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Breath: the foundation of yoga and life!

Our life begins with an inhale and ends on an exhale. Our breath is our life force. We do it every day, unconsciously and automatically. In yoga, breathing is a crucial subject. In this blog we will tell you why.

Yoga Breath  

Everyone can do yoga, because everyone breathes. Breathing is an important aspect of yoga as it focuses on becoming aware of your body, it helps you to feel more present, and encourages you to tune inwards. By consciously focusing on your breath, you can control it, controlling the length and pace of your inhalations and exhalations.

You might have heard of the term ‘pranayama’ before. It is the Sanskrit word for breathing: prana means life energy and ayama means to extend, draw out. Pranayama is about controlling your life force, by controlling your breath. If you become consciously aware of your breathing, you feel the life force running through your body.

The way you breathe has an impact on your mood. Breathing slowly can help you to...

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5 things I learnt in my first ever yoga class at AmaSer

Hi, my name is Lucy and I have recently moved to beautiful Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica. I heard all about Avani’s yoga center AmaSer, so I decided to come along to one of her Yin & Restore classes on a Tuesday afternoon. The class started just before the sun was beginning to set and the afternoon was turning to dusk.  Here are five things I learnt about yoga! 

 

  1. Yoga is accessible, even to a newbie like me

I would not exactly class myself as a Yogi. I was a little nervous before going to class. What if I obviously stuck out as a rookie, what if I could not hold a posture? Avani made me feel welcome as soon as I entered the class. She begun by explaining the purpose of the class and demonstrated every pose by including a number of variations to make sure you were comfortable and could really connect with how you held your body – without hurting yourself! It was easy to follow and made me feel like I was being cared for, rather than judged.

 

  1. Even a...
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From farm-to-fork: the best possible practice for a chef

AmaSer’s chef Mario has been cooking for almost his whole life. After learning from his grandmother and getting a degree in culinary arts, he is now responsible for the dishes on our menu. Here, he can use what is available in the garden to create a gluten free vegan menu. With this, he can show people how a realistic and futureproof perspective on food, from farm-to-fork can be possible.

 

 

Mario learned cooking from his grandmother. He grew up in Mexico City with his grandmother always cooking. After school, he was the one helping her in the kitchen. “Immediately after I dropped my backpack, she asked me to go to the market, or chop vegetables. We have a big family that came to visit us every weekend, so my grandmother and I often had to make a lot of food.” She showed him what food to pick and where along with what herbs to harvest that were growing on the hill where they lived.

 

His life has always been about food. After exploring creative...

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Finding Your Purpose

I spent most of my childhood inside my room, while my siblings were outside playing. I was asking myself how electrical components work. I grew up listening to my family saying to me that I will be an amazing engineer or scientific. I remember thinking to pursue a stable good job, have a family and a nice car was the purpose of my life.  

So  I decided to take the safe route and enter Engineer School, it wasn’t until the end of my second year that I gave up Uni. On the process I started reconnecting with myself and explored different areas, I ended up enrolling in a communication career, I travelled and discovered different cultures, different visions, and read, read a lot. And let me tell you; my perspective and aspirations completely changed! For good!  I don’t even remember how many times and now in my latest twenties, I can start to feel what can be the purpose of my life.

I reconnect with myself and explored other areas, I studied...

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Yoga for Challenging Times

challenges health lifestyle yoga yoga tips | Posted Nov 09, 2020

We are experiencing one of the most challenging times in the actual human history. The COVID19 pandemic came to us like a wake-up-call and now more than ever we need to go deep into ourselves, practice sacred disciplines and connect with our inner being.

Yoga is one of the magic tools that could help us understand how to walk through life with love and wisdom. Today we can use this ancestral practice to tune in our body energy and switch our emotions, and being aware of and consciously choosing the energy we send out and take in is a step to raising the vibration of the world.

The best way to appreciate that we are healthy is by coming back to our body. Spending more time inside help us to set up routines and develop new habits. That is why Yoga is perfect for us right now.

Now in quarantine, you can take a bit of time to stretch and do some yoga to unwind your day. Set your intentions and choose the practice that better fits you, perhaps you haven´t slept very well and your...

