beach vacations in Nicaragua

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

Have you caught the “Nica-Buzz” yet?? Nicaragua is now internationally recognized as an often overlooked, yet primier tourist destination for wanderlust souls. Known for it’s pristine, untouched beaches, rich history, colorful culture, and low cost of living, expats and tourists alike are flocking to this gorgeous country to enjoy the “tranquilo” lifestyle.  A lifestyle of more relaxation and adventure is necessary for one’s mental and physical health.  With so many around the world now suffering a combination of sick, tired, depressed,anxious, and miserable, it is a sad fact that many people seem to accept that a different way of life doesn’t exist. Whether you are in the mood for a permanent move, temporary relocation, or just an overdue vacation dedicated to your health, here are

“5 Reasons to Revive Your Soul in Nicaragua”:  

1.  Bask in the Sunshine

Soaking up the sun has received some bad press as of late. While it’s true that one shouldn’t spend all day in the sun, moderate, direct exposure to the sunshine is a healthy, necessary thing, and is easy to do in Nicaragua’s tropical climate.  The locals will joke that there are three seasons in Nicaragua; Summer, Windy Season, and Rainy Season with temperatures of 80-95 degrees fahrenheit year round. You will find most outside throughout the entire day, smiling and milling about their daily chores with a sense of jubilation and purpose.  Many believe this positive mental attitude is attributed to the beautiful sunshine.  In addition to encouraging a better mental state, exposure to sunlight has so many other positive benefits, such as the body’s production of melatonin and can promote more restful sleep. It’s also required for the body to produce Vitamin D, a vital nutrient not often available in the foods we consume daily. Doctors are now requesting patients to aim for 30 minutes of direct sun exposure at least a few times a week. Nicaragua is the perfect place to visit to bask in the sunshine and reset your body’s positive mental state.

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2.  Breathe Fresh Air

As the old saying goes, you can survive weeks without food, days without water, but only a few minutes without air. Given it’s place on the priority list, it goes without saying that the best air is fresh and clean. In Nicaragua, where the entire county’s homes, restaurants, and shops are all “open-air”, there is no doubt that all it’s inhabitants and visitors can breath fresh air with confidence. Away from the smog and industrial pollution of much of the first-world, Nicaragua is known for it’s beachside breezes and lack of dry air that penetrates much of the world’s climate-controlled homes and businesses. According to the EPA, air quality is usually two to five times worse inside than outside, full of chemical fumes from furniture, paint, flooring materials, air fresheners, and dehydrating air-conditioners and heaters. Come on down to Nicaragua and breathe easy, clean, and salty sea air. The difference is refreshing.

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3.  Get Your Dose of Vitamin “SEA”

There are abounding nutritional properties that the ocean provides, as other health-giving elements that one can benefit from. Nicaragua is surrounded by The Pacific on one side and the Caribbean on the other, providing an insurmountable number of gorgeous coastline to soak in the vitamin “sea” for your well-being. Research shows that the sound of waves alters wave patterns in the brain lulling one into a deeply relaxed state. Relaxing in this way can help rejuvenate the mind and body. Floating in the salt water can cure all sorts of skin and body ailments as well, as the exfoliation promotes better oxygen absorption and boosts seratonin, a body chemical linked with mood and stress. Go a step further and learn to surf, boogie board, or snorkel on the Nicaragua coasts!

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4.  Eat More Clean, Whole Foods

Much of Nicaragua is agricultural. Fishing villages line the coast, boasting fresh deep sea fish direct from the boats. The more inland sections of the country focus on farming all types of fruits and vegetables, as well as coffee, red beans, and rice. Much of the food that is consumed in Nicaragua came from Nicaragua. Most chicken and fish dishes are free of chemicals and preservatives and came from a farm or ranch just down the road. Huge “mercados” are centers for providing the locals and tourists with clean, whole foods. Many flock to Nicaragua to “detox” their systems from the “fast food” culture up north. Eating clean, whole foods helps one feel more energetic and productive and instantly improves mental health.

