This photo was taken a couple of years ago when I hosted a yoga retreat in Cambodia. I had gone there to build houses in a rural village with the Tabitha Foundation, an NGO set up 25 years ago by an amazing woman, Janne Ritskes. About 10 years ago, Janne had a dream to build a hospital in Phnom Penh to provide gynaecological and cancer treatment for women, who would otherwise suffer in silence.
Last year this dream was realised with opening of the Nokor Tep hospital, which I was delighted to visit in the final stages of its construction.
This year, the hospital has opened its in-patient wards and is providing treatment at affordable rates for all women in Cambodia.
Cambodia is predominantly a Buddhist country, so it seems fitting to celebrate Vesak Day, the celebration of the birth, enlightenment and massing of Gautama Buddha with a fundraiser for Nokor Tep Hospital.
So I am inviting you to join me online on Thursday 7th May at 5 p.m. UK time for a one hour Restorative Yoga practice.
This practice does not require any previous experience of yoga. You will be invited to lie down in various simple poses, supported by pillows, cushions and blankets to enable you to get really comfortable and relaxed. To aid your relaxation, I will guide you through a 'yoga nidra' or yogic sleep, where you fall into that state between wakefulness and sleeping, which enables the body and soul to rest and replenish.
Please join me via the Facebook event and if you would like to donate to support the hospital, there is a button below.
So I successfully completed the 10km run on Saturday 28th September. It was a wet and windy weekend, but fortunately we were blessed with dry and slightly overcast weather for the event, which makes for just about perfect running conditions.
Prior to the run, to prepare myself mentally and physically, I did a couple of rounds of the moon salutation, which is a great pre or post run stretch, plus it was a new moon that morning so seemed appropriate.
One of the great things about the women's race is the attitude of the other runners: everyone is very supportive of each other and it is not at all competitive (well not where I was was - perhaps more so up at the front!). My husband commented before the start, that it was not at all like a men's race where they would all be psyching themselves up, we were just having fun!
It felt good to be doing the run for a purpose (to raise funds for the Nokor Tep Women's Hospital in Cambodia) rather than just for my own satisfaction and I am immensely grateful to all my friends and supporters who have sponsored me. If you missed the opportunity beforehand, but would like to support the fitting out of the hospital, please click on the button below:
Karma Yoga is one of the 4 paths of Yoga. Karma is a widely used term in common parlance, but not always fully understood. The Sanscrit meaning of "Karma" is simply action. The underlying meaning is that our actions today determine our future circumstances.
Karma is also defined as selfless service, in that the results of the actions we undertake should have no attachment for us.
For myself, karma yoga is the voluntary work that I do for the charity Tabitha Foundation UK. This organisation supports our sister NGO in Cambodia, whose aim is to alleviate poverty amongst the rural poor in that country.
A major project for the organisation has been the building of a hospital for women in Phnom Penh (capital of Cambodia) where there are many women who have no access to medical care. This hospital has been funded by contributions from people all over the world who wish to see medical treatment, that we take for granted in our home countries, available to these women.
To this end, I am participating in a 10km run in Windsor Great Park on 28th September and am raising funds to support the hospital.
If you would like to donate, please click on the button!