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Several Ways To Maintain Your Presence

Article and Photos by Pinar Istek

What does Nosara mean to you? To some, it might be surfing. Or maybe it's just a quiet vacation town to visit. Whatever your answer is, there is an undeniable and almost inevitable presence of yoga in this area. Effects of yoga surely depend on the person. Here are some forms of yoga that we encountered with along the way.

Surfer's Yoga
Surfer's yoga practice has an emphasis both on flexibility and strength with a focus on shoulder exercises, balance and hip flexibility. "Surfer's yoga is not about spirituality. It is more about to help your body and surfing. And if yoga affects you any deeper than that, that's great," said Karl Spaeth, who developed surfer's yoga three years ago and has been teaching it at the Nosara Yoga Institute.

Breathing, balance, flexibility and fearlessness are the most important things that surfer's yoga affects.

According to the teacher, keeping surfer's yoga practice at those times that you have to stop surfing helps your surfing skills fresh, Spaeth said "when I go back, I don't feel rusty. Balance, flexibility and strength are still there."


Yoga Flow All Levels
Yoga Flow All Levels is practiced in progression. The name includes "all levels", because of possible level difference among the attendees. The teacher is supposed to observe the class and make adjustments on the class itself depending on the needs of the students.
Monika Ramos Tapia, a yoga flow teacher, defined it as "an eclectic blend, alignment oriented. Using alignment principles to help you find awareness by coordinating the breath with movement. If you are aware of your breathing you are present. Now. There is nothing but now. This is where we can make a difference."

Starting just by sitting the goal is to bring yourself to present first. Its advice is to start with oneself, by taking ahimsa as the principle idea. Ahimsa means non-violence, non-aggression in Sanskrit, which is the main liturgical language of Hinduism and Buddhism.

Tapia said "there is constant overstimulation. We are not aware of ourselves. When You are aware of your body and relaxed it can open up easier."

The slow progression throughout the class awakens self-consciousness without forcing the body physically. And at the end, an inhale of lavender oil also aids the overall relaxation of the practice.


Anusara Inspired Yoga
Anusara inspired yoga teacher, Krystyn Dennis said "they (postures) are about alignment and opening to grace, joy and the feeling of being alive."

From alignment-focused anusara inspired yoga, one could expect to get "a balance between strength and flexibility."

An extended period of time is spent on the meditation at the beginning and at the end of the class. As it is an "exploration into the union of body, mind and spirit," Dennis said "there is a lot of pause to observe what they did and how it affected (them)."


Kundalini Yoga
Kundalini means coiled. It is believed that a corporeal energy is coiled at the base of the spine. Therefore, the goal of kundalini yoga is to awaken that energy. It is also knows as yoga of awareness as it is supposed to affect the human consciousness directly.

It consists of a serious of postures, breath, eye focuses and mantra and mudras, which are symbolic gestures in Hinduism and Buddhism. Since kundalini yoga can be practiced through many different sets of postures, not all the classes will be same.

Bhajan Kaur, a kundalini yoga teacher, said "it is not about the perfection of the posture. It is about an authentic experience with yourself."

This specific type of yoga can involve a significant amount of chanting and listening to kundalini yoga mantras. Kaur said "You are receiving the benefits of sound currents and (that) deepens your experience."

Additionally, it is not surprising to see practitioners dancing after a long practice of sitting and breathing. Kaul commented that, "Dancing (as a moving meditation) was celebration and distribution of the energy (throughout the body)"

Photo by Hayley Macmillan

Gravity Free Yoga
It is also known as antigravity yoga. It is a combination of traditional yoga practices with aerial aerobics with an aid from a ceiling suspension. It is practices 3 feet from the ground.

Mental and physical decompression is the main purpose. The ceiling suspension makes the challenging yoga postures easier to perform for a longer time.

Hayley Macmillan, the only certified antigravity yoga teacher in Costa Rica, said " what it does is that it allows the students to hang upside down so that decompresses the spine with the support of yoga sling. There is no weight on the body."

Full benefits of regular yoga with extra freedom should be expected from this type of yoga. Macmillan sad "Every single person has the ability to be inverted from the very first class. And it is fun."


Ashtanga Yoga
Synchronization of the breath with posture is the base in ashtanga yoga. It produces an internal heat that will cause a purifying sweat. Through this process the body gets physically detoxified, which results in a calm mind.


• Surfer's Yoga: Friday, 10:30 a.m. at Nosara Yoga Institute
• Yoga Flow All Levels, Sunday, 8:00 a.m. at Harmony Healing Center
• Kundalini Yoga: Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday, 3:00 p.m. at The Yoga House
• Anusara Inspired Yoga at Costa Rica Yoga Spa, The center should be called for further information the schedule
• Ashtanga Yoga: Sunday, 10:30 a.m. at Nosara Yoga Institute
• Gravity Free Yoga: Tuesday and Thursday, 9:45 a.m. at Nosara Wellness Centers

Voice of Nosara would like to apologize to Monika Ramon, who let us photograph one of her classes and who donated her time to share her yoga knowledge with us, for an unfortunate mistake committed in quoting her in our print version.


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