Tag Archive for yoga

Practicing Yoga in the High Tatras

yoga in the High Tatras Sliezsky dom High Tatras TANAP (83)

When I stayed at the highest situated High Tatras hotel Sliezsky dom, we hiked as much as we could with my dad.

The nature of the High Tatras, the highest mountain range in my home country Slovakia reaching 2,665 m a.s.l., offers beautiful views of peaks, lakes, rivers, flowers, animals, villages at the edge of the mountains …

When trekking around, to keep calm and warm in that cold and windy weather, I stopped and practiced yoga in the High Tatras for a few minutes. How many times can you practice yoga in a national park and in such a high altitude?

 

As you can see, you can practice yoga anywhere, no excuses, even yoga in the High Tatras when hiking in the 2,000 m a.s.l. can be an adventure and a way of staying fit when traveling. A few minutes of stretching are better than nothing, especially in the nature breathing fresh air and just add those views! 🙂

 

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Yoga at Samasati Nature Retreat Puerto Viejo

Yoga at Samasati Nature Retreat Costa Rica (3)
I stayed a week at the Samasati Nature Retreat close to Puerto Viejo in Costa Rica. Disconnected from the online world, connected to the nature, animals, myself and yoga. I took a few yoga classes with Max and then also one with Stephanie. Their style is very different but I always love to practice under various yoga teachers as it stretches more parts of my body and it also shows me what I want to do and do not want to do one day when I become a yoga teacher myself.
Max has been practicing the attitude for some 35 years, and hatha yoga as exercise for 18 years. He’s been in Costa Rica for 20 years already.
Yoga at Samasati Nature Retreat Costa Rica (1) Yoga at Samasati Nature Retreat Costa Rica (2)

What I learned at yoga at Samasati Nature Retreat with Max:

Yoga 1
 
No goal, movement itself is the goal. Being in the present moment is the goal.
Savasana is art of conscious meditation.
Yoga teaches us patience.
Use the breath to go deeper into the pose, not muscles. Using muscles can cause injuries, using breath is softer. Do the positions according to your own breath.
Max kept telling us not to follow him, but our own inhale and exhale instead.
Yoga for me is not only a workout, it’s more about lifestyle and incorporating it into life. It’s the attitude towards life.” Max said. ”Yoga is better with a mind of a beginner. Then we are open to learn new things.
Our body changes and it’s different every day.
Seated forward bent – East towards the Sun (in Sanskrit it’s what it means) vs. reversed plank pose should be done towards the West.
Yoga 2
 
Steady and easiness (suka means good space) are the 2 main principles of yoga. It’s balance between strength and struggle.
 
When doing the headstand – torso should be on top of the shoulders so then we don’t need to kick but just to put the legs up.
Women have to practice more arm strength, men more hip opening.
 
After Savasana at the end of the class ”May all people be happy. May all people be free. May all people be in peace.”

Face the fear – it’s painful but it pays off. It’s worth it.

We have emotions, it’s natural to have them but there’s a way to deal with them. If you get angry, it’s ok, but you can choose to forgive.
Forgiveness is to forgive yourself, not the others.
Being responsible for everything sets up free. It’s the most we can achieve in life – to be free. If we blame other people or things for what happens to us or what we do, we give away our freedom to them.
 
Yoga 3
 
I had at least 15 new mosquito bites from today which was not fun when I had to practice yoga and keep calm.
Om is a special vibration. Let it penetrate into us.
Ujjayi breath = victorious breath: ud = power, ji = victory
Meditation = when we touch the 2 fingers together it means knowledge and wisdom. The thumbs represent universal power while the index fingers mean individual power.
 
 
Yoga 4
 
Patanjali speaking about yoga – the 1st three sutras are the most important.
Yoga = to quiet the mind. It’s experience in mind to realize the true self.
Yoga 5
 
We did a meditation when we closed up all the holes on our faces. Nose counts as 1 and it was the only one we did not close completely but left some space to breathe through as we were not experienced enough yet to not to breathe like life long yogis.
Yoga is meditation, pranayama and asanas together. Hatha yoga is focused on positions.
Meditation – we have to be in it. There’s different ways of meditations. We meditate to get rid of negative thoughts, harmful thoughts and shut the feelings for a certain time in general. It calms us down.
Yoga at Samasati Nature Retreat Costa Rica (3)

What I learned at yoga at Samasati Nature Retreat with Stephanie:

We started in a seated cross-legged position with a sort of meditation when Stephanie guided us trying to realize parts of our body.
Meditation in the middle of the class before going down for shoulder stand and twists and final savasana.
OM MANE PADNE OM mantra at the end of the class – to reach intellectual and emotional balance.
Steph really appreciated us waking up so early in the morning (it was a morning yoga class) and she was also thankful for our beautiful practice. Steph encouraged us to use yoga practice every day of our life which could help us.

