My life stories - Part 8
Stories from my past memories - childhood, family, friends, growing up, poverty, integrity, dreams come true, finding peace and happiness, Buddhism, Yoga, and now...
(Updated November 2020)
Usually when people come together, people expect to have a social
interactive conversation by either telling stories about themselves, or
asking questions about other people, and talking about this and that,
exchanging information and opinions, and getting to know one another.
It’s part of the social ethics.
Some people enjoy being sarcastic or hypocrite. Some have the habits
of storytelling, boasting, moaning, lying, flirting, gossiping,
criticizing, teasing and mocking. Some don’t really mean what they say.
While some others enjoy playing psychological mind games. Some people
prefer not to be straightforward or direct, thinking that it’s rude or
impolite to be straightforward and direct, but then, things might become
confusing and cause misunderstanding. While some others prefer to be
straightforward and direct, it doesn’t matter if other people would feel
offended or intimidated, but then, they are able to get things straight
and clear. Some people take social conversation seriously, or even too
seriously, while most of the time, we can’t take seriously of what
people say, as people might not mean what they say. It’s the freedom of
everyone for what people want to say, how they say it and why they say
Some people expect other people to show interest in listening to
their stories, and they are also interested in knowing or listening to
other people’s stories. It is part of the characteristic of the impure
mind that keeps looking for stimulation, inputs and outputs, to get rid
of boredom or knowledge deficiency coming from the ego. While some
people would feel awkward or unease when other people aren’t interested
to get involved in a social conversation with them, or if other people
don’t response to the conversation as how they expect it to be. Those
who are proud and arrogant will feel offended by other people who don’t
response in the way that they think it should be, thinking that other
people are being rude. Meanwhile those who suffer from low self-esteem
will think and feel bad about themselves, thinking that maybe other
people might be somehow being offended by them, or other people don’t
All these thinking and behavior seems to be normal for the worldly
minded people. If people don’t think and behave in such way, it would be
seen as abnormal or inappropriate. But, yoga practice is indeed to
break away from all these conditioned thinking and behavior.
Most people like to ask about other people’s past, whether it’s to
learn something from other people’s experience or just want to have a
conversation going on, breaking the silence. Most people would feel very
uneasy if there is a long silence without any talking. There’s nothing
wrong and it’s a common way of social interaction among human beings.
Many of those who came for our yoga retreats also liked to ask about our
past. And hence, I had started writing down some of our past life
experiences based on what I can remember. For those who are truly
interested to know about our stories from the past, and if they have the
patience, they can read my blog about my life stories after
the retreat finished. If they aren’t really interested, then I don’t
exert time and energy in talking about the past as a social
During the retreat, people are supposed to retreat from worldly
social conversations and activities, but to observe certain degrees of
silence of thoughts, actions and speech. But for many people, they
expect to be socializing with other people when they join a yoga
retreat. People expect to be talking and interacting most of the time.
They thought that is what yoga is about. They thought that is what
learning and sharing is about. Being in silence without talking and
interaction seems weird or wrong for some people. As they start to
understand more about yoga and the practice, they will realize yoga is
about silencing the modification of the mind and the best learning and
sharing is to be found in the practice of silence.
Some people, including many of the yoga enthusiasts, would think that
sharing yoga means getting involve in a yoga community, interacting
with each other and doing things together. Real sharing is nothing to do
with social interactions, or mingling in a particular community. Real
sharing is there naturally, without any intention to be sharing
anything, when one’s mind is free from ignorance, egoism, attachment,
identification, and expectation, resting in unconditional love and
peace, being free from impurities of passionate desires, craving,
clinging, longing, aversion, anger, hatred, ill-will, jealousy, greed,
dissatisfaction, disappointment, feelings of hurt, fear, worry, pride
We observe silence of thoughts, actions and speech when we immerse
into yoga and meditation practice. We observe limitation of talking and
social activities to conserve energy as well as to quiet the mind. We
observe truthfulness and straightforwardness in everyday life. If we
talk, may the conversation brings peace and harmony to oneself and
others. If the conversation will bring unrest and disharmony to oneself
and others, then it’s better don’t talk. Yoga retreat is a time and
space for people to be retreating or moving away from the common worldly
behavior and social activities over a period of time, to allow the mind
to have a few moments of quietness by reducing inputs and outputs of
the mind, to turn the outgoing mind inward to perform self-inquiry and
focus on our own yoga and meditation practice.
