Whilst in Cambodia we thought it might be about the right time in our trip to give our bodies and minds a bit of a relaxation overhaul and head for a yoga treat. Nine months in and with a majorly sore back from some pretty crappy hostel beds the last three days have been just what the doctor ordered you could say.
At a younger age I was never particular keen on my mums passion for yoga and certainly didn’t share it, now having finally succumbed to joining her for a few classes after finishing uni 3years ago I have to say, I am definitely a convert. Travelling and not managing to fit as much yoga in as I would at home has been hard. We found Angkor Bodhi Tree yoga and meditation retreat via tripadvisor and we weren’t disappointed. It really did take us out of the hustle and bustle of Siem Reap and provided a home away from home! We had home cooked Khmer vegetarian meals cooked on site by the retreats chief and it was delicious, with lots of fresh exotic fruit for afters – heaven. The beds were super comfy and finally finally I had 3 nights of amazing uninterrupted deep sleep. Something generally unheard of in dorm rooms and hostels. Our dorm room at Bodhi Tree held all but the two of us so, I concluded we may as well consider it a private room for once.
The 6 am wake up call from Bob wasn’t exactly easy, but the rigorous workout and activities of the day left us pretty ready for bed by the time we finished evening meditation so things all balanced out. A mixture of yoga, stretching, balancing (yes I managed to balance on a slack line, shock horror, as my coordination generally leaves me falling all over the place) and sitting in meditation definitely started to take it’s toll over three days but the ache was a good “I’ve worked out” ache for once. Fitness whilst travelling I’ve found is a pretty difficult one, not having the perseverance to go running around random towns and villages in SE Asia, my commitment in Sydney at New Year lasted all of 2 runs over the harbour bridge.
What was so lovely about our time at Bodhi was that as well as learning new tips and tricks for yoga, relaxation, stretching and meditation was that Siem Reap started to feel familiar, heightened I believe by the family feel of the communal dinners with the other guests and Bob making you feel at home. We found out about an International Film Festival and watched a film on the 1979s band Dr Feelgood. Turns out my dad was a fan even though me and Kat had never heard of them. We also spent time at a local free school. Oh my I now understand just how hard it is for people teaching English when they don’t speak the local language. But it was so worth it, thrust in front of a class with no clue what we were doing and just the book the students were working from in front of us, we just had to go with it and ad lib and draw on everything we thought we knew and not care how ridiculous we might look to the group of about 10 students, supposedly 9-12, not that half of them looked that, sitting in front of us. As we left all we could say was I wish we’d had more time to come back here.
These 3 days of yoga, films and English are truly what made the trip to Cambodia for me and the amazingly lovely people we met throughout the country. When it came time to leave Bodhi Tree I was quite literally almost in tears,not exactly uncommon for me, I’m the first to admit I’m an overly emotional person, but I think that shows how deeply I felt about this place in such a short space of time!