Technically, I was working while in Belize… teaching yoga once or twice a day. Picture it: sunrise, warm breeze, sweet smell of palms, aquamarine seascape, pelicans at play, holiday vibes… super demanding work!
In addition to the unique and refreshing environment- there were 10-20 folks on holiday! I discovered there is a specail openmindedness that comes with “vacation mode”. I had many new yogis join the class. I made sure in my introduction to quote my pal Eion Finn who says “if you say you are too inflexible for yoga, its like saying you are too dirty to take a shower”. Which seemed to resonate with people!
Yoga can be intimidating for new practitioners. Busy, driven urban people can be used to pushing themselves and achieveing results. While yoga calls for a deeper slower MORE powerful transformation. Often we feel we should physically, mentally, energetically, spiritually be somewhere different. More flexible, supple…more grounded. But acceptance, receptiveness and patience are qualities yoga can help us to cultivate.
For a week, I had a 72 year old man who had never done yoga in the same class as two 22 year old fit young gals. We had a blast. Given the context- its not hard to do. However, as a teacher, this diversity can present a challenge. I felt it important to convey my yoga message simply and meaningfully.
My teacher Shiva Rea, has taught me that Yoga is the means of yoking our awareness to the deep rhythms (our breath, the daylight, the seasons…) that heal and integrate us in an age that challenges our inner compass to stay in the flow. This seems easier to do while on vacation- I witnessed connectedness.
If you havent been on a yoga vacation or a yoga retreat- I highly recommend it.
Stay tuned for more info on my next retreat in Tofino- May 2011.