There’s nothing wrong when people would like to know about our own
personal practice, thinking that it’s how the students can learn the
practice efficiently from their teachers’ direct experiences. But, yoga
and meditation practice is a very personal self-evolution journey. It
has nothing to do with how other people perform their own practice,
including our teachers’ practice and the result of their practice, as
everyone has different temperament and characteristic, and different
degrees of ignorance and understanding. What type of yoga and meditation
practice, and the amount and frequency of the practice that are
designed for some people might not be suitable for some others. Everyone
must find their own path and own practice, not necessarily the same
path and practice being done under the same pace as the teachers. It
also has nothing to do with the worldly thinking and belief or the good
and bad condition and situation of the world. But more important,
regardless of what kind of path and practice, it’s to have
determination, perseverance, self-reliance and discipline, until the
restless mind is rendered pure and quiet, and the ego and ignorance is
By asking questions and getting answers from other people might let
us know what we want to know, but it doesn’t take away the ignorance,
egoism and impurities from our mind. Hearing about other people’s life
experiences and their personal yoga practice and achievement might can
inspire us to practice yoga, but it doesn’t give us liberation from
ignorance and egoism, unless we perform our own practice through our own
effort and attain self-realization. That’s why in meditation practice,
it’s about observing silence and be aware of the reality as it is, to
perform self-inquiry or contemplation upon the truth. It is not
expecting an answer from someone else, as even though someone is telling
us the truth of things, we will always have doubt about the
truthfulness of the answers given by others for all our questions, as
all these knowledge are not realized by ourselves, but it’s other
people’s realization. We will still need to attain our own
self-realization towards the truth or the answers to all our doubts, to
be free from doubts and ignorance. Knowing and accumulating a lot of
knowledge and information about this and that from reading and hearing,
is completely different from knowing the truth of things through
self-realization, as knowing many things doesn’t necessarily mean that
we know the truth of things.
Running the yoga retreats allowed us to come in contact with different types of people coming from
different cultural, religious, social and educational backgrounds, who
possess different qualities of name and form with different thinking and
belief, where some are gentle and some are aggressive, while some are
being gentle in certain things and aggressive in some other things, but
none of these qualities, or specific personality, characteristic,
thinking and belief can guarantee that one is free from ignorance and
egoism, that one is peaceful as one is, if there is attachment and
identification with certain qualities of name and form to be who ‘I’ am.
There’s so much tension exist in the minds that have strong attachment
and identification with certain qualities of name and form coming from
disagreement and resentment towards other qualities that one doesn’t
like and doesn’t agree with, or doesn’t want to possess. Regardless of
what type of qualities that they possess and don’t possess, there are
people who couldn’t allow other people to be different, as they couldn’t
understand why other people who are different from them would behave in
certain ways that they don’t agree with, that are unacceptable for them
based on their own thinking and belief about how people should behave.
There’s nothing wrong when people couldn’t accept other people’s
thinking and behavior that are different from their own thinking and
behavior, but they don’t have to be disturbed by something that they
don’t understand, dislike and disagree with.
Yoga practice is here for those who are willingly to let go
attachment and identification towards all kinds of conditional worldly
thinking and belief, allowing the mind to be opened to inquire the truth
of itself – knowing thyself, and be free from ignorance and the
consequence of ignorance, which is the root cause of suffering.
Suffering doesn’t exist upon the absence of ignorance.
One of the important inquiry in the teachings of yoga is knowing what love is and how to love.
