The day started off with a dive in the natural pool behind the Ashram, a night in the tent under the palapa was very fun. After a swim, it was time for morning meditation and my first drink of fresh garlic juice. Most would cringe at the sound of drinking garlic juice but I thought it was really good, not to mention the detoxification it provides.
Morning meditation for today was a very relaxing set of stretches, chants, and kriyas that set the tone for a peaceful and relaxing day. This is something done every morning at the Ashram. This was followed up by a nice light snack and preparation for Sunday Yoga.
I have had a few light yoga sessions before, but nothing structured and official. The class today was a Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan with a focus on women’s movements. These movements are awesome for everyone but have a focus on post-menopausal and menstrual stretches to boost female organ production. I was informed that I was rather lucky to have experienced this advanced type of yoga for my first time because many people have had years of yoga experience but never taken part in such an advanced study. I have to admit, it was intense and by the end I was sweating like crazy.
The class was followed by another dip in the pools, great conversation, and lunch preparation. Eggplant casserole, Grapefruit, rice, and fresh ginger-lime juice were a great way to fuel our bodies after such a long sweaty yoga session. The Ashram environment is very open-minded and empowering, no conversation is off limits and creativity is constantly flowing. Not long after lunch I headed back to the lodge and had a big plate of watermelon to top off my belly and hold me over to dinner.
Along with my watermelon I cut up some fresh ginger and turmeric to make tea. Whenever I brew up a new concoction I always ask the guys in the kitchen if they want to try it, Ray (the Chef) always says, “why not?.” I love the attitude of always being willing to try something new, even if you may not like it. My favorite part of these times is when they ask me what it is good for so I get the chance to teach them the healing powers of these magical roots. Anti-inflammatory, immune boosting, cancer-fighting, and energy producing are just a few of the effects they provide.
The lodge hosts a variety of cultural nights to promote the native people of Belize. There are many different groups of people in this cultural melting pot such as the Mayan, Creole, Garifuna, and Mestizo. Tonight was Garifuna night, the mixture of the African slaves that were shipped over and the native Caribs. A family of 6 kids and their mom brought their instruments and loads of happiness to dinner while we ate one of their authentic local dishes, Sere. It is really remarkable to see a group of people who are preserving their culture while many have been so Americanized and lost their connection with who they come from.
This snapper soup with veggies was served with rice, roasted pumpkin, and a conch fritter.
One of the staff had mentioned how filling their meals were, this doesn’t look like much but with an organic brownie and glass of chamomile tea..it is bedtime.