Biophilia – A cute festival that began just last year! I had the pleasure of being in Queenstown to attend for the whole weekend! Three days full of slack-lining, yoga, meditation, acro-yoga, talks, wild dancing, camping, a warm fire and many new friends. Unfortunately, the weather was absolutely horrid during the time of the festival, nonetheless we all still had loads of fun. A couple of friends and I decided to climb the nearest mountain so we could get some exercise and some bad-ass photos of course. You know me, i’ll pretty much climb anything to get a good photo!
Welcome to a beautiful Goddess Circle with Claudia
Claudia Martinez owner of Yoga Soul Monkeys hosted a wonderful Goddess Day Gathering that I had the pleasure of attending! It was a magical experience where women came together to talk about the deepest things you don’t normally tell anyone. Releasing these hidden emotions was such a wonderful experience, while sharing what happened during 2016. Our hardships and our awesome moments, we helped interpret each others path so that each individual left knowing a little bit more about themselves. I had the best yoga Queenstown experience for sure!
It's time for some yoga!
Claudia led us through an awesome yoga class where we balanced each chakra with postures, focused on our breath and inhaled beautiful essential oils relating to each chakra. It was such a deep and sensual experience. The added touch of smelling something while doing yoga was just that cherry on top. If you’d like to join in on a Yoga Queenstown class taught by the lovely Claudia check her out on facebook.
With the Goddess Day, lunch was included. We had a delicious chickpea salad, with loads of veggies and probably my favorite desert, chia seeds soaked in coconut milk! This was all prepared by the lovely Claudia, we certainly appreciated all this delicious wholesome food.
Wrapping up the awesome day
We all left with a few new friends, a full belly, a relaxed mind and a thankful body. Goddess Day’s need to happen way more often if you ask me! I think my favorite part was being completely reminded of my goals and leaving with a mind full of passion ready to conquer my new goals. Thank you so much Claudia for the wonderful day! I cannot wait for the next Goddess Circle – Yoga Queenstown.
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I bet you’ve heard of Koh Phangan, but most likely associated with the full moon party. I’m not really into the crazy parties at the moment, so I’m going to show you 6 amazing happy places in Koh Phangan that I enjoyed! Check it out!
Happy Place 1
360 Bar is a pretty cool place to check out on the North of Koh Phangan, of course you’ll need a scooter. In fact, I suggest renting a scooter the whole time your on the Island, it makes it possible to see everything and because it’s badass to ride a scooter, right? It’s a great bar where you can see the sunrise and the sunset, but they probably won’t be serving alcohol for sunrise, just assuming!
Happy Place 2
Haad Rin Beach
Make some good looking friends, and head to Haad Rin beach and lounge for the day! There are many awesome restaurants, shops along the beach, and it’s where the original full moon party is! The sand is actually so unbelievably soft and felt so good on my feet!
Happy Place 3
Take a long boat ride over to Haad Yuan, it’s super chill and quiet. It’s probably more obvious that it’s chill in the busy seasons, I went in September and the whole island of Koh Phangan was actually just really quiet. Haad Yuan has many awesome resorts, a good beach and all you need is to bring your friends and your set!
Happy Place 4
Out for a rip!
You MUST take a scooter out on Koh Phangan and explore what this Island has to offer! Seeing the sights will be difficult, and it’s probably the best feeling in the world being on the open road with the wind blowing through your hair anyways.
There’s also this really cool elephant mural I found and thought it was so pretty! Makes for a good backdrop on a photo that’s for sure.
Happy Place 5
Get a Tattoo
Seeing as Koh Phangan wasn’t exactly my favorite island, I decided to waste some time and get my tattoo more completed! So happy with the results, I went to 420 Tattoo in Haad Rin by a lovely Thai guy named Tar! He’s so precise! Obviously tattoo’s are cheaper in Thailand, I ended up paying 6,500 Baht for him to complete-ish the arm tattoo I had. It’s not done yet! I’ve got to put more on my hand and up my arm… probably will turn into a sleeve. Can’t wait!
Happy Place 6
Visit Orion Healing Center
You’ve got to visit Orion Healing Center! There are many amazing programs to choose from. There was a Colon Cleansing Program that I really wanted to do, but it just wasn’t in the backpacking budget. So I ended up going with a Healthy Living 1 Day Program that costed me 3,000 Baht ($110 CAD).