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What is Korean Natural Farming (KNF)?

gardening lifestyle tips | Posted Nov 09, 2020

This sustainable farming system was developed by Cho Han Kyu, AKA Master Cho, from the Janong Natural Farming Institute in South Korea. KNF is a style of farming that focuses on the culturing of Indigenous Microorganisms (IMO) to improve the health of your soil and regenerate healthy soil where it is no longer found. The end goal is to produce fertile soils that yield high output without the use of outsourced fertilizers and/or pesticides. This is also a helpful technique to implement when trying to make the switch from conventional farming to organic farming. 

Indigenous Microorganisms are what make up the micro life forms in your soil. The organisms that primarily makeup IMO are beneficial fungi, bacteria, and yeasts. There is a symbiotic relationship that occurs between plants and beneficial IMOs; the microorganisms convert nutrients into a form that the plant is able to absorb. In turn, the plants provide food to these microorganisms. 

Some of the potential benefits of...

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The Presence of Plants at AmaSer

“The roots of the plants and trees appeared through a dim transparency of the soil; I discerned the inward flow of their sap.” – Paramahansa Yogananda, Autobiography of a Yogi

It is evident that nature and its processes are inherent in yoga. The most fundamental precept of yoga breath itself or pranayama, would not be possible without plants. Humans and animals take in oxygen and create carbon dioxide as a byproduct and plants do the exact opposite; an elegant symbiosis of balancing opposition, much like the opposing but balancing forces taught in yoga. Our engagement with the world’s flora is an essential phenomenon for life, so it is no surprise that the presence of plants has a profound effect on human health and wellness.

 

Plants as wellness therapy: 

Having constant fresh snack-age from the prolific gardens at OM is always great, but it turns out there’s a world of health benefits that come from simply being around...

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The Multi-Tasking Yoga Teacher

lifestyle tips yoga yoga teacher training | Posted Nov 09, 2020

Original Piece by Avani | 2016

There is a lot of pressure on yoga teachers to be juggling many skills: all star communicators, anatomy and physiology pros, committed practitioners, always kind, compassionate and available, skilled at hands on touch, present with ever breath…you get the picture.  It may seem overwhelming  to consider how you can focus on clear, concise cueing, observe you students, move through the space AND add hands-on touch.  The important skill in all of this is to approach each element with singular focus.  As you begin to feel more and more comfortable getting off your mat, see how it goes to add in just one assist (say, downward facing dog).  See how that goes.  Once that becomes very fluid, add the next piece.  How would you feel to move off your mat, offer a down dog assist AND add in a breath cue?  

What’s most important is that nothing is forced.  Forcing...

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AmaSer - The Magical Experience

Imagine you are overlooking the clear blue Caribbean ocean, the sun is setting behind the mountains that encircle the coastline. You have an amazing view because luckily you are on a jungle hillside. As you watch the coast turn from that light shimmering yellow to a deep cerebral purple, all around you is a cacophony of birds, chirping insects and howler monkeys calling in the now dimly lit treetops. Perhaps, you are at an evening yoga class at AmaSer. 

I’ve just started working here and in my opinion, the location of AmaSer is one of its most unique qualities. It is just a few minutes walk to town and the ocean, yet the elevated hillside microclimate provides a sense of seclusion and fresh, boisterous air. You’ll notice that AmaSer is not just in the jungle, it is intentionally amongst the jungle. Every corner of AmaSer is padded with foliage. Draped over the walkways you’ll see ferns, and palm leaves, tall or short coconut, banana and moringa...

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Your Rhythm, Your Resonance, Your Heart: More than a Mere Organ

lifestyle yoga | Posted Nov 09, 2020

Your Rhythm, Your Resonance, Your Heart: More than a Mere Organ

Did you know that your heart, your personal inner drum, beats an average of 37 million times a year?!  This rhythm, in a healthy heart, is highly adaptable and always shifting. Much like the anatomical heart, a healthy energetic heart center (Anahata) must also be adaptive; must ebb and flow with the rhythms of life in order to be healthy, hearty and whole.  

Shiva Rea (Tending the Heart Fire) explores the body’s system of entrainment.  The medical dictionary defines entrainment as “the synchronization and control of cardiac rhythm by an external stimulus.” Or in other words, as Rea says “a state of yoga, or joining together, a coherence between multiple rhythmic patterns.” (p. 56).  Understanding entrainment is an opportunity to explore how every single experience leaves an impact on our sacred heart. What is this “external stimulus”? you...

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