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5.  Get in Some “Adventure Therapy”

Over 100 years ago, doctors began using nature and it’s elements as a way of helping patients. The practice of using the outdoors to improve mental and physical health has developed into a concept called adventure therapy–using experiences that are active and challenging to boost mood, and jumpstart the body and mind into a better mental place. Nicaragua’s mountains, beaches, rainforests, lakes, and volcanoes are the perfect prescription for those who need a dose of adventure in their lives. Ziplining, catamaran sailing, volcano hiking, parasailing, surfing, rock-climbing, horseback riding, rainforest camping, scuba-diving, and ocean hoverboarding are just a few of the adventurous excursions that are available in this amazing country.  Discovering yourself through yoga and other forms of fitness can raise those endorphin levels and give you a much needed mental boost as well. (For more info on yoga retreats, contact us HERE!)

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Do you need a prescription for better health and mental wellness?! Travel to Nicaragua this year and revive your body, mind, and soul! Adventure and sunshine awaits you!  Bring your friends and refresh together! All-inclusive Group Retreats available through NYI HERE.

 

Nothing beats the winter blues quite like getting on the mat. But after that is done, curling up by a roaring fire with a good book to soothe the soul and rest your muscles is the next best thing.  Dr. Seuss put it best with this sentiment, “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the  more places you’ll go.”  Knowledge is power. And fueling our minds with enlightenment and ideas to help us deepen our practice should be on everyone’s Holiday “wish list”. Here are our Top 7 Winter Picks for yogis this holiday season:

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  • LIGHT ON YOGA – B.K.S. Ivengar

 

Written by the man that is accredited with introducing yoga to the Western World, this book is full of knowledge and experience. With detailed descriptions of over 200 poses and 600 photos, this book is perfect for anyone wanting to perfect a posture or learn to instruct others in doing so. His style of yoga focuses on proper alignment, and makes Light on Yoga the “rule book for asanas”.

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  1.  MEDITATIONS FROM THE MAT – Rolt Gates

This book is more of a relaxed read, offering daily reflections on the yoga practice.  The Journey Junkie says, “The writings are simple, relatable, easy to digest, and lighthearted. This is a great book to read first thing in the morning, at night when winding down, or whenever you need some feel good yumminess. It is also perfect for anyone interested in learning the principles behind the yoga practice.”

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  1.  MetaAnatomy – Kristin Leal

One of our favorite authors and teachers, Kristin Leal produces an amazing read on the metaphysical or metacarpals in her book, MetaAnatomy.  In Anatomy of a Yogi Volume One, you are introduced to. . .YOUrself! With chapter titles like “I’ve Got Your Back, Jack” on the glorious spine and “Oh The Nerve” on the magnificent nervous system, she disseminates what can be dense information into fun accessible bite size pieces. Wrapped inside the teachings of yoga philosophy this makes an excellent companion to yoga teacher training programs or for those yoga students interested in learning about their own amazing body. This book covers all the major muscles, bones and joints along with the anatomy of breath and the nervous system forming a comprehensive and lighthearted study for yoga students, yoga teachers or anyone with a body. Meet author and speaker, Kristin Leal in person this March 3-12th for her Meditation in Motion Yoga Retreat in Nicaragua! Or purchase her book directly at http://www.kristinleal.com/.

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  1.  YOGA FOR TRAVELERS – Jennifer J. Ellinghaus

This gem is great for all our traveling yogis out there! This book includes the personal stories of travelling yogis, the ups and downs of the road, experiencing different cultures and languages, and making connections with others along the way. Whether you find yourself in a cramped hostel or hotel, this book gives creative sequences for practicing no matter where you find yourself in the world. The author shows just how adaptable yoga can be and how liberating it can feel to practice by a prehistoric lake, atop a mountain after hours of trekking, or on a wooden balcony overlooking a rain forest. This winter, it’s a great read curled up by the fire, and even better read when you hit the road this yoga retreat season abroad!

