Avani on Dharma, Motherhood & Costa Rica (An Interview by Nicole Hudson of Wanderfreely)

community interview yoga | Posted Nov 09, 2020

How do you define Dharma?

Dharma for me means “sacred duty”.  What’s confusing sometimes is that our sacred duty is not always rainbows and butterflies.  Oftentimes we have to get into the nitty gritty and really be reminded of our direction through tough lessons.  I love how Stephen Cope sums up the lessons from the Bhagavad Gita on Dharma. He asks the question “How do we discern our dharma?  How do we discover the magnificent inner blueprint?” In his writings The Great Work of Your Life the message is to find out who you are and then “do it on purpose.”  I love that. This is reflective of the constant cycle of adventure, discovery and then application.  We are perpetually students of the Self and (hopefully) learning time and time again how to listen more deeply in order to realign in new ways with our unique sacred duty.  In those moments when everything just “clicks” then...

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Featuring Avani Gilbert: Walking the Path Toward AmaSer

interview puerto viejo yoga | Posted Nov 09, 2020

Original Post I Posted September 1, 2019

It is a rare opportunity to catch Avani Gilbert, founder of Om at Cashew Hill and now AmaSer, unoccupied by students, lesson plans, or her 3-year-old yogi-in-the-making. But as the sun poured into the Maha shala, Avani shared her journey to hOMe. 

At the age of 22, Avani earned her massage license, the first of many bodyworks, energy work and wellness certifications. As her final assignment, Avani created her own business, “OM Massage,” complete with a logo, list of services, and business cards. 

Within two years, OM Massage actually manifested into a reality and opened its doors in Cocles, Costa Rica. “When Om first opened and had its first physical site in Cocles, it was a teeny tiny platform that I rented from a friend. It fit 5, maybe 6 people on a good day.” Space was small, but Avani’s vision was grand. 

As she settled in, Avani took notice of the lack of spaces where she...

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A little chat with Blas : Chef Extraordinaire

“Cooking from and for the soul.”

~ Blas Claira~

Blas Claria is the head chef of our kitchen. His passion for cooking comes from travelling and organic farming. His motivation comes from a place of wanting to create positive change and see the transformation towards conscious food.

He has been travelling around the globe, constantly learning from different cultures, new dishes, and new flavours. His main inspiration is the Caribbean nature and its life cycles.


What were the first steps towards becoming a chef and starting this project?

I had the opportunity to visit various permaculture farms and therefore learned how to use local ingredients. I started being inspired by healthier food, fresher nourishments non-ultra processed, ingredients without so many chemical alterations.

A long time ago I used to work in a multinational food technology company and experienced that dark side of the industry. Some convenience foods and many products in the supermarkets are...

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Diary of a Beginner Yogi: Battling with My Down Dog

interview tips yoga | Posted Nov 09, 2020

Diary of a beginner yogi: Battling with my down dog

A few weeks down the line and I’m slowly adjusting to jungle lifestyle, and have kept up my newfound yoga routine! There’s been a few times I’ve found it harder to get myself to those 8a.m. classes, but I’m still practising regularly and yoga has become a part of my daily routine now.

I’m actually starting to understand and use some of the yogi languages and have grown more accustomed to the flows and the movements and I thought I’d share a couple of poses that I’ve found myself struggling with that seem to come up in pretty much every class.


The first… downward-facing dog, ’adho mukha śvānāsana’, the pose that seems to provide everyone with a moment of rest, but feels like a full blown workout for me to get into, let alone maintain. I have pretty weak arms and insanely tight hamstrings and so every downwards dog seems to be an upwards struggle of balance,...

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