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Yoga

One Day Yoga-Pranayama-Meditation Retreat at Angkor Zen Mar 30, 2016

One Day Yoga-Pranayama-Meditation Retreat at Angkor Zen

GPS waypoint: 13°20'18.6"N 103°49'45.9"E
Location: located 3kms from the Old Market

Angkor Zen Gardens Retreat Center
In pursuit of my deepening yoga practice in Siem Reap, I came across a retreat center on the outskirt of town, 3 kms from the hustle-and-bustle of Pub Street - the Angkor Zen Gardens Retreat Center. The center has a garden setting with bungalows, dorm beds, an alfresco dining area and a salt-water swimming pool. Meals are vegetarian, with produce from the market, done daily for freshness. Yoga and meditation are done in the garden within an open hut. Guests have a minimum of 3 days stay to immerse themselves into the restorative activities of the center, where they are soothed by the tranquil serenity of the environment and come away at peace, renewed and refreshed. My participation was for a full day of activities - 4 yoga sessions capped by a one hour meditation.

Daily Schedule

($8/yoga class for non-residents)
  • 6:45am - 8:00am - yoga
  • 9:30am - 11:00am - pranayama & meditation
  • 2:45pm - 3:45pm - restorative yoga or sound healing or laughter yoga
  • 4:30pm - 5:30pm - yoga
  • 6:00pm - 7:00pm - meditation
One Day Yoga-Pranayama-Meditation Retreat at Angkor Zen

Marc - Tai-Chi as an Art of Living
My contact person was Marc, a well-spoken Belgian who manages the place. We had a few fleeting conversation sometimes with other guests. He is versed in meditation, Tai-Chi and Wing Chun. When I asked him if he teaches Tai-Chi, he had an interesting answer - one that resonates with me. He said to teach the play-by-play of Tai-Chi is not as meaningful as teaching someone how to live the daily life in accordance to the principles of Tai-Chi. In short, transcend Tai-Chi from a workout to an art of living. I find this compelling. Even in yoga, it's easy to teach someone the Asanas. But the more pressing imperative is, how do you take your yoga beyond the mat? I do not know of any such teachers. I believe there is a strong need for one - by someone who has already ran the gauntlet of life and can assimilate concept with the lessons of life gleaned from battle-scarred trenches. Marc seems to have that professional competency.

Peoplescape

peoplescape

What I found calming was the cozy atmosphere and the relax energy of those who were there. Cellphones and internet gadget were discouraged to develop a sense of community amongst the guests and hosts. Friendly cats and dogs were there in the gamut, completely at ease with one another. The overall vibe was laid-back and unhurried.

Yoga
Katia, a yogini from Colombia, conducted the beginner morning yoga. I found it a fusion of Tai-Chi moves blended into Asana with a few borrowed poses from Ashtanga. Her afternoon session was more dynamic with extended holds that worked out a sweat. Tammy, a Hawaian-Taiwanese yogini, conducted the morning session with a mix of pranayama, mindfulness and walking meditation. Her afternoon class was restorative yoga with the use of stacked pillows to open-up and release stuck energies. The intensity of the classes were measured according to the varying levels of the participants.

Meditation
It was Marc who conducted the evening one-hour silent meditation. As the sun was sinking, the mood morphed into something more sublime and relaxed specially with the lit Buddha in front of us and the fragrance of incense in the backdrop. It was a soothing way to cap a meditative day.

Ending Thoughts
I only stayed a day, but it felt like home. I met nearly everyone who was there and even got some to be Facebook friends. It was refreshing to have that conversation with Marc. Increasingly, I find myself meeting such evolved people whose tenets of life mirror mine - perhaps it is the law of attraction in play. I will remember this one-day episode with fondness and affection to everyone I have met. Thank you Marc for making this happen. I am grateful.

--- TheLoneRider

Angkor Zen Gardens Retreat Center

yoga is in a garden setting yoga space on wooden floors retreat bungalows chill-out center
community dining center lounge area salt-water pool...no chlorine a conversation with Marc
Tammy with her morning pranayama flowing dreadlocks Nora beside Buddha walking meditation
taking a break with Joy and Muriel...both  are part Filipina...what are the odds? in Savasana Tammy walking around with Carl in the foreground
restorative Child's Pose Katia with a more dynamic sequence Marc conducting the meditation class  
Angkor Zen Gardens Retreat Center

Angkor Zen Gardens Retreat Center

Location: located 3kms from the Old Market
Tel: (855) 77 416 524 (English - French)
(855) 012 410 805 (Khmer)
Email: AngkorZen@gmail.com

Siem Reap Cost Index (US$1 = Riel 4049 = Php 46.47 as of Mar 26, 2016)

  1. $2.00 haircut (they'll price you at $3 but local price is only $2)
  2. $0.50 one mug draft beer
  3. $0.50 1.5 liter drinking water
  4. $4.00 one hour massage
  5. $2.00 muesli breakfast
  6. $0.50-1.50 coffee
  7. $2.00 pad thai
  8. $1.00 bicycle rental, 24 hours
  9. $0.25 sugar cane juice in a plastic cup
  10. $0.50 fresh coconut
  11. $5.00/day single fan rooms
  12. $4.00/day dorm lodging at Garden Village Guesthouse
  13. $18.00 starting price for Phare circus
  14. $1.00/kilo laundry
  15. $1.00 regular tuk-tuk ride around town
  16. $15.00 tuk-tuk ride for a short tour of Angkor Wat
  17. $20.00 Angkor Wat admission fee
  18. $8.00 1-hour drop-in yoga session
  19. $5.00 Alibaba pants (asking price is usually $8 but they'll go down to $5)

How to Get to Siem Reap Proper from the airport

  1. take a tuk-tuk at the airport to the town center, $5/trip (you can split the cost with other passengers from your plane), 10 min

Siem Reap FYI / Tips

  • no need to convert your dollars into riel. All establishments in Cambodia accept US dollars.

Cambodia Blogs by TheLoneRider

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Facebook Users

Reader Comments:

Joy AqwaJoy Aqwa
(Apr 1, 2016) Beautifully written and such a pleasure to meet you smile emoticon. looking forward to see you again

Judy MarianuJudy Marianu
(Apr 1, 2016) Great write-up and thanks for the pictures! Yes, Marc is special

Natalia BondarenkoNatalia Bondarenko
(Apr 1, 2016) A great blog about a special place, and the bonus was meeting you Gigit!

Joanna Co LizaresJoanna Co Lizares
(Apr 1, 2016) ...that's something I would like to join

Sabrina SchindlerSabrina Schindler
(Apr 1, 2016) I have also been there for a yoga class! and for the gorgeous pool

Mar 30, 2016

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