Whilst living in Cambodia a participant in my classes, Khmer Woman, school admin. ambitious Yoga teacher to be, and friend, Sokuntheary, wrote in response to a friends comment on FB, “you have Good life in Cambodia”
Sokuntheary replied”… in the 3rd world and under the hot sun, we tend to live tenderly, smoothly and with the flow of our hearts…”
this says so much to me… many people living in rural communities around the world live to the flow of the seasons and land and their heart… more naturally than city folk… not to mention most city folk giggle at the idea of listening to your heart.
sometimes when I’m on the Yoga mat, I think that the real Yoga is out on the street, or over a coffee talking to people and listening to their stories. So much Hardship… So much Joy… Confirming the joy, accepting the rest. Trying too.
I sat next to a 23 year old man at a cafe. He’s surveying different areas in the provinces of rural Cambodia for sustainable infrastructure, funded by non-profit organisations. Wells, irrigation systems, buildings made with traditional techniques and materials. He spoke fluent Khmer to the staff, and he laughed in his high pitched voice at the end of his sentences. Just like the locals. I think he said h e was tasmanian, very white in complexion, and he would blush heavily when he laughed… I wanted to hug him and tell him how highly I regard him, and how easy he makes being a nice guy, look. Land mines… unbearable heat and dust, relentless rain, mosquitoes, snakes. And on emails the rest of the time meeting deadlines. What a man! Keep up the good work i said as we left…
And all the men and women ex-pats I’m meeting, Dutch, Italians, Aussies, Germans, French… assisting in projects to change legislation and minimise corruption, educate, buy books and shoes… There’s 800 Non Government Organisations here in Siem Reap alone. (Most) Getting funds where they’re needed. Living here for years. A wonderful ex-pat community. All (most), living with empathy and compassion… there is no problem that does not have a solution, and no situation that is all bad.
Money, financial assistance is being pumped into Cambodia from around the world. Most of it lines the pockets of officials, elites and their mates… I see a Hummer (those trendy tank cars) every day when riding around Siem Reap, more then I have ever seen in my life.
THe average folk here make less than AU$100 a month. Rent for a room around $30 – 50 (poor). Bills food petrol $40. Go to a bbq with some beers, dinner out and send the kids to school. Thats about it. Maybe save for a trip to the beach. Siem Reap is inland. If you get sick or loose your job times get tough… We’re all the same. Living on a smile, that is free, not taxed and unregulated is enough for most here it seems.
And everything is made a little better with good coffee. THere’s 3 Aussie run cafes in Siem Reap. Sister Srey, The Hive and Little Red Fox. With brilliant friendly staff and ambience, and excellent coffee and things like eggs benedict and avo fetta taost to bring a little familiarity to the stomach…
INTENTION FOR PRACTICE…
Typically in Iyengar Yoga we begin with ‘supta’ reclined, laying down poses, releasing. Then we sit and connect with the breath, ‘ujjayi’ breath, and maybe chant 3 Oms, preparing. So automatically we have set intention to focus inwards. Teachers often ask; what’s different in your mind-body at the end of class/practice compared to the beginning. huh? What is the quality that we create and maintain and build throughout the practice, and finally sharpen it in savasana… Is it not your state of awareness? Presence? Clarity? There is an undercurrent of work, tempering, unifying that happens to behind/under the instructions and intricacies of the Asana (postures).
“Without intention, all these postures, these breathing practices, meditations, and the like can become little more than ineffectual gestures. When animated by intention, however, the simplest movement, the briefest meditation, and the contents of one breath cycle are made potent.” ~ Donna Farhi
Today on the 1st annversary of Guruji’s, BKS Iyengars death, we remember the man and his deeds. With a Deep Gratitude that a thousand Thank You’s cannot begin to show appreciation.
“Be a learner, work slow, exercise patience and seek out alignment; not just physical alignment. Fear and Fatigue block the mind; Confront both squarely and then courage and confidence will flow in you” – BKS Iyengar
…and more recently thank you to Anthony M, Andrew R and Ma Cecile for the Company Inspiration and Love…