They say when one door closes, a window opens. Although we are very sorry to say goodbye to the lovely Sammy Sunshyne, her departure from Navutu Dreams Resort makes way for Leah, the newest addition to Navutu’s tribe of yoga and wellness experts.
“Yoga is like music. The rhythm of the body, the melody of the mind and the harmony of the soul creates the symphony of life. – B.K.S. Iyengar
Leah’s Yogi History
Prior to her interest in studying and teaching yoga, Leah was a dancer. A serious injury forced her to seek an alternative way to use her body for creative expression. She first discovered yoga as a form of physical therapy, but that soon morphed into a mental therapy as well.
At this point Leah was making her living as an actor in Philadelphia, USA, but the mainstream roles she was cast in failed to fulfill her in a meaningful way. Yoga on the other hand was impacting her life greatly, and like many great teachers, Leah felt compelled to share her love for yoga and its whole-person benefits.
So she did what any motivated and enterprising adult would: she traded in Philly for Bali. Here, she indulged in her first yoga teacher training course and promptly fell in love with Southeast Asia. This led to six months of freewheeling travel adventures before she headed back home for the holidays. Once home, however, she found herself falling back into a routine that was no longer satisfying. She missed Southeast Asia and the person she was there, and lucky for us, found her calling at Navutu Dreams Wellness Resort.
Q: What is your favorite school of yoga to practice?
A: When I first began to practice yoga I was drawn to Vinayasa and the power behind it. It’s a very physical practice and as a dancer that’s what attracted me.
Q: How did you get into yin yoga?
A: Now I feel myself drawn more towards the restorative practice. I am a Type-A person. At first it was challenging to take a restorative class, but a great part of yoga is the willingness to embrace that discomfort and care for your body instead of just push it.
Leah went on to explain that she has practiced yoga every day, consistently, for more than two years now – sometimes so dedicated to her practice that she admits to sleeping in a certain pose to help open her hips overnight. When our bodies are pushed and stretched for long periods of time, our bodies tire.
Leah: I got strong using Vinyasa and Ashtanga, and then the studio in Philly started offering restorative yoga. After two years of practice every day, some days Yin is all your body can handle.
Teaching at Navutu Dreams
Q: What are you looking forward to in your classes?
A: Progressing as a teacher and learning to be better at what I do. I love to watch my students’ growth, whether it’s folding deeper or popping into a handstand for the first time — or understanding their bodies or minds in a different way for the first time. My friend said it really well: in yoga a centimeter is reason to celebrate.
Q: What can you say about Siem Reap?
A: Khmer people are some of the kindest, most resilient and majestic I’ve ever met. And Siem Reap is a very sweet town, surrounded by all these temples. You can feel all the prayers that have been left in the air, but their presence here is difficult to articulate.
Q: How do you feel at the Navutu Resort?
A: The grounds are absolutely beautiful. You walk in and just feel a sense of calm and peace. Plus, the staff are all so friendly and accommodating. I also love taking Lindsey and Sammy’s classes. I haven’t taken one with Elodie yet though…
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We look forward to seeing you here!