I was fortunate enough to spend an entire week at the amazing Anamaya Resort in Montezuma, Costa Rica to kick off my new year. I stayed in a “dorm” aka a treehouse meets ski chalet enchanted forest bungalow with four amazing, inspiring women from across the world who became cherished friends. I practiced 75 minutes of yoga each morning after a light snack of fresh fruit, lounged by the breathtaking infinity pool overlooking the ocean and the cove laden coastline of the Nicoya peninsula, surfed nearby beaches (Playa Grande – not the best surf, Playa Hermosa – epic surf), dined on delicious and nourishing gluten free, primarily vegetarian cuisine for lunch, snacked on fresh smoothies, then attended a 90 minute yoga class under the full moon listening to an extraordinary instrument called the “hang” played by the amazing Daniel, and finishing with a spectacular dinner with my new dear friends.
The yoga was life changing. First of all, doing yoga outside is how it’s meant to be practiced. Feeling the breeze as you sway in tree pose, letting the sun hit your face in warrior two, reaching toward the moon in airplane – I felt so connected to the earth and to the postures in a way I never experience in a studio. Second, the yoga deck is the epitome of breathtaking. Gazing out over the treetops and the ocean while practicing yoga was such a treat. Dagmar Spremberg is an excellent teacher who runs Montezuma Yoga and teaches at retreats all over the world (including Ibiza and Switzerland). Her practice is restorative, energizing, challenging and rejuvenating all at once. She made adjustments to postures that have have changed the way I practice. Her wisdom, knowledge of the stories behind the postures and the Om Gayatri mantra she introduced us to left me wanting more.
And the food, oh my, that food inspired me. The talented chef (who happens to share the same name as yours truly), played with texture, color, and flavors in a way that was simple, complex and innovative all at once. She is working on a cookbook and I promise I will be the first to promote it because I believe in this woman’s food! Everything was fresh and gorgeous. It changed the way I thought about food – and if you know me you know I think a LOT about food.
The owners of Anamaya also purchased property down the road and established Rancho Delicioso. The dedicated volunteers work every day, experimenting with seeds and plants from around the world, learning how to grow plants that haven’t been grown in Montezuma before to bring small-scale farming and food gardening to an area of Costa Rica that has almost none. If you are looking for an amazing opportunity with a well organized and wonderful group of people, look no further.
I have never experienced so much beauty, contentment, growth and strength in one short week. I came back inspired by myself, by others, by my yoga practice and my drive to continue leading a green, healthy life centered on wellness and well being. Part of my intention with this blog is to demonstrate that life isn’t all or nothing. Oftentimes, when I stumble on to a “beauty”, “vegan”, “yoga” or “fashion” blog, I find myself overwhelmed. I simply can’t use 17 products to get ready every time I leave the house, I like some vegan recipes but I’m an omnivore, I love yoga but some days I simply don’t get to practice and I just can’t afford every new Chanel bag or Valentino rock stud shoe the bloggers are raving about that day. What I can do is embrace aspects of these lifestyles. I can be healthy. I can also splurge and have foie gras at my favorite bistro. I can rock an unbelievable outfit. I can wear my favorite sweats for 3 days. I can love my overpriced shampoo. I can buy drugstore mascara. I can backpack in Central America. I can ski in Chamonix. I realized at Anamaya that this is what I love about life. We aren’t one type of person, we are many. Our interests grow and evolve as time goes on, they don’t necessarily have to be so narrow. So I hope as you read this blog you feel open to all the different facets of yourself and that some aspects of what I write about appeal to you, even if it’s not as streamlined as some of the other blogs out there. I am so excited to continue sharing everything I learn on my travels and in my life with you.