We reached Belize City by 10am with a warm cheerful welcome by Rick of Hidden Valley Inn! As the guys loaded our private van, we headed across the street for delicious fresh coconut water. We adored the young boy who worked with his father.
We began our beautiful ride to the Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve. Our guide Rick is filled with fascinating knowledge and facts about Belize and has such a wonderful personality. We were fortunate to have Rick as our guide our entire time in the Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve at Hidden Valley Inn. He made our touring experiences extra special.
Our stop along the way at Orange Gifts. You could spend a lont time in here, it’s a beautiful store!! I was pretty excited about the beautiful hand carved wooden yoga sculptures. I took pictures of a few of them and considered purchasing one and shipping it back to the states. The group ended up surprising me that evening with a dancer’s pose sculpture! Thank you all, I know it will always remind me of the bond we had as a group and our memories we created together in Belize.
We continued the beautiful ride to Hidden Valley Inn & Reserve, situated in the Maya mountains in the Cayo district of Belize. The exclusive, cozy luxury forest reserve and lodge is a tranquil and special gem boasting an immense rain forest and natural wildlife sanctuary. Our estate cottage accommodations are set in a private nature reserve set on 7,290 acres of wilderness in the Maya Mountains of Belize. Cottages are surrounded by awesome beauty and diverse landscape. The reserve is home to many of Belize’s native cats, rare raptors and wildlife. The reserve includes nearly 100 miles of hiking trails, crystal clear creeks, majestic waterfalls, verdant ravines and breathtaking vistas. Over 81 species of wild orchids live here, clinging to the walls of rocks and fern that line aqua-blue jungle pools. Hidden Valley is a sanctuary and paradise for the wild. The continuos flowering of these plants throughout the year produces nature’s own kaleidoscope of brilliant colors and the crisp air is always heavy with a fragrant, exciting aroma.
Upon arrival, each guest received a hand massage and glass of their delicious lemongrass tea. It’s seriously sooooo good, I’m dreaming of sipping some right now.
Serenity. Approaching the Yok’ol Chen platform. Shhhhh….listen to the water below us. What beautiful music to listen to while practicing yoga. No words are spoken to one another the entire time we are on the platform.
“The clearest way to the Universe is through a forest wilderness” John Muir
“Aahh…” I exhale and take a seat under the thatched platform of Yok’ol Chen. I sit cross-legged, usually with my right cross over my left, but this evening my left is on top of my right. I take deep ujiyi breaths, becoming aware of the state of my body. My forehead, jaw and shoulders are relaxed and I am free from stress. My breathe moves slowly in out. I begin to focus on my body and mind and let go of the need to change anything. I move through a few asanas to prepare myself to teach sunset Yin Yoga this evening. I am calm. I am warm throughout my body and heart. Evenings like tonight remind me that I am able move through situations calmly and to act from a place of compassion and love to others including myself. Yoga has taught me more about myself and others than any other activity I have participated in. Yoga has taught me things are as they should be and continues to remind me to practice acceptance and being present in each moment. And so we begin…
Yin Yoga targets the connective tissues, the ligaments, bones, and even the joints of the body that normally are not exercised directly in a more active style “yang” based asana practice. Yin practice can be quite challenging due to the long duration of the poses and accepting sitting still with present moment. Three basic principals of yin yoga:
Holding a posture for a longer period of time, that seems longer than usual.
Edge of resistance This is somewhere between “I don’t really feel anything in this posture” to “Ouch that hurts.” That edge of resistance brings us to that place of overall sensation, intensity, pressure and real pain. It’s very hard for most individuals to be able to tell the difference. Here, we take an opportunity discover our edge of resistance This principal brings us to a place where we connect with our perception of what discomfort verses pain is.
Finding stillness in a posture. Not fidgeting, allowing the brain to not be very active. Perhaps focusing on a single point such as the breath. In all yoga we focus on the breathe, but here we try to work with the natural movement of the breathe rather than shaping the breathe. Finding stillness in a posture can often be a great challenge and something we work towards taken off of our mat and into our daily life.
“This life is yours. Take the power to choose what you want to do and do it well. Take the power to love what you want in life and love it honestly. Take the power to walk in the forest and be a part of nature. Take the power to control your own life. No one else can do it for you. Take the power to make your life happy.” Susan Polis Schutz
Delicious dinner is served…Namaste. Keli