Every day at 8:30AM we had a 2 hour yoga class that consisted of vinyasa flow, pranayama, and savasana. Our first class was held in our hotel in an 18th century church which had been reconstructed as an open air dining space. Rachel, one of the owners of the company and teacher taught us an easy flow as most of us had been traveling and were super stiff. Boy did it feel good to move the joints around! After class, we enjoyed a breakfast and sunbathed at the pool for the rest of the afternoon. We got to know most of the people in our group and had a lovely dinner. We capped off every night with a Yin yoga session which prepared us for sleep!
The next morning we had a yoga session then packed up our belongings and headed south to Maderas Village! We made a pit stop in San Juan del Sur for lunch and had some delicious shrimp and lobster. We then were picked up by pick up trucks and headed into the jungle! We made it just in time to see our first sunset over Playa Madera and it was stunningly gorgeous. We checked into our little Casa and unpacked. Our room was very spacious, with a great open air shower. No AC, no TV, no hot water. What a way to unplug for a week! There was an amazing breeze every day that was super consistent and kept the bugs away. There were definitely other creatures though! Including scorpions, tarantulas, snakes, growler monkeys, and iguanas.
Every night, we would have family style dinner with our group at long tables. I tried to sit with someone different every meal to get to know people! I generally don't jump right into conversation with strangers to start, especially when you're in close quarters with a group of 30 people. But after a few days and a few yoga classes together, we were all like family. It was surprising and refreshing to meet people not from the United States! In fact only 2 other people were from NYC! I couldn't believe it, but have to say I didn't mind it at all and really enjoyed everyone's company. Most of our group was from Canada, and I'm so happy I made new Canadian friends.
The yoga shala at Maderas Village is so beautiful. I couldn't believe I was practicing in such a beautiful space with amazing natural and raw energy. Our other teachers, Yeva and Ariel, were also brilliant teachers and shared so many of their wonderful gifts. It was an honor to learn from them.
The beach at Playa Madera was stunning. It was a brief 10 minute hike from the village, and it wasn't easy! But once you get there, you never want to leave. The surf was fun, the sun was strong, and the view was amazing. I took my first lesson with a local named Marcos. He showed me how to get up on the board...turns out I'm goofy footed (which I remembered from snowboarding). He reminded me to keep a wide stance and stay low. Surprisingly, I got up on my 2nd attempt and it was such a rush! Marcos kept me out in the water for an hour and half, despite me saying I wanted to go back, haha! But what an experience. I was so happy I took a lesson! That day I saw my first sunset on Playa Madera, and it was magical. We also had a full rainbow which we could see from end to end which was picture perfect.
One day we enjoyed a sail on the "pirate boat" to a private cove. The boat was beautiful, and the couple who ran it were super nice. Turns out they are American and sailed the boat from San Diego to Nicaragua! We had a great time, had a dance battle, and enjoyed Gronk juice (a Nicaraguan adult beverage).
Our last day we had a pool party at Hotel Arte-Sano where we all enjoyed our time together. We took the party back to Maderas Village where we had dinner and then a jungle dance party in the shala. One of the guys on our trip is a DJ, so he had some equipment and DJ'd for us! We danced and partied the night away.
The following morning, I woke up to the sunrise, the wind, and the sound of the monkeys. I stared out into the jungle and thought to myself, now this is a great way to start 2017!