My creative team on Romblon Island. Photo by Martin Villas.

We fly, we cruise, we sail, we ride motorcycles, we cross rivers, we sleep in buses, we explore ruins, we wander in old mansions, we ask, we understand, we dive deeper, we swim in turquoise waters, we dip in blue lagoons, we discover life, we make new friends, we hop among islands, we clamber over rocks, we enter deep jungles, we immerse among tribes, we learn our old ways, we sleep in strange places, we try exotic food, we climb mountains, we chase the radiant sun, our hearts quiver, we fall in love--again, and again, and again.

// May 2018

Matless Yoga Every Damn Day

As I write this, I am sitting at the balcony of a hostel in Phnom Penh, and have just finished yoga teachers training in Siem Reap. Frankly, I don't know if I really am ready to teach, but before I even got myself into this crazy idea (Me, a yoga teacher?! Not in my wildest nightmare!), I already was teaching yoga to my family and friends, the latest of which was teaching by the beach in southern Cambodia. It wasn't so hard--actually it felt second nature to me since I've been practicing it for two years. That seems like a long time but I'm still far from being "advanced". I guess I needed refinement and a deeper understanding of the whole practice.

What is Classic Yoga?

The course I went through in Siem Reap delved into classic yoga otherwise known as Raja Yoga. All other forms of yoga in human history developed from this, its pure, classic form. Essentially, practicing classic yoga purifies and charges the subtle bodies, where muscle toning and weight loss are but mere side effects. It's meant to clear up the gunk in one's energetic system through deep sacral breathing and simple effortless poses. Yoga in the media today is being misinterpreted as a stretching exercise or awkward, impossible contortions, when in truth it's a meditation practice that requires an understanding of breath work and subtle body anatomy.

Long-term Benefits of Yoga

Going Matless on the Naked Floor

Mainstream yoga is clunky with its needless complications and multiple props. Truth is, you don't really need any of them, unless you're physically impaired or disabled. Before the past few decades, people since the ancient times practiced yoga with just two things: one's body and an even ground. Wear something you're comfortable with and you're good to go. Going matless provides a pleasant tactile experience with different floor surfaces and creates more intimacy with the ground. In outdoor settings, doing yoga on the grass, beach, or open soil doubles as an earthing practice. But for those not used to feeling "dirty" with the naked floor, you can practice yoga on a blanket or towel.

Finding that Sweet Spot

Each pose has what is called a sweet spot. It's where everything feels painless, effortless, and deliciously orgasmic. It's like breathing a nice perfume for the soul, and allowing the body to release its natural bliss hormone. Before I reached that feeling, I practiced yoga in a studio for several months and at the time I went solo, I just subscribed to leading yoga instructors on youtube. It's actually quite simple. You just need to know how your body feels and how you feel. If it feels like a bitch, you're not meant to practice that pose yet! It's helpful to read up on harnessing the power of deep, conscious breathing to illuminate the subtle bodies.

// Jan 2018

Ripping through Siem Reap

Explored this ancient megacity for a whole day and loved it to bits.

// Nov 2017

Rainy Sunday in the Jungle

Still on month 11 of traveling solo. The first 10 months of backpacking in the Philippines was just a dry run. I thought, if I can do that without much of a problem, I can do it in Asia. And if I can do it in Asia, I can do it in the neighboring continent. And if I can do that, I can do it anywhere else, like Mars.XD It's this little girl's dream come true: to write books, travel the world, absorb strange cultures, and just go with the flowww. That's the Tao Te Ching of living the dream. My dream, anyway.

It's just been a week since I got here in Cambodia. After exploring the temple ruins of Siem Ream I headed south to Kep, an old French colonist beach town with easy access to outdoor trails, coastal places, and islands. I still have bouts of anxiety, because my host is not Khmer (Cambodian), but French. I am adjusting constantly everyday for the past week, alongside juggling travel writing (new book coming out this week! YAYYY!), teaching English, doing yoga, and exploring Kep, not to mention Kep National Park, where I am located. But so far, my host seems to like me that he's extended my stay from two weeks to two months. o.o

I only got here through referral via Reddit, which I am immensely grateful for any question that I have in mind. Initially, I flew to Cambodia with ZERO PLANS just as I did when traveling to any place in the Philippines. But I guess not planning anything in an alien territory is recipe for disaster. Meaning, more expense, more hassle, more time spent figuring things out. (Not everyone here understands English, and I have yet to learn how to hitchhike without the language barrier.) After all, I am outside my home country. Everything is new and unfamiliar that my senses are always traipsing on the edge.

I'm living in a traditional Khmer house for the next couple of weeks.

Other houses in the jungle, overlooking the Gulf of Thailand.

I don't like traveling too fast. I haven't even digested Siargao yet, and I had to go through Camiguin Island, Cagayan de Oro, Manila, and then Siem Reap, before settling in Kep, Cambodia. All that in just two weeks, I can feel my internal organs rearranging themselves in my belly. Good thing there's Kep National Park where I can easily sneak into to get centered and grounded. The main trail is 8km long, with several benches and some decks overlooking the sea. Other minor trails cut through the interiors, one leading to Sunset Rock, where I am going later this afternoon to watch the sunset.

I feel a little shitty right now to be frank because the weather's terrible. Been raining since this morning and I was planning to bike towards Wat Samathi Pagoda, check out the market and get some oats and beans, and buy some laundry soap. But noooo, what with the rain and cold, I can't bike, can't see the pagoda, can't buy food, can't do my laundry, and maybe can't see the sunset from Sunset Rock. Booo. I'm just moping in the house figuring out how to spend the day. My fingers are crossed that the afternoon is going to get SUNNY. Until then I'm just going to map out a new book to calm down this crazy.

// Nov 2017

Pinto Art Museum

Pop art for the starved soul.

// Nov 2017

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