Ive always wanted to go to a retreat where you solely concentrate on your health and well being. With meditation and yoga exercises with Reiki and healthy food offered to you. So you can imagine my excitement when I came across a place just like that in Siem Reap. So I had done three full weeks of travelling and touring and temple visits and I’d realised that I hadn’t stayed still for longer then three days at a time. So after a lot of googling, I found Blue Indigo Cottage retreat centre. And it was more than I would have ever dreamed for the price.
I spent roughly £130 for a week stay and that included three yoga classes, one meditation and one lecture a day. As well as a beautiful vegetarian breakfast and lunch served every day at 7am and 12pm.
My first day was a little nerve wrecking, I’d never been to one of these sorts of places and I didn’t know what to expect. The first thing that caught my attention was the beauty of the surroudings. Blue Indigo is located off a busy street in Siem Reap and coming from the hustle and bussle of the city sounds to then go down a narrow alley way and through some wooden gate doors it felt like I was going into a tropical Narnia. I found the reception and was greeted by a very sweet young girl who registered me in and showed me to my room. I was given a towel and a Yoga mat with a $15 deposit that I would get back when I checked out. I was then showed around the area, the meditation spot, the chill out area, the dining area and the lecture room.
In the afternoon there was a yoga class which I attended. The wonderful Yoga instructor flowed through the class and made me feel like I was capable of doing anything. I loved the fact that the classes were outside where you could take in the natural surroundings. I found myself focusing soley on that moment. It was very grounding and I knew from that moment that this was going to be a good week.
After the afternoon class there was an evening class immediately after that was Flying Yoga. Now this, I was most certainly not a natural at. I fell multiple times and it hurt more than it did being it me but that was most likely because I was doing it wrong most of the time. It definitely awoke my abdominal muscles.
I struggled to wake up to my new routine at 6am starters for the yoga classes but I made it. Not as many people attended the morning class as I expected but it gave me the opportunity to have a more one on one experience with the yoga instructor.
After the hour and a half yoga class it was breakfast time. They served beautiful fresh fruit with Toast and yogurt with fresh condiments all organic. It was delicious and gave me the perfect energy to go through the day of intense meditations and lectures about the history of Yoga and where it originated from.
Lunch time was my favourite time of day. It felt so communal and tasted delicious. Everyday at 12 they would serve beautifully freshly made food with spices and herbs picked from the garden in the centre. All vegetarian, which was difficult in the beginning but I got used to it after day three.
Not only was the food great but the company was even better. We would all sit at the table together, students teachers alike. All different ages and different backgrounds and countries. We talked about life and hopes and dreams. After every lunch, I felt like I’d had a therapy session. It was so nice to talk to people with such creative and positive outlooks on life.
I take this day in my free time to concentrate on what I had learnt so far. I try some of the difficult stand such as the crouching crow pose. I managed to hold it long enough to have a photo taken but I defiantly had a long way to go.
We had the honour of being visited by monks and had a traditional blessing from them where they chant and we bow and they chant some more. They then threw water over us and beautiful petals and flower buds it was really quite beautiful to witness. I only wish I could have known what they were saying. I think I would have appreciated it more if I’d have understood the blessing chants.
I decided to leave the Yoga retreat for a Pottery class for the day so I did not attend the morning class.
It was nice to leave the retreat and stretch my legs a bit. I really enjoyed the experience- I was greeted by smiling faces and then given a one on one pottery class with a man who seemed to be deaf. He could not speak so it was a lot of hand gestures and pointing but the staff were so friendly and the teacher was so patient with me when I couldn’t be ubderstand him or when I did something wrong. I ended up making six pieces and keeping two for $5 each.
I finally feel confident in my routine and enjoy the classes of Yoga in every way. I feel much more flexible than when I started and in tune with my body ten times more.
I wake up with more energy in the day and I can only think it must be the excessive and food. I vow to myself that I will continue this diet of fresh fruit and vegetables in my diet and I actually feel like I mean it.
I had many feelings on leaving the retreat. It had become the first place I’d stayed at for longer than four days in nearly a month. It had started to feel like home. But more than any of the other feelings I had, I felt proud. Proud that I had come to this retreat with barely any knowledge of yoga and left with a bigger understanding and appreciation to it than I’d ever thought possible.