Yoga Meditations: Week 3

I can’t believe the third week is already over!  The time has gone so quickly.  I have continued my vegetarian/vegan (and mostly gluten-free) diet for the entire trip except for three rounds of fish tacos.  I suppose that technically makes me a pescetarian while here.  Meh. Details. I may have imagined bacon bits in one of my bowels of a very delectable and hearty roasted vegetable soup and vehemently craved chicken for an entire day last week.  Other than those two incidences, I have been very satisfied by our meals, supplementing with a childhood favorite of sweet rice with raisins, pecans, cinnamon, and almond milk.  I eat it frequently and still enjoy it.  It’s become my carb comfort food.

What a full week.  Starting with our Sunday off, we went to Hermosa Beach.  The show Survivor has been filmed there three times.  The beach is spectacularly beautiful and relaxing with fewer people, lazy hammocks and chairs, and a bar that serves delicious food and drinks.  Many of us took our study materials so we could prepare to lead our first class – a 60 minuite vinyasa practice session.  In between ocean dips and fresh fish ceviche, I crafted my first yoga class – a series of Warrior I, II, and III with balance poses and a standing split.  I should clarify here that yoga is very body-specific.  So, I have a fantastic pigeon pose with twist and bind, but my standing split is more like a standing 90 degree pose that doesn’t exist in full yoga expression.

After getting our fill of sun, sand, and Hermosa Beach, our group went back to Camino del Sol (the location for our yoga compound) to shower and get ready for one of our fellow yogi’s birthdays.  She decided she wanted to have a sunset dinner on the beach and got her wish.  The sunset that day was beautiful.  The food was just ok, but the sangria was amazing.

The next day the week quickly fell into routine: 6:30a Yoga, 8:00a Breakfast, 10:00a Pose Clinic, 1:00p Lunch, 3:00p Yoga Lecture, 5:30p Supper, 7:00p Yoga Lecture, Bed.  Six days a week for the last three weeks.  We are all exhausted but feeling great.  We taught our first 60-minute yoga class to a group of 3 to 4 students – nervously but everyone did really well.  I can’t believe how quickly we’re becoming teachers.  I’m pretty certain it took me the same amount of time to create a rockin’ playlist for my class as it did to actually create the class.

On Friday we took an excursion to see Jesus, or the statue of him in Nicaragua.  Christ of the Mercy stands 25 meters tall and overlooks the ocean harbor of San Juan del Sur, by far the tallest structure in the area.  The intensely steep meditative walk provided a great break from the norm.  The group tried to do all sorts of poses to capture photos in the beautiful scenery.

On Saturday, we had another outing to teach yoga to the kids at the Barrio Planta Project (BPP).  The organization is connected with the fishing village that rests next to the port of San Juan del Sur.  Nicaraguan kids only go to school for a half day and graduate at 16.  So, kids can go to BPP to get additional schooling in the arts, English, and other areas before or after regular school.  Each of the teachers taught a different yoga pose to the kids and then played yoga freeze tag with them.  We also helped them make decorations for their upcoming play, The Wizard of Oz.  Hilary and I worked together to make a beautiful flower to help set the scene.  Then we had piñata time, and I can honestly say that I have never seen piñata experience and exuberance like these kids have.  They target, swing, and demolish the piñata in no time, diving for candy with cat-like prowess.  I learned a lot of piñata skills from them and had a blast hanging out with them.  I miss hanging out with kids.

Tomorrow’s our day off.  We’re planning to spend some time in San Juan del Sur to shop, eat, and explore.  Most of our trips have been really quick to grab snacks to tide us over between vegetarian meals.  It will be nice to experience the town.


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