Linda Tha is a Cambodian young woman born in, Kravanh district, a tiny town in Pursat Province.
She was lucky enough to have a good and loving family that were able to support her into education. Linda has a strong social conscience and her desire is to give back to her community, to some of the less fortunate. She is keen to share her passion for yoga and her spiritual journey with everyone from all walks of life.
Linda had been to Phoenix Arizona on a ‘workaway’ project when she met with a different community of people than she’d ever met before. They talked to her about yoga, meditation and energy. This opened up a whole new world for her and was the beginning of a totally new and enlightening journey. Life would never again be the same.
Linda, having spent some time travelling through various educational scholarships, felt unfulfilled in the work she was doing. She had prepared for a life in a competitive business world but found it soul destroying and unrewarding.
In February 2017 Linda experienced her first yoga course with the Art of Living Foundation. Now her fate was sealed but she still lacked an available direction and some confidence in something that was so new to her. Yet somehow, she knew that she was on the right path.
She spent the next year working as a freelance Khmer teacher, teaching her own language to non native speakers in Cambodia. It was whilst teaching in Kampot, that she met Marcia Smith one of her yoga teachers, she told Linda about Tavoos Garden and our initiative, a sponsorship program for Cambodian women and men to join Yoga Teacher Training, an Internationally certificated program. The only Yoga Alliance registered Yoga School in all of Cambodia.
“I could not think about anything else but to apply for this position and wait for a Yes” says Linda Tha.
When I met Linda, Immediately I could see that she was worth investing in, her love for yoga and community shone through. She is an honest and brave young woman, with a humble eagerness to learn and that is exactly what you need to start a career as a yoga teacher.
“I feel that one year with Yoga would heal and open myself up for different possibilities in life. I hope to find out what life has in store for me after this experience. I also hope to use this opportunity to connect and share more with my own people, especially young Cambodian women. I believe that it is very special when I can do what I love and share that with others. Possibly, magic will happen.” This is what Linda said to me in her interview. I looked into her eyes and knew in that moment that she would be a wonderful student to work with and decided to take her under my wing and offer her a mentorship throughout her time with us at Tavoos, once she has graduated from the Teacher Training Program.
We have a host of humanitarian initiatives here at Tavoos to which, as a native Cambodian, Linda will be a real asset, as often language is the problem a barrier. Hopefully Linda will teach me some Khmer too!
The Tavoos family welcomes Linda as a trainee yoga teacher and hopes that this will inspire other Cambodian women and men to follow in her steps, toward building skills and self confidence through yoga. Our aim at Tavoos is to share the teachings of authentic yoga to all people and break down the boundaries that often stop some communities from accessing the benefits that yoga can bring.
“Access to wellness is a basic human right, not a privilege to only those who can afford it.”
Our initiative of supporting aspiring Cambodian yoga teachers along the journey of becoming a certified yoga teacher, continues so that these women and men, can grow independently. With the added teaching skills they will expand personally and their employability. This is why we offer FREE yoga for ALL drop in yoga classes.
By Amanda Evans
Lead Yoga Teacher and Retreat Host