Go with the flow. Be flexible. Take it all in.
Sound familiar? Phrases that you may hear in a yoga class.
Well, I recently took these words to heart and traveled to Cuba.
Cuba did not disappoint! Have you ever wanted to step back in time? Ride in a bright colored convertible from the 1960’s? Learn to salsa dance? Eat fresh food? Want to meet warm inviting people that are always smiling?
Then pack your bags and head to Cuba!
I went with the Amazing Yoga studio, of Pittsburgh, where I was trained to teach yoga. Sean and Karen Conley had the accommodations set up and all I had to do was purchase my flight, get my Visa, and off I went with 22 other yogis who I did not know.
It was not just a yoga retreat. It was a yoga retreat in Cuba with some of my favorite people!! I went without expectations and I was not disappointed.
Life in Cuba is very different than what you are most likely used to, and the best way to understand it is to live it. And that’s exactly what I did for 6 nights and 7 days.
We stayed at the beach in a resort called Tarara, which is a gated resort town of the city of Havana, Cuba. The accommodations were simple and have not been updated by the government since 1950. Wifi was iffy, but the scenery magnificent and the Cuban people were so kind.
Everyday we were greeted with a word/mantra for the day. The first day the word was “acceptance.” This word meant the most to me as I learned the way of life for Cubans is to go with the flow and be happy!
Everything we did was optional, so you could take as few or as many yoga classes as you preferred. Of course, I took every opportunity to practice and learn from the yoga masters Sean and Karen Conley!
The yoga classes were held in the yoga hut that took CoCo, our host for the week, 3 years to build due to government blocks. Yes, we are a fortunate bunch of citizens here in the USA!
After class, we enjoyed fresh, delicious food made daily and relaxed without phones or T.V. We interacted and met Europeans that were there on vacation as well. One day, we learned how to salsa dance. Other days we went into Havana and had a tour of the city where we watched old men playing chess and watched the young children playing hide and seek in their small neighborhood. Everything was very inexpensive, including the food, however it was very delicious.
The highlight of the trip was taking a yoga class with Eduardo Pimentel (the Cuban yoga guru) and his students. Although, there was a language barrier, we all understood the yoga sequences and it was neat to see how universal yoga really is.
The week flew by and soon enough it was time to leave. I must say it was hard to leave this warm and welcoming country and its people.
The beauty of this country lives in the people, the culture, the history, and the unknown adventures. Remember to be flexible and go with the flow.
According to John Steinbeck, “People don’t take trips, trips take people.”
Traveling is one of the best gifts to give yourself. Don’t wait until it’s too Americanized. Go now and experience gorgeous sunrises and tangerine sunsets that will take your breath away. History, culture, music, and art all are at your fingertips.
Overall, Cuba left me daydreaming about my next visit.