I always remind my students to be clear in their intentions, and even more so in Nosara. I have seen it time and time again here: intentions, desires and future hopes spoken at the sunset gatherings, over the beachside fires, or after Yoga class at the juice bar are first actions in setting the wheels of manifestation into motion.
It happened to me. It wasn’t my plan to actually move to Costa Rica. I returned to Nosara in 2009, like I had so many times before, for a couple of weeks of decompression. I was preparing to close my Yoga studio in North Carolina and needed a moment to pause and renew my energy.
At the end of my personal retreat time, I accumulated a nice tan, new adventures to hidden beaches, renewed energy, and a job offer from a new retreat center seeking someone who did exactly what I did. I expressed my intentions of teaching Yoga Teacher Trainings and retreats, and the next doors opened.
I returned to NC, and within the following 3 months, I handed the Yoga studio keys back to the landlord, sold my house, and returned again to Nosara to lead my first Yoga teacher training immersion.
In 2010, Costa Rica became my home and in the six years since, Nosara became my teacher. It took some time to unwind my old ways of operating and adopt a new relationship to a different, more sustainable way of living. Through the journey of it all, I feel much younger, wiser, healthier and grateful.
These are just a few threads of the lessons I have learned while living in Nosara:
1) Slow down. Slow way down. When we drop our pace, we drop into the earth element a little deeper. It is slower in vibration, and brings our awareness to the aspects of life that are at our foundation: support, resources, trust, safety and security.
2) Enjoy. Around here, the phrase, “Pura Vida” is a constant reminder to enjoy life in its essence. It’s not just about enjoying the good life, but rather, all of the threads of our experiences are meant to be honored.
3) Honor the elements. Here, so close to the equator and far from concrete and too many approaching headlights, we can sensitize our awareness to feel the effects of the elements. The ocean’s capacity to purify coupled with the sun’s ability to recharge and renew our energy can do wonders for resetting the system and discharging stagnancy.
4) Don’t take anything too seriously. In Costa Rica, importance of family and quality time far outweigh the need to get ahead on the corporate ladder. And, I don’t think it is a coincidence that Nicoya, CR is one of the 5 Blue Zones of the world, where inhabitants live the longest, with a lower percentage of chronic disease and higher level of happiness.
5) If it can’t get done today, there is always mañana. I have learned to be patient. I can’t easily jump in a car and head to the corner megastore to easily obtain the items that make life easier. I have learned to need less and simplify more. I have felt the difference in my body and nervous system as a result of this patience, simplicity and acceptance.
6) Love what you do and never work a day in your life. Pura vida…
And, here I am, 6 years later, still learning from the land, elements and culture of Costa Rica. I am ready to share more of the life lessons of my practices of Yoga, breathwork, meditation and sustainability and longevity principles in our upcoming Yoga Immersion. This never feels like work, because it is what I love doing!
Ashley Ludman will facilitate The Harmony Healing Centre’s inaugural Yoga Teacher Training, May 12-June 4, 2016. For more information, visit www.ashleyludman.com.