Planera din YOGA sommar

Planera din YOGA sommar

Vad är grejen med yoga-festival?

En festival håller vanligen igång under flera dagar (ibland veckor) och man väljer själv hur länge och mycket man vill medverka. Lärare och guider från hela landet och världen samlas för att dela med sig från sitt hjärtas practice. Därmed finns det möjlighet att prova både sådant man känner igen och helt nya arenor. Många gånger hamnar man på en festival just av anledningen ens yogalärare är en av medskaparna och därifrån hittar man sedan ett helt hav av underbara människor och aktiviteter.

Vi yogisar tycker helt enkelt om att vara tillsammans och dela! För ju fler man är- desto roligare blir det ju! Ju fler man är som...

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Journeying the sweat lodge

The sweat lodge or temazcal/temaskalli is a ceremony or ritual that is part of many Native American as well as Latin American traditions. In the north, the indigenous Samii people had/have similar healing and self care rituals, using steams/saunas together with herbal medicines. Traditional medicine men and women have past on this tradition about being in contact with nature, the plants, and the four elements through this purifying ceremony. The healing work aims at working therapeutically on the physical body, spiritually purify, and to meet/heal/cleanse fears and negative aspects of the mind.

 

Some of the therapeutic uses of the sweat lodge/temascal are:

to eliminate toxins through the sweat of the skin

to improve the texture and color of the skin

to de-intoxicate body and mind

to increase vitality

weight loss

improve fertility

treatment with plants’ healing properties (herbal medicine) and the water steam

thermotherapy; viruses and bacteria don’t survive in the heat, the heat also stimulates the endocrine glands and remove impurities in the circulation.

 

(Read more in La Pipa de obsidian Danza de Luna, Anita Carmona Itzpapalotl.)

Sweat lodges can be built in various ways depending on the surrounding environment and tradition. It is, however, always the same with water poured on hot stones to create the healing water steam. According to the Mexica tradition, and others I have been fortunate to come into contact with, it is also important that the participants are co-creators when building and preparing the sweat lodge ceremony, under the lead of a temascalera/abuela/shaman.

Local medicinal plants are used in the ceremony. Usually there would be some aromatics, some calmatives, or maybe some with properties to heal infections and inflammations. The plants may for instance be hung in the roof of the sweat, used as herbal tea drunk before and/or after ceremony, or leaves can be spread out on the floor where they come into contact with the open and receptive skin and, thus, work healing. Herbs are also put directly on the hot stones, which allows for their healing properties to come inside the body through respiration.

Sage

Sage

The temascal has its navel in the middle and this is where we put the rocks or hot stones.  These rocks are our ancestors, coming to share their wisdom to us through the ceremony of the sweat. The stone people have been on earth since creation and carry deep knowledge. It is with great respect that we welcome and listen to them. Inside the temascal, we greet the ancestors with herbs such as copal, cedar or sage and prayers. The sweat lodge is covered in leaves and blankets and when everyone (including the stones) are inside the door is closed. Inside is humid and dark, representing the womb of the Mother as well as the darkness of ignorance we ought to overcome to heal. We enter the womb of Mother Earth to remember where we once came from, to remove the ignorance and, thus, to remember who we truly are. It is a ceremony that is profound, healing and nourishing. 

We share the ceremony in darkness and individual introspection, guided by the temascalera/shaman/medicine person. We conduct and create the ceremony together but as in all spiritual work/ceremonies it is crucial to understand the responsibility of the individual. You are in your journey as much as we are in one journey together- just as life itself and in both you are responsible for your own wellbeing. The temascal gets dark and hot and usually cramped. To honor and listen to the body is key to a good experience. 

