March 17, 2010

Yoga in Mexico

I know. It has been a while since I have blogged. No excuses. Here I am back again! Back after a nice holiday in Mexico. What does a Yogini do on her holidays? Yoga, of course. Being a senior teacher with the Yoga Association of Alberta, it is necessary to take 150 hours of classes within a three year period from other senior teachers to be re-certified by the YAA. So, being me, I procrastinated until the bright idea hit me to go to Mexico and do the 150 hours all at the same time with the South Okanagan Yoga Association Teacher Training Course. Great idea!

Landing in Puerto Vallarta on a hot sunny afternoon was sweaty but worth it. Ah... the ocean, the tropical plants, the flowers, the margaritas. Oops, do yoginis drink margaritas? Well, one won't hurt. :) The malacon is the walkway that goes on for miles beside the ocean . It is a delight to meander watching the locals and touristas mingle. The long time tourists, or foreigners who live there, are noticeable with their leather dark skin. The smell of the ocean, the sound of the waves and the beautiful sunsets were nectar to my soul. After two days in PV a first class bus whisked me south to Melaque, a quiet, clean, Mexican town where my two weeks of intense yoga sadhana (practice) were a supreme delight. The countryside is beautiful there - rolling mountains, tropical forests, ocean, and even crocodiles! Yes, crocodiles. Apparently they lived in the lagoon next to our guest house. And in the distance was a volcano which we were able to see on clear days. Colima Volcano.

What is it like to be immersed in two weeks of yoga from 7 am to 7:30 pm everyday with 1/2 hour for lunch and only one afternoon off? Heaven! Mantras, Mudras, Philosophy, Hatha Yoga, Shat Karmas (cleansing techniques) and more Hatha Yoga. Mugs McConnell from the Okanagan and Carla Wainwright from Prince George were very capable teachers for the classes and each glowed in their special areas of expertise. The surprise for me was that my teacher, Dr. Swami Gitananda, was mentioned many times as a specialist in pranayama and for being well respected in the world yoga community. This affirmed my own yoga teachings and practice over the years. It is a blessing to have a good foundation with a respected teacher.

I returned home, renewed, refreshed and even more committed to yoga. What a gift yoga is!