yoga

Belize Q and A: And now, a few words with Moppit, the island wonderdog

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Three images of Moppit, all of them pretty weak. Two things at work here: 1. I’ve yet to take a good picture of Moppit. 2. She hardly cooperates. Moppit is the most camera-shy dog I have ever met. I will keep trying! Plus, she needs a little grooming, and that is scheduled for Thursday at Pampered Paws.

Quite a few people have asked me recently about Moppit.

For example, when a crazy-ass San Pedro taxi driver with a “Pretty chicks only” decal on the back window of his dust-encrusted van knocked me off my bike and I was laid flat out in the street, a number of friends rushed up to me.

“How’s Moppit been?” one asked.

“Is Moppit adjusting to you OK? If not, I’d be glad to have her,” said another.

“Any time you want to go somewhere, I’ll babysit Moppit for you,” offered a third.

And so it goes. Read the rest of this entry »

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Having a magical moment while doing yoga at the end of a pier

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The palapa at the end of the pier, where yoga happens, at Ak'Bol Yoga Retreat and Eco-Resort, in north Ambergris Caye, Belize.
The palapa at the end of the pier, where yoga happens, at Ak’Bol Yoga Retreat and Eco-Resort, in north Ambergris Caye, Belize.


Happy International Yoga Day.

During yoga on this past rainy Sunday morning, under the palapa at Ak ‘Bol, my gaze was drawn to an osprey cruising the shore, then diving into the water for breakfast. I was in downward dog, so the whole scene unfolded with my head upside down.

Later, as my head rested on the floor, I looked through the planking with one eye into my own private aquarium.  Sargent fish and needle fish were swimming in and out of my view in the crystal clear green water.

Honestly, yoga just doesn’t get any better than that. Read the rest of this entry »

This is Belize: Watching the newest ‘Star Wars’ beneath the stars — and beside the lagoon

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Lights, camera, roll 'em! The sun sets and "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" begins at the Truck Stop, San Pedro, Belize.
Lights, camera, roll ’em! The sun sets and “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” begins at the Truck Stop, San Pedro, Belize. That’s the fire pit in the foreground, used on Sundays to roast a pig or two and sometimes to toast marshmallows. The decking around it makes a great platform for viewing the Wednesday night movies.

There is something just so incalculably joyful about watching the Millennium Falcon speed through the universe in “Star Wars The Force Awakens” then tilting your head ever so slightly upward to count the real stars in the heavens.

Yes, the stars — and “Star Wars” — really were out last night on Ambergris Caye in Belize.

Outside, that is. Read the rest of this entry »

Dumb and dumber on Ambergris Caye

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This is just the scene we encountered this afternoon as we bicycled home from a morning filled with yoga and stand-up board paddling.  The lagoon is especially high right now, thanks to rain and high tides and is spreading across the only road heading north from the Sir Barry Bowen Bridge. On the other hand, more birds are attracted to this lovely spot and the resident crocodile has more room to move.
This is just the scene we encountered this afternoon as we bicycled home from a morning filled with yoga and stand-up board paddling. The lagoon is especially high right now, thanks to rain and high tides and is spreading across the only road heading north from the Sir Barry Bowen Bridge. On the other hand, more birds are attracted to this lovely spot and the resident crocodile has more room to move.

 

One month ago I wrote a blog post titled: “I swear, the heat makes me stupid.” So what is this, I ask myself, the sequel, “Rain also makes me stupid”?

Perhaps the feeling comes from Tuesday’s Trivia Night at Coco Loco’s where I insisted with grave authority to teammates Rose Alcantara and Adam and Jackie Feldman that the tiny little atoll that the U.S. bombed the crap out of during our “We freaking love the nuclear bomb” era was called Bimini.

It is called Bikini.

Or perhaps it is the discussions about childhood Catholic guilt that Jackie and I sometimes get into that unlocks this confessional need.

Maybe I am at the point  in life where doing dumb things is sometimes more entertaining and rewarding than being safe and, um, ordinary.

In the Four Noble Truths of Buddhism we accept that life is suffering. It is inevitable, as we walk through this life, that we will sometimes step into a pile of dukkha on the sidewalk of existence. Just the way it is. Avoiding dukkha becomes its own form of suffering.

Embrace the dukkha. Celebrate the sometimes dumb things we do because we are learning to love this life we have been given. That’s all I’m saying.

(And with that I add, thank you Rose for this morning’s Cafe Americano with a double shot …..)

So, now I need your help. Which of these two things is  dumber than the other:

Exhibit A:  On Friday night, Rose and I went to a fairly new south-of-town beach bar called Island Time. The DJ was pumping out a Motown/Big Chill kind of a soundtrack, the breeze was tropical-sweet and the rum and cokes were flowing.

Pretty soon I got it into my head that I knew how to dance.

With abandon. Read the rest of this entry »

I swear, the heat’s making me stupid

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Two men slowly  press north in a boat full of trimmings. Manual labor here can be hard, really hard. Then add the heat and dust and bugs. Serious admiration for Ambergris Caye's laborers.
Two men slowly press north in a boat full of trimmings. Manual labor here can be hard, really hard. Then add the heat and dust and bugs. Serious admiration for Ambergris Caye’s laborers.

I thought for sure that it would rain last night.

While cycling back from Annie’s with a bag of chips for dinner I felt like the mythical fish on a bicycle (“A woman needs a man like a fish ….”).