Vestido de temascal 15 mil colones o 30 dolares

Vestido de temascal 15 mil colones o 30 dolares

To be able to sit somewhat comfortably, avoid heat on the skin and to wear clothes appropriate for the ceremony, in the Mexica tradition we use long dresses. Preferably, the ceremonial dresses are made of pure cotton and in a beautiful color that doesn’t get transparent when wet. On the pictures you see Abuela Lorena and Abuela Jane in dresses perfect for the temascal (or other ceremonies!). Personally, I prefer having the dress long so that I can curl up inside it if it gets too hot on the legs or feet. An aspect you don’t take into consideration in rituals I’ve encountered in Sweden is the surface underneath the bum. It’s one thing sitting on soft sand, grass or muddy dirt but in Costa Rica the temascal might be in the mountains on hard rocky surface. I like having some fabric between my butt and these sharp rocks! Yet a side of the coin is to create the feeling of ceremony by “dressing up” for the spirits. I know that when I put on my ceremonial dress (may it be for a sweat lodge or other), I am already focusing on doing my spiritual work and I am connected. Some traditions don’t have this policy but (my interpretation is that) focus on the fact that one ought to be comfortable in their nakedness as you are being reborn inside the womb. In the Mexica tradition, we wear clothes and if you’d like to get yourself one of these lovely dresses let me know at Service By Magie or magdalena@bymagie.com! They are 15mil colones or 30 dollars and the money goes to preserving an ancient and very important tradition: Danza de la Luna/the Moon Dance. 

Sweat Lodge dress 30 dollars

Sweat Lodge dress 30 dollars

The temascal helps you with what you need as long as you enter it with faith, humility, respect and determination to do your work. Personally, I always enter ceremony with the intention and prayer that my heart will expand and be open enough for me to be able to fully receive and listen to the messages brought to me by Great Spirit. 

Inside the temascal/sweat lodge we pray through silence, shared words, storytelling, songs and music. The temascalera or medicine person guiding the ceremony intuitively receives messages about the work we need to do and guide us through it as a group as well as individual beings. Remember that you are on your own personal journey inwards towards cleansing and healing the body and mind to find clarity and love.

Please, share your own stories and any questions below!

In love and in harmony 

Ometeotl,

Sofia-Magdalena Chandrakaí

Journeying the Costa Rican Mountains

As I write this, I am watching the sun setting behind the mountains in the West. The nightly forest sounds are slowly increasing and the soft quiet rain surround us like a comfy greyish blanket where we sit on the deck. Mountains have always fascinated me and they carry strong medicine; the reminder of how small man is amongst other.

After months of ceremonies, studies and practice I am now spending a few days close to Mother Earth in the mountains south of San José. I am deeply grateful for the opportunities life brings me; studying shamanic traditions with teachers from all over the world; having brothers and sisters across the globe who invite me to their home.

Last weekend we were in the jungle mountains East of San José in Guapíles, to cut bamboo and join a traditional Mexica pipe ceremony. Sunday afternoon, we drove from there, around the mountains and the capital to get to these hills in the South where we are now.

My friend’s house is beautifully built in cedar, overlooking a mountain garden, the river and the hills. What a blessing to be journeying in this world!

Jungle Journeys and Yoga in Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica

Have you noticed how vibrantly green everything gets after rain?

Weather in the Caribbean has been weird lately with days of endless pouring rain. After two days of waterfalls outside the window, Father Sun came back today. We greeted him down by the ocean; tide was high, the beach empty and the morning early. We sung to him as waves were rolling in. Suddenly, summer’s proper heat was back and the day is only getting hotter! We are spending the warmest hour of the day indoors, taking a siesta, while most tourists just woke up. Biking through town this morning showed us there is still, despite being Tuesday, a big group of backpackers and other tourists in town. They were all headed towards town and the beach as we were on our way back home...

Enjoy the pictures of Masai (dog), Medicinal Plant tour, bugs, the astonishing full moon and the waterfall Dos Vueltas.

We rent a small casita (house) in Cocles Beach, a few kilometers from town and about 200 meters to the ocean. Thanks to its concrete floor and shady location, we have a cool working space even during mid-day. And, yes, after a few weeks of ceremonies and studies I am now working again. That is to say, combining work with studies- as always the sweetest way of life! Tomorrow starts a Warrior Path’s yoga immersion at the Garden, guided by my magic friend Jerusha, which I’ll be attending. In addition, Wednesday and Saturday mornings I’ll be guiding a Bhakti Flow and a Morning Flow yoga class, and there will be TWO Yin and Drum workshops the coming weeks. Check out Calendar for info!

There you have it guys, a regular day in the Caribbean. Stay updated more frequently on Instagram: @foodbymagie where I share food experiences and new organic and local creations.

Please tell me what you like to read about!

What is shamanic journeying?

Stories from shamanic journeys?

More information about Puerto Viejo/nearby/Costa Rica?

Yoga?

Regular day-to-day life?

Other?

Post in the comments below, or contact me on social media!

