I have been practicing yoga for 25 years and have taken classes in carpeted gyms, in converted classrooms with hard concrete floors and in a lovely log building above a high-mountain Colorado river.
But my most favorite place is where I take my yoga classes now, at Zen Yoga in the heart of San Juan del Sur.
It’s open-air. So you feel the breezes. And the heat when there is no breeze.
You hear the birds. The rooster. The children at recess in the school next door. The school bell calling them back to class. The motorcycles. The door-to-door vendor calling out “ Buenas!” to get someone’s attention. You hear the loudspeaker blaring from the old, overladen truck pleading for metal recylables. You hear the bombas, the loud firecrackers, exploding not even a block away.
And you also hear your yoga teacher, calm and steady. And the yoga music. And the movement of bodies slowly rising and bending and pausing.
In the distance are the green hills and the Christ statue towering over the beach. Nearer in are corrugated and tiled rooftops and water tanks, papaya trees groaning with the weight of their fruit and the church steeple, a tangle of electric wires and the calm of the yoga studio’s colorful courtyard below.
My feet are slightly sandy because I had to walk the beach to get here. And on my way home I may run a few errands.
But while in my yoga class I stretch my body, blood circulating, heart opening, seeing, hearing, feeling.
Accepting the noise, the sweat, the twisting and bending and the slight pull of my muscles along with the sweet anticipation of our final corpse resting pose.
Then I bow my head in Namaste to my gentle teacher, Ruth, nod at my fellow yogis and take a sip of cool water from my thermos before I gather my few things, slip into my sandals and head on home.