The Healthy Living program 1 day package includes:
1 x Yoga class
1 x Thai massage
1 x Spa treatment (Ear coning OR Mud wrap)
1 x Herbal steam room
3 x Set meals (Breakfast, lunch and dinner)
1 x Young, fresh coconut
1 x Fresh juice
1 x Raw desert
1 x Herbal tea
I decided to be fully present this day and put all technology away, this is why I’ve only got a photo of my lovely coconut I was drinking. If you head to Koh Phangan and love health/wellness/yoga, I HIGHLY suggest heading to Orion Healing Center and enjoying their facility for a day, it truly settled the restlessness I was feeling for a while.
I hope you learned loads of stuff about Koh Phangan! Yes most people would have added the Full or Half moon party, but I’m just not really into the hardcore partying at the moment, but I’m sure it would have been great. Let me know below what your favorite happy places are in Koh Phangan, or what I missed out on! P.S. I went to check out some waterfalls (it’s September) and they’re all dried out!
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I’m on my way to India to do a Tantra Yoga Teacher Training and It’s going to be epic!
On new years day 2014 I headed to India. As a female traveling alone, and this being my first trip away from Canada, I have to admit I was pretty nervous. I planned to spend 4 weeks at a Yoga Ashram in Galgibaga Beach, Goa, India (Shri Kali Ashram). Seeing as yoga originated from India, I figured it would be the best place to learn!
Tantra Yoga Teacher Training
Honor and Cultivate yourself
8:00a.m. Wake up, personal hygiene, and tea
8:30a.m. Traditional Ayurvedic Walking Massage
(Exchange massage to prepare the body for āsanas)
9:15a.m. Morning āsanas
(A compact set of āsanas designed to integrate relaxation into life/Practicums mid-month)
10:30a.m. Prāṇāyāma and/or Bandhas
(To optimize your internal system)
12p.m. Rest and Study Time
(Culture personal growth and study/relax and rejuvenate your whole system)
1:00p.m. Lunch and Interpersonal Communication
(Engage and grow in the community as you develop your abilities to honestly interact with others)
2:00p.m. Rest and Study time
3:30p.m. Tri-dosha balancing āsana series
7:00p.m. Shower, Dinner, Social Development
(Participate freely in developing skills to interact honestly in the group dynamic setting)
8:00-10:00p.m. Lecture, Satsang, Goddess worship/Puja, Sanskrit chanting/study
10:30p.m. Personal hygiene and sleep
**All Wednesdays are free days.
For a solid month, I had such a balanced and peaceful time doing Tantra Yoga. I really enjoyed the chanting classes we had at night, where everyone got together and sang out of our comfort zones like we were in a tribe. Puja goddess worship was a very beautiful ceremony I was always excited to do. If you ever get the chance to experience such a ceremony, it is something to remember. I loved the 2x daily tantra yoga sessions, a chance to make my body the most limber its ever been with my stress-free month. Learning the Sanskrit language was very interesting as well, a language that has been around for so many years, and has such beauty when written in its alphabet. Ahimsa, the word below has been a tattoo I wanted to get since I went to India.
The food at the ashram was absolutely delicious, made daily by local talented Indian ladies. Breakfast was always delicious papaya, poorage and tea. Dinner was usually something like the meal below; green beans, tempura greens, daal, basmati rice, assorted vegetables, black beans, etc. Meal time was always my favorite, it was when everyone got together, hung out and talked about life 🙂
Shri Kali Ashram was a GREAT yoga ashram that I would definitely suggest to anyone wanting to do a course in India. It is based a 20 minute scooter ride away from Palolem but far enough away to be a nice quiet location where we could just hangout in serenity. The scooter rides to Chaudi/Palolem/Patnem/Etc were something I always looked forward to. Roaming the free open road all alone, dodging cows/chickens/wild dogs… India is just a magical place. A time I had a love/hate relationship with was when the wifi went flat at the ashram, it was an uneasy way of forcing myself to stop checking up on what everyone else is doing. I soon began to enjoy the serenity of not looking at a phone so much, even to this day I feel so good whenever I shut my phone off for a day.
If there’s anything funny I remember about my stay at Shri Kali Ashram, is the random coconut falling off the trees and landing on my steel cabin roof scaring me awake, to the wild dogs that would chase us down the street as we went for a jog, and I cant forget about the daily the roosters reminding us that its time to wake up. I can’t forget about yoga on the beach, and watching the sunset over the Indian ocean.
When I decided to go to India, I wanted something very different from the western world. That in fact is exactly what I got, a very different, yet magical and spiritual journey through a new country. India opened my eyes to have faith and trust in the process. Let life unfold as it will, some days will be bad days where we must learn a lesson or feel uncomfortable for the day. Some days we won’t be able to take the smile of our faces, but that is what life is, a roller coaster of experiences, lessons and memories. If an unfortunate event happens in your life, it is a lesson or mountain we had to overcome in order to learn something.