How I’m an Ocean Guardian: Putting Yoga into Action

Colorful Costa Rican sunset

A few months ago I wrote an article that was published in Elephant Journal about my move to a rural Costa Rican community and how the reconnection with nature influenced my yoga practice and my life.In that article I talked about how a connection with nature nurtures my yoga practice. Now I would like to share how my yoga practice enhances my connection with nature and has encouraged me to become an Ocean Guardian. As I write this, a few ideas jump into my mind... Yoga creates openness and … [Read more...]

Be Soft: Lessons from India

Meditation in Mysore, India

Today in my Bhagavad Gita lesson, the teacher was explaining a certain chapter and he told a story from Confucius that truly resonated with me. It is said that when Confucius was laying on his death bed, surrounded by his disciples, they requested one final lesson from him. Apparently, he simply opened his mouth very wide — he was very old he had no teeth — and apparently what he meant by that last gesture was to encourage them to "be soft". To soften their actions, words, their perspective of … [Read more...]

Why Do I Practice Yoga? Why Do I Teach?

Pilar at yoga retreat in Greece

Yoga came into my life for the first time in 1999, when I joined a class at a friend’s house. A few months later, I began attending the classes being offered at my gym, and although now I don’t consider gyms to be the best place to learn yoga (as I will explain more below), these baby steps were the foundation upon which my love of yoga would grow. My true “turning point” was in 2001, when I went to visit my best friend in Boulder, Colorado. I commented to her sister that I was practicing yoga, … [Read more...]

Brahmamuhurta Madness!

Yoga pose

The alarm goes off. My first thought is “oh nooo, I can’t believe it’s time to get up again!” My second thought is “should I snooze it?” It’s dark, the bed feels so deeply comfortable and warm; I can feel the law of attraction holding me to the sheets. I think, “why should I get up?” The truth is, in this moment, I’d really rather stay in bed for a couple more hours. So it goes: 5 or 6 days of the week I put myself through this, only to end up getting up. But why? What’s the story? What Is … [Read more...]

Can You Have Your Cake And Eat It Too?

Mermaid birthday cake

Weird title for a yoga blog, right?  If you know me you will understand why I need to write this, and if you don't, stick with me for a little longer I will elaborate so you can see how this links to the practice of yoga.Here it goes: “My name is Pilar, and I am a self-proclaimed cake lover”. If there was a “Cake-Eaters Anonymous” group they would deny my entry as I would probably end up convincing everyone that cake is too good to give up during this lifetime. Maybe in the next lifetime, … [Read more...]

Choosing The Right Type of Yoga for Yourself

As yoga keeps growing there is an abundance of styles and teachers all over the world that you can choose from. As you walk thru the path of yoga you may realize that the variety not only relies on the style but also the instructors. Some Yoga Styles It is said that in the beginning yoga was a philosophical discipline to embrace a way of life that will lead us to enlightenment. The main branches: Jnana, karma & bhakti yoga had no physical positions at all, most of all they were based on … [Read more...]

Yoga at Espiritu Salvaje Center in Uvita

Costa Rica yoga center

So, let me start by saying that when it comes to practicing yoga, I believe any space can work out as long as your heart is in there and you feel you can be present. But definitely, some places have a special aura that can make your experience more special and spiritual, a place that that can bring you peace and contentment only by looking at it, and one of those places for me is "Espiritu Salvaje Yoga Center" at La Cusinga Eco lodge. … [Read more...]

Yoga Off The Mat

Sunset beach yoga

Once, I heard from a teacher, a beautiful and wise phrase, “The real Yoga begins off the Mat”. And it was one of those phrases that can really change your perspective on your daily yoga practice.We get into our mats and stretch, reenergize, liberate some toxins, try a few challenging poses and meditate. All of this with the intention not only to connect with our bodies in a deeper level, but getting to know our bodies and finding our “edge” which means that in every asana we practice we … [Read more...]

Meaning of Anjali Mudra

Anjali mudra hand position

The Anjali mudra is a hand posture commonly use during the practice of yoga. Not only for the opening and closing of the class but it can also be applied to some other postures. Anjali is Sanskrit term which means, “to offer” or “to salutate”, and the term mudra means “seal”. So basically, it symbolizes that we are “honoring and celebrating this moment”. … [Read more...]