Tag Archives: yoga by the sea

PLANKING, SUNGAZING & VACATIONING

For 2 years straight – without a break – we worked  on our new baby ‘El Jardin’, so it was time for vacation. We closed the restaurant for 2 weeks and took off to Isla Mujeres and stayed at El Milagro Beach Hotel and Marina for a week. No Facebook, no newspapers, no blogs, and no make-up; just a good book with my feet in the sand.

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Fresh fish and lobster was on our daily menu. And so was a sunset, something we miss in Playa del Carmen.

One of the many magical sunsets.

One of the many magical sunsets.

View from the end of the pier towards the Marina.

View from the end of the pier towards the Marina.

Honza soaking up the sun.

Honza soaking up the sun.

The spot where we spent our days reading and drinking.

The spot where we spent our days reading and drinking.

Relaxing with Tiger and the parrot.

Relaxing with Tiger and the parrot.

Me paddle boarding during the sunset.

Me paddle boarding during the sunset.

Fresh lobster prepared on the grill.

Fresh lobster prepared on the grill.

Red Snapper prepared on the grill.

Red Snapper prepared on the grill.

A magical Sunset.

A magical Sunset.

Another magical sunset.

Another magical sunset.

Another sunset with the rising moon.

Another sunset with the rising moon.

Gazing at the sun within an hour after sunrise, or an hour before sunset was an exercise Honza had practised regularly when we still lived at Hacienda El Sol in the Ejido.

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Sun gazing has been practiced all over the world in various cultures and religions for thousands of years, charging the brain to its fullest potential. The need for external energy in the form of food will disappear, and psychic abilities like telepathy will increase. You start with 10 seconds, while standing barefoot on the ground (which has to be dirt, mud or sand) and daily increase that period with 10 seconds until you have reached 44 minutes gazing into the sun. The practitioner then needs to walk barefoot for 45 minutes daily during a period of 9 months, so that the energy gained from the Sun can be transmitted to the Earth, and one can become completely enlightened.

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Honza is able to gaze into the sun for 15 minutes already. I’m not anywhere close to that, but we’ve both been inspired to continue this practice. NASA has confirmed the success of Sungazing, and since then this practice has received more attention. Here’s an article about the subject .

Something else that Honza has initiated is a practice called planking. plank

Again, you start with 10 seconds and increase that period daily with 10 seconds until you have reached 4 minutes. You can find various schedules on the Internet, but this is what we used. And we started with 1,5 minutes, because this plank position was already a part of our yoga practice.

Why would we be planking if we practice yoga? Well, I stopped teaching yoga shortly after we opened El Jardin, because my plate was too full. I continued to practice at home and I regularly take a class with Arielle Thomas Newman at Yoga by the Sea, but my practice has become gentler with more focus on breath and meditation. Still, I like to have a strong and muscular body, which would require hours of strong power yoga. I don’t have the time nor the inspiration anymore for such a vigorous practice.

With this 4-minute exercise you receive an intense workout for your entire body. Especially the muscles on the upper gluts and hips have increased noticeably. And that’s exactly what I needed for my next Halloween costume. Photos will follow in my next blog.

To get into the Halloween mood I’m showing the costumes from previous years.

2008 Honza's 1st Halloween dressed as the Mexican Katrina and her partner

2008 Honza’s 1st Halloween dressed as the Mexican Katrina and her partner.

2009 For Sara Moen's 40th birthday we all dressed up with a '80s theme.

2009 For Sara Moen’s 40th birthday we all dressed up with a ’80s theme.

2009 Herr Doctor Frankenstein with his bride.

2009 Herr Doctor Frankenstein with his bride.

 

2010 Fallen Angels.

2010 Fallen Angels.

2011 Pirates of the Caribbean.

2011 Pirates of the Caribbean.

2012 Chico & Chica Galactica.

2012 Chico & Chica Galactica.

2013  The famous Mexican dead couple.

2013 The famous Mexican dead couple.

2014 Pink Fantasy.

2014 Pink Fantasy.

Last year, 2015, we skipped. This year? Honza’s costume is based on the Gandalf character. My costume is inspired by Super Power Girls. We can’t wait!

HONZA AND PAULA'S NEW YOGA SALON

Yoga is a big thing in Playa del Carmen. Our community is blessed with so many talented yoga teachers, each with their own unique style and signature. It isn’t difficult to find a studio or teacher that suits your own specific needs.

When I arrived in Playa 13 years ago I only found a yoga class in Cindy Burke’s Bodyworks, a gym that has disappeared a long time ago. But soon other yoga opportunities presented itself. One of the first yoga studios that opened its doors was Arielle Newman’s Yoga By The Sea. With her teacher training courses, new yoga teachers were trained and soon other studios opened, like Ellen de Jonge’s Yoga by the Way.  Two other studios that have had a large following are Palapa Suuk and Casa Ananda. And very recently our yoga community received two more studios, the Yogaloft  and the Yoga District.

For ten years I’ve taught yoga at various places in Playa del Carmen, mostly at gyms, accompanied by the not so ideal atmosphere of iron pumping body builders and subsequent electronic music in the background. But now that we are moving to Amarte Maroma, we’ve found a beautiful and peaceful space where we can practice and teach yoga.

When we saw the yoga palapa for the first time, we thought it was rather small, probably because of the furniture that was still present in the space.

However, when the rain and the clouds had finally disappeared and the sunlight allowed us to take more photos for our collection, the space looked different.  The furniture had been removed and we took our time to place our yoga mats.  Kike and Marco, who own the Yoga Shala 38,  had inspired us to place our mats in a diagonal line, allowing more people to occupy the room without hitting their neighbor. It turns out we can easily fit 20 yogis in our new yoga salon.

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That morning Honza and I practiced a wonderful Vinyasa flow, just the two us. In the background we could hear the wind blowing through the coconut and banana trees that surround the palapa; we could hear various tropical birds, and the sound of leaves being raked by a Mayan gardener.

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The atmosphere was so tranquil and the energy so peaceful. At the end of our practice I was overwhelmed by a sense of gratefulness for being able to practice yoga in such a beautiful place that we can call home. It felt almost like this yoga shala was welcoming us into her space. Our new yoga salon was baptized with the final chanting of Om, the universal sound that vibrates in the Universe.

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 NAMASTE!