Xinalani: Jungle Trekking

Practice this morning was back to your “standard” Vinyasa style, if by standard you include crossing knees across the midpoint, standing on one foot while lifting blocks, doing some fun twisty-type bends and kicking feet ways you didn’t know they could kick.  Still, felt great doing it, feels great after, and I think I’m starting to get the hang of this meditation thing.  Andre taught a technique which basically equated to counting each breath to ten, then starting over at one, and returning to one if you got sidetracked.  I may or may not have momentarily fallen asleep while seated, so I guess it worked!

Stocked up on the banana pancakes because we were doing a jungle trek today and would be missing lunch (though, to be honest, I’d be stocking up on those pancakes if I was doing sleep, they were so good.)  The trek itself took us from the Jungle Studio into the hills surrounding Xinalani and into and around the town of Quimixto.

The avillo tree, which, with toxic seeds, rash-causing sap and
spiky bark, I believe translates to “total jerk.”

Our group was a mixed bunch, but aside from a couple from San Diego, I think I ranked as the youngest of the bunch at 38.  Still, being a yoga retreat, it wasn’t like anybody was out of shape or unable to do the hike, with the exception of one lady who had a recently repaired ACL.  The route took us over the various hills of the region, past some interesting looking plants, including one tree called the avillo, which had heavily spiked bark, poisonous nuts that cause diarrhea, and a sap that causes skin rashes.  Not a nice character.  I made friends with a 61 year old retired university professor from Missouri named Libby, who basically served as representation of my physical life goals at that age, and was very impressed by my upbringing as I offered to help her down some of the steeper hills.  We stopped off at a secluded waterfall (not the one the region is famous for, but still a beauty!) before heading up and over some more hills and back to Quimixto.  Not wanting to wait for the resort, I picked up a Corona from a local tienda and paid the 5 peso “carrying cost” not to drink it there.  Xinalani was nice enough to hold our lunch for us, too!

Now, unfortunate drama once we got back.  Andre, one of our two instructors, had been stung by a stingray while swimming earlier!  Had never really seen him immobile before, but he was in good enough spirits, it seemed.  He and Catalina took a water taxi into Puerta Vallarta proper to get the wound checked out at the hospital, meaning that the evening practice would be self-directed and, if they weren’t back by tomorrow morning, we were welcome to attend the resident instructor’s practice at 7 am.  So evening practice was pretty chill as we wait for word on Andre’s condition.  Me, being travel guy, is already planning a “group trek” (for whoever wants it) to the other nearby town tomorrow morning, as Andre probably won’t be able to lead it with his foot stabbed.

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