I fell in love with the people and the country from the moment my feet touched the ground. Everyone had a smile on their face and nothing was a problem; all the locals that I came into contact with wanted to help and their motive was from the heart, not from the pocket. As I was sat outside the Ravne Tunnels one day, a guide said to me, ‘you’ll notice we sit around a lot and talk. Compared to your hectic life (meaning people in the UK in general), our lives are quite still. We like to socialise and eat.’ This seems to be the general pattern of life in developing countries (well, from the ones I have experienced whilst backpacking). The other thing they have in common is they don’t seem to be as ill as us in the Western world. Can you already see the link? Connection to others, not driven by money, a more laid back life and being ready and open to help for no material reward.
I have recently started to teach yoga classes around the well-being and happiness philosophies of other cultures and what I observed in Bosnia seems to fit. Of course, back in 1995 when Bosnia was at war, it was an altogether different story, but much like the locals in Cambodia who also suffered such atrocity, I found the people to be warm, kind-hearted and knew how to live life simply, but well.
What I also observed in Bosnia is that almost everyone chain smoked, there was no organic produce, there was a lot of tinned/processed food and cooking was done in aluminium saucepans. We know in this country that GMO and sprayed foods are contributing to our ill health, so why are these people not poorly (especially considering the amount of cigarettes they are smoking in a day)?
I visited The Ravne Tunnels because I was told about their effect on meditation, raising your spiritual vibration and healing benefits (see my video here – https://youtu.be/72JoO789ork). The air felt much purer inside (than outside) and you could feel yourself relaxing the deeper you traveled into the tunnels (after overcoming the initial fear of going into them by yourself). I was told by the locals that most people can only tolerate an hour or so inside, but by day three, I came prepared and spent 5 hours sat in one place. Most of my time was by the K2 stone which reputedly has a strong healing effect. Every time I sat near it, I would like to say I was meditating, but I felt as if I was sleeping (in an upright position, I hasten to add). One guide did say that the frequency at the K2 stone is equivalent to our sleep brain waves and mentioned that some people just fall asleep – that was me! I felt so calm inside and there were so many things going on that may have contributed to that – the air quality, the frequencies and lots of pure water running over quartz. It is hard to put your finger on it, but I definitely felt better and different after visiting the tunnels. And guess who was mostly in the tunnels for their health? Those from the West! Bosnians did visit, but more as a tourist attraction or for meditation rather than being there to cure their ills.
So if we want to be well and don’t have time to visit the tunnels, take a leaf out of the Bosnian’s book –slow down, socialise, make time for those that matter and be of service whenever you can.