Yoga in Montezuma, Costa Rica

Posted on   September 19th, 2012 by  Travel Yoga

The name says it all.  La Escuela Del Sol is a place to learn, to make friends and to get in touch with oneself; all in the company of the star sun and the breathtaking nature that surrounds Montezuma, Costa Rica.

Montezuma is an ideal place for the yoga practice, a place that is in direct connection with nature, where the vegetation, rivers, ocean and the colors of the flowers intensively merge to create what we miraculously call life.

The abundance of mischievous, curious and friendly creatures is part of the everyday life around La Escuela Del Sol.  I remember one particular day while deeply immersed in my daily meditation, a faint but deep hum took possession of me. Perceiving that the buzz was coming from somewhere extremely close, I found myself with the urge to open my eyes; when opened I found a colorful hummingbird, statically flying, just 5 inches in front of my face with an attitude of curiosity, observation and company that made those couple of seconds an infinite moment of bliss.

Capuchin and howler monkeys, purple crabs, toucans, parrots, blue jays and monumental sized birds are all full of life with plentiful resources for survival.

The breathtaking beaches, rivers and waterfalls offer inspiration and motivation for the yogini as the undisputed beauty of every corner of this fishing village provides a key point of peaceful and amicable energy. The people embody the “pura vida” style of Montezuma with Costa Rica’s well-known principles of sympathy, friendship and peace.

Hiking trails in the surrounding area are stunning.  Along the beach toward “Piedra Colorada” is a magical place where a stream meets the sea, forming a swimming pool on the beach surrounded by stones of thousands of colors… but especially red, which gives the beach its name. This is a perfect spot to spread out the yoga mat and observe the miracle of existence, to practice pranayama with the pure oxygen that’s produced by the meeting of the jungle and the sea.  And why not let yourself go completely and flow with the singing of birds, the sound of the moving stream and the breaking of the waves to develop a full asana practice, mixing our favorite postures with new knowledge, tips or advice that La Escuela Del Sol has taught us.

Another magical place is the Montezuma waterfalls. The main and first waterfall has a drop of 80 feet in which we can feel the great power of nature. This striking destination is perfect for the practice of meditation, full of giant rocks that invite us to sit on them in either Sukhasana (easy pose), siddhasana (perfect posture), ardha padmasana (semi lotus) or a blissful padmasana (lotus), to breathe deeply and to melt the senses with the sounds of running water, the scents that the breeze brings and the sunshine.

La Escuela del Sol offers its yoga sessions in the style of Vinyasa flow, Monday to Friday in a cozy space with almond wood floors on the third and top floor of a small building.  The space allows us to be at the same altitude of the lushest and most beautiful palm trees, with open balconies that receive sea breezes and oxygen from the thick jungle filling the room and our lungs for this harmonious practice of yoga.

On top of it all, yoga may be combined with Spanish, surfing, fire dance or Scuba certification classes; all of them awesome complements to keep you’re your vacation adventurous, yet grounded.

(by Andrea Hoyos de Levine)



Awareness is the key

Posted on   September 19th, 2012 by  Travel Yoga

The hectic pace of today’s society can create lots of stress in our lives and, with sustained stress (even low grade) our nervous system can become challenged.

The ability to STOP (engaging the parasympathetic nervous system) and come out of GO (sympathetic nervous system) can become a problem. Ever hear….”I just can’t relax – I don’t seem to be able to switch off.” Unfortunately that has become the truth for a lot of us.

Yoga as a regular practice can supply a solution.

Through the practices and techniques of asanas, pranayama and meditation (even in small sessions) our bodies respond like ‘water to a desert wanderer’.  Our ability to let go of built up stress and tension becomes easier as our sense of self and our awareness develops.  Awareness is the key to slowing down and reversing negative patterns.

Within a yoga class, particularly one taught in the Satyananda style , the individual comes out of the busy ‘thinking’ state and becomes more present in each moment.  So we move into the human – being rather than living in the human doing way of operating.  How?

One way is within a yoga class by directing the attention to the inhalation and exhalation, in a relaxed way endeavouring to be present within each moment and within each breath.  Also the counting of rounds focuses our mental attention and we begin to breathe more consciously, thus soothing the nervous system, releasing tension and stress.

Our self-awareness grows as we become regular yoga students and we learn to be more in the present moment – trying to live moment by moment.   Easier said than done but with intention, the ability does develop.

With a yogic way of life we can aim to let the past be, stop worrying about the future and live more fully and joyously in the NOW.  It is exciting to watch and learn how we habitually operate and to observe our lives opening up as we practice these techniques.

We can take time out from the business of being busy, recognizing that ‘cabin fever syndrome’ of modern living and kicking back either on holidays or personal retreat time.

A yoga based holiday or a holiday which includes yoga classes is an ideal way of slowing down, reconnecting with the inner spark and refreshing on all levels.

by Adwaitamurti

(Barbara Walsh-Keiller)

Satyananda Yoga  teacher from the New South Wales south coast.