Fitness by cool waters: Dive into a Maldives yoga vacation
Maldives was home from 2004 to 2006 for Áine (pronounced ‘Onya’) Edwards, a cross-cultural project manager from Ireland who’s now based in Chennai, and once worked as a Scuba Diving Instructor.
“During my time there, I made wonderful friends both above and below the water,” she says, introducing a unique yoga retreat package, set to be held in January 2018.
The Maldives Yoga Vacation is based around her passion for travel, while giving her a chance to get guests immersed in the ‘real’ Maldives, says Áine. “We will spend time with locals, eating local food and living on a local island, in South Ari Atoll,” she informs.
During the week, the guests will perform yoga with a prominent teacher from Coorg, Shanthala T Medappa, who also shares Áine's passion for travel, immersive experiences, food and adventure.
The host for the visit on the island will be Mohammed Arif, a native of Omadhoo, owner of Scuba Inn Guesthouse, and a very talented Dive Guide — “one of the best in Maldives and most relaxed, as all the islanders are”, reassures Áine.
The most common perception about the Maldives is that it is an exclusive paradise holiday destination beyond our reach, says a note from the hosts.
“This is a myth we would like to change and make the Maldives accessible to people for activity holidays, in a way that opens a door to experience the day-to-day life on a local island,” says the note.
There are no cars or commercial tourist shops or activities at the destination. The hosts explain, the trip is not a standard tourist package holiday, and does not include water-sports centres, bars or commercial entertainment.
The reefs surrounding Omadhoo are barely touched by humans, and world-class diving sites are within a boat ride away. Scuba Inn, meanwhile, is the only guesthouse on the entire island and sleeps a maximum of 12 people.
A note for guests: The people in Maldives are of Muslim faith, and on the island, you’re requested to dress conservatively, to respect the local culture. Also, there’s no alcohol available, as per the local laws.
The Maldives Yoga Vacation, January 21 to 27, 2018, will be held at the South Ari Atoll, Omadhoo Island, Scuba Inn Guesthouse. Cost: `80,000 per person. For more info contact Áine at email@example.com