• Tara B. Vasi

Day 16: Hue, Vietnam. October 29th, 2019. Olympic Yoga 🧘‍♀️, Life plans, Overnight train 🚂

I wake up not really knowing what to do with the day. We need to check out by noon and then meet at the hostel at 2:30pm to head to the train, which we will be on for 15 hours! I am pretty nervous about being cooped up for so long, as I described in my previous post, the carriages feel like mini morgues, where people lay dead in tiny spaces.

I need exercise, but I also need to book a flight and do some work. The forbidden city is on the other side the river, and apparently quite a site to see, but I am just not feeling like sightseeing on a rainy day.

With the help of my server and the hotel front desk lady, I find a yoga studio in walking distance. Or rather a gym, with a yoga studio inside of it. I pay 60,000 dong for a day pass, which is like $2.50. I join the class and place my mat down in a spot where I know I will have full visibility of the teacher, in the event he does not speak English during the class. The teacher is a male. He has a very gentle and soothing voice. The class is all women, of all ages. He speaks mainly in Vietnamese and I happily take on the challenge. Because we practiced counting down so much in the Oodles of Noodles class the day before, I recognized the Vietnamese numbers as he counts down our breath in each pose. Every time he’d get to one, I’d think SUNSUN, Ready!! Like, the rice was now ready To turn into noodles. I learn that “Inhale” in Vietnamese is ‘Hit Vao’ (or something somilar). He says it so often as you would in any yoga class and I wonder how challenging it would be to learn Vietnamese, or teach a bilingual yoga class. Should I add that to my list of things to do?

He was very hands on with the class. He came over and gave me some pretty juicy adjustments. My body loved being pressed deeper into the stretches. I thought, “Yessss. Yesss. More!” Yoga adjustments are my aphrodisiac.

The Vietnamese women in class were incredibly flexible, and whenever he would turn us around to face a different direction and I made eye contact with someone in the mirror, we would smile at each other, and it warmed my heart. He ended class with three rounds of Om and with each set of vibrations my skin tingled more. At the end of class, he had us rub our hands together and place our palms on our eye sockets. I love finishing class like this and I remembered the lady in Ho Chi Minh City, ended her yoga class in the same way.

See him back there in the orange shirt?

There was a little girl in class, maybe 4 or 5. After class, she walked over to me and didnt say anything, and just hovered around me waiting for my to say something. I asked her if she enjoyed class, her name. She said her name was Kiki and she smiled and giggled at me. She was so cute and was wearing hello kitty t-shirt and pig tails.

After the class I went down into the gym and worked out a little until I had to go back to the hostel and check out. I could have worked out all day. It felt so good!

The other people in the gym stared at me. I kept telling myself they were staring at me because they thought I was strong and I had sweet delta, but it was probably bc I looked like a fucking idiot. I have definitely been missing my time in the gym and the yoga studio. I have been squeezing in stretches and push ups when I can, though I am losing muscle at a rapid rate. I try not to obsess about my body making subtle changes. I have a history of disordered eating and body image issues. I have evolved from that young girl so much and have a new sense of love and respect my body and my “travel” body. My body has done so much for me And me for it, though we are one. I am so lucky to be so healthy and to have such a nice round ass. I can focus on my six pack when I get back.

After I shower (cold dog wash shower) and check out, we hang around for a little at the DMZ restaurant and I do some work on my computer. Its raining and we aren’t really interested in going to the Forbidden city, although I think its interesting that the emperor castrated all the male workers so that they couldn’t impregnate any of the emperors woman, so we just hang.

I fall into the black hole of the internet and come across the Elephant Freedom Project in Sri Lanka. I ask Bryony for advice about my trip (because she is one of the smartest people I have met in the world) and need someone to brainstorm with. Can I really do this? Can I do all of this? Bali, The Elephant Freedom Project, The Yoga Retreat? YOGA, Elephants, Turtles, STRAY DOGS! Its like everything I love in life.

YES I REALLY CAN DO THIS!!!!can I, though?

There is really no reason for me to feel bad about doing what makes me happy, traveling, teaching, and helping people and animals along the way. Yet, I do, and I feel this way quite often and I still don’t know why. Maybe it was all the fighting from my childhood. Maybe all the doubt created while learning how to make decisions. Maybe it was the emotional abuse and manipulation from my previous relationship. Maybe I am so used to seeking approval from people about my decisions. Maybe I am just not used to feeling this good about myself or my life And it feels foreign, and I am misinterpreting that because of the years of guilt and shame associated with my addiction, depression and anxiety. I have to constantly remind myself that following my heart is ok. That I can make my own decisions and I don’t need approval from anyone about it. (Can I, though?) I am lucky To be able to do what I want and I don’t owe anyone anything. I don’t need anyone else to give me the Ok!

Bryony bought me some popcorn because she knew I had been searching for some to excessively inhale And crunch in the overnight train. It tastes more like that cereal, then it doesn’t popcorn, but is still equally delicious. Its not honey combs, but something similar like kix but with honey. I swear its a thing. I can’t think of it. Wasn’t there a frog involved? Smacks? Is that a cereal?

We finally get on the train and moving around 4pm. We all have plenty of food and water for our night. We learn we have WIFI on the train and that changes so many things for us. I find an empty carriage and I chat with my mom and my grandmother until I get kicked out by the Train Dude. I talk more with Kimberly about the yoga retreat in Sri Lanka And potentially working together more in the future.

The train is much nicer then the previous overnight train. We play a little bit of Uno, but its impossible to fit more then four people in a room, and we all get frustrated and bored and give up and go to bed. We are all excited to go to Halong Bay the next day. The train smells like pizza, shrimp, BO, and urine.

I dab doTerra essential oils under my noise and fall asleep meditating in Dracula’s sleeping position, crossed legged, folded hands, and holding my labby stone over my heart.


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