I spend a lot of my time on the mat with my eyes closed. It helps me stay focused and not get distracted by the people around me, or how my top knot looks, or how I stack up to the girl beside me. But when I was (gratefully) able to practice in these stunningly beautiful locales, you can guarantee I had my eyes – and my heart – wide open.
Here are the most beautiful places I’ve had the great fortune to practice in:
- Koh Samui, Thailand
- Lake Joseph, Muskoka, Canada
- Any Beach, Maui, Hawaii
- Jardin De Tulieres, Paris, France
- Tamarindo, Costa Rica
Picture this: It’s 30 degrees. We’re doing SUP yoga and the ocean is flat and warm and crystal clear. Our teacher is an expat from England who has built the life of her dreams here in Thailand. We’re in downward dog and we can *literally* hear bhuddist monks chanting in a temple on the hill. Sigh.
The Canadian summer is short. Way too short. But Muskoka does summer right. I wait for sunset and find a place to call home on the dock or better yet, slip my SUP in the water. I love to slow down and get in the zen zone by listening to the water lapping against the boards. Doing yoga here, against the black-blue water, green trees and red sunset is a feast for the soul. I’d say it’s truly as good as it gets.
The smell of the ocean, the feeling of the trade winds in your hair, the sounds of birds in the trees, and the tug of your heart as you stare out across 1,000 miles of the Pacific, will literally leave you speechless.
The gardens and buildings and sculptures are infused with the love and loss and courage and spirit of the millions of souls who have walked there before me. Early in the morning the garden has a stillness and a freshness that is intoxicating. And the curious looks and risk of having my hands in grass that’s been well used by Parisian puppies is so very worth feeling awash with joy and surrounded with the kind of beauty that makes you want to never go home.
All beaches are not created equal. And while Tamarindo may not have perfect sand or a view of the Pietons, it has a soulful energy that will get you in a zen state of mind before your feet are planted for tadasana. With skin warmed by the sun, toes stretched in the sand, mind centered in your heart, the essence of pura vida sinks under the skin and echos through the body and you leave your practice feeling like you can take on the world (and you can!).
I have high hopes for my February 2016 trip to Antigua… Where’s the most beautiful place you’ve practiced?