Life in Lockdown Malaga Spain
Caption: Adam Turner
Caption: Adam Turner
Dorset born Adam Turner is offering a series of free yoga sessions during lockdown.
His studio in Estepona, Malaga is currently closed due to the coronavirus pandemic and though far away in sunny climes, his lessons are readily available and can be found online.
As you can imagine, coronavirus has massively affected the area where he lives – a part of Spain that relies heavily on tourism. He and his Spanish wife, Sonia, have a three-room B&B, normally let at this time of the year, but without any bookings until August, times are very lean.
“The current restrictions are forecast to be lifted on 26 April,” he says, “and up until that point we are not allowed out. We can go out to buy food or for other critical tasks, but in general we are housebound. The few restrictions that have recently been lifted applied mainly to industries, such as construction.”
Yoga has clearly helped him deal with lockdown. He said, “Yoga is not just an exercise class or a meditation. I would describe it as a lifestyle that affects all areas of your life from something as trivial as how you choose to get up in the morning to something as important as to how you choose to interact with yourself and others. It is more than the Western concept of stretching exercises, chanting ‘Om’ or meditating, although all of these form a small part of the yogic lifestyle.”
Adam grew up in West Moors in Dorset and after gaining A-levels at Ferndown Upper School, he went to Southampton Uni and graduated in Geophysics.
Keen on the great outdoors, he’d also been an army cadet and won awards. “For me the Army Cadets was just as, if not more important than school,” he said. “Through the cadets I built my confidence and I participated in lots of expeditions in the UK and Europe. I was also part of the National shooting team and travelled around the world to shoot with the cadets.”
It was at this period that Adam broke his ankle for the first time while walking on Dartmoor.
Sailing also figured in his life and when in his teens he sailed across the channel in a 34-foot yacht with his friend, Ben Pulford, for charity. Just after uni, he and two friends sailed a 44-foot yacht from Scotland to Spitsbergen in the Arctic to see polar bears.
When Adam was offered a job as an offshore geophysicist, the job ticked every box. “While working aboard seismic vessels looking for oil, I visited exotic locations such as the Philippines, Australia, South Africa and the Caribbean, and some not quite so exotic ones like the North Sea, Nigeria and the Falkland Islands.”
He was by now an obsessive kitesurfer and wanted to kitesurf his way around the world. This hobby, which both he and Sonia enjoy, put him in hospital for a second time with another broken ankle, this time suffered in Poole Harbour.
His offshore geophysicist job meant he worked six weeks on and six weeks off. This gave him plenty of free time to do as he pleased when he wasn’t breaking his ankles. But once back on board the boat, his main form of exercise was yoga,
“You can do it almost anywhere and with very little space or material,” he explained.
Over a decade later he had quenched his thirst of travel and had saved enough money to change his lifestyle. In 2016 he left the industry and focussed more on family life.
“I gifted myself the yoga teacher training as a bit of a treat after working for 11 years offshore,” he said.
He didn’t initially intend to train others. “I wanted to do it purely for me to help learn how to live with myself once I was back on dry land, but during the training I started to like the idea of sharing yoga with other people as a teacher myself.”
Adam fulfilled a 200-hour yoga teacher training course in Spain and believes the best way to learn is to do the course over a long period of time to allow you to digest and deepen your understanding of what you are learning.
He’d met Sonia on a beach in Bournemouth in 2011 while he was kitesurfing and they wanted to settle into a different lifestyle. Eventually the couple bought a large house in Estepona and set up a B&B.
Sonia is a qualified dietician and nutritionist who specialises in vegan and vegetarian food. Her recipe for Raw Vegan Energy Bites will be included in our next online magazine.
Hobbies form a big part of their lives. They enjoy snowboarding and snow kiting and Adam’s third ankle break happened while snowboarding in the Swiss Alps.
He now enjoys climbing and mountain biking because he says, “Where we live truly is paradise for those two sports.” But loving a sport doesn’t stop you breaking your ankle. And he did this for a fourth time whilst mountain biking.