Yoga around the world

tree pose at Cala Guilolla beach

In May 2012 when visiting Costa Rica and Panama, I realized that probably the easiest sports to do while traveling around the world is yoga. I first practiced yoga on Bocas del Toro islands in Bocas Yoga studio with beautiful yoga teacher Laura.

Ever since I’ve had periods of time when I practiced yoga every day but unfortunately also weeks that passed without any yoga. It took me time but finally I am sure that practicing yoga is one of the best things to do on the road.

I don’t carry a yoga mat when traveling but you can easily do it without it, trust me. I got used to practice on the ground, on the grass or even in my hotel rooms on the floor or carpets. It is not that tough at all.

Sometimes, I even take a few minutes to just do a yoga position or two, or relax my mind doing meditation whenever possible, especially in the nature, gardens or even my hotel balconies.

 

Here are some of the photos I took of myself practicing yoga around the world:

 

When visiting Costa Brava in March 2013, we took a boat trip to Cap de Creus and pulled over at Cala Guilolla beach. I found a pretty amazing old boat there and practiced some basic yoga positions on top of it when my travel buddies were getting ready for lunch.

 

tree pose at Cala Guilolla beach tree pose from the front

* Thanks to Richard from Charming Villas for taking these photos of me 🙂

 

A few days after every morning I froze my ass off doing some yoga positions at the balcony of Hotel Terraza in Roses, Spain.

tree pose in Roses Spain

 

Back in May 2013, early morning when it was not too hot, I enjoyed the views from my balcony at Marina Fiesta hotel in Cabo San Lucas in Mexico.

reverse warrior in Cabo San Lucas Mexico warrior 2 in Cabo San Lucas warrior 3 in Cabo San Lucas Mexico

 

Oh, and after kayaking I took a second for a tree pose on Balandra beach close to La Paz in Mexico too. Look at the beauty beach!

tree position at Balandra beach Mexico

 

 

On top of my favorite pyramids ever – Teotihuacan, one of the many archaeological sites in Mexico I visited – I practiced some yoga for a bit too. The photos were taken by my tour guide on top of the Pyramid of the Moon overlooking the Pyramid of the Sun.

tree pose at Teotihuacan Mexico warrior 3 at Teotihuacan Mexico

 

Then, in June, when I expected warm weather in Canada, it was pretty cold and rained a lot. I even had to use my fireplace at L’Auberge des Falaises in Charlevoix, tuck myself up in bed and drink warm tea. That was obviously after the morning yoga at the balcony.

I know my head is missing on the photo, sorry. I still have it so no worries 😀

tree pose in Charlevoix Canada

 

Spending a few days exploring the multicultural Montreal in Canada, I also took a few hours to practice SUP yoga on the river with KSF. It was my first SUP experience and also SUP yoga in general, so took me a while to stand up and learn something, especially when kind of scared of falling into the cold river with my sinus infection. And, it was raining. But Josie, our instructor from O’Yoga was amazingly patient so in the end we all enjoyed our time.

another SUP yoga pose in Montreal finishing SUP yoga in Montreal with Josie practicing SUP yoga in Montreal

 

When visiting Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia in summer 2013, we took a canoeing trip along the Danube and when stopped to take photos of the Devin castle, I tried yoga … tried in the river. By the way, check out more sexy photos from the Danube 🙂

warrior 3 in the Danube

 

With a bunch of Slovak friends we took a road trip to Portoroz in Slovenia and stayed at Majda apartments for 5 days. There, before breakfast, I stretched my bones at the balcony too.

tree pose in Portoroz Slovenia

 

With my friend Lukas practicing early morning yoga in the cold weather in Slovenska Ves, Slovakia.

morning yoga in Slovenska Ves Slovakia warrior 2 in Slovenska Ves Slovakia

 

Waiting for 2 hours at the train station in Krivan, a small village in Slovakia, I decided to strech a little bit when there was no one.

warrior 2 at Krivan train station Slovakia

 

And last but not least, meditation in my home town Snina, Slovakia.

meditation in Snina, Slovakia

 

Do you practice yoga around the world on your trips too?