“Taichung Lavender Forest is weaving dreams throughout the year, hoping that all dreamers can come here to realize their desires,” read the note given to us as we arrived at the Lavender Forest. Without the traffic, rush and hustle and bustle of a busy city, this is a place of pure relaxation. The cloudless sky is a perfect light blue, and a refreshing cool breeze slowly blows through the treetops. We walked through a charming vanilla garden, the tangy aroma soothing us as we strolled until we reached a small white hut. (Read more: A Dozen Things Worth Doing in Taichung)
Dialogue with Body, Mind and Soul: Relaxing Yoga
“Yoga is not just an exercise, but an art of body, mind and nature.” Following a quick break after arrival, we followed our yoga teacher Yumi to the soft grass beside the hut. Yumi, previously a brand designer, revealed to us that her sedentary work style had a bad influence on her; to combat this, she turned to yoga 6 years ago. Having experienced a few big turning points in her life since then, such as going from hating exercise to appreciating how exercise has changed her for the better, yoga has become her spiritual sanctuary, and is something she wants to share with other people.
Under Yumi’s guidance, we begin our practice. Intimate small group classes allow teachers to help students more closely with their posture and poses. Almost as if by magic, the body can feel completely different thanks to just a slight change in limb position. Sort of like how thinking from a different angle and perspective could open up brand new horizons for us. Maybe we don’t have to always focus on achieving our goals. Why not let go of our pursuit of life temporarily, and throw ourselves into relaxation and simply empty our minds? (You might also like: Taichung in a Day: An Exploration of Taiwan’s Central City)
After our first yoga practice, we sampled flavorful local cuisine with fresh herbs. In addition to healthy and delicious meals, there were also herbal teas, hand-made snacks and various kinds of vanilla products.
Fireflies at Night
Fireflies love areas with clean streams and good ecological balance. April is the best time of year to see the most fireflies. We saw the fireflies flying among the bushes, floating and glimmering like stars sprinkled from the sky. Returning to our hut, accompanied by the gentle chirps of bugs, our hearts we achieved true relaxation and fell asleep.
Listen to the Breath of the Forest
Early in the morning, under the guidance of our teachers, we stepped into the forest and started meditating. Closing our eyes, we felt our own breathing and heartbeat. The flow of everything beside us suddenly became very harmonious and peaceful. “When there’s only you left in the world, will you still love yourself? When everything is gone, what will still support you inwardly to keep you moving forward?” The process of meditation not only resets the mind and body, but also allows one to listen to the whispers of life giving you directions without distraction. (Read also: Birdwatching In Taiwan: Advice from expert to novice)
Put on a stethoscope and have a silent conversation with the big tree. The original seemingly silent and quiet life, in fact, has its own voice. The significance of travel is not to discover beautiful scenery, but to broaden our horizons. No matter if it’s during a trip, in our daily life, or at work, every time we breathe in and out, we’re always practicing and trying to find the perfect balance that suits us best. We always learn something new during each trip, and what we have learned will accumulate. Eventually, what keeps us moving forward in pursuit of our ideal selves will be what we have accumulated throughout each journey.
Plan your yoga trip to Taichung Lavender Forest NOW.