Tag Archives: yoga

City Escape: A Yoga Retreat in Peru

During my numerous vacations and road trips in Peru, I have had the chance to explore the country’s most famous destinations, as well as some of its hidden gems. This has only deepened my love and understanding of the country’s historical, cultural, and natural wonders. Peru has many different climates that offer a perfect escape from busy city life: the lush green Amazon, white sandy beaches along the Pacific coast, the Sacred Valley in the Andes mountains, and so much more.

When I packed my bags and decided to move to Peru, live in Lima, and get married to my Peruvian husband, I struggled to find a yoga studio where I could maintain my daily practice. In 2012, yoga was not very popular in Peru’s capital city (Lima); most people had no idea what it was. Over the years, this has changed and today, there is an growing yoga community, with numerous yoga studios, yoga fan-pages on Facebook, and many opportunities to go on a yoga retreat.

Also as part of my travels and experiences, I completed my RYT200h Hatha teacher training in the Sacred Valley. Ever since, I have wanted nothing more than to share and combine my two passions: yoga and travelling.

The idea to start hosting yoga retreats came about when I travelled for the first time to the north of Peru to visit my husband’s family. The family villa just seemed like a perfect place: a white house with a pool, located on the top of a hill, with ocean views and sounds, and a white sandy beach.

This year, the opportunity came up: two of my favorite yoga teachers were organising a retreat and hadn’t found a place to host it. I was very happy, excited, and a little nervous: I wanted everything to be perfect for my yogi guests, and I wanted everyone to enjoy themselves and relax.

None of the guests had any specific dietary requirements, but I planned a vegetarian menu, with some fish options. During our 4-day retreat, the menu included a variety of homemade almond and coconut milks, flavored water, smoothies, iced tea, hummus and guacamole, fresh salads, an abundance of fruits and homemade desserts.

The retreat included yoga twice a day, enjoying the sun and the beach, snorkelling with turtles. We were a group of 12 women and the feminine energy and connections offered us beautiful moments. It was the perfect opportunity to disconnect from the craziness of everyday life in the city and reconnect with one’s inner self.

4 Post-Running Yoga Poses

It’s true, sometimes we may not have the time to stretch after a run. Or we want to just hop in the shower and go to work, or eat, or start the day. Sometimes, life gets in the way of stretching and it is left aside to be done later and then, later never comes.

I cannot stress enough the importance of stretching when you are running/working out frequently (or even daily).

The muscles, as well as the muscle tissues need to be stretched. It is important to free our body of the lactic acid that is created when we exercise/run and to release any tension.

Here are my top 4 (standing) stretches I like to do after a run and when I am short on time:

  1. Side Body Stretch: Reach your hands up towards the sky, interlace your fingers as you breathe in. On your exhale, stretch towards the left (or right). Repeat this on the otherside and interlace your fingers the other way (the way that feels Weird/funny). Repeat this 2-3 times.
Side body stretch
Side body stretch

 

 

2. Wide legged forward fold: Open your legs wider than your shoulders. Lower your hands to the ground if you can, but make sure your back is straight and that your shoulders are back. Hold this for 3 Longhorns breaths.  Then, let gravity do it’s magic and release your upper body, let your arms and torso dangle. You may also grab the opposite elbows and swing lightly from side to side.

Wide legged forward fold
Wide legged forward fold

 

3. Pyramid pose: Place one leg in front of the other, at about shoulder distance, with all of your toes pointing forward. Keep your legs straight, and start lowering your chest towards your chin. Make sure you keep your back straight as well, and that your hips are facing forward. Do not worry so much about touching your toes, instead, focus on your hamstrings getting the stretch they deserve!

Pyramid pose
Pyramid pose

 

4. Garland Pose: This one I do ALL THE TIME. The Yogi squat is really great for the inner thighs and for the hips. Make sure there is a double movement between your legs and your arms. As your elbows push your legs to open more, your legs also push back into your arms. Your back must also be straight and your chest open. Putting your hands in prayer will help in this position.

Malasana Garland Pose
Malasana Garland Pose

 

There are a TON of other poses that can be done after a run. What are some of your favourites?

Stay tuned for my top 4 Yin Yoga inspired post run poses.

Going with the Flow

As an organized person, who loves to make lists (of everything!) I have been trying to just let things happen.
Yoga is a practice of this. Of coordinating your mind and body, your breaths and movements. It is a practice that brings you to the present moment, since the past cannot be changed and the future is unpredictable and out of your control.
I now slowly transition into a new lifestyle; one that is in a new country different from Canada, a life that is mainly in my third language, and one that is no longer a student life but a “grown up” one (whatever that means). I realize that flowing with the occurrences and opportunities that present themselves is even more important. I start teaching a yoga class twice a week (Core Flow and Post workout Yin), and I am getting into a new food business that is unexpectedly flourishing. Maybe these were not the plans, but they are the plans of the NOW. Sometimes life presents to you some things that you never thought possible. And it is there, in that now, that you should just go with the flow.

What do you do when unexpected things happen? How do you find ways “flow” in your everyday life?