One of the things I am most proud of is my surfing, I’ve only been at it a year and have made some amazing progress….helps to have awesome instructors like we do at Shaka. It feels really good to tackle something as physically and mentally challenging as learning to surf has proved to be.
I have also acquired a few new furry friends. My first new friend is my dog Pinta Pants, she is freaking adorable and quite the little entertainer. She came with my apartment by the super market. I am so grateful for her company, she follows me around everywhere I go….me and my shadow.
The latest addition, is my goat Blanquita, I got her about a month ago and she just had a baby!! Mulita Chiquita Bonita Cabrita is her full name, but I call her Mulita for short! Baby goats are some of the cutest little creatures on the planet! So, in addition to teaching yoga, surfing and learning Spanish, I’ve taken up goat herding too! I love Costa Rica!!!
I’ve been a busy girl! We only get one go at this life, so we might as well live it up and do the things we love to do! If a year goes by as quickly as this one did, a lifetime can slip by just as fast! I hope next year will be just as wonderful and exciting…… I guess only time will tell
Greetings from Costa Rica, friends! My name is Katie, I’m the new volunteer at Shaka. I arrived Thursday night and have spent the last couple of days getting settled in and getting to know the guests and staff. I’m originally from Iowa, USA, but have also had addresses in Utah, Colorado, Indiana, and The Netherlands. I left my most recent job in Human Resources and my roller derby ream in Iowa to come to Costa Rica and to see some more of the world. My time here is part vacation (yoga, hopefully some surfing, and what I’ve come to know as Pura Vida) and one part work (volunteering).
I found the volunteer opportunity at Shaka through a Google search for volunteer opportunities in Costa Rica. I got in touch with Krista and we both felt the experience could be a good fit. My interest in Costa Rica in general stemmed from an internship in college with a company in Colorado that runs adventure and eco tours in Central and South America. For them, I made calls to Costa Rican resorts and ecolodges that are known for sustainability practices. A bit of a hippy, I love living green; a tree hugger so to speak.
I’m looking forward to learning Spanish, enjoying the beach, deepening my yoga practice and getting a little hospitality experience; my degree is in Tourism Management. I can’t wait to share more about my experience here at Shaka!
Love and Light,
We’ve had such a busy season, with so much going on, I haven’t had much time to write. The past couple of blogs have been a whirlwind of experiences that all took place within a few days of one another. With all of the excitement, I neglected to announce the most exciting news! The newest addition to Shaka….the brand new, yoga studio….the yoga rancho!
Beautiful….all hand done teak, from floor to ceiling! She’s nestled under the jungle canopy….a stones throw away from the original Rancho…the heartbeat of Shaka. Her energy is sweet and inviting, welcoming the next group of adventurists to grace her with their presence.
No walls to contain her, allowing the sounds of the ocean and the jungle to mix and mingle with the energies of the class. Nature appears to be bursting at the seams, an ecstatic expression singing itself into creation! The high pitched hum of the locusts, a continual pulsation holding the space. A rich layering of information, woven together with a myriad of melodies…all singing to the beat of their own drum!
In addition to the sounds of nature, you will also experience the sights too! My favorite characters are the howler monkeys….to watch and to hear! I spent the whole morning in the studio today and was accompanied by a troop of monkeys! They were literally twenty feet from the studio! I’m not sure who was watching who! They seemed to be as fascinated by us, as we were them!
I love teaching and practicing in the new space, it feels good under my feet….and my hands…..connected and rooted to the earth….in the middle of the jungle….with the sound of the ocean in the background…..Gracias!
Om Mani Padme Hum
The powerful and hungry ocean
Surfing and yoga
The quad tour
The football field
More fun to write
Our purpose and our gift
La Vida Loca
Find the good
I’ve been a part of the collective at Shaka Beach Retreat for almost four months now. It has been one of the most beautiful experiences of my life and I am grateful for the opportunity to collaborate artistically and share space with such a wonderful group of people.
The Heartbeat of Shaka
A Sweet, Simple Life
My humble abode
It’s been a minute since my last post, as I have been busy settling into my new life in Costa Rica. I finished with my volunteer position at Shaka the first of December and moved in next door to my new place. A little casita, a studio with a bed, a refrigerator, gas stove, sink and a bathroom. All the necessities covered, my favorite part of my humble abode is the porch where I am lying in my hammock writing this.
The snooze button
I am surrounded by tropical flowers and a menagerie of critters…dogs, cats, roosters, chickens, birds, and of course howler monkeys. Between the monkeys and the roosters, there is no need for an alarm clock, they will begin to wake you at about 4:30 am. At least they are kind enough to allow you to snooze for about ten minutes between intervals of their good morning celebration!
Stepping into the flow of the jungle
The good news is around here you tend to sleep with the natural rythyms and pulsations of life, stepping into the flow of the jungle! Another great reason to wake early is to head over to Shaka and begin my day there. I am extremely grateful and excited that they have asked me to continue on as a part-time volunteer. I will be helping out with guest relations, cooking with Cristelia and begin teaching regularly scheduled yoga classes there this week.
