As much fun as it was to climb an active volcano in Bali and to swim with the whale sharks in the Philippines, we also wanted to be involved in volunteer work as we believed it would add more fulfilment to our journey. Little did we know that our first work-away experience as volunteers at the Vagabond Temple yoga and meditation centre would be one of a lifetime, full of education, laughter, love and new habits that we would like to share with you as we strongly believe in their importance in our lives.
Being immersed in the corporate life for more than 3 years, we started hating Mondays and praising Fridays, just like everybody else. But do we really need to stay stuck in that depressive thinking pattern? What about dancing for a change? That’s what we’ve been doing every Monday morning since we started our volunteering program. And it works like magic.
The point here is not about dancing in particular more than it is about choosing happiness as an incentive no matter the day or the challenges it holds.
Our food diet took a vegan turn as soon as we arrived to the temple. Surprisingly, we didn’t find any difficulty coping with that change as we felt physically and mentally better with each passing day. Not to mention the delicious vegan recipes we got introduced to – Vagaballs yumm!
Plus our yoga practice improved tremendously as our bodies became lighter and felt more energetic. With this being said and all the scientific baggage that backs it up, adopting from now on a vegetarian diet – not vegan since we still love our Pizza – is the right choice for us.
It goes without saying that living in a yoga centre played a huge role in reinforcing our yoga practice especially that we were required to attend at least one class per day as part of the volunteering program. The diversity of classes kept our curiosity spiced which made us eager to learn more and further discover new types of yoga – such as kundalini yoga. With this routine, not only did we forge our habit of practicing yoga on a daily basis but we also gained deeper knowledge related to body alignment, breathing techniques, posture holding and meditation – which brings us to our next new habit…
We never grasped the essence of meditation up until we attended our first session at the Vagabond Temple. In short, we felt calmer, more focused and relaxed as if all the chaotic noise from within our minds was gone. We are not going to list all the benefits of meditation here, but we can tell you one thing: we love it!
At first one would think that meditation is all about sitting in a crossed legged position with eyes closed. In fact it is much more than that as it involves many other factors such as chanting, body movement and instruments etc. Basically, meditation can be practiced throughout any activity during the day, which made it easier to incorporate in our daily routine.
The concept behind karma yoga is to give without expecting anything in return. While this discipline of action is an obvious idea, we rarely truly live our lives following it, as human beings normally look for some kind of reward or acknowledgment.
At the Vagabond Temple, we were assigned a cleaning or gardening task as a daily morning exercise, which aims to integrate the values of karma yoga in our lives. We didn’t notice the change right away, but we learned slowly that by selflessly taking care of our surrounding, we end up creating a better life environment for ourselves and others.
Looking back at it, we were thrilled when we got accepted as volunteers at the Vagabond Temple but we still had no clue of how things were going to be. Trust us when we tell you it was way beyond our expectations. Everything we felt within the first couple of days was intense, overwhelming, and simply beautiful! We couldn’t feel more comfortable at a place more then we did at the temple. It has become our home where we met an awesome family that marked our lives forever!
What habits did you pick up while traveling? Leave your comments below.
Don’t forget to share the article if you liked it 🙂