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self-knowledge

On embracing contradiction and finding balance

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On embracing contradiction and finding balance

This will be my last home in Italy for the summer, and I am here for over a month, strung in limbo between the yoga retreat I’ve just completed teaching on - in Verbier, Switzerland - and the two to come in September - Villa Lena in Tuscany, and at Borgo di Carpiano in Umbria. As I teach on more yoga retreats, more often, I am slowly discovering how my energy levels rise and fall, dip and peak along with the calendar. I find teaching and leading a yoga retreat the most rewarding and wonderful experience, especially because I get to travel with these retreats, feeding my wanderlust and passion for nature. However, it is an emotionally, mentally and physically draining job, with bursts of time (on retreat) when huge amounts of energy is required of me, and bursts of time (off retreat) when things mellow.

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Lessons in the art of surrendering

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Lessons in the art of surrendering

There is a train that speeds past the front end of the Villa de Zoysa property in south western Sri Lanka several times over the day and night. Over the three occasions that I have stayed at Villa de Zoysa, each time for a two-week retreat, I have not ever worked out what the exact timetable of this train is. Of course there is one, but I must say that I have noted anything from a 10minute interval in the morning, to long stretches for hours and hours of silence over another morning. 

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Intimate encounters with fear

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Intimate encounters with fear

The neat and ordered black lines on the page of the novel I am reading bleed into one another. Fatigue draws my eyelids to shudder and then close, like a banged up 90’s Ford Escort attempting a hill start before silently rolling downhill. I am warm, comfortable and relaxed. The day has been full and my muscles feel that satisfying light ache of excursion. The room is quiet and uncluttered. It is a reasonable hour in the evening - perhaps 10pm. All the ingredients for a good night sleep are here with me. I switch off a bedside lamp and snuggle into my duvet. I pop in the earplugs I have come to trust for their utility and comfort. 

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