If we don’t know what is love or how to love, we will only end up
unwittingly and ceaselessly hurting ourselves and those whom we think we
love very much, especially those in a relationship with us. It’s
because we don’t love ourselves and we don’t love those whom we think we
love. We don’t love anyone, not even ‘God’, we only love the desires of
what we like and want.
We think and believe that we are hurt and disappointed by other
people’s bad and hurtful behavior, but actually we are hurt and
disappointed by the ignorance and egoism in ourselves, as the ego
reacting towards something that it doesn’t like, doesn’t desire and
disagree with. The ego feels hurt and disappointed because it’s not
experiencing what it likes and wants, but it’s experiencing something
that it doesn’t like and doesn’t want. It’s nothing to do with the names
and forms that the mind perceives through the senses of what we
experience. The names and forms or experiences are just being what they
are. They have no intention or quality to be good or bad, positive or
negative, right or wrong. The ego is hurt and disappointed by its desire
and expectation towards all the names and forms or experiences have to
be and not to be in certain way, but the names and forms or experiences
are not being the way that the ego desires and expects them to be.
Upon realizing the truth of hurt and disappointment, ‘hurts’ and
‘disappointment’ cease existing. There’s no ‘hurt’ or ‘the victim of
hurt’ that need to be healed.
x x x x x x x x x x
“How come we moved to Langkawi and teach yoga there?”
This was the most common question that everyone asked us when we were
running yoga retreats on Langkawi Island for ten years. I am thankful
for all the questions asked, as it ignited me to write about my life
stories of From where I came from and how I came here.
We didn’t choose Langkawi.
We had no intention at all to be living in Langkawi one day and teach yoga here.
We went to Koh Lipe with our friends from Austria for a longish holiday in January 2009.
The easiest way to get to Koh Lipe from Kuala Lumpur was to take the
flight from KL to Langkawi and then take the speed boat from Langkawi to
Koh Lipe. We didn’t plan to stay in Langkawi at all. We didn’t even
think of to take a look at Langkawi. We had no interest to know about it
We wanted to stay in Koh Lipe for seventeen nights and spend our
entire holiday there. So we booked our return flight tickets to go back
to KL seventeen days later. Marc, my Irish husband, went to Bangkok
before and he could get a 30 days tourist visa stamp. We thought we
would get a one month tourist visa upon arrival in Thailand.
As soon as we stepped out the Langkawi Airport, we took a taxi to
bring us to the Langkawi – Koh Lipe speed boat jetty at Telaga Habour.
One and a half hours later we arrived in Koh Lipe, a very beautiful
island with clear water and white sandy beach.
When we got to the immigration booth in Koh Lipe to get back our
passports, the immigration officer gave my Malaysian’s passport a thirty
days visa stamp and gave my husband’s Irish passport a fourteen days
visa stamp. We didn’t know that they had made a new regulation that
tourists coming into Thailand by land and by sea could only get a
fourteen days visa, except Malaysians could still get a thirty days
We asked the immigration officer on how we could extend his visa for
another 3 days. They told us that the only way was to come back to
Malaysia and go back to Thailand again. And this would cost us a lot
more than if we just stayed in Langkawi for the last three days of our
holiday before our flight back to KL. So we decided to shorten our
holidays in Koh Lipe and stayed three days in Langkawi instead,
After spending 2 weeks in the beautiful clear water island of Koh
Lipe doing yoga asana practice on the beach every day, snorkeling and
collecting beautiful sea shells, and enjoying delicious Thai food on the
island, we left Koh Lipe and came to Langkawi Island.
We met some other tourists in Koh Lipe who told us that Pantai Cenang
was the most popular place in Langkawi and there were some budget
guesthouses to choose from. We took a shared van taxi with some other
tourists who were going to Pantai Cenang as well. Each of us paid ten
Ringgit for the taxi.
