Yoga is a constant challenge, as is life. With practice and commitment we find our strength, our grace and above all our awareness.
In general terms, yoga is a practice and its main aims are:
- to quiet minds
- to help the practitioner be more present
- to help create awareness through physical movements, breathing, and meditation techniques
The whole concept of yoga comes from ancient Eastern texts, and one very suitable definition found there is that “yoga is the cessation of the fluctuations of the mind.” The idea is that through our practices we learn to be more present and to find calmness even in the most stressful situations. Yoga can help create an internal environment that is conducive to being conscientious about both our actions and emotions. It helps us be present and it can help us react in a more conscious and controlled way.
Practicing yoga can have many different meanings and definitions, depending on the person’s level, experience, way of life, and reasons for doing yoga. One’s personal definition of yoga may very well evolve as they evolve in their practice; at the beginning it can be a good technique to relax, to strengthen their body, to increase flexibility, or to learn to concentrate a little bit more. If you practice consistently for a longer period of time it might become more of an internal experience, an inner journey, and a way to discover something new about yourself. As Tim Miller, a senior Ashtanga yoga teacher, said: “Yoga is about opening up the heart”.
In most cases when you start practicing, you have to concentrate on achieving a particular posture, and usually you want to progress to an advanced level as fast as possible. However, over time, you might realize that the so-called easiest postures are not that easy when you are trying to foster an internal experience. Finally, the goal is to realize that yoga practice is not about the “Asanas” or physical postures but actually about the breath and how to make it flow through your body in every posture and every move. When you have this insight, you stop thinking about that next posture, and start thinking about that next breath — and that’s when yoga begins.
Yoga With Bodhi Surf
Whether you end up in Bahia Ballena on a yoga vacation or are just in town for a day or two, taking a yoga class with Bodhi Yoga instructor, Pilar Salazar, can be the most fun and relaxing experience you have — for many it’s a highlight of their whole trip. Doing yoga in Costa Rica is is like riding the subway in Mexico City or eating pizza in New York: something that has already proven itself to be positive/useful/dynamic, but the new setting makes it unique in its own way. Doing yoga amidst the vividly green jungle of Uvita, Costa Rica, or overlooking the vast Pacific ocean from the La Cusinga platform, are extra special experiences to take home from your Costa Rica vacation.
There are a variety of different ways you can get your yoga fill with Bodhi Surf. We offer a variety of classes and packages for all inclinations: for those who want to have a yoga-focused vacation, those who want to incorporate yoga into their Costa Rica surf vacation, or those who simply want to take a class or two at their convenience.
Bodhi Surf’s Style of Yoga
We offer a Vinyasa-style of yoga, which provides for a more vigorous practice that focuses on both breathing and flow. The word “Vinyasa” literally means “connection”, and that is what the “asanas” or poses aim to do — connect together to create a flow of movements that are designed to get the blood flowing. This style of yoga is an excellent way to energize the body while also looking inward to our thoughts, our concentration, and the importance of the breath. If you are doing a private single or group class, it can be more tailored to your or your group’s needs and expectations. We also offer restorative yoga for those who have injuries or limitations, and prenatal yoga for pregnant women.
Benefits Of Yoga
- Improved flexibility, posture and coordination: Contrary to popular belief, most yoga practitioners were not born with superhero strength and flexibility; we all start at the same place. Instead of pushing yourself into an ideal of perfection, if you can learn to be kind to your body and accept your capabilities, over time you will experience a greater well being and improved flexibility, posture, and mobility.
- Decreased appetite: Ever wondered why you get so hungry after going for a run or a swim? When you do cardio exercises that makes you breathe more than usual, your body becomes more acidic and that makes you crave food. Conversely, when you do exercises such as yoga, you learn to breathe less and more effectively, which makes your body more alkaline. The result is that you don’t feel as hungry, and that gives you more time to think about and plan what you want to eat.
- Develop core strength & stability: The yoga postures you will learn at Bodhi Surf are designed to strengthen all areas of your body; each posture compliments and prepares you for the next one. You will learn how to strengthen your core muscles to help support your body during your practice.
- Increased energy and a higher vitality: Learning to breathe effectively will be one of the greatest techniques you learn in yoga, and the health benefits associated with this are astounding. Not only will your energy levels increase, but you will also experience a calmness of the mind and lightness of the body.
- Promotes health and is a preventive measure: Yoga can be a healing practice, so it is great for those with injury, illness, disease, or other physical limitations. It is also a holistic practice, meaning that it aims to do more than just focus on symptoms; instead, yoga aims to be a preventive measure. Yoga is also complementary to nearly every other physical activity.
Is Previous Experience Required
Previous yoga experience is not required in order to participate in a yoga class with Bodhi Surf. Our yoga instructor, Pilar Salazar, recognizes that everyone has different strengths and limitations. She strives to help us all utilize our strengths while at the same time improving on those areas that might need a little work. At the beginning of each class she discusses everyone’s intentions and expectations and then bases her teaching on what she learns about each person. Her utmost priorities are always that participants are safe, have a good time, and hopefully learn something new.
Yoga is a personal experience: it is up to each of us to decide our own comfort level, and while we want to push ourselves in order to improve, it should never be a competition, (either with ourselves or others). Any good yoga teacher will adhere to that basic tenet, and not try and push their students beyond where any student wants to go.
Yoga & Surfing
Yoga and surfing have much in common. Both are more than mere physical activities: they are more like entire ways of life, and each has its own corresponding paradigm and philosophy. Because yoga focuses on breathing, balance, flexibility, and strength, it is an excellent complement to surfing — many of professional surfing’s “greats” practice yoga regularly to better their surfing skills and ability.
Yoga teaches us to be aware of both what’s going on inside ourselves as well as what’s happening in our surroundings, as well as to be present and completely in the moment, aspects that will make us better in the water. We try to incorporate this way of thinking – awareness of self, environment, and the interconnectedness of each – into each surf lesson, and of course into each yoga class.
Surfing teaches us to not over think things too much — when surfing, sometimes you have to “just do it” and though you might fall or not catch the wave exactly as you envisioned, it is only through doing it that you learn. Also, getting over that fear of falling — it usually isn’t as bad as it looks — can be very helpful to those who practice yoga.