(a page from my journal during my yoga retreat at Hariharalaya Retreat in Cambodia)
28th May 2016
I have been sleeping like a baby. I skipped two evening activities, first because I’ve already seen the film they featured during the movie night and second, I didn’t really want to play the game last night – my body is still aching right now from all the yoga we have been doing.
Yesterday was amazing, we took our old rickety bikes for a ride to the village. The markets were closed in the afternoon – but who cares, we went anyway. We cycled along pathways lined with red, sandy earth. It was beautiful. The houses were simple and far apart from its neighbors – and you can tell straightaway that the way of life here is slow and simple. They waved their hands and say hello to us when we passed by. Young children, adults (and stray dogs) alike greeted us with their warm smiles. We continued on, passing by grazing and boney cows on the fields, men working on their homes and women gathering around their hammocks to chat and just be.
It’s renewing being here – if life can be this slow and peaceful – then what are we rushing for in the city? I have no idea – but surely, this is the only way to live in here, at least in this part of the world. We made a stop at a small coffee / coconut stall that also sells traditional Khmer outfits (for the tourists) which was just opposite the temple. We had fresh coconuts that cost us a dollar each. And just when we were enjoying our coconuts, the rain poured – it was beautiful. The sound of the rain was soothing – the last time I heard one was through my ‘spa’ playlist on Spotify. It was just pouring evenly on the red earth and I can smell the ground – a pleasant earthy smell.
We continued to cycle back to the yoga center and cycled past a challenging muddy trail with several potholes – I was treading on and on and in some spots – I could feel the heat of the ground rising. My heart galloping like crazy – I am not at all confident in a bike – and I was praying, dear God – please don’t let me embarrass myself today and fall off a puddle of mud. And by all graces – we reached back into the center again (after getting lost for an hour and getting burned under the hot sun!)
It’s beautiful in here, I am sitting outside waiting for the gong to ring to call for morning practice. I have several hammocks around me and lots of trees surrounding me. And now it has rung – time for yoga!