About the Venue?
Back of Beyond’s Kahandamodara is a beautiful 14 acre organic resort set between the river and beach on the southern coast of Sri Lanka. Each villa is uniquely designed to include ecofriendly and nature materials, partly open bathrooms that allow you to shower as you look at the clouds or stars. The whole resort is run on solar power. The yoga Shala elegantly flows, into a small sitting area and the dining room, where you can roll your toes in silky smooth sand. Yes sand.
We witnessed sunrises and sunsets from the yoga Shala, as well as spectacle lightening shows from a viewing deck above the dining room. The Mandala window is made from recycled coloured bottles and was the back drop for the teachings. The days were warm with a little rain to refresh us. When it got too hot there was the option of jumping into the swimming pool outside the yoga Shala to refresh and renew our body and spirit.
The organic gardens were wonderful to walk through as were all the fruit trees and medicinal plants. Oh yes nearly forgot the wild peacocks. Elusive for some of our guest but I had one right outside my villa window, talking and occasionally doing a full feather display!
About the Retreat?
This was the first Kundalini Level 2 Retreat to be held in Sri Lanka. We began the Retreat with an intensive day ending in deep meditation. Which was continued in the candle lit 4am Sadhana conducted by Tonie Nooyens, which took us through journey to balance the elements, earth, water, fire, air and ether. Every day we were inspired by a video yoga class by the master Yogi Bhajan, which pushed us to our limits. Suraj Kaur Khalsa taught us about our addictive patterns and how to break through them. We learnt about how cold depression and lead us into addictive behaviour. Suraj also led us through an amazing Sadhana for the heart where we sat in rock pose, yoga mudra and bowed for 31mins to the sound current of Jap Sahib. All the tension left my neck and shoulders I felt like I had a new body. We ended two evenings with deep healing mantras, energy work and healing Gong.
The male female combination of Tonie and Suraj teaching together was a very powerful experience for a small and intimate group. What a treat this Level 2 was. Hopefully one of many in Sri Lanka.
About the Food?
Nelson our knight is shining armour was not only cook, but manager and resident centipede killer. The food was just amazing. Each meal was planned in terms of nutrition, colour and most of all fresh, mostly organic veggies and legumes sourced from the organic garden or very locally. I saw some veggies that I had never seen before, like a type of tuber parsnip come Jerusalem artichoke. Gottukola sambal with freshly scraped coconut was one the favourites. But we had on average 2 to 3 fresh greens every day. Our students and herbal Dr Ackarat was just amazed by the herbs still growing wild or organically in the gardens. The buffalo curd was set the night before from the buffalos given to a local farmer to provide the freshest of organic dairy products. Snacks included fresh coconut and kitual honey pancakes.
Gotukola Sambal recipe
3 cups Gotu kola cleaned 3 tbsp fresh grated coconut 1 green chilli 3-4 red pearl onions (ratu lunu) 1/2 lime Salt to taste
Shred the gotu-kola finely. Chop the green chilli and onions finely. Mix all the ingredients and add lime juice and salt to taste. Serve immediately. * If fresh coconut is not available, you can use desiccated unsweetened coconut. Add about 1 tbsp of water to it and microwave for few seconds before using. ** If red pearl onions are not available, use about a quarter of a regular onion.
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