These are stressful times. Sometimes when I am in bed at night I think about a million things. Things I've done wrong, words I have said that I cannot take back and the never-ending "to do" list that is always on my mind. I've always envied people who go straight to sleep once their heads hit the pillow. I don't know how they do it.
This fab little 6 hour tibetan music is so smooth. So soothing. I love it and thought I'd share it with all of you. Enjoy!
Estos son tiempos estresantes. A veces, cuando estoy en la cama por la noche, pienso en un millón de cosas. Cosas que he hecho mal, palabras que he dicho que no puedo retirar y la lista interminable de "cosas por hacer" que siempre tengo en mente. Siempre he envidiado a las personas que se van a dormir una vez que sus cabezas golpean la almohada. No sé cómo lo hacen.
Esta fabulosa música tibetana de 6 horas es muy suave. Muy relajante Me encanta y pensé en compartirlo con todos ustedes. ¡Disfrutar!
Costa Rica is a Yogi's dream destination. The country offers you everything from stunning beaches to epic surf, majestic jungle, and exceptional yoga. Although it’s a small country, there is no shortage of places to call your home away from home for a YTT or Retreat, but where do you start looking?
Yoga Maya Uvita has found the perfect spot for you to relax, practice yoga, and experience the magic of Costa Rica. For soul-seeking, world-travelling, adventure-loving, yogi’s Uvita has everything you need and more. Here’s why…
2. Yoga & Surf Lifestyle
Breathe. Stretch. Move. Uvita is a small town, but the locals and ex-pats alike all know the power of connecting with yourself and with nature. Debbie has created a centre that enables you to enjoy the beauty of the outdoors, while connecting with your internal space. Imagine waking up to the soft light of sunrise, practicing yoga on the beach and then conquering the waves in a surf lesson. It's waiting for you.
3. Pura Vida Vibes Everywhere
No experience in Costa Rica is complete without embracing those Pura Vida vibes. What does that mean exactly? Yoga Maya Uvita’s center wants you to connect with that sense of ‘pure life’ that is unencumbered and free. The ‘pura vida’ is something you feel when bathing under the roar of a waterfall after a meditation in the heart of the jungle. That beautiful pure energy of spirit that few places on earth can evoke like Uvita.
Part of the magic of Yoga Maya Uvita is the relationship you can cultivate towards living sustainably. Of course this includes practices like recycling, compost, and leaving a lighter footprint on the earth, but it’s also about the self. When you visit you become enriched, and through retreats and YTTs cultivate the mental and physical strategies you need to sustain your best self for the rest of your life. Grab a loofah from the loofah plants that canopy over the fence by the pasture, dry it in the sun and use it in your outdoor shower. Check on the chickens and have a few eggs for breakfast. Maybe enjoy a maracuya fruit from the six vines that grace the front entrance. With five large and well producing mango trees you may never run out of this delicious fruit. With fresh herbs abound for cooking, medicinal herbs for Ayurveda, and kisses from Lola the dobe rescue you may never want to leave. This is what living with kindness, love and less of an impact is all about.
5. Casados and Cafe
Nourishment. The climate of Uvita will nourish your body, mind, and spirit. You’ll practice the yoga, you’ll surf the waves, and you’ll taste the coffee. When you stay with Debbie, she’ll make sure that you have a chance to stop at the oldest coffee plantation in Costa Rica, near San Jose. You’ll be immersed in delicious coffee, eating a Casado (traditional plate of food with plantains, rice, and beans), and crying tears of joy and gratitude for making the decision to come to Uvita.
There you have it! 5 reasons Uvita, and Yoga Maya Uvita specifically could just about change your life. Let’s be honest though, after your time here you’ll leave realizing that there are about 100 reasons Uvita is the place to be. So why not start now? Click here for more info. www.iloveyogamaya.com or to book your ytt now. Our next session is in May, then July. Come. Live a little mas.
