And some more to make.

1. To rouse me from my slumber each morning I use the Sleep Cycle app (best thing EVER; gives you stats, sleep quality, all you could want) with the “Caribbean Cove” sound as my awakening tune. It’s a lovely, gradually building melody rather than a blaring BLAHP BLAHP BLAHP, and it begins with the sound of birds singing so it sweetly intrudes on my dreaming, rather than rip me out of it.

Last night however, after a massive downpour, there were many birds having a chirp around the hotel. I kept thinking it was my alarm, cursing an internal, Oh fuck off, and mentally preparing to rise before I clocked (literally) it was only 2am. Then 3.47. Then 5.12.

When it finally did go at 6.20 I it took me a moment to realise it was the actual riser.

2. While my mind is still always significantly a’whirling, I’m managing a stilling in my physical body. Martinet tells us to observe sensations in and not respond to them, so the last two days I’ve managed to sit with pins and needles for 12 minutes without even a sneaky attempt to alleviate.

3. Aussie Lyndal has been sick with a fever and last night went to the doctors. Guess the cost her consultation? 70 rupees. 21cents. Maye, at home seeing Dr Clare relieves you of an astronomical $46. (Lyndal did have a four hour wait however; though with Dr Clare sometimes it definitely feels just as long flicking through 1997 Woman’s Days and frustratingly looking at the time).

4. Every morning we do an hour 15 minutes of meditation, kriya (techniques to rise you to enlightment) and pranayama. Honestly what we must look like if anyone randomly looked through the window; 21 females of all ages and ethnicities with their eyes closed, popping out their ribs and bouncing up and down on their cross legged bums. You think we’d cracked mate.

Never, ever, ever thought I’d ever be this kind of person.

5. In theory class, Martinet connects her laptop to a projector and, well, projects it onto a blank wall for us to see. Meaning all her desktop is completely visible to us.

This morning I saw a folder that I first took to be named, “New Thang”. I was just comprehending my shock and thinking how I had formulated a major mis-opinion of her, when I looked again and saw it was actually titled, “Nha Trang”.


6. Two things Martinet talks about often in the negative; Iyengar yoga (she calls it “furniture yoga” on account of all the props and such used and constantly goes on about how injurious it is) and her mother. Just snide remarks here and there about how her mum is lazy, only ever watches TV (she’s 93 for fucks sake!) and is very obnoxious.

I think it is extremely ugly a trait.

It’s made me vow never to be like that about my Mummy Deb. If I ever do, it’s only ever to go on that such attributes I’m discussing are ones I too have.

7. I realised how I’m always saying, “I need to do this” or “I need to do that”, with all to-dos and tasks becoming hindrances. Instead, I’m actively trying to rephrase to “I want to do this and that”. Mind frame mate.

8. I feel so in touch and always thinking of my Nanna here, it’s so weird. When I went to the organic store to purchase a yoga pillow, I found myself bypassing the pink, purple and grey options and making straight for a navy, Helen’s favourite hue.

Now whenever I feel overwhelmed or am in practice, I look at it and feel her near.

9. I really shouldn’t write as I walk – just stood in a mass deposit of cow shit.

10. Mate, these Asian girls are so flexible; insanely lithe and rubber bandy. I swear they’re missing some bones. I mean, I’m pretty bendy myself compared to a lot of my at-home pairs, but here I might as well be a log of wood.

Though surprisingly, a fair few of them cannot properly cross their legs.

I guess Martinet prefers them as they are much easier to manipulate, both in body (that extreme flex) and in mind (that high holding of authority and never questioning).

11. And I’ve made it so every morning and night after I awake and as I sink to slumber, I list three things I am grateful for and three I am proud of myself for. Sometimes they are trivial (I’m grateful that the electrician fixed my hot water) and sometimes a bit deeper (I’m proud of me having the courage to be here).

It makes you appreciate yourself and your circumstances so much more.

