Volcano Vibes from Arenal

Volcano Vibes from Arenal

20130628_133147Only a few places on earth have made me speechless and humbled by its presence. Once I was walking towards Niagra Falls with my cousins and completely forgot what I was saying as soon as I saw it. Another time, I went to hike the Franz Joseph Ice Glacier in New Zealand and was struck by its enormous size and magnitude. And in Australia I snorkeled around the Great Barrier Reef and couldn’t comprehend the iridescent array and rainbow of sea life that exists amongst coral reef. I didn’t expect to be so taken back by Arenal volcano, yet it was completely captivating.

When we reached as far as the trail led us towards the volcano, we paused for sometime. Our whole group stood