Siem Reap’s queen of yoga, Heidi DeWald, is leaving town after four years of teaching devoted followers how to torque themselves into Nirvana.
Heidi moved to Siem Reap from Sydney, where she was climbing up the ranks of the corporate marketing and PR world. “I was offered a huge job before I left,” she said. “But I didn’t want it.”
Seeking instead to apply her business skills in an NGO capacity, she moved to Siem Reap four years ago to work at the Angkor Hospital for Children under Jon Morgan. After six months at the hospital she moved on and began doing consulting work for NGOs around Siem Reap.
Yoga has always been her true passion though. “Even my holidays back in Sydney were meditation or yoga retreats with no cell phones or computers,” she said.
Along with her consulting work, Heidi has been teaching Ashtanga yoga at the Singing Tree/Peace Café since her arrival in town. One of the things she’ll miss most about Siem Reap is her yogi disciples.
“I’ll really miss the students who were with me from the beginning,” said Heidi. “I’ll also miss the community of people here. I think Siem Reap attracts a wonderful group of people who don’t fit into the box.”
She’s moving to back to Australia – to Burleigh Heads, near Byron Bay – to study Ayurvedic medicine. “I’m looking forward to being by the ocean again, and there’s a big yoga community there,” she said with a smile.