When I was about to leave India end of April last year I wasn't sure where I was gonna go next but the only thing that I knew for sure was that I wanted to teach yoga. I ended up in a place that I had never heard of before, Arugam Bay, a top surf destination in Sri Lanka, but the most important question in my mind was, "Will I find a place to teach yoga?"
If you've been following my blog you probably already know how was my life and surfing experience in Arugam Bay, but if this is your first time here maybe you'll also like to read:
- Finding a Destination and Dealing with the Unknown
- My Life in Arugam Bay - Learning to Enjoy Each Moment to the Fullest
- 8 Ways Yoga Helped Me Learn To Surf
- The Yoga of Surfing - 9 Essential Mental Habits For Beginner Surfers
Finding a Place to Teach Yoga in Arugam Bay
A couple of days after arriving in Arugam Bay I went for dinner to this nice looking restaurant, The Green Room Restaurant. There were not many people, it was just the beginning of the season, so the owner, Mohamed, joined me on my table. He was very friendly and after a short conversation I asked him if he knew of a place where I could teach yoga. He immediately suggested that I should come to teach at his guesthouse.
Too Good to Be True
Right after dinner we went together to check his place. He asked me what I needed and I told him, "I need a platform with a roof and some fans (A-Bay is ridiculous hot during the season)." He said that he could make it in just a few days and he even offered me free accommodation and food. It all sounded too good to be true so I told him that I would think about it.
I met with him a few times, we were having a nice relationship, but I was still considering his proposal. He kept insisting that I could stay at his guesthouse for free and since I was having trouble with the guesthouse where I was staying I decided to accept the offer.
A couple of days after moving to his guesthouse, The Green Room Cabanas, we talked again about the yoga hall, but this time he decided to ask for some "little help" as he calls it. He wanted me to contribute with some cash to build it, as an investor. I didn't like that idea at all, specially since he asked me after moving in and not before, not a very good sign, so we left it like that.
Taking The Risk
A few days later we talked again about it but on this occasion he asked me instead to lend him the cash for the construction and he promised that he would return everything after a month using the cash that he would make with his popular restaurant. It was a lot of money for me but at the same time I was excited about having a little project going on and to see something manifesting out of nothing.
I agree to lend him a little part of what he had asked me. Without hesitating he accepted it. At that time he was very friendly with me and sometimes when I needed it he would give me a ride on his bike to Pottuvil or he would even let me drive his bike.
The days passed but nothing was happening. He said that he needed more time to make enough money with his restaurant to built the yoga hall, what I had giving him before was not enough, so he asked me to lend him more money if I wanted the hall to be ready sooner. I didn't like this at all but I wanted to start teaching soon. I agreed again and lend him more cash.
The days continued passing by but nothing changed; the story repeated again.
At the end I lent him all the cash that he had asked originally. I was supposed to get everything back, but I had no guarantees, so after considering how much money I was ready to loose I decided to take the risk. I asked him before lending him that last amount to take me to the factory where he was getting all the wood for the construction, so I could see that he was for real.
The Making of a Yoga Hall - How an Idea Manifested in Reality
Finally, almost after a whole month of waiting, the construction started. I was very happy to see it happening, it was very exciting to actually see something manifesting out of nothing, starting just from a small idea and an intention.
During the construction I realized that the hall was going to be much smaller than what I was expecting. Not sure if I can call it "hall" anymore, hardly space for eight people. Whenever I would mention this to Mohamed he would just say, "more big, more money," which of course made sense but I was not willing to lend any more money. So, it had to stay like that.
Mohamed had promised that it would be ready in five days; it took about fifteen days. But even after the construction was finished the struggles were not over yet and I had no idea if I would really get my money back or not. I realized that I would probably had to wait till the time when I would leave Arugam Bay to find out.
This story continues here: My Experience Teaching Yoga in Arugam Bay - The Ups and Downs