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Nacional Yoga Day in Costa Rica
The mini Woodstock of Yoga

by Emiliana García

San Jose—On Sunday, September 12, the National Cultural Center (Cenac – Centro Nacional de Cultura) welcomed more than 600 people who attended the most important and anticipated event of the Costa Rican yoga community: the national yoga day, which this year was called “yoga for all.” For just 2,000 colones, people could attend yoga classes, artistic shows and discussions about the benefits of this ancient practice.


Some of the attendants showed that they were very advanced and released themselves in the flow of every posture.

 

Couples holding hands entering one of the classes, groups of friends with their colorful yoga mats and sunglasses chatting in the gardens, and young families sharing with their children something that few parents manage: vegetables, vegetables and more vegetables. But the parents had a little help since many of the shows were for the little ones: a puppet that levitated with the public’s “om’s” and three clowns that devised ways to meld acrobatics, clowing and yoga. There on the ground friends and strangers sat together with one another.  

This was the atmosphere. A little Woodstock spiritual reminiscent of the hippy era with an Indian flavor where, surprisingly, there was something that emboldened one to unreservedly give oneself over to the experimental music of the wonderful Costa Rican group Lamat.

Nosara, which prides itself on being a part surfer-part spiritual community, also had representatives at the event. Yoga professor Katherine Silva, a member of Asoyogacr.org (Yoga Association of Costa Rica) and ex proprietor of the alternative zen café in Guiones Beach, set up her stand where she sold natural homemade peanut and almond butters. She related that this is the third year that the event has taken place and that each year more people come. When asked if she thinks Nosara might one day also have a “yoga day,” she responded that she doesn’t think so because the community is very split. “It would be lovely, but we’re not ready yet,” said Silva.
 
The community of Pacha Mama, located between Ostional and San Juanillo, also had its stand where, by means of brochures and a video of the famous annual Riverfest, curious people were invited to participate in some of the various workshops offered at this alternative center.

“The response is very good. There’s a lot of people who come up to ask what Pacha Mama is,” related the marketing manager. “I believe an event like this could be organized in the Nosara area and I’m sure that it would be a success.”      

At the end of the event, when the rain made people take note and the sun had hidden behind a building, everyone returned to their homes with something novel: a different yoga class from the usual, a sweet cookie with chai spices, an “indestructible” yoga mat or a coupon for a meditation workshop with mantras. Everyone had smiles on their faces and a look filled with peace.


During the morning, some classes were held in the garden. Here, professor John Latouche from the Shen Long center, offered a class in Qing Gong.


Some stands had yoga souvenirs from India and China.

   

A statue of Ganesh was for sale, and promptly disappeared from view.
 
   

Sign up – The center opened at 9 am and the first yoga class started at 9:30. By 11 am, mostly all the yoga classes were fully booked.

 
     

Stephano Allegri, from Hotel Flor Blanca in Sta Teresa, teaches the Ashtanga Level II
 
Gill, who lives in Sta. Teresa county of Puntarenas, twisted her knee playing soccer. “The doctor told me not to move for four weeks, but I can´t stay still… so I took a yoga class, besides, yoga is good for everything”
     

The experimental-yogi music of the Costa Rican band Lamat, incorporates a didgeridoo as one of the most important sounds of their performance.
 
Claudia Miranda (left) designer of the brand Nabruk and Angie, her sister. They co-own a store in guiones beach that specializes in accessories and surf gear for girls.
     

Although the crowd wasn´t very active during the performance, this single person showed no shame to let himself “go with the flow” of the Lamat group.
 
The last class in the garden was Tai Chi. After the class, the rain came


There is a farm close to San Jose that produce organic goat milk and they started to expand their offer with different products like goat milk soap.

Between the crowd, Marle (in the center) decided to spoiled her 3 years old daughter Camille with a cypress essential oil massage while listening to Lamat music

Pacha Mama stand

 

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