When we want to dive into a deeper, more meditative practice of yoga and listening to the mind, our modern lives require that we consciously create that space. That might mean creating an area for meditation in your home – a room or corner dedicated to deep thought or introspection. It might mean that you find a group of people meeting regularly at your local yoga studio, zen buddha center, or something similar, and show up for class. Or, it might mean that you take a length of time to retreat, to an organized event like a 10 Vipassana Meditation Center, or simply to the wilderness. In my life, I have always, always, always found a deep heart connection simply by surrounding myself with trees. I have sweet memories from my childhood when I would trek off to the small woods behind my elementary school and spend hours taking in the loamy scent of decaying leaves and swampy mud and stare up at the tree tops and the sky beyond, feeling connected to all those trees growing tall over my head with roots intertwining under the earth beneath me. One of my favorite hiding spots as a young girl was a tremendous pine tree with boughs that spread out wide but a quiet, clear space in the center. I would soften enter that tree and stay under it’s cool, green protection for hours, and would seek it out specifically when I was upset about something. I always found that quiet space with the scent of time cooling and calming. That said, I find myself ready now to move on from Granada and towards the wilderness. As I prepare to make this change, I”m also finding my practice move away from a strongly physical practice and more towards a yin yoga, Kundalini yoga, pranayama, and meditative practice.
Granada has been the perfect place to transition to life in Central America. Being the wealthiest city in Nicaragua, it offers many niceties to extranjeros such as opportunities for western food, a lively and active Calzada where the cerveza flows and the conversation raps all night, and opportunities to escape the oppressive heat in cool blue pools. A lively culture that caters to tourists, it’s equally easy to find a stimulating conversation in English as it is en espanol. People here are friendly, social, and welcoming. I cherish the friends I have made here and look forward to returning in the future.
I’ve found a struggle with the nightlife in the past month or so. My body desires to return to a sleep cycle that follows the sun. I find myself tiring early in the evening, and wanting to wake as the sun rises. I also find myself craving more green space. As beautiful as Granada is, it is a mostly paved city. While traveling recently, I ran into a friend and student of mine who had recently returned from the island of Ometepe. She raved about the quiet hostel she stayed at – a combination organic farm and hostel with daily offerings of yoga. She mentioned that the yoga teacher living on site was getting ready to move on and encouraged me to look into the opportunity to teach there. As I let the idea steep and stew in my mind, I realized that it’s the perfect next step. On Ometepe, I will get a change of pace of life in Granada. Surrounded by the forest, I anticipate a life that is much more tranquillo. I look forward to dropping into the natural rhythm of the sun, to quiet evenings and energizing mornings. There’s something nurturing about being surrounded by food, watching and helping plants to grow and harvesting food and cooking it in the same day. There’s a quiet peace that I find when I’m in my kitchen making healthy concoctions for people I love. This farm that is my destination offers opportunities to prepare a variety of foods that they make available to the tourists passing through. From local honey to yogurt, fresh pastas, jams, and chocolates, I look forward to learning more about making these different products and being surrounded by nourishment. I anticipate that this will be a time of rejuvenation for my body and mind.
And! I’ll still be teaching daily yoga classes! Joy of joys. I have found that the more I teach and share the practice and teachings of yoga, the happier I am. I love interacting with students and diving into the study of yoga. And yoga includes so much – the physical asana practice, the study of yoga philosophy, the pranayam and meditative practice. There truly is enough within yoga to keep me busy and studying for a lifetime. I’m so blessed that each of the students I’ve encountered have added to the yoga lessons that I learn. I look forward to learning from the group of students who will be passing through my new location, and practicing in the beautiful yoga space that is available there.
One thing I will miss on Ometepe is a steady internet connection. I had a friend stay there recently who said that she had very limited access to the net. This means that blog posts might be infrequent in the coming months. However, I promise to keep my camera close and to continue writing. I will post updates as I have the ability.