Yoga sounds like a much better idea and Adam likes to practice and teach Rocket Yoga, “It is very similar to Ashtanga and from an onlooker would be described as much faster and stronger than the vinyasa style.”
I had a few burning questions to ask Adam:
Q. So what is it about yoga that makes the body supple?
A. There are many factors of yoga that help to maintain a supple body. The simple fact of repeated postures or exercises that are designed to stretch your muscles and improve the range of motion in your joints is a huge factor. Another factor is that a large number of yoga postures not only work on flexibility but also on strengthening, which is another element that helps maintain agility and suppleness.
Q. Does a specific diet help?
A. Although there is no ‘strict yoga diet,’ a large number of yogis choose to follow a vegetarian or vegan diet which follows ahimsa, or the yogic practice of nonviolence. This practice prevents them from eating animals because it’s violent to take the life of another living being. In terms of helping your yoga practice scientific studies have proven that a consumption of meat protein can lead to a build-up of waste products like uric acid and lactic acid in the muscles. This build-up eventually leads to soreness in the muscles and a slower recovery rate, which adversely affects flexibility which will certainly not help while you are on your yoga mat.
Q. Is it suitable for everyone?
A. Yoga in some form or another can be practiced by absolutely everyone, from bedridden 90 year olds to gymnasts who can hold one-handed handstands. The style and intensity of the practice will obviously be different but yoga asana (the practice of performing yoga poses) can still be practiced. Understandably injuries and medical conditions can be huge limitations but variations or alternatives can always be made.
Q. Are your free videos – Change your Life in 15 minutes a day with Yoga – geared at people who can already do yoga?
A. In my experience 95% of the yoga poses in this small series should be achievable for anyone with a reasonable level of fitness. One of the important factors in the physical practice of yoga is that it doesn’t matter what you look like in a pose, but the feeling and sensation that it gives. For example it is not a pre-requisite to be able to touch your toes to get a good stretch and sensation in your legs while in a forward fold. If the viewer has never practiced yoga before then the first time it may seem advanced or even out of reach but very quickly the viewer will learn to modify or adapt if necessary.
Q. What sort of classes do you usually offer and does being in a warm country help?
A. In general I offer three levels of practice, which in very basic terms are better suited to beginners, intermediate and advanced practitioners however I encourage everyone to come and try any class because I always offer variations or modifications in poses to make it accessible for the vast majority of people. If anyone has any very special requirements with injuries or other complications then I also offer private classes. I feel that being in a warm country probably helps more on a psychological or motivational level than a physical level, when the sun is shining we are generally more receptive and open to move our bodies
Q. On a different subject, how difficult have you and Sonia found being in a lockdown situation as I know you have two young daughters?
A. Jody is three and Alma is one so we have definitely had our hands full. I am not sure that ‘difficult’ is the right word, I would say that we have been pushed to be quite a lot more creative in our choice of entertainment at home as we would normally spend a lot of time in the local parks or down on the beach. We also don’t make it easy for ourselves because we almost completely prohibit the girls any type of screen time.
And finally I asked Adam what he missed most about Dorset.
“Apart from the obvious of missing friends and family from Dorset there is not actually too much that I miss. I have been asked the question many times and the only real thing I always come up with is the way that people socialise. In Spain there is not much of a culture of getting together to do things in the evenings midweek because generally people work later hours.”
If you would like to meet Adam Turner at Turnilla Yoga Studio in Spain and discover how to change your life in 15 minutes a day with yoga, visit https://turnillayoga.com/change-your-life-in-15-minutes/ and bearing in mind Adam has broken both his ankles twice, on four separate occasions, notice how flexible they are.
Adam’s report is the second from our series ‘Life in Lockdown’ featuring lockdown stories from people in Dorset and across the globe. ‘Life in Lockdown’ aims to shine a light on how people’s lives have been affected by lockdown and how they are surviving. They will share their experiences and tips for living in lockdown. We will be publishing the reports online over the next couple of weeks and in the upcoming May 4Dorset magazine. If you have a lockdown story you would like to share please get in touch as we would love to hear from you.
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