Half an hour later, we arrived at AB Motel. But they had no room for
us. We walked along the street of Pantai Cenang carrying our backpack and
looked at several places to stay, but they were either fully booked or
too expensive for us.
At last, we found Amzar Motel for fifty Ringgit a night. It’s a
simple accommodation, so we didn’t expect too much. But we had some
noisy neighbours quarreling in the middle of the night. We didn’t sleep
On the next day, we spent our day walking along the street of Pantai
Cenang and strolled on the beach. The beach was nice, but full of
jet-skies, motorbikes, cars and four wheeled drives on the beach, and
lots of tourists. The sea water was not as clear as in Koh Lipe. But the
sea was very calm. We went for a swim in the sea. We didn’t find the
place interesting at all.
On the second day, we took a taxi to the town of Kuah. The taxi fare
wasn’t cheap. It was twenty Ringgit one way at that time in 2009. The
taxi brought us to a duty free shop. We weren’t really interested in
shopping. So we walked around the town and we came to Trimula. There was
a vegetarian restaurant and we went to take a look at their menu, but
it wasn’t appealing to us as the dishes were pre-cooked and already
sitting there for some time. They had other dishes that can be cooked
fresh when you place order, but most of them were deep fried mock meat
stuffs that we didn’t really want to eat.
The restaurant owner was a very friendly man. He had a tour company
and car rental business next to the restaurant. We asked him what were
the interesting things to do and places to visit in Langkawi. He said
that the best way to get around Langkawi was to rent a car. He was right
about that. Because of the expensive taxi fare in Langkawi and there
was no public transport like buses, it would be a lot cheaper to rent a
car to explore the entire island.
He gave us some discount for a small car at eighty Ringgit a day. It
was a Suzuki Swift. So, we explored the island with a guided map. We
drove towards the highway. It was a very good highway on the island from
Kuah town straight to the airport. We turned into a side road that led
us to the centre of the island. We drove up to Gunung Raya with a nearly
empty fuel tank. We forgot to fill up the petrol tank before we went.
It was very nice to be up there because of the cooler temperature and
the nice view of the island from the top. Anyway, we were lucky to come
back down to a petrol station to feed the car before the fuel went
We continued our journey and came to a waterfall – the Durian
Perangin waterfall near the Air Hangat Village Hot Spring. We hiked up
the path that led us to the waterfall. The path was surrounded by rain
forests. The air was so fresh and cooling. It was a small waterfall, but
powerful. It had a big enough pool for dipping in. The energy there was
really great. It had been a long time since the last time we visited a
waterfall and rain forest. We liked this waterfall very much, especially
my husband. He’s a man of nature. He finds peace in nature. This
waterfall gave us a different impression about Langkawi.
After that, we continued to explore the island and came to the hot
spring. There was nothing much to see or do. It wasn’t renovated at that
time and lack of maintenance. But now it is renovated and looks brand
new with some hot spring Jacuzzi rooms. From there we drove by some
villages with rain forests and rubber plantations along the way. This
experience of driving on roads with trees and mountains that we can see,
but not just high rise concrete buildings, gave us a great impression
about Langkawi Island. We stopped by at the Black Sand Beach and the
Craft Complex. That was very nice too.
That evening we went back to Pantai Cenang with a complete different
point of view about Langkawi. Langkawi wasn’t just Pantai Cenang as what
we thought that it was. It has some other beautiful features – nature,
waterfalls, rain forests, mountains, mangroves, rivers, nice beaches and
slow paced lifestyle. Its economy depends mostly on tourism. It is a
touristic place, but it could also be very good for living.
The following day, we went back to the big city of Kuala Lumpur. Both
my husband and I had a strong feeling about Langkawi, and that led us
to book another return flight tickets to Langkawi because just happened
that AirAsia had great promotional air fare at that time. So, we took
three days off from teaching yoga classes at home, and came back to
Langkawi again in less than two months. On this trip, it was mainly to
come here to see if there would be a suitable house for us to live and
to teach yoga.