A lovely friend in Cambridge also sent me a message that said along the lines of staying positive and not putting so much pressure on myself. I screen shotted it and reread it a good once a day.

12. More similarities have been revealed on part of myself and Martinet: we both get a facial rash when we eat too much pineapple or papaya. And we both turned up yesterday morning wearing knee braces on our left knees.

She praised me multiple times today; I got the breathing where you jut your abdominal muscles out right and she was mighty impressed. I did a bind and she gave me an approving nod. And she walked behind me and said, “You know, you are a lot more flexible than you think”.

Does she see a glimmer of potential in me?

(I’m like a dog just hanging out for her to feed me some compliments – I fully remind myself of Otto and his pleading for snacks, but in this case, attention and praise).

She made me laugh today as well: Philippa asked if we were meant to hold the elbow stand pose or fall from it; Martinet just looked at her and said, “If I wanted you on the floor I would get you there in a different way”.

I’m starting to really like her. And I think she is really, really good for me. (I know, talk about switch of opinion).

13. And lastly (not quite so lengthy as the previous post): Samskaras.

What, I feel you think. Well, samskaras are impressions or imprints left on us from our previous lives (if you believe in reincarnation) or learnt through our current. Kind of like created habits. Like people always running away in a situation they aren’t so fond of, or always responding negatively whenever given a new piece of information. It’s only in realising such habits and actively working to change them are you free.

I’ve realised a major of mine; talking my myself down and out of things.

At uni. When I got the Contiki job. Here. Whenever anything is a “test” situation or somewhere I need to prove my knowledge, I FREAK out, knock my self esteem and confidence completely out of me, downfall myself to other people and tell myself to only do average.

I render myself the runt.

I always then search for alternative paths out of it, usually being an excused way of running away. Uni – considering dropping out for a semester and having a break. Yoga – fantasising about an injury that leaves me incapacitated to do the exam. Just a way out of it that isn’t necessarily quitting. (I always think of Fraser from year six at school, who hid in the bathroom so he wouldn’t lose at Round The World in maths. I used to laugh, but now I absolutely sympathise).

And I always pull through. I always end up shining somewhat. Academically, I always come top (Martinet rate right there), and in such circumstances that I’m not the best at, I always make myself known and regarded in a good light.

So why do I agonise and do that to myself?

It’s a major Samskara. I need to eradicate it.

I will never reach my potential as long as I keep doing it. It’s like I go up one rung on the ladder, down five, then up seven when I eventually do what I said I couldn’t; therefore rather than climb the full 12, I’m only two up from where I started.

I’m really starting to retune into myself. And much as it hurts to see how I am, it is also an opportunity to transform to how I want to be and live my life.

14. I was telling Indian Bianca (my word that girl has a lot of wisdom) (update: just found out her name is actually PRIYANKA; holy shit I feel like a dick) about my goals here; to do a handstand unassisted, do an elbow stand, calm and still my inner self and get in tune with my body. Her response?

“I have no goals in my yoga,” she said. “I just enjoy it as I do it and when I achieve things it’s a bonus. When your happiness depends on achieving something, you don’t enjoy the journey and experience disappointment when you don’t get there. Just enjoy it.”

I was awestruck.

I’ve decided to drop the desire to balance on my palms by October 3, and just go with what my body can do. She’s right; I’ll just berate myself if I don’t. (And guess what? As soon a I let that go, I flipped over an elbow stand. Fear of the fall – combated!).

And I’ve made a decision; I’m always trying to impress other people. Martinet with my yoga, certain people with achievements, just constantly striving to awe others. And I’ve decided I’m going about it all wrong.

The only one I need to impress is myself.

I know my ultimate morals and values. I know the person I want to be. If I aim to impress myself, what does me instantly will appeal to others.

Here’s to insight!

(Priyanka just bought me the most loveliest little present; my elephant key ring snapped off this afternoon so she especially went to find me to a new one. I love that I seem to be drawn to and draw in the most beautiful people).

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