Yoga as a purpose in life
With MAADS # LivingCambodia
23 November 2017
After a year of serious training, Azahar foundation’s young khmer instructors are holding yoga drop-in or private classes in Siem Reap and Phnom Penh. Get into the flow.
Azahar, orange blossom in Spanish… “Because it starts with AZ, an entirety, and the name came to me as I was watching the flow of blossoming trees from the ancient city of Granada, when cultures once met and mixed gracefully”.
On a quiet terrace of the recently opened Yoga Center in Phnom Penh’s Bassac district, Yogeswari (Estelle Eichenberger) summarizes the vision behind her decision to bring yoga practice to countries still bearing the stigmas of war: Colombia, Rwanda and now Cambodia. “Nowadays, yoga is often seen as some kind of exotic physical exercise for people who have it all, a hobby for jaded urbanites. What we’ve seen here is how this mental and physical activity can bring inner peace, a sense of equilibrium and purpose in life to youngsters with difficult background, orphans, sons and daughters of families plagued by poverty.”
So far, 16 young women have reached the necessary level to lead beginners or confirmed yogis and yoginis into the “Vinyasa Flow”, a fluid sequence of movements and body positions aimed at liberating energies and fostering concentration. “Just being at ease with yourself, feeling great and reaching a physical state where meditation comes to you naturally,” explains Thyda Sek, the young director of Azahar Foundation for Peace, Arts and Yoga operations in Cambodia, “having a good yoga mat is a plus, but you can do without it!”
Srey Lin in Siem Reap, Cheyleang or Chanda in Phnom Penh recall with enthusiasm how they acquired the technique, joined the annual peace camps with other teenagers and found a greater harmony with the world, with themselves. They now teach group or individual sessions, while giving a try to art therapy, and generally leading their life in a country where 70% of the population is under 34 years of age.
Azahar Yoga Centers: Kandal Village in Siem Reap
#39 Street 21 in Phnom Penh
Contact : +855 81 73 20 01