We had been thinking of moving away from Kuala Lumpur where we can be
closer to nature. I didn’t mind living in Kuala Lumpur. I was contented
living there for many years. But, if there was a choice I would prefer
to live in a village near by nature just like when I was growing up. A
year ago before we moved to Langkawi, I painted a painting of a wooden
house near the beach with mountains and coconut trees around it. I
always dreamt of living in a house close by the sea. And the house that I
painted looked almost the same as the wooden house that we found in
Langkawi later. We were thinking of moving to Malacca, but we didn’t
think of Langkawi before.
So we were in Langkawi again, looking for a house to rent that wasn’t
too close to the busy street of Pantai Cenang, but yet close enough for
people to walk from Pantai Cenang. We wanted to look for a house that
is surrounded by nature and not too close to other houses or the noisy
and dusty road. We also looked for a house that has a big enough space
that we can have four to six people in a yoga class, and the rent had to
be within our budget. It wasn’t easy for us to find a suitable house.
We told each other that if we could find a suitable house within that
three days, we would move here. If we couldn’t find one, it meant that
Langkawi was not for us. It wasn’t so easy to find a house to rent in
Pantai Cenang area and the rent was much higher than some other areas.
It was a popular location for foreigners to rent a house for long stay.
Many of the houses in rather good condition were already occupied by
foreigners. There were some half-built abandoned houses available, but
they needed a lot of renovation before anyone can move in.
This time, we found a budget place to stay at forty five Ringgit a
night at the Shirin Guest House. We didn’t expect much from this room.
The lady owner was a very nice Japanese lady named Hiroko. She married
to an Iranian man and had been living in Langkawi for many years. She
also had been to India studying Yoga for two years. She was a very
strong woman in the heart.
We thought that the best way to look for a house, was to go around
this area by feet. We walked around the villages behind the main street
of Pantai Cenang. It was a hot and sunny day, but we were determined. We
asked a few villagers about vacant houses and told them that we were
looking for a house to rent. One of the villagers told us that we should
buy a house instead of renting it. First of all, we don’t have money.
Then, even if we have some money, we couldn’t afford to buy anything
here as the price of properties here is ridiculously high. Lastly,
majority of the lands and houses here are Malay Reserved properties.
Only Malays can own the properties here. Though I am a Malaysian
citizen, I couldn’t buy or own the properties here on the island, except
for some expensive free hold properties in town area where foreigners
and non-Malay Malaysians can buy and own.
We looked and looked, and asked many people along the way. Some
people showed us some houses that were available. Some of them were near
to the noisy main road. Some were very close to neighbouring houses.
Some were too far to walk from Pantai Cenang. Some ticked all the other
boxes, but they didn’t have a big hall for yoga classes and the rentals
were beyond our budget. We talked to a couple in a tackles shop about
our search and gave them our contact number.
We were exhausted from walking a few hours under the hot sun in the
last two days, and decided to relax on the beach on the last evening. We
thought we wouldn’t find a house to rent and be ready to forgo
Langkawi. We changed into our swimming attires and was about going to
the beach, and the phone rang. A Malay man asked me over the phone if we
were still interested to look for a house to rent, that he knew there’s
a house was available for rent. We wanted to give ourselves the last
So we met up with this man and his friends in front of our
guesthouse, and they brought us to see the house in their car. We came
to a road with a sign said ‘The Wrong Place’. We saw that sign earlier
when we walked pass it, and thought it was strange. And we came to a
little Malay wooden house at the end of the road. It was a very
beautiful wooden house near the paddy fields and there’s a swamp in
front of it. It’s away from the main road and other houses and close to
Pantai Cenang. It ticked many boxes. But we still needed to see the
inside of the house and we didn’t know how much the rental was.
This house aged around one hundred and fifty years old. The owner
bought it from somewhere else in Langkawi. They took down the woods
piece by piece with numbers written on them, and then brought it here
and resembled the woods back into a house. It had a small balcony to sit
out looking over the garden and the paddy fields.
