Saturday, March 28, 2015

YOGA WITH JIM AT MEXIFIT IN SAYULITA: Wonderful Class, Beautiful Setting

Yoga Classes Overlooking Sayulita

Talented Instructor, Amazing Setting

MexiFit Yoga Studio Overlooks Sayulita
     In my search for "Healthy Living in Mexico", I have avoided yoga. Not once in the 20-plus years that I have been traveling in Mexico have I attended a yoga class...until last month. Why? I had a fear of doing yoga. It started with beginner's intimidation, the usual fear of learning a new healthy activity. I avoided yoga classes simply because I was afraid of looking like a fool, not knowing how to perform the poses while everyone else had mastered them. A couple of years ago, I finally got brave enough to attend a few yoga classes in my home town of Ashland, Oregon. Then I injured myself while doing a new position and it was several months before my body healed. I now know that, as a yoga newbie, I was probably pushing beyond my comfort level, holding a new pose for too long, and possibly performing it incorrectly. The result was that I had developed a fear of doing yoga.
MexiFit's Palapa Also Overlooks the Ocean
    Last month, I was invited by a fellow physical fitness enthusiast to attend Jim Gallas' Yoga class at MexiFit in Sayulita. When I admitted my fear of doing Yoga, she suggested that Jim's class might be just the one for me because he is very good at teaching proper positioning and helping people of all levels learn yoga in a healthy way, without physically stressing their body. I decided to give Jim's class at MexiFit in Sayulita a try and I'm glad that I did!
View of the Underside of the MexiFit Palapa While Lying on my Yoga Mat
     My first impression when I arrived at MexiFit was that the setting was amazing, overlooking the ocean, the beach, the mountains, and the village of Sayulita! The yoga studio is under a giant palapa set on top of a hill at the south end of Sayulita. The 360 degree view alone is worth a visit to a yoga class at MexiFit, with the blue Pacific ocean below on one side and the beach town and palm trees below on the other. As I settled onto my yoga mat to do some stretching before class, I gazed far above, appreciating the ingenious construction of the beautiful palapa roof. 
Jim Observes and Gently Assists in Proper Yoga Postures

     When Jim began leading the yoga class, I felt immediately comfortable with him. His manner was confident, yet humble, respectful of each student regardless of the level of expertise. His classes include people of all levels of yoga practice, from beginners to expert. I appreciated his teaching technique, first demonstrating a pose, then methodically walking us step-by-step through the body movements to achieve the pose. I'm sure it was obvious to him that I was a yoga newbie, not knowing the difference between "Downward Facing Dog" and "Child's Pose", trying to mimic his examples and peeking at the yoga expert next to me to see if I was doing it correctly. But he never made me feel inferior. Jim treated each student alike, giving words of approval for achieving the proper position and an occasional gentle suggestion for improving posture.
Jim Demonstrates the Use of a Block & Doubling the Mat for Comfort

     I felt encouraged by Jim's instructions in proper yoga technique. His classes left me feeling empowered to learn this "Healthy Living" activity, yoga, that I have avoided while living in Mexico. I especially appreciated his encouragement to use props such as blocks and blankets to improve stability and comfort in a pose. He often said "Comfort is King...or Queen" and he gave tips on adjusting a pose to fit the individual's body. He has helped me not only to overcome my fear of doing yoga, but instilled in me a love and respect for the yoga practice. 
     Jim Gallas has been teaching yoga for over 25 years. He teaches ongoing classes in Santa Cruz, California and Sayulita, Mexico. He will take the week of March 31 through April 2 off from teaching. His last two classes at MexiFit in Sayulita this season will be Tuesday, April 7 and Thursday, April 9. Jim will teach yoga and meditation classes at the Yoga Retreat at Harbin Hot Springs May 15 - 17, 2015. For more information, contact him at .

I invite you to "Look inside" my new eBook on at "Healthy Living and Traveling in Mexico" eBook 

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