Yoga Indulgence in Costa Rica

On November 9-16, my friend and fellow Yoga Therapist and teacher Lucy Lomax and I led a true Yoga Indulgence at Pura Vida Retreat and Spa outside of San José, Costa Rica. This was an amazing week of yoga, adventure, and spa treatments. Oh and, of course the food was excellent.

Each morning, I led meditation and yoga classes based around the idea of creating sacred space for yourself. A ritual is an act one engages in with awareness, thoughtfulness, and intention. Yoga practice, and meditation, pranayama, or yoga nidra, is a ritual act, and it can provide a sense of place, connection, and belonging. Our 15 yogis and yoginis formed a bond during our week together: “One striking aspect of this event was the absolute cordiality of the yogis. It was as though we had known and loved each other for years.” Lucy led the afternoon yoga practice and yoga nidra, also based on this idea of sacred space for oneself, and Susanna Harwood Rubin’s book Yoga 365, as seen below with Julia, the retreat cat, provided wise words for our exploration together.

It is faded out, but that book is Yoga 365. Julia ran the place.

During yoga practice, we worked with flexibility and adaptability, strength, balance, and how a ritual of regular yoga practice can support our lives through the challenging times and the good. In between the daily bookends of yoga practice, there was time for adventure! Ziplining, hiking in the rainforest, boating with the crocodiles, visiting a toucan and sloth rescue. Some pics:

We had so much fun, we plan to do it again next year. If you are interested in joining us, please contact me!

Provence in May 2019

This year eight intrepid travelers joined Annette, Rita, and me in a beautiful farmhouse in Pertuis, Provence. The owners converted the farmhouse, complete with stables and a few outbuildings — one of the bathrooms still had the feeding trough within it. There were many nooks to explore in this home with a unique spot for meditation in one of the smaller buildings and an excellent great room for yoga practice. We were able to practice yoga outdoors on the patio when the weather was a little warmer, and we had several dinners outside too. It was really a lovely setting to rest and restore, and enjoy the amazing French countryside.

Our farmhouse in Pertuis
Lunch in Aix
Cezanne’s inspiration!
Inside Cezanne’s studio
Colorado of Provence. It was a little scary out on that ledge, but worth the climb.
Some of our hikers at the top of the mountain

Next door to our farmhouse was a horse farm. These lovelies were huge! Percherons are just a little smaller than clydesdales.
This is part of an ancient cedar forest on top of the mountain. It was such a calming forest. There were signs asking visitors to keep silence to maintain the meditative vibe. It was ethereal.
Yoga! Yes, we did lots of yoga. It was a special treat in the afternoon sunlight.
“Colorado” means red in Spanish (I am told). Other hikers left these cairns for us to enjoy.

India Travels

It’s been a while since I’ve updated this blog, so I want to get you caught up on the 2019 trip to Southern India with Roaming Buddha’s Rimmi Singh and myself. I took over 300 photos, and it is difficult to choose which ones to show here, but below are some highlights from the last trip.

Our group at Arjuna’s Penance on the Bay of Bengal at Mahabalipuram
Arunachalam – the sacred mountain where Ramana Maharishi reached enlightenment
Lakshmi giving a blessing to one of our travelers in Pondicherry. She’s good luck!
Ready to meet Nataraja in Chidambaram!
Our group of travelers standing together in front of relief sculpture of the Pandava brothers at Mahabalipuram
Kali Temple in Chidambaram. Kali is often seen with blood dripping from her mouth. We got it on our feet. Really though, it’s kum kum (koom-koom) powder and it is auspicious.
The hotel pool in Thanjavur. So refreshing, and yes, that is an outdoor bed on the far right.
Yes, we do practice yoga during our travels too. How do you think we keep our energy level up so high? ūüėČ
Birthday celebration for one of our travelers!
Implements from our homa ceremony (fire ritual) for auspiciousness.
Everyone needs their very own garlic truck. No vampires here.
Children from the school at a tea plantation in the Periyar mountain area. This is the second time we’ve visited their school. We brought them backpacks, umbrellas, and ice cream.
Fishermen in Kerala. Love the colorful boat.
Final day before our flight home. This is at the Taj in Kochin; two of our travelers enjoy the infinity pool.

Next year we will visit northern India once again. Delhi, Agra, Jaipur, Udaipur, Rishikesh and Haridwar. Join us!

Provence Yoga Retreat 2018

This year, we stayed in a wine village in the south of France, Saint Christol.  Our residence used to be a home for nuns.  It is a stunning Clos, walled home or cloistered home, with salt water pool and tennis court.  Like last year, we had to move the furniture out of the living-dining area in order to make way for yoga.

Each morning we had meditation before breakfast. ¬†The boulangerie was a block away, walkable, so we had the freshest croissants possible. ¬†Rita also treated us to plum compote and fresh goat cheese. ¬†Ah, the French. ¬†Then, we had yoga class each morning focusing on the different elements within nature: earth, water, fire, air, and space. ¬†The final day of our retreat was the UN International Day of Peace so we had a partner yoga class to foster community support and offered our “Om”s so that Peace May Prevail On Earth.

Afternoon yoga classes were more restorative with forward bends, twists, and yoga nidra because most days after yoga we were out exploring somewhere.  Annette chose amazing places for us to visit.  Below are some photos from our trip.

Morning Yogis at Clos Saint Christol

Il est interdit d’ interdir: It is prohibited to prohibit. I.e. no censorship! at the first local brewery in Saint Christol

Yogis enjoying some wine

Plums!

Horses and bulls get along in Camargue.

Camargue horses

Saintes Maires de la Mer fishing boats

Aigues Mortes salt harvest

Aigues Mortes castle

Flamingoes in Aigues Mortes

Beep beep!

Saint Paul Asylum, Saint Rémy garden

Van Gogh’s bedroom in Saint Paul Asylum, Saint R√©my

Abbey de Frigolet window

Yogis at Abbey de Frigolet!

Phyllis and Rose in partner Tree Pose

Daria and Linda wishing you Peace

Some of our group in Warrior III on UN International Day of Peace

Sète harbor and lighthouse

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