They opened the door for us to get in. The living room was big enough
to accommodate six people. The sunlight and the breeze rushed in when
they opened the windows on three sides of the living room. There was a
small kitchen that could only fit one person at a time and a small
bathroom that we couldn’t stretch out our arms. There was a medium size
bedroom and another small room which we could use as an office and store
room. It was almost perfect, except that the kitchen was really small
as my husband loves cooking and we planned to do all the cooking for the
yoga retreats besides teaching daily yoga classes. The rental was
within our budget too. We both agreed that it was what we were looking
for. So, immediately we paid them one month deposit to reserve the
house. We told them that we could only move to Langkawi two months later
because we needed to settle all our classes in Kuala Lumpur. They said
they didn’t mind. In the end we could only arrive three months later
because we need more time to stop all our existing classes. And they
didn’t charge us extra money to hold the house for us.
We came back to Kuala Lumpur the next day and were very excited about
our spontaneous decision to move to Langkawi. We informed all our
students about the move and had a farewell dinner at home to say goodbye
to our friends and students.
Two weeks before we moved, my husband went for a ten days Vipassana
silent meditation retreat in Malaysia. He would come back on the day
before we moved. Meanwhile I was busy with packing our things into boxes
while he was gone, so that we would be ready to go when he came back.
Because my husband loves cycling, we thought that he could do some
cycling when we moved to Langkawi living in a village without heavy
traffic and air pollution. We went to PJ Old Town and bought him a new
bicycle on our last day in Kuala Lumpur. Somehow one of the tyres
punctured when he cycled back to our condominium in Taman Sri Manja. And
so, we had to take off the wheel from the bicycle and brought it back
to the shop to repair it. We were really busy that day. But we enjoyed
every moment of it.
On the morning of the 10th of July, we loaded all our furnitures and
things onto a six wheeled lorry, and we drove our little Kelisa towards
Langkawi. We spent one night in Ipoh. On the next day, we arrived at
Kuala Kedah and sent our car to the car ferry, and we took the passenger
ferry to Langkawi. We stayed a night in a motel in Kuah town near the
Jetty Points where the passenger ferries come in.
On the next morning, we took a taxi to the car ferry port at Dermaga
Tanjung Lembung to collect our car and drove to our new home cum yoga
studio in Pantai Cenang. It was monsoon season and it had been raining
heavily all day and all night. But it stopped raining at the time we
arrived at our new home and our lorry arrived not long after us. We
managed to move all our furnitures and things into the house just before
it started to rain again. It’s like a miracle.
After that, we found out that this wooden house had been sitting
empty for six months when we saw it the first time. One of our
neighbours told us that there had been many different people looking at
the house before, and though they were interested to rent the house, the
owner didn’t want to rent to them. And then, when the owner wanted to
rent the house to a very rich couple, they didn’t take it as they said
the kitchen was too small for them. And so, the house was sitting empty
for six months until we saw it. It meant it had been empty for nine
months before we moved in.
The house was there waiting for us to come, all that time.
As our retreats took off, we had rented another simple but spacious
house about two minutes’ walk from our yoga studio with bigger kitchen
and dining hall to prepare the meals for our yoga retreats. A few months
later, we had moved out from the wooden house and started to live in
this house. The wooden house would be used as the yoga studio just for
doing the yoga classes.
We didn’t have much money. We spent a lot of money for moving house
and for getting the business license. We didn’t see teaching yoga as a
business. We didn’t really need a business license to teach yoga to
anyone. But when we went to the city hall to ask about it, the head
officer told us that we had to apply for a business license. We wanted
to do it the proper way legally to avoid any problems with the local
community, as it was quite a sensitive issue here about running yoga
classes in a Muslims predominant village area.
The business license took more than a year for it to come through.
