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Join Kelly and Scott for a six day journey of peaceful unfolding through yoga and meditation in the stunning beauty of the Cardamom Mountains. The focus of the retreat will be on rest and relaxation, reconnecting with your deeper self so that you can greet the world with greater clarity and inner strength. Through simple practice and the calm of the wilderness around you, you will find ways to relax into the natural peace. From that safe and open space, you will find the key to the deep well of your heart.
During the retreat, you will be residing at the Rainbow Lodge, a unique eco-resort located on the banks of the Tatai River in the stunningly beautiful rainforests of the Cardamom Mountains.
The ideal location, the great accommodation and the fantastic food, together with a wide variety of relaxing and exciting activities, make Rainbow Lodge the perfect place for your next getaway. Inaccessible by roads alone, the resort is a beautiful 10-minute boat ride upriver from the village of Tatai, on the main road between the Cambodian capital, Phnom Penh, and the city of Koh Kong on the Thai border.
Since 2008, Rainbow Lodge has specialized in discovering the right ways to help every guest find their own way to de-stress. In-between the retreat sessions, you will have plenty of time to relax in a manner that suits you best. You will be free to chill and enjoy your time in one of the seven lodges, reading in your hammock or enjoy the excellent food and drink and chat in the open restaurant. The only sounds that break the jungle silence will be from the birds and crickets, and the occasional unseen gibbon passing through the neighborhood.
The classes will take place at a studio called the Yoga Tree. You will meet there each day for yoga meditation and other conscious activities. Completed in February 2016, the Yoga Tree provides the best of modern amenities including a bathroom, shower room, fans and electric lighting and hardwood flooring, along with the natural riverside setting that gives excellent privacy thanks to the surrounding rainforest. A short walkway takes you to a riverside jetty, and to the decking and seating area around our very own Yoga Tree.
You will stay in one of the Rainbow Lodge's seven eco-lodges during this retreat. You can choose to stay in the bungalow alone or to share with a friend or another guest of the same sex if you will be travelling alone.
Tatai Waterfall is a large rocky cascade located amidst a lush jungle setting in the Tatai River. Although the waterfall flows all year, in the dry season it is possible to swim in the naturally formed pools at the bottom of the cascade. In the wet season the river flows in all its might and the waterfall is more spectacular with the enraged white foamed waters running over a two leveled 4 to 6 meter drop set.
Sit back and relax whilst experiencing the remarkable color hue changes and stunning reflections on the river as the sun slowly sets over the jungle canopy.
You will head out towards the sea to an area known locally as “four rivers”, where four rivers converge around a palm fringed island. It is here that you float peacefully whilst watching the sun fall from the skies.
The quality of sunset is variable depending on the season, with the best times being between October and December. However, it is a pleasant trip any time of the year.
Scott came to yoga in his native Scotland in 2001, seeking for a way to deal with the hefty life stresses and an overly active mind. Exploring several different approaches, he soon favoured the gymnastic Ashtanga Vinyasa style until recurring knee injuries prevented him from furthering his practice in that tradition. As well as the strong foundation of teachings in the Krishnamacharya tradition, Scott has found inspiration in his practice from sources such as the yoga Somatics approach of his Tantsu teacher, Ateeka, and the embodied meditation practices of his Vajrayana teacher.
Kelly first came to yoga in 2002 after a trip to India where she discovered the books of B. K. S. Iyengar. She found that practicing yoga gave her the stability that she needed in her life at that time, and helped her to deal with the ups and downs of everyday living. Since completing her teacher training in 2004, Kelly has continued studying in India with the Desikachar family and at the Krishnamacharya Yoga Mandiram in Chennai. Kelly’s passion for yoga, art and music continues to this day, as does her fondness of travel and adventure.
The retreat will take place in the rain forests of the Cardamom Mountains, close to the Cambodian - Thai border in Koh Kong.
This small community is as typical of the Khmer way of life as you are likely to find. Tatai is a poor community with little by way of employment except for farming, yet it is also a community with high spirit, kindness and a hope for a better future.
Traditional stilted houses line the river with their colorful boats moored alongside. Children swim and play and will smile and wave, especially if you make the effort first.
Unlike many places, you can explore this village not as a ‘tour’ that does little to encourage interaction between locals and travellers, but simply as an individual keen to experience life as it really is for the Khmer people.
Set on a large river with river front parks and working fishing villages, Koh Kong is a nice place to explore even for just a couple of hours.
The bustling market is very typical Khmer, with its vibrant fruit and vegetables and fresh seafood. There are plenty of food stalls and Khmer restaurants to try the local fayre or there are now an increasing number of Western-run bars and guesthouses where you can get a coffee, a meal and find out what is going on.
A visit to the Muslim village is a unique experience and a great photo opportunity as you will be surrounded by local children within minutes. Please dress appropriately. Koh Kong has two banks with cash machines and a number of internet cafes.
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During the retreat, you will be served three meals per day, including breakfast, lunch and dinner. Afternoon snacks are also available.
There is a spa and massage services provided at the Yoga Tree. You can enjoy the treatments offered there at an additional cost.
You have the option to fly to Suvarnabhumi International Airport (BKK) or Don Mueang International Airport (DMK) in Bangkok, Thailand or to Phnom Penh International Airport (PNH). The option you choose will likely depend on flight availability and cost at the time of booking.
For booking flights, it is recommended that you check https://www.kayak.com/. If you are travelling from within Asia or from Australia then the budget airline Air Asia often has good deals available. It is worth spending time checking alternative airline deals online. Phnom Penh has only one airport, however please note that Bangkok has two, Suvarnabhumi (BKK) and Don Meung (DMZ). Flying to Thailand is sometimes substantially cheaper, but please be sure to confirm which airport you will arrive at in order to make the right onward travel arrangements.
Please remember that for the period of you retreat, due to the remote location, you will not have access to any shops. The following list cannot be inclusive, but here are a few items you may find essential while in Cambodia:
The clothing that you bring should be light to reflect the tropical climate (shorts and t-shirts). This includes swimwear for the local river (which is completely safe).
Thongs / flip-flops / sandals will be the norm for day-to-day living, but you should bring suitable walking shoes (trainer / sneaker style is ideal) for the nature walk. As well as full-length socks for walking, please bring a spare pair of dark socks for the trip to the waterfall as these are needed to prevent slippage on the underwater rocks when swimming.
Please bring any medication that you require as it may not be available locally. You should also bring sunscreen, mosquito repellent and hand sanitizer.
Although local toiletries are cheap you may not be able to find your preferred brands, so please bring any items that you find essential.
It is a good idea to bring your travel insurance documents, receipts for travelers’ cheques and also two photocopies of your passport and other essential travel documentation. You also will need a passport photograph if you are intending to get a visa on arrival on entering Cambodia.