No feminism reflections here. It was just so muggy that it felt like the air itself would burst open like a balloon and unleash torrents upon this parched little island. Read the rest of this entry »

Zen Arcade is suddenly bursting with new activities, services

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Tara Darrell of Zen Arcade tries to keep up with all the developments on the chalkboard posted out front.
Tara Darrall of Zen Arcade tries to keep up with all the developments on the chalkboard posted out front.

Scooped by my own wife.  Can you imagine that?

Well, the word is out, Rose will be teaching a Pilates course at Zen Arcade starting Monday, June 2.

Those of you who know Rose from her own studio in California know this is a wonderful thing for her. She is a born teacher – full of knowledge, love and enthusiasm. She needs an outlet like this to express her true personality. Read the rest of this entry »

San Pedro surf’s up: March Blow becomes April’s huff and puff

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April winds and high surf beyond the reef are keeping the water level high around Ambergris Caye. There's even an occasional crashing wave on shore, like this one in the Boca del Rio neighborhood.
April winds and high surf beyond the reef are keeping the water level high around Ambergris Caye. There’s even an occasional crashing wave on shore, like this one in the Boca del Rio neighborhood.

 

Running along the shore of Ambergris Caye this morning required some dexterity. Waves weren’t only lapping upon the beach. In some spots they’d swallowed the beach and coast trail entirely.

After trying to run between waves, skip over the top of them and a little backtracking I gave up and took a sharp right to the road.

The weather locally is called the March Blow although it is now blowing into April. It is just a strong but steady wind from the northeast that passes through like a slow moving freight train, blowing all the bugs into Belize City and the dust and sand off the roofs. Read the rest of this entry »

Just a little off the top: Things you see, bicycling to yoga

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Manuel cleans and buffs the bust of John E. Greif II in front of the eponymously named airport in San Pedro Town, Belize. According to the plaque on the front Greif is the father of aviation and tourism in San Pedro.
Just a little off the ears: Manuel cleans and buffs the bust of John E. Greif II in front of the eponymous airport in San Pedro Town, Belize. According to the plaque on the front Greif is the father of aviation and tourism in San Pedro.
According to the plaque, Kentucky-born Greif was a WWII aviator and engineer. He died in San Pedro in November 2005.
Massage therapy: According to the plaque, Kentucky-born Greif was a WWII aviator and engineer. He died in San Pedro in November 2005.

 

This is Fred. Every day he sweeps the only bridge in San Pedro Town. I think he does a heck of a job and every day that I cycle over the bridge and he is there I make a point to say hello and thank you.
Clean sweep: This is Fred. Every day he sweeps the only bridge in San Pedro Town. I think he does a heck of a job and every day that I cycle over the bridge and he is there I make a point to say hello and thank you.

 

Where would Bowen & Bowen be without John Deere tractors to haul Belikin beer, Crystal water and juices and Coca Cola around San Pedro Town? Worse, where would we be without our water and beer? I suspect that the tractors are as much tradition as a very practical way to get round the town's narrower streets.
Squeeze play: Where would Bowen & Bowen be without John Deere tractors to haul Belikin beer, Crystal water and juices and Coca Cola around San Pedro Town? Worse, where would we be without our water and beer? I suspect that the tractors are as much tradition as a very practical way to get round the town’s narrower streets.

 

We have China to thank for our garbage pick-up in San Pedro Town! To the local culture, the U.S. has added mud wrestling, chicken drops and Jerry Jeff Walker. Let's call it even for now.
International goodwill: We have the Republic of China(Taiwan) to thank for our garbage pick-up in San Pedro Town! To the local culture, the U.S. has added mud wrestling, chicken drops and Jerry Jeff Walker. Let’s call it even for now. Taiwan also supplies almost all the bicycles ridden here so maybe they do have the edge.

A Belize day-in-the-life: Sapotes, yoga, good food and friends

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Mayem Sapotes share the bowl with a couple of limes, bananas, tomatoes .... just another shopping day, with lots of yoga.
Mamey Sapotes share the bowl with a couple of limes, bananas, ginger, tomatoes …. just another shopping day, with lots of yoga.

So much for that laid-back island vibe.

Rose took three yoga classes  yesterday –and a hyper-energy dance class at Zen Arcade.

So, what’s a guy to do if he wants to see his wife? I took two of the yoga classes, too.

And that, my friends, constitutes a busy day here on Ambergris Caye. Well, with a bunch of other stuff thrown in between the classes.  It kind of feels like this video, (which was posted by Rebecca of San Pedro Scoop)  — a jittery GoPro bicycle tour up and down the same streets we cycle, filmed by Nicolai Hebert. Read the rest of this entry »

Bliss in Belize: Rose sums up her feelings after six weeks

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Bliss in Belize: Sunday's sunset from the deck of our home on Ambergris Cay, Belize.
Bliss in Belize: Sunday’s sunset from the deck of our home on Ambergris Cay, Belize.

Please welcome our guest blogger today, Rose Alcantara!

This is a letter Rose wrote the other day to some of her friends back in the States.  I would love to see her write more often, and not just because she says nice things about me! And besides, it is about time for a fresh voice and perspective here.

If you agree that Rose should write more often, encourage her. If she does write, I promise to take more yoga classes (and maybe cook occasionally … although that may not be much of a bargaining chip).

And now, a word from Miss Rose: Read the rest of this entry »