When you close your eyes you can see it. You can feel it. A warm breeze brushes across your face as you stand where the ocean meets jungle in an otherworldly sense of awe. Costa Rica is without a doubt an eco-hub of natural beauty, music, and sense of connected spirit. Nestled in the Southern Pacific is the whale-tale city of Uvita where Yoga Maya Uvita delivers it’s jungle-ocean-yoga-magic-love to the inquisitive soul.
Originally from the US, Debbie’s vision is to host a space for yoga in Uvita that is integrative, sustainable, fun and soul-enriching. Building from the ground up, casitas and a beautiful yoga shala create the infrastructure for fabulous Yoga Teacher Trainings and Retreats.
Picture yourself, having just attended or even taught one of those juicy vinyasa classes that leaves you buzzing. Everything’s a bit brighter in the jungle canopy as you head to a waterfall, or for a horseback ride on the beach, or grab your provided surfboard to head for a surf with www.surfinguvita.com
The absolute beauty of what Yoga Maya Uvita has created is that there is something for everybody. If you’re in Costa Rica looking to attend a retreat, leading a yoga retreat or just passing through looking to relax, you’ll find what you need. So, what exactly can you expect at Yoga Maya Uvita?
UNIQUE YOGA TEACHER TRAININGS
So many of us are looking to up our yoga game, and coming to a retreat with Debbie will totally do that. She uses a deep knowledge of ayurveda and proactive attitude to give you the tools to be and explore your passions. From workouts like suspension training to profound meditations and epic breath practices, Yoga Maya YTT will give you your Yoga Alliance 200 hr or 300hr certification and a variety of unique skills to optimize your teaching and practice.
Already a yoga teacher? Incredible! Due to her experience hosting YTT’s the stage is already set for you to start building your tribe and delivering your own YTT’s in a beautiful spot rife with good vibes and opportunity.
The perfect jungle beach escape could not be complete without a litany of energetically nourishing activities. Since Uvita has a little bit of everything, you are in the perfect place for retreat combos that include yoga (of course), surfing, culinary arts, ayurveda, and other courses to deepen your knowledge in specific areas.
Debbie is a huge fan of learning, and sharing your skills to help yourself grow and grow others. Bring your interests to life with a retreat where you can combine your skills with other groups for incredible experiences like a week of yoga-surfing, or yoga surf and cook!
Costa Rica is undoubtedly renowned for it’s natural beauty and chill relaxing vibes. As you explore the west coast you may want to have a stop in a small, but versatile city that gives you access to some of the deepest jungles in the world. Yoga Maya Uvita has set up accessible cabinas where you can escape to the jungle for a few nights, or a few weeks.
Can you see it all a bit clearer now? Your expansive, life-changing, Costa Rican beach jungle adventure. Come check-out the newest retreat centre in Uvita by clicking here www.iloveyogamaya.com for more information.
Our silent opening will be just in time for our Envisionfest friends. www.envisionfestival.com
Lack of sleep is not only annoying but can wreak havoc on your life, up your stress level and make you gain weight just to name a few issues that go along with those restless nights. Nobody needs a sleepless night or even a non-restful one.
These simple strategies can help! Once made into a ritual you can find yourself falling asleep quicker and staying asleep longer or dare I say even for the full night? Doesn’t that sound like bliss?
Here’s how to begin:
These simple and quick changes can make a difference. If you are suffering from lack of good sleep or it takes you more time to fall asleep than you think it should give these a try. What have you got to lose?
So you have been toying with the thought of taking a YTT in Costa Rica (or somewhere else maybe) have you now?
Well, think it over a bit more and see if any of these resonate with you.
1. You will learn more yoga (physical yoga and other things related to yoga) and you will learn how to do the poses correctly.
Remember how you received some well deserved help when you learned how to ride a bike? And they were cheering you on? And it was amazing? That’s a bit like a YTT. Lots of help from your teachers in correct positioning of at least 50+ commonly used poses. Alignment is key to prevent injury. With a good teacher you will feel poses differently in the body and your yoga will get stronger.
