One of the many things on my list of things to do and experience has been a surf and yoga retreat in an exotic location. Stretching and flowing in the morning light to the sounds of monkeys howling in the jungle, learning to respect the power of the ocean and to move with the waves without fear, soaking up the sunshine while running or walking on a deserted beach. This is my kind of vacation.
I remember working as a project engineer in Seattle, Washington and from the far corner of the depths of the second level below ground parking structure that was my office, I took quick little peaks of websites advertising yoga and surfing in far away lands before my superintendent made himself known, which usually meant barging in and barking. Yoga and surf looked like a nice healthy tranquil relaxing and fun adventure, the yang I needed to balance my long hours immersed in a concrete jungle of male energy and machinery. A far cry from my job site reality, an adventure of another kind. But one that promotes health, detoxifies, and reduces the stresses of everyday living. If you are reading this from a busy office during your lunch break, if you haven’t had a moment to yourself in weeks, don’t wait, go ahead and sign up for an up and coming Gracious Living Yoga, Surf and Raw Food Retreat.
I myself never did take that leap. Limited time off during a fast track project and other commitments kept this experience at bay. But then, life gifted me an abundance of surf-yoga retreating possibilities when I moved myself to an exotic location. Nicaragua comes complete with howling monkeys, sun shining almost daily, yogis and surfers. It was here in Nicaragua that I learned about Rancho Cecilia Eco-Ranch and saw an advertisement on their website for a Yoga and Surf Retreat with Gracious Living.
What I can tell you about this week is that it went by in what seemed like a blink. I arrived exhausted and left relaxed. I came hungry as always and curious about the Raw Food experience. I showed up excited for fresh healthful models and bountiful opportunities for scenic action shots. I was ready for more time on the beach. Another opportunity to get up, stand up and smile. And watch the seasoned wave riders strut their stuff. I departed in awe of Grace Van Berkum’s strength and calm serenity, Liz’s boundless energy, Scott’s passion and dedication to sustainable living, the artful creativity of two talented and unique raw food chefs (Raw Chef Steph and Karen Hall) and the passion and joie de vivre of everyone I met on the trip.
I asked both Grace and Liz a series of questions for additional enticement and to provide a few more details about the retreat experience:
- 1 serving Sunwarrior vanilla protein powder (easy to digest, complete, alkalinizing protein)
- 1/2 cup cubed carrot
- 1/2 cup cubed red apple with skin
- 1 tsp real vanilla
- 1 small chunk fresh ginger
- 1/2 tsp cardamom
- 1/2 cinnamon
- sprinkle nutmeg
- sprinkle cloves
- 2-3 cups unsweetened coconut milk
- optional: 1-2 medjool dates to sweeten (remove pits)
- 1 cup ice
Blend till creamy and smooth. Delicious and filling. Great for the body and great for the environment!
LL: What advice/inspiration would you like to share with solo women travelers coming to Nicaragua?
Gracious Living 7 Day Yoga Surf Vegan Retreats in Nicaragua are designed to inspire individuals on many different levels of health. They focus on yoga and raw, vegan, plant based nutrition to help one connect to their own personal truth and healing, while including other things like breathing, meditation, surfing, volcano hiking, salsa classes, and learning about the local culture. Many individuals come to my retreats for the daily yoga, the healthy food, detoxification from food, life, relationships, and the beautiful locations that I choose.
I guarantee that people leave my retreats rested, recharged, rejuvenated, empowered, feeling amazing from the allergen free, local, tropical, healthy meals, and inspired to go back home and make positive changes in their life.
LL: What is the best time of year for a beginner surfer to learn to surf in Nicaragua?
LHB: Our “small” surf season runs from November to somewhere in May, with this said, we are in a great swell window and almost always have waves! In the 7 years we have been here, we have not surfed only 2 times due to no waves!
LL: What advice/inspiration would you share with our readers about their first surfing experience?
Have fun! That’s what it’s all about, enjoy getting in the water and playing in Mother Natures Aquarium! There is an old saying from the 70’s, Surfers need to have faith and patience…..waves will come, you will progress and get better and the most important thing is to have fun!
LL: What advice would you offer solo women travelers coming to Nicaragua?
Nicaragua is considered the safest country in Central America for solo women travelers. Learn some basic Spanish and smile at the locals, they really do enjoy helping out the tourist and try to help all they can.
An exotic location, sunshine, healthy food, adventure, play, a new language, new friends and experiences, I can’t think of a better way to feel rejuvenated, re-inspired, and to kick off a change in your life for a more healthful existence. I guarantee you will smile, learn something new, and find plenty of magic and joy.