily, everyone and everything was okay. Unfortunately, it seems as though the tectonic plates in this region are rather active following the disastrous earthquake in Nepal. Prayers that Mother Nature cools herself for the next 6 weeks.

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I will try to better with updating all my friends and family back home….there is so much more I could put in this post….just know, Thailand is a beautiful place, both with the scenery and with the people…if you ever have an opportunity, TAKE.IT!

Additionally, if any of my BY friends and thinking of BYTT in the future, DO.IT! It really is an incredible life-experience.

Much Love & Namaste.

~P~

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