2. As I just mentioned. Your yoga will get stronger. You will gain muscle in your body in needed areas. Your upper body's proper alignment in chaturanga for example will create tremendous strength. Chaturanga is a VERY demanding pose and is often done incorrectly.
3. Friends. And we are talking about the best kind of friends. Like minded friends!
Granted I love yoga. I do it for a living. I love sharing yoga. People who come to yoga teacher trainings have many things in common. It is truly a blessing to be around health conscious, like minded people and often wonderful life-long friendships arise from a few weeks of a YTT together.
4. You will learn how to express yourself.
Sometimes it's hard to feel ok with what you feel and say. Listening to others share their journey will not only make you look at your own life with a little less judgement (and their lives too) and a lot more love but you will learn what works and what doesn't work for you. Sharing enriches lives. When you share you also receive in return. This creates an openness in dialog that lets you feel less guarded in your self expression.
5. Travel. Unplug. Technically this should be 5 and 6 but you get the idea. Travel is good for the mind, body and soul. Always travel when you can! Unplugging from work and social media are immensely important in today's world of overstimulation.
This is for all you new teachers out there or for someone who would like to switch things up a bit for their Savasana scripts. Yoga International is a wonderful source for many things and Savasana cannot be forgotten or skipped. It's important.
People will remember your Savasana. It's the last pose and typically people remember the first and the last parts of any experience a bit more than the middle. So, make it good peeps!
Many people appreciate a bolster under the thighs for added comfort. There are little things you can do to make the ending of their yoga practice a bit more special. Scented eye pillows, a blanket under the head. An essential oil massage (remember to always ask first), these are special treats. Your students love to feel special.
Remember that not everyone has a large group of loving friends/family and this may be the only attention they receive in a day. Why not make them feel peaceful? We are all in search of peace. Even those who appear to already have it. Give it to them and they will remember how you made them feel.
Click on the link below for some fresh ideas and new scripts for Savasana.
Have any of you heard of something called the Thomas test? I had forgotten all about it until I had a conversation with someone about their tight psoas. You know, the usual coffee house conversations normal people have. We spoke about rehab, pain and flexibility. About sitting too much and all the usual stuff we health conscious yogis like to talk about.
Anyway, it got me thinking; "How flexible does a human really need to be?" Who can really answer that question? I guess it's a rather personal thing. Lifestyle choices and all that play into it. What may not be flexible for one person would be a dream come true for another. Age and many things are factors but a basic ability to extend the leg behind you is necessary for a healthy pain-free gate while walking. And lets face it we all like to walk without pain.
One way to see how you are doing is to conduct a simple test on yourself called the Thomas Test. You can research it yourself but the basics are just do what the picture below demonstrates and see if your exteneded leg tries to lift up or if it can stay flat with ease. Or maybe even your expetended leg can extend a bit further. All of this is without pain of course. This isn't something you push your body into. It's just a basic measurement of how tight your hip flexors are. It's simple, quick and easy. A lot like my X. The key is to have free/open space behind the extended leg. So do it over the edge of a coffee table or open stairs. Possibly even on the side of the bed.
If your extended leg feels the need to lift up a bit you may consider doing more yoga or stretches that entail extending one leg back at a time. Like for example a lunge. Working on holding the lunge (high or low) for a minute or so each side. Do this several times a day, especially during your work day if you sit a lot at work. It doesn't have to be crazy deep. No splits att eh water cooler are necessary. Just a little opening of the psoas and the other flexors of the upper leg. It mayeven help with lower back pain.
Give some stretching a chance. It's proven to be good for you. Tight hip flexors can cause all sorts of pain/problems so nip it in the bud (or help yoru students for you teachers out there) after you test yourself with the Thomas Test.