New roof for the Rancho
We will be practicing in the Rancho (which just had a new thatch roof put on it this week!) until the yoga platform construction is complete. I was amazed how quickly the roof was rebuilt and have been informed the yoga platform will be finished by the end of January. It will be nestled behind the existing structures, closer to the beach and under the jungle canopy. It is going to be so amazing, as if it isn’t already enough!
Launching the new website
The other really awesome news is that I am launching my new website solalunaretreats.com, where we will be offering yoga and surf Amazingness! An extension of Shaka, these retreats will include yoga classes, surf lessons and delicious, healthy cuisine. I am filled with delight to be a part of this expansion!
Free downloads, healthy recipes
I am also thrilled that this will keep me in Costa Rica on a more permanent basis…I have fallen hard for this place! Please stay connected and keep your eyes open for the new site. We will be up and running for 2013 and ready to start this new year off with a bang! I will be offering free downloads for tasty, healthy recipes and some get fit quick yoga routines, etc.
Have a good time, live a simple life
I think what has been most appealing about my experience at Shaka, besides the breathtaking beach and jungle landscape is the feeling that I am with family…a real collective..a bunch of great people who like to have a good time and live a simple life. What more could anyone ever ask for? Well, maybe some really good chocolate! Haven’t found that here yet! A sacrifice I am willing to make for paradise! Until next time…..
Surfed the back side! Whoot-whoot!
Hola, this is my third week at Shaka surf camp and today I caught my first “big” wave! It was one of the most exciting experiences I have ever had! I have been taking daily lessons with Mo’e the owner, and the guests here at Shaka for the past week. Daisy was the first guest to arrive after the Ocean Healing group departed, and we took our first lessons together.
5 rules of the water and the 5 universal principles of alignment
As a practiced yoga instructor and skilled snowboarder, this surfing thing is gonna be a breeze…no problema! Our first lesson with Mo’e was in the Rancho, where we discussed ocean safety and the 5 rules of the water. Distance, staggering, cover your head, never turn your back on the ocean and….hmmm…I forget the 5th? I immediately resonated with this philosophy, since I teach yoga with the 5 universal principles of alignment…gotta be similar right?
Loosen up! Slouch a little!
Next we practice positioning, alignment, paddling and popping up. Like a good yogi, I have the principles of alignment imbedded in my body, active feet, steady shins, thighs back and wide, tailbone scooping. Right away Mo’e corrects my rigidity and informs me that I need to loosen up….to slouch a little…huh? I always harp on my students about holding the integrity of the alignment….always…siempre! Now I am being asked to do just the opposite of what I have worked so hard on engraining….ok Mo’e you are the surf boss… I will do my best!
We then head down to the water, where Mo’e helps us catch our first waves by pushing us along and getting us started. Again, no bueno para me….I seem to be doing everything wrong….too stiff, wrong stance, not paddling enough, too far back on the board. The waves are pounding me, one after another and the entire time I am extremely irritated by this humbling experience. The good news is, that I am thinking about my beginner yoga students and how they feel coming to a yoga class for the first time….I’m guessing just as frustrated as I was in that moment.
Each morning Daisy and I would go down with Mo’e and practice in the whitewater. Daisy was great at popping up…I was a good paddler…if we could just combine our skills we could make one good surfer! We both gave it our all and day by day we got better. With skillful instruction and determination finally it was starting to sink in! I was able to stand and ride, but still needed to refine some technical difficulties. By about day 5, things were going pretty well!
Preparing for departure
Daisy was at the “tail end” of her journey and would soon be leaving Costa Rica having surfed some good waves. As she was heading out our new guest Frank arrived and the lessons continued. At this time, I was feeling pretty comfortable on the board and progressing nicely. Frank and I continued to follow Mo’e's lead and instruction…continually refining. Each day Mo’e would tell me to go further out and teach me a new skill to assist in my departure to the back side.
Today was the big day! I learned to turtle roll, how to appropriately time my decent into the deep water gracefully and how to ditch my board and swim under the swells if needed. We paddled out and I would be lying if I said I wasn’t scared shitless. I have the utmost respect for the power of the ocean…but also mad respect for great teachers…which are plentiful here at Shaka!
Back of the bus!
I made it! I was out there with the cool kids…back of the bus style! Everyone is hanging out on their boards, chit chatting and waiting for the right wave to come along. The view is spectacular, and quite a different experience from being in the white water….quiet..until the sets start rolling in! Another skill….picking the right wave…patience. As we wait, I try to remain calm, but know I have the ” deer in the headlights look in my eyes”. Finally, I get the heads up that this is my wave, with butterflies in my stomach and a send off from Mo’e, I successfully ride the first big wave of my life!
Mas para mi, por favor?!?
So freaking awesome! I couldn’t believe that a week before I could barely stand up and here I was riding this big wave, one with the ocean….totally in the moment! I decided today that I need more of that! I have fallen for Costa Rica in so many ways, the people, the land, the sunset….and now the surf. This day will be remembered and celebrated as the beginning of a new, exciting journey into the world of surfing….muchas gracias Shaka Costa Rica!