The moment I step out of the airport and feel the scent of heavy, all embracing warmth on my face, it begins. My breathing deepens, my mind softens, which in turn switches on my eyes and mouth into one continuous smile. This is the Sri Lankan effect. It is the land of healing and well-being.
Even in a drunken jet lag state I cannot suppress the bubbling sense of anticipation of another retreat. A familiar face to greet me at the airport followed by more reunions as I finally arrive at my home from home......#Thambapanni is the yoga retreat centre made in heaven.
Every sense is awakened - herbs, spices, jasmine, aromatic healing oils caress your nostrils from the moment you wake. Intense, sharp colours from the walls of Thambapanni to the exotic floating flowers bring vibrancy to your day. Bird song, monkey chatter, evening temple chanting, all somehow blend harmoniously with the daily reality of tuk tuk beeping, and lorry engines roaring....it shakes you alive. This place is real.
I love being close to the hustle and bustle of Sri Lankan community, while being able to retreat softly back home to my calm healing sanctuary. I am blessed to be able to teach in this special space, sharing the yoga shala with the wonderful Ranjan, Thambapanni's Ayurvedic therapist and yoga teacher.
I bring students to this wonderful place to heal, to practice Kundalini yoga with me, however, it also becomes a healing time for me too.
I learn from all my students; we belly laugh, share stories, let the emotions out.
Listening, learning and re-connection also takes place during Ranjan's yoga class. He shares his experiences of yoga in a simple heart-felt way, demonstrating the source of this ancient practice....one that brings connection, balance and harmony into our lives.
In our complicated, rich Western lives, even our yoga practice can become too sophisticated, too trendy, too far removed from its origins. Ranjan's class, performed in silence with only the sound of wild-life and the occasional waft of incense, brings the practice back to source. I relish this hour of practice every morning before breakfast. It is my time.