Yes, I suffer from knee pain, as do many other yogis and non yogis alike. It’s not fun and can vary in pain level from day to day. I’ll try to keep this short and sweet, straight to the point. After logging many hours of research and rehab I feel pretty good about sharing some of what works (and what doesn’t) for knee pain. Of course I’m no doctor and you should consult one for your own pain issues. BUT here’s some great yoga poses that have strengthen my troubled left knee and also alleviated pain. Fingers crossed they could even work for you, so run it by your doctor!
"If you listen to your body when it whispers, you may never have to hear it scream"
Less is more, so pace yourself and never push through the pain. Pain is your body's way of giving you a warning sign. Pay attention to it or you just may pay a big price. Also; consistency of practice is the key to practically everything. Keep at it. 5-6 days a week of a few minutes to half an hour a day will pay off way more than two hours twice a week. Repetition is the key.
Start with some warm-ups of the knee. Bending gently and smoothly without a lot of impact. Maybe this is a short walk and or some (small) circles of the knees. Rub and warm them gently with warm hands and maybe even massage in some castor or sesame oil daily to help lubricate the joint. Use extra padding when necessary for comfort if on the knees.
Of course you do not have to do all of these. Pick and chose what works for you. I used the camel pose as the picture becasue I really dislike camel pose. So it's a reminder to me. Do camel pose more often. LOL. We tend to avoid what we don't like. So be creative and ask yourself if you are consistently avoiding a pose because you don't like it. And if you practiced this specific "disliked" pose more often would your body and muscles change? Would you get better at it? Would you become stronger in an area that you REALLY needed to become stronger?
Yoga is a personal practice. You figure it out for yourself and do what you need to do for YOUR optimal health. This is yet another reason why I highly recommend a home personal practice of at least 3 days a week.
Each asana can be held for one minute, except the first. If this is initially too much, try for 30 seconds. Use any and all props necessary to prevent pain and be safe.
We will work on some hip poses as they are highly related to knee issues. Many people tend to have an issue in one joint, the next thing you know there's a problem in the joint above or below the initial joint with the issue. It's all connected so get on this ASAP so you can feel better! And be stronger!
So, I’ve been doing some research on pain. In my love of all things yoga I know that many People come to yoga to “nurse” or “heal” an injury. Their doctor or PT probably said “go take some yoga classes” and there they are….no clue what to do or what type of yoga class to take and show up expecting healed. Well, it certainly could happen, the healing part, but pain, chronic pain is a twisted ugly bitch. So be prepared for some challenges on this journey towards health.
Take a look at the pic. It shows what goes on so simply when humans experience pain that doesn’t go away. It’s a game changer and not in a good way. It can and does result in changes in a person. Even in their behavior. It’s completely normal and is a difficult thing to deal with. Pain can make you mean. It can lead to addiction to drugs and that has a whole different set of problems. Pain = Problems. Plain and simple. I just read a study that discussed these components to chronic pain.
Chronic pain behavior seems to be composed of at least 9 components:
verbal pain complaints,
general verbal complaints,
distorted posture and mobility,
and depressive mood
Doesn’t that sound like a shit storm? How does one deal with all or even part of that? Well….I’m no expert but I’d say see a therapist and also deal with it this yogic way:
meditation in the am and the pm (pm meaning before bed)
gentle yoga with lots of gentle stretching + some strength building asanas
go to a yoga class (for the community/support aspect of it)
don’t judge yourself
enjoy the present moment
read some yoga and/or meditation books
Anyone have any other suggestions? I’d love to hear what you’ve tried or think may be helpful.
Sometimes the holidays can be a little rough. The relatives, family issues, the whole thing can get to you. I figured I'd see what I could write about it and immediately thought about the chakras. Especially the 4th chakra. The heart. Love. It can get you right in the feels sometimes. And this time of year tends to get you right freakin' there. I used to see it as a paramedic. Lots of suicides and heart attacks around this time of year. I never really knew why. Enter the chakras!