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  1.  Happy, Healthy, Sexy: Ayurveda Wisdom for Modern Women – Katie Silcox

Teacher and yoga instructor, Katie Silcox is a leading expert on Ayurveda. She knows that bringing ancient wisdom into our modern lives does not mean sacrificing the occasional rendezvous with red wine, fashion magazines, and other sensual pleasures. In Healthy Happy Sexy, Katie offers not only a philosophy of life but a time-tested (we’re talking thousands of years!) method for living your most radiant, healthy, and sexually vital life possible. Combining Ayurvedic wisdom with practical tools and her lively, playful, and down-to-earth voice, Katie provides a method to heal, entertain, inspire, and remind you that you are one sexy goddess. After this fantastic read, if you’re craving a bit more, join Katie this summer for her Ayurveda Tantra Yoga Retreat and Training in Nicaragua, ! Check out her website to purchase this book directly: http://www.katiesilcox.com/

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  1.  SIDDHARTHA – Hermann Hesse

For those looking for a “gamechanger”, Siddhartha is just that. You will pick it up and not put it down until it completely devoured.  It’s a beautiful story, a quick read, and one that will entirely shift and empower your perspective on life. We could all use a bit more of the wisdom from the pages of this gift: “In the end these things matter most: How well did you love?  How fully did you live?  How deeply did you let go?”

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  1.  THE ALCHEMIST – Paulo Coelho

This one is on so many “must-read lists”. It’s not just for the yogi, but for all who need a fresh perspective. The Alchemist is a life-changing read, a book that will inspire you to think from an entirely new and uplifted point of view. It’s a story about a boy on his journey of self-realization, and the lessons it contains are things we can take with us everywhere we go.  “There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure…. And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”

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We hope you enjoy our “Must-Read” picks for the season! Some are yoga-centric and others are more secular in nature. However, each one deals with what’s at the core of yoga: self-knowing, self-awareness, self-love, inspiration, and spirituality. So brew a cup of tea, put on your favorite yoga pants, and settle in for some time of reflection and enlightenment this winter season.  Take your mind for a retreat or pack your book or Kindle and join us in Nicaragua for one of our many Yoga Retreats, hop in a hammock and  dig into these great reads.

 

 

 

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Yoga retreats are an amazing way to escape, focus on balancing your life, and refilling your well. They almost always include relaxation, meditation, and lots of spiritual discovery. What if they also included amazing adventures?!
Daily Yoga Sessions

This January 24-30th, NYI is hosting a YOGA ECO-ADVENTURE! Amazing instructors Katie Prucha and Jessica LaVallie will lead sunrise yoga sessions to clear your mind and bring you renewed focus for each new day in sunny Nicaragua! The afternoons will be spent exploring the jungle in one of the tallest volcanoes in Nicaragua, learning to surf in the magnificent Pacific waves, and sailing the coastline on a catamaran with your new yoga amigos at sunset! Each and every day holds a brand new adventure!!

Amazing Eco-Adventures

This week will be a journey of fun and focus, self-discipline and self-discovery! If you’ve ever needed a winter escape, the time is now to sign up for this wonderful all-inclusive opportunity! Participants will be pampered in our luxury 5-star accommodations and will be wined and dined the entire week with our fresh, organic gourmet meals. Spots will fill up fast so take advantage of this amazing package!
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All-Inclusive Yoga Eco-Adventure Retreat Package Includes:

*Luxury Accommodations at the Pelican Eyes Resort in San Juan Del Sur, Nicaragua

*All Gourmet Style Meals

*Round-trip Airport Transportation

*Daily Sunrise Yoga Session

*Catamaran Sailing Trip

*One Hour Massage

*Granada Trip and Volcano Hike

*Surf Lesson

*Raw Foods Workshop

*Volunteer Activity

*Unlimited Pool and Beach Time

Package Prices starting at $1895. To reserve your spot in paradise today, visit the Yoga Eco-Adventure Retreat Registration Page.  You don’t want to miss!!