This was my first yoga retreat and it was exactly what I needed, at the right time. The program includes jala neti kriya (nasal cleansing with warm saline water) - which sounds scary but was not that scary after all, - pranayama (breathing exercises), meditation, discussion of yoga philosophy and asana practice. All this was held in a lovely wooden traditional Malay house set in the middle of greenery. It was a joy to be there in the early mornings as the dawn was breaking, breathing in cool air and listening to the sounds of the nature.
I opted to stay in a hotel of my choice and Meng Foong was always very punctual when picking me up in the mornings! Tip: Be there 5 minutes before the actual time and you'll be right :)
Fresh and tasty meals were provided (vegetarian) and were cooked by Marc himself. Brunch was accompanied by sweet juicy mangoes and homebaked breads.
Most importantly I really appreciated Marc and Meng Foong's warm welcome and their sharing of their lives, experiences, observations and knowledge. They have helped me view yoga holistically and understand that yoga is more than just about doing an asana well. I will remember Meng Foong's down-to-earth, candid sharing of basic philosophies such as "Let it go," "No attachments", "Do not compare", "No expectations", "Have compassion" etc - things which I have always known but which never really sank in! It was as if the lightbulb came on during this retreat - and even now back in my home country I find myself a lot calmer and at peace with myself.
I made some lovely friends this trip as well from Australia and the UK - both very warm and friendly ladies. On the third day Marc and Meng Foong took us to the waterfall and it was glorious soaking in the cold water. After that we had pastries and tea at a little cafe - and on that day we also had great conversation about many different topics.
My tips would be to travel light, and to pack thin and loose clothing. The yoga was done in an open-air setting and thin and loose clothing would be more comfortable especially in the humid, balmy afternoons. Mosquito repellent would be useful if you're prone to mozzie bites. Most importantly, go with an open mind and enjoy yourself!
I gained so much from this short trip. Thanks Marc and Meng Foong! Hope to see you again soon.
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