The fourth chakra is at the center of the 7 chakras with 3 below and 3 above. This is the area where the physical and the spiritual actually meet in the body. How's that for straight up "get you in the feels" stuff? The 4th chakra, the heart chakra is located at the center of the chest and includes the heart, cardiac plexus, thymus gland, lungs, and breasts. It also rules the lymphatic system. The Sanskrit word for the fourth chakra is Anahata, which means “unstruck” or “unhurt.” The name implies that beneath the hurts and grievances of past experiences lies a pure and spiritual place where no hurt exists. Could this be true? When your heart chakra is open, you are flowing with love and compassion, you are quick to forgive, and you accept others and yourself. A closed heart chakra can create grief, anger, jealousy, fear of betrayal, and hatred toward yourself and others.
Some people choose to live in the place of grievances. Some even carry it in their bodies. In their chests. They cave their chests inward to protect their hearts. They hide, they crouch. You know what I mean. Kyphosis. They’ve been hurt in the past by parents, siblings, friends, or loves. It’s basically impossible to avoid situations where someone may try to hurt you but you do get to choose what to do with that pain. Some people might try to hurt the other person back. That is not living from a place of Anahata. The person who inflicts pain on others is coming from a place of fear, ignorance or hatred, all of which represent a closed heart chakra. Ouch! When you encounter hurt feelings from your past or present, you can choose to feel them fully and let them go or hold onto them. By letting them go, you’re able to open your heart to new people and new experiences with compassion, love, and understanding. Holding onto hurt harbors negative feelings and cuts you off from opportunities to love and serve. Letting go is as easy as making a choice. Your mind and your ego may tell you otherwise but it’s as simple as choosing to let go and move on.
Empathy and Compassion Create Openness
Walking in another person’s shoes is not easy to do, but can be helpful in fostering a sense of empathy. To help create empathy and compassion, I like to play a game called, “the what if scenarios.” When encountering a person who is being unpleasant or who has treated me poorly in the past, I quickly take my mind through a host of what ifs. For example, ask yourself, “What if that person is just having a bad day?” or “What if that person just lost his job?” “What if she just learned her husband was having an affair?” “What if he was just diagnosed with an illness?” As you create these stories, of which the possibilities are endless, you begin to empathize with the other person and his or her situation. This method takes you away from yourself and self-pity and places compassion onto the other person. This little exercise creates a place in you where you can understand. And TBH we never really know what others are going through. So, be kind, ALWAYS!
Now, let’s suppose that there’s a family member or close friend who just repeats a pattern of inflicting hurt on a constant basis. You can still offer love and compassion either from a distance or by setting boundaries. In any case, know that when someone chooses to hurt you, it’s almost never about YOU. It’s about THEM. We've all heard this before but believe me, it's the TRUTH. So let them live their lives and you live yours.
Give Love to Receive Love
The best way to receive love is to give it. Author and motivational speaker, Leo Buscaglia, used to teach that we should give and receive 12 hugs a day for optimal health. So give hugs and kisses. Good God this one is tough for me. I'm not a hugger. It's a bit intimate for me. I was never hugged as a child. Like seriously, never. Other ways you can give love:
Love is a currency and whatever you give will come back to you.
Asanas, Sounds, Colors, and Gems to Balance the Fourth Chakra
Any yoga pose that opens the area of the chest will help to balance the heart chakra. Some poses include camel, dancer, and locust pose.
The mantra sound corresponding to the fourth chakra is the sound YUM. A special mantra to help expand love and compassion is OM MANI PADME HUM. You can repeat this mantra in meditation to gain greater access to these qualities.
The color is emerald green and the gemstones associated with the heart are emerald, malachite, jade, and rose quartz.
Enjoy the holidays a bit more with these thoughts of love and openness. Be kind. Especially to your family. They hurt just like everyone else. Empathy. It's a cool thing.
Debbie Krejci E-RYT 500
Yoga Teacher Training Mexico, Costa Rica, 2019
Yoga teacher training Uvita Costa Rica
Yoga Maya Uvita