A yoga girl’s dream come true…surfing…sun…and a new yoga shala…oh my!

Posted by Nov04, 2012 Comments (0)

Wow, I am actually here! I’d like to take a moment to introduce myself, my name is Megan Panchinin. I am a yoga instructor and wellness coach, from Denver, Co. This last month was filled with excitement and anticipation as I prepared to leave the country. My original plan was to come to Costa Rica for a month to volunteer at Shaka Beach Retreat, that one month turned into seven. The family here at Shaka have been kind enough to host me as a volunteer for the month of November. Lucky for me, teaching opportunities have presented themselves that will keep me in this amazing location until May 2013!

From Denver to Costa Rica

A bittersweet transition, as I was saying  “hello to a Costa Rican adventure ” I was also saying many “see you laters”, as I would like to call them, to friends, family and students, that I have grown to love along the way. That was the bitter part….the sweet part was arriving here, welcomed by new friends, new family and new students! I knew there was a chance I may fall in love with Costa Rica….what’s not to love??

This place is unbelievable, the locals are helpful,  the beaches untouched and the land an explosive celebration of life! When my taxi arrived at Shaka, after a “smooth”, but lengthy journey (you have to travel a ways to find paradise), I was greeted by the most recent volunteer Matt and one of Shaka’s guests Steve.Matt a recent graduate and surfer extraordinaire, Steve a Canadian Life Saver….seriously…EMT and fire rescue professional.  The guys were hanging out in the Rancho, Shaka’s common place where meals are served and good conversations a plenty.

Shortly after settling in, I immediately headed to Playa Hermosa to enjoy a late afternoon swim. After a lovely stroll through the jungle canopy, the vibrantly colored path continued to stimulate my senses. I was immediately welcomed by the warmth of the sun and the peaceful sounds of the ocean…a tropical paradise. I found the perfect spot…on this beach, every spot is perfect. I took in the scenery and then went for a swim. The water is warm and the view of the landscape is like the green section of a jumbo sized crayon box. All of this seems to melt the month of preparation to leave Denver away. Finally…I had reached my destination….now what?

Getting into the Costa Groove

After a rejuvenating swim, I arrived back at the camp, where I met Haydee and Jerry, longtime friends of Shaka and staples here in the Rancho. Haydee, who has been an part of Skaka for a few years, is here from LA.  She is surf photographer and a charismatic entrepreneur, here launching her new company “Pollo Pass“. Right away I realize she is quite the entertainer, with her great sense of humor that is perfect for guest relations.

Then of course we have Jerry, a Captain and surf instructor from West Plam Beach, Fl. Jerry, a veteran of Shaka and childhood friend of Frank Bauer (co-owner), has spent several seasons here providing top notch surf lessons while also proving to be quite the comedian! I then have the pleasure of meeting the Mo’e family co-owners, Chris and Krista. They are also an absolute delight.

Their children are a direct reflection of that! Ki’ili, age seven, their daughter, helped me prepare the rooms for the Ocean Healing Group that arrives with Frank today. Atua, age ten, their son, was my translater as I negotiated with the neighbor regarding a place to live next door to Shaka…smart kid…he said he’d do it for an ice cream! He did a good job, because I got the place and that is a huge relief  for me! I’m stoked  to live in Playa Hermosa, which is apparently prime real estate!

Great New Possibilities

The best part about this trip, thus far, is the recent discussion to build a yoga shala right here at Shaka! Allowing me to assist in this potential creation is beyond fabulous! This land is sacred and would be the perfect place to have a yoga center! We walked the land yesterday and found the ideal spot, nestled under a green canopy and surrounded by old growth….absolutely gorgeous! A yoga girl’s dream come true!! Toto, I don’t think we’re in Denver anymore….Oh My!!

Categories : volunteers blog

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