Xinalani: Temazcal & Massage

So not as much movement today as yesterday, but still some intense experiences.

Movement Lab this morning was more upper body and core focused, with some shoulder work, quad and plank holding and more movement patterns.  Meditation was pretty intense, too, a bit more guided and broad than other days, as we were asked to think about people we love, don’t know well, have difficulty with, feel sympathy for, and just generally exist and offer them well wishes through our practice.  It sounds simple but, by the end, it was actually kind of spiritually exhausting.  In a good way.

Break was once again amazing, this time with some chocolate muffins and more delicious eggs, beans, juices and cereals.  I didn’t load up too much today, and avoided the coffee, because the big draw of the day was the Temazcal.

As described to us by our shaman (yup, we had a shaman), the temazcal is basically a “womb” between earth and the sky, and was used in ancient times to cure illnesses, prepare and reward warriors for battles, and assist with pregnancy.  It translates in its native Nahuatl as “House of Heat”, something we would refer to as a “sweat lodge”, and if there were ever a more apt description, I can’t think of it.

A full on play-by-play of the ritual might not make much sense to those who have never done it and also ruin the experience for those considering it, so I’ll just tell you that it was hot, spiritual, involved a lot of chanting and soul searching and was also REALLY HOT.  Don’t know if I’d recommend it for the intensely claustrophobic, but I found it to be an absolutely beautiful ceremony, and I don’t think I’ve ever felt better about jumping into an ocean than after being in there!

The lunch conch blew shortly after the dip in the water, but I had to limit my fish tacos, amaranth-crusted eggplant and pineapple polenta (which were all awesome) because the next stage in the day was a massage!

I’ve suffered from some back and disc issues, which really flared up in and around the Morocco trip last summer, so I’ve had to change up the physical routine and exercises to ensure I’m always activating my core and keeping my glutes working.  Sometimes, that means that my right one in particular gets cramped.  After the massive walking yesterday, I was due for some repair work.

Enter, Angel – (pronounced ahn-hel)

The guy was an absolutely genius.  At no point was the massage uncomfortable, he dug just enough, but now my glute feels completely as it should and the little aches are gone!  Plus, the location of the massage can’t be beat – massage room overlooking the rocks of the ocean, with the waves as background noise.  Amazing.

Evening practice was a Yin Yang Yoga, which sounds funny, I know, but was actually a lot more taxing than I remember.  Andre used to teach that class every Monday night and I remember finding it really calming, but then I remember the series I did not find calming, which was moving from a dangling pose into a squat and back a few times.  Today, my ankles were actually purple, at which point Andre came up to me and said “you can go to child’s pose or downward dog if you have to”.  And, thankfully, as I went down for child’s pose, I saw a coati climbing in a tree!  Hey now!

Good tequila and conversation at the bar, chicken enchiladas at dinner, and off to bed.  Tomorrow, dolphins!!!

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