Monday, May 7, 2012

Yoga by the sea

The highlight of being in Costa Rica on this yoga retreat was the fact that I was able to practice yoga twice a day with my mentors and my two favorite yoga teachers. It was amazing being able to look out from the yoga deck and see the ocean and feel the breeze on my face. I was worried that it might be too hot to practice but since we were scheduled in the morning and evening it was perfect. The only bad thing about the evenings were they seemed to attract sand fleas and mosquitos. You might be laying in savasana at night and have a hard time laying still because your arms and legs were being eaten alive. There were also a few wasp nests in there so several people got stung by them during the week. Part of the trade off for practicing outside I suppose!

View of the yoga deck

alter when you entered the room

Being able to practice twice a day took my practice to a whole new level. I was able to work on some advanced asanas that I had never had a chance to work on before as well as revisit some old "friends" that I haven't done since an arm balancing workshop I took.

partner work - melting the heart to prepare for Scorpion pose

dragon fly

yogi dandasana aka flying squirrel or pidgeon

sun dial - never done this one before!

what week wouldn't be complete without window L-sits

Naturally I practiced on the beach in my free time. The sunrise made for lovely photos:

Side plank on a tree
dancer's at sunrise

side plank tree on a tree

dancing with the ocean

opening to the sun

This retreat was also the first time I held hand stand on my own. I don't know if it was all the strength and flexibility from yoga or the environment but my fear was gone and I just went for it:
This trip not only gave me the opportunity to take my yoga practice to the next level but allowed me to build on what I already knew and opened me up to possibility. I realized I had a lot of lingering fear and self doubt as a student and a teacher and I needed to leave that behind. I also came to terms with the fact that while I am strong in some areas I need to soften in others. My legs and thighs tend to be very strong but my heart needs to soften in poses. The strength and flexibility go hand in hand. It was amazing to learn so many new things and new flows and to be able to bring this home and share with my students. I know I'm only scratching the tip of the surface here but I feel like I will only continue to build as a teacher as long as I allow myself to be a student first. And being a student in costa rica, well that isn't half bad...

When you feel like an ocean being warmed by the sun.....

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