Tuesday, June 10, 2014

thank you Anamaya!

I just returned from paradise..Costa Rica! I can't even begin to express the joy it was to teach such amazing people from all over the world. I will cherish this memory forever in my heart and thank you to the amazing staff at Anamaya for making my stay so incredible. Below is my recap of my experience daily - Pura Vida!

Day 1:
As anxious yogis slowly start to make way into the main house, I am filled with excitement that this day has finally come. Almost two years ago I was here for a yoga retreat and now I am leading the class as the guest teacher...Surreal! And to top it off, I get to share this experience with my mom: my best friend and #1 supporter.
People from all walks of life, and as far as Australia and Austria come together for one common interest: yoga, mindfulness and pure total relaxation. This is the beginning for what lies ahead and I'm happy to guide them for the start of their day.

Day 2:
I wake up nervous and filled with excitement to teach my first class here! As people start to roll out their mats and make their way to the yoga deck, I am at ease...this is where I belong. I get past my nerves and guide them through a grounding practice of legs and feet to start the week.
After class, breakfast is served, pure organic goodness! We then begin an opening circle by introducing everyone and go over the intention for the week and what to expect. The week has just begun, so get ready for the ride: zip lining, waterfall hike, surfing, beach bonfire, salsa class, cooking class, massages and much more! 

Day 3:
This mornings practice was a HOT one! The first 10mins people were already dripping...it is rainy season so the humidity is at it's finest. Today's focus was the hips - a common area that holds lots of tension as well as emotions. Surf lesson was cancelled due to the downpour this afternoon and I had the best massage EVER! Twice now at Anamaya was the best massages I ever had in my life
Friendships are starting to form and real deep conversations are had. 

Day 4:
We are all feeling the effects of the humidity, and our bodies are sore! I have my daily yoga practice but everyone is taking two classes plus activities on top of that is a lot for the body to take! Today's practice was on backbends and chest openers - finding a space out of love and gratitude I also taught a foundations workshop on proper alignment and breakdown common yoga poses and how to do it safely and effectively. - great learnings for everyone! Today's dinner was by far the best - spinach and black beans balls with baked polenta, mushrooms, zucchini topped with goat cheese and pesto = heaven! And baked banana with espresso cream to top it off! Yum
It's 9:45pm and I'm off to bed...I've been getting a good average of 7-8hrs of sleep every night and on the plus side, my mom has not been snoring...win! 

Day 5: 
Even though we all are so tired and sore from the daily yoga, activities and crazy humidity...today's class was all about core! 

We went into town and it brought back many memories of when I was here the first time - beach, gelato, souvenir shops and locals selling handmade items. 

I laid in the sun for a bit, then it was time to teach my second workshop - partner yoga! Everyone had a great time, shared lots of laughs and took tons of photos.
Once dinner hit, I was ready to go to bed, but we still had salsa lessons:) 

Day 6:
Bodies are sore and bloated! The humidity, activities and yoga is taking a toll on everyone - but in a good way! Today's focus was on shoulders and neck - feel good flow focusing on these common areas where people are tight. Some went to the butterfly garden while I laid by the pool...I def got a sunburn this time around! We went to visit Anamaya's farm, then it was a beach day! We had snacks while people surfed and took photos just before the sunset...everyone practiced their yoga poses on the beach and it turned into an impromptu photoshoot:) 

Back to the main house, we had dinner and a circus performance - fire artist, silk yoga, singing and dancing.
One more day left then it's back to reality! :(
Night night amigos 

Day 7:
Today is the last day:( we focused on bringing together what we worked on throughout the week and connected feet, legs, hips, back, core, chest, shoulders and neck - An all around feel good flow. I ended the practice by placing cold stones on the third eye...to provide a cooling effect but at the same time focusing inwards. It was another hot humid day, the last of the surfers went out while others chilled around the main house. There was also the cooking class and Spanish lessons going on. 

As we all gathered around for closing circle toward the end of the evening, lots of emotions were coming up as everyone shared their experience here. It has truly been an incredible journey for not only me but every single person that attended. I'm thankful for all the wonderful people that I met and will cherish every single moment. Thank you Anamaya for the amazing opportunity and I'm grateful that I got to share this with my best friend - mom