Sometimes it feels like a place and I share the same soul. As soon as I walk in the door, I can feel the energies swirling around me and inviting me in, like a Jewish mother beckoning a weary traveller in to eat a feast (I’m Jewish and can, therefore, confirm this stereotype).
I found energies and a place such as this in the wondrous hostel-cum-yoga studio that is Healing House Cusco.
I first arrived on the recommendation of a friend whom I had met at lunch. We talked about coffee, veganism, spirituality and so when she recommended this place to me, I knew I could trust her judgment.
I walked through the doors of the hostel and walked through the reception to find the most beautiful green courtyard in the middle of all the dormitories. The view was astounding; being at the top of a hill near the edge of the city, I could see the whole of Cusco for miles and miles. A windchime rung in the corner, flowers were abundant and the smell of Palo Santo filled the air.
I was booked onto a yoga class the very next evening and arrived not really knowing what to expect. I had been told only that Kundalini was the type of yoga supposed to engage your sex organs and that it was a very powerful practice. I really didn’t know what I was in for, as, an hour and a half later, I lay stretched out in Shavasana, my belly aching from the core workout I had just received, and my breathing heavy from the relentless Breath of Fire. But I can’t deny that I loved every second of it.
Kundalini is different from other yoga practices. It involves a lot of core work, a lot of chanting and making weird noises, and a lot of holding uncomfortable positions for far too long, before lying on the floor and breathing loads. It also involves squeezing your pelvic floor between exercises which is supposed to help the flow of energy from your root chakra into the rest of your body. Honestly, by the end of the first class, my cheek was buzzing weirdly and I felt a light-headedness that was definitely not to do with the altitude this time.
Yoga has become incredibly important to me in my journey to heal past traumas and wounds. I’m not saying I will give up my good old Vinyasa practice forever, but I will certainly include more Kundalini in the future.
(It’s also helping in my endeavour not to lose ALL of my core strength in these months away from my pole classes, which I miss SO MUCH that I have dreamed about pole five times to date.)
But I digress; back to Healing House.
I am lucky enough to now be staying in this calm haven in the middle of the chaos of Cusco. It feels good to take time out from the trips into the jungle (more on this in my next post!) and a hiking adventure into the depths of the Colca Canyon in Arequipa. I’ve been acknowledging the different energies between the jungle and the mountains and appreciating both in abundance. I’ve been doing yoga, breathing the mountain air in deeply and just taking time to reflect on my journeys so far and how grateful I am to be here, something that the Healing House has really been helping with.
It felt like home the second I stepped in. And now, for two and a half days only, I get to call it as such. The people staying here are all lovely, friendly, calm and creative and I love being able to talk to everyone about anything. The garden brings a sense of calm beauty and sleeping in bunks with the doors wide open feels like the best kind of hippie commune, in the mountains with nature on the doorstep.
I have the chance to spend these few days catching up with the friends I made in Cusco the first time around, and to spend some time introverting before I set off again to Arequipa for some serious hiking and more appreciation of the beautiful country I am able to explore.