If you’ve only ever done yoga at Western style indoor studios in the United States, then you’re missing out. Practicing yoga in a completely controlled environment with just the right balance of sensory stimulus is relaxing, inspiring and comfortable.

Unfortunately, the outside world is loud and messy. Deadlines have no regard for feelings. Noise pollution attacks our quiet time. And people don’t always make space for latecomers.

Here are 4 ways that doing yoga in Nicaragua will help you achieve mindfulness (and improve your life practice):

1. Uncertainty is where the magic happens.
In third world countries, cultural barriers can create confusion and the instruction style may not be what you are used to. It’s best to leave your expectations at home. Notice what happens to your thoughts and emotions in the moment of awareness.  Learn to experience the uncertain flow without judgment, irritation or disappointment. Surprises await beyond the borders of your comfort zone.

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2. Observe the causes of discomfort.
The core principle to mindfulness is being present and staying completely focused on the here and now. Take an inventory of your heart and breathe in gratitude. Notice which muscles are tight from traveling and give them grace. Become conscious of unfamiliar foreign sounds in the different environment and shift your focus to deciphering their sources instead of getting distracted by them. Awareness of your feelings, body and environment is the key to recognizing that they don’t have to dictate your current state of being.

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3. Feel and embrace the natural elements.
When you cross borders into third world countries, it’s common for yoga classes to take place outdoors. The freedom to set up shop in the wilderness is the biggest attraction to most yoga retreat and teacher training centers abroad. Outdoor yoga exposes natural elements that classroom walls protect from. Wind, sun and rain are gifts from Mother Nature. It’s easy to appreciate them in doses, but in extremes they can be humbling. Learn to cultivate awareness and gratitude for all elements of nature, even when it makes the practice more challenging.

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4. Prioritize practice over industry.
It’s so easy to get caught up in the industry of yoga. The quality of gear has improved drastically in the past fifteen years. From sweat resistant towels and name brand pants, to specialized rubber blocks and lavender scented eye pillows, we’re inundated daily with wonderful accessories that we don’t need to achieve success on the mat. There is something raw and beautiful about practicing yoga in a country untouched by industry consumerism. What you don’t have, you can’t buy in most third world countries. Everyone has access to mindfulness.

 

Guest post article written by Brooke Rundle, a California born surfer and yogi, Nicaragua ex-pat and co-creator of San Juan Live – a lifestyle and travel website on San Juan del Sur. She also co-authored the ultimate travel guidebook on San Juan del Sur. Vist her website here at http://sanjuandelsur.org/ or download her travel guidebook – http://www.amazon.com/Insider-Guide-San-Juan-Nicaragua-ebook/dp/B00NTY9FWS/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1444797918&sr=1-1&keywords=san+juan+del+sur