Venetia has been living our 'freedom' theme (this month's theme) by travelling in Costa Rica.... she shares some lovely learnings about Pura Vida from there (I'm not jealous.... oh no!)
So as many of our Yoga Quota Yogis know I'm on my travels, a yoga pilgrimage to the promised land of Costa Rica. Sun, sloths, jungle and ommms.
I, with the permission of the lovely Anne, got a whole 10 weeks off to travel, explore, renew and learn-practise-learn. With classes mounting up for next term I know that I need to make the most of this trip, not just for 'the now' but for my future as a teacher.
My trip began in an area called Los Pargos, a quiet surf town on the black volcanic sands and rugged rocks of the Guanacaste coast. Expats and local Ticos live in the jungle hidden Casitas here while day visitors come and go. Other backpackers I've met have been truly great (travelling yogis are a good kind) and funnily we all refer to life back home as the “real world” as if this is slice of paradise is something else. But I've been wondering how can I make this Pura Vida (the national mantra of pure life) my real world.
Yoga and surfing here are a day to day ritual, both meditative and spiritual in their own way. For surfers the waves provide a greater force that demands 100% of their energy and attention. For Yogis the practise grounds them and offers a chance for introspection and connection. Both practises require the body but also the mind. So whether one is on the mat or the board there's an immersion, that beautiful full mind-body flow is happening. This is pure life. And the effects mean everything else outside of the studio or the ocean seems a little quieter, a little more tranquillo. It's easier to speak a little slower, think a little longer, and generally have a greater patience for the world, real or not.
This perspective (that life is pure, the best things are all around us in the trees, waves and sky) is easy to access while here but the real test will be taking it home to Oxford and making some changes... Maybe taking time to watch the sunrise or set. Staying on the mat a little longer. Turning my phone off for a day or two. Going to bed a little sooner to make the mornings a little earlier. Remembering to just sit and listen to the world happening around me without distraction or stimulation. Embodying the practise instead of just limiting my yoga to asanas and time in class.
With five more weeks of travel here I'm excited about exploring more of this beautiful country, meeting more people and doing as much yoga/surfing as my super tired shoulders will allow, but I'm also excited about returning to my ‘real world’ where I can hopefully put some of these simple, pure life practises into play.
Anne- hey guys if you have any tips about how you live the pura vida let us know in the comments I love hearing from you x