March 24, 2008


The week in Mexico was indescribable. Lovely doesn't do it justice, nor does peaceful. It was such a gift to truly disconnect for a week in paradise. No phones, televisions, internet, outside world. Just a bunch of people on a yoga retreat, so they're all mellow and happy. We slept hard, ate well, and relaxed like I've never done before.

Maya Tulum is on the beach along the Mayan Riviera. Paul and I had a palapa about a hundred feet off the beach. I could peek out the glass door to see if the sunrise was happening and be on the beach in a matter of seconds. The dining hall was a large palapa and the food healthy buffet style, mostly vegetarian with some fish. After dinner, we'd walk on the moonlit beach and take up residence in a beach chair to watch the stars and clouds and enjoy the salty air.

In regular life, I try to squeeze in a yoga class or home practice around the rest of my day. In Tulum, the practice was the core of my day, and everything else planned around yoga. That alone was spectactular. We had a two hour practice in the morning and another two hours in the evening. Somehow, it seemed like it could have been more. I loved the morning practice in the high ceilinged round palapa that received the soft morning light and the sweet morning humidity.

The most planning we did all week was figuring how to fit bodywork in amongst the classes, tours, and our own desire to relax. We went all-out and had a bunch of massage. We did a Temezcal, a traditional Mayan/Aztec healing ritual that is supposed to be a spiritual purification steambath. It was two hours in the dark with ten people in a small brick dome sweating, chanting, having herbs and water thrown onto fiery volcanic rocks and if it wasn't spiritual for all involved, it was at a minimum deeply purifying because we sweat for hours. It was conducted by a Temezcalero, a Spiritual Healer in the Aztec tradition, who learned this medicine from his grandfather. His name was Fabian, and I think he was a wonderful healer. I received two absolutely amazing massages from him, complete with incantations in a language other than English, deep belly work, and pretty dead-on spiritual diagnoses (when notes were compared with another yogi, we did not receive the same pronouncements, she received something totally different, so it wasn't total hoo-ha.)

We rented bikes one day and rode to a cenote (a fresh water sink hole, very deep and clear) and swam there before riding in the other direction to check out the Tulum Ruins, which sit atop the ocean. We took a boat trip far from shore and snorkeled along a reef (it was dying, so the fish weren't that great, but it was still wonderful.) We went to the Sian Ka'an Biopshere and the highlight there was floating down the fresh water canals carved by the Mayans. We swam in the turquoise beaches, and played frisbee on the beach.

My shoulders are sitting lower than they have in a while. I feel deeply relaxed. None of us wanted to get on the shuttle to the Cancun airport. But we are back, and I hope to take some of the inner stillness into the world this week.

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