 

Mucho amor, luz y paz

/OM

Studying abroad in Costa Rica: this is all you need to know Part 3

Read Part One about Visa details

Read Part Two about Flight tickets

 

1.    Where to?

So, now you’ve decided to move to Paradise to study- where will you go? Again, the starting point for this article is exchange through Swedish Universities, first and foremost Linnaeus University, and thus there are three options to choose from. Even if you shouldn’t choose USAC to study with, these guides can be used generally to decide on what part of the country you want to live in. If you are interested in more specific areas, other areas, more tips, or want me to write about something that is not mentioned here: WRITE me! Comment below or send me an email :)

Heredia and San Ramón (San José)

The San José area has a sunny mountain coolness that turns into real cold at nighttime (except during summer), astonishing views, busy town(s) and a maze-like bus system. If you opt for a city life and a cultural scene either of these should be good options. There are plenty of buses to take you all around San José, both in the center and to the outskirts.

Find schedule between Heredia – San José and San Ramón – San José hereIn addition, buses for the Caribbean coast, West Coast, Guanacaste, Nicaragua, Panama etc. depart from around the capital.

The environment offers- in addition to mountains- trees and green nature despite both places being quite busy cities. There are plenty more everyday activities around than the beach option (Puntarenas), such as the movies, theatre, concerts, restaurants, coffee places, yoga studios, gyms and other workout places. Downtown San José and all of its parks also offer regular events, such as free activities on Saturdays with Enámorate de tu ciudad, organic festivals, markets, concerts and more. Read more about the capital of Costa Rica here.

Puntarenas

Is the natural option if you want to live by the beach. Puntarenas is a fishing village and still today a lot of boats and ships come, go and randomly hang out outside the harbors. This includes the huge cruise ships that about once a week dock along Paseo de los Turistas- for the tourists to beach it and buy coffee. Due to Puntarenas’ industry, and of course a bunch of other things, the beach and most of town is dirty. It is a great place as a starting point for your travels, since it’s a kind of transportation hub of the west coast. The ferry easily takes you to Nicoya Peninsula and busses leave regularly for both Guanacaste in the North, Jaco, Manuel Antonio and all the beaches on the southwest coast, San Ramón and San José. The town is small without any real activities besides the beach, a couple touristy restaurants and football games at the stadium every now and again. As with all places, Puntarenas has its charm. For instance, it offers tranquility and a chance to live in the heart of the Tico culture. The opportunity to practice Spanish here is great too since around town there is not much English spoken (as soon as you get away from El Paseo de los Turistas that is). The city center is cute with a useful and decent food market that brings you local fruits, veggies, fish and more.

2.             Oh, you fell in love in Central America, Costa Rica and Paradise too? How to extend the stay

Volunteering. That is the word. If you have money left still, there are also a lot of interning opportunities around the country. Simply, I’ve put together a list of links you can have a look at according to your preferred interest. Sure, it takes some time reading through it all, send applications, make decisions and what not but you wanted to stay, right? Remember that YOU are the only one in charge of your life, now go out there and LIVE IT! Much Love and Luck to you on your path. If you feel like sharing your traveling stories with me (before, during, after or always), I’d be honoured.

Volunteer Latin America: http://www.volunteerlatinamerica.com/projects/index.html

Great source to find small, cheap and free projects: http://www.volunteersouthamerica.net/

http://www.goabroad.com/

http://globalportalen.org/

http://www.transitionsabroad.com/listings/work/internships/latinamerica.shtml

http://www.scandinavianinst.se/

http://www.peaceworks.se/

http://mytellus.com/

http://www.nicaraguainternships.org/ 

http://manniskohjalp.se/bli-volontar

Internships

http://framtidsjorden.se/bli-praktikant

 

http://www.theinterngroup.com/how-it-works/

http://www.praktikstart.se/kategori/praktik/

http://www.oneworld365.org/continent/central-america/work

http://www.projects-abroad.se/volontarresor-lander/costa-rica/

Work Exchange

Great blog to find all kinds of info about Work Exchange http://www.broketourist.net/tag/work-exchange/

Bonus tip!

There are organisations around that are not listed online and that doesn’t necessarily cost anything. The Caribbean Coast is unfortunately a poor area in Costa Rica and in need of loving souls helping out in smaller farms and what not. Go to Puerto Viejo (de Talamanca) and have a look around.

http://www.puertoviejosatellite.com/volunteer.php 

http://www.ateccr.org/ 

http://www.vagosplace.com/

http://veronicasplacepv.com/work-exchange.php

 

Pura Vida siempre!