Finding Shanti in the Place of Miracles
For many yoga practioners, daily practice is usually undertaken in the privacy of their living room, in a group class or, if they're lucky, connecting with nature in a peaceful corner of the garden. A hilltop in the Serengeti is perhaps an unexpected place to perform Surya Namaskar, but that didn't stop one of our guests from enjoying this epic location for just that. Demi Piriya, a yogini who grew up in Thailand but currently lives in California, visited Singita Sasakwa Lodge in Tanzania and found inspiration in the sprawling 350,000-acre Grumeti reserve. She shares her story with us here:
I grew up in Bangkok, Thailand though I currently live in San Diego, California where I am attending university. I visited Singita Grumeti with my partner and his extended family — we were a large group of 21. Yoga has occupied a key role in my life for several years, first as a tool for personal development and healing, and now as that which I strive to share as a yoga teacher. What I always say first about yoga is that people often think of it as being the poses we see as the face of what yoga supposedly looks like. However, the asana (postures) are only a preliminary utility in what yoga can achieve for its practitioners—the others, such as meditation and pranayama (breathwork), are less immediately tangible but ultimately most powerful. This is what I was reminded of during my time at Singita this summer.
Having been caught up in forming a teaching vocation for this past year, my personal practice has taken a backseat but as we visited the Serengeti, I could immerse myself completely in a realignment of what truly moves my spirit, diving back into a place of individual focus. Being amongst such a raw expanse of nature pushed the boundaries of what I usually considered to be humanity’s interaction with its surroundings. In the modern world, it’s easy to become isolated from what we consider feral — taking my practice to the middle of it served as a reminder that there is a resilient connection between human civilization and our wilder roots.
The view from Singita Sasakwa Lodge is almost endless over the majestic Serengeti plains below.
My favorite spot to practice on the resort grounds was the stone-lined lawn overlooking the plains below. This vast, gorgeous view quite literally became a backdrop to my practice, setting the tone for the expansion I was searching for. Overall however, my freest moments were the few times I was able to stretch and play during game drive breaks, out on the savannah. My favorite memories from the trip are comprised of these moments, as well as those witnessing animal activity: a leopard lounging at the very top of an acacia tree with her kill, ostrich eggs nestled in the grass, a baby elephant learning how to use its trunk to drink at the watering hole, discovering different kinds of bird feathers, a cheetah watching the sunset.
What I enjoyed most about the Serengeti was the wildlife… This seems a clear highlight that most visitors likely take away from their experience, but I particularly appreciated the underlying conservation efforts that serve the animals and the flora of the Singita area. The wildlife experience at Singita, for me, extended beyond seeing animals on the game drives. It also encompassed the bigger picture of how local ecology comes together, particularly during the season immediately following the Great Migration.
The infinity pool at Singita Sasakwa Lodge
Wellness in all its forms is something we treasure at Singita, and we encourage our guests to embrace personal rejuvenation beyond the peaceful lodge spas. The surroundings of each lodge provide their own special calm and present the ultimate escape, sure to restore equilibrium and peace to body and mind. Click here to learn more about opportunities to unwind at Singita Sasakwa Lodge.
*Shanti is the sanskrit word for peace.
All photos of Demi by Pansang Kornsri.