Before we applied for the business license we needed to apply for a
temporary permit for the house. That took about three months to come
through. After that when we applied for the business license, the
business license department people weren’t very sure about what was
going on with the yoga fatwa thing. They didn’t know whether they could
give us the permission to teach yoga here. After holding our application
for more than six months, they decided to send our application to the
mosque to get the advice of the head of the mosque whether we could
teach yoga here. And after another few more months, the head of the
mosque finally gave us the permission to teach yoga in Langkawi, but
with a special condition that we cannot accept any Muslims of any
origins for attending any of our yoga classes and retreats activities.
Or else, our business license would be terminated, and we wouldn’t be
allowed to teach yoga here on Langkawi anymore. We found it ridiculous,
but we respect ‘the Law’. We still want to teach yoga to so many other
people who would come here to learn and practice yoga. And so, we
complied with the rules and regulations of the business license.
We had to spend lots of money for moving house and applying for the
business license. We were living on my husband’s savings for many months
before the classes and retreats started to take off one year later.
Though I knew we couldn’t live on my husband’s savings for too long, I
didn’t worry. I told my husband that if things became too difficult for
us to make a living in Langkawi, I would go back to Kuala Lumpur to work
to support our living. I believed the universe would take care of
everything. And it did.
We had to change the mosquito netting and the floor vinyl for the
wooden house and repainting the house to make it more pleasant for the
retreat guests. While for the other cement house, we needed to do a
bigger renovation to make the house livable. The cement floor was not
plastered smoothly and the wiring in the house was not compatible to
safety standard. We hired different people to redo the cement floor,
replace the old mosquito netting and install new wiring for the house.
We also installed air conditioners for the kitchen, the bedroom and the
office room. The houses were not perfect, but we weren’t too fussy about
In September 2014, for unavoidable reasons, we had to let go both the
wooden house and the cement house. The government had big plan to build
a highway across the village to ease the congestion at the main street
of Pantai Cenang. We knew that it wouldn’t be suitable to run retreat at
the wooden house anymore, as the highway would be very close to the
house. On top of that, there’s some problem with the wooden house, and
the cement house that we lived in would be taken back by our landlord as
the house they were living in would be demolished to give way to the
highway. We also found that the touristy Pantai Cenang area was no
longer suitable to host our yoga retreats.
We started looking for another house to rent for us to live and run
yoga retreats in August. After looking at a few houses away from Pantai
Cenang, we found a house beside the paddy field in a village at
Kedawang. It was closer to the airport. It was not perfect, as the
rental was not as cheap as we would like it to be, and we needed to
spend almost all of our savings to renovate the entire house to make it
livable and suitable for running the retreats, but it was the only house
that had a big hall and a big kitchen and dining area for hosting the
yoga retreats and had a separate living area with two rooms for our own
living. We also renovated one of the huge store room next to the yoga
hall and turned it into an en-suite studio apartment to accommodate our
retreat guests, as well as to accommodate Marc’s parents when they came
to visit us. It also had a big compound where we made it into a
beautiful garden and built a car porch.
I had to apply for the temporary building permit for this house to
apply for a new business license. This time, it took more than six
months for that to happen.
We lived and ran yoga retreats for a few more years in that house
until end of 2019, where I decided to leave Langkawi for good and we
moved to Penang Island for many reasons.
We were grateful for the past ten years living and running yoga
retreats on Langkawi Island. We were so lucky that we moved out right
before the pandemic lockdown, as we wouldn’t be able to run retreats
even if we had stayed in Langkawi.
Not running any retreats during the pandemic lockdown enables me to
focus on my own practice at home. We are also glad that my husband’s
writing, editing and proofreading career has started to take off.
This was the story of why we had lived in Langkawi and taught yoga there.
We didn’t choose Langkawi, but Langkawi chose us.
x x x x x x x x x x
For understanding more about the terms and conditions of our business license that forbids us from teaching yoga to Muslims, please click on this link to read about it. And for understanding more about yoga is unconditional and unlimited by any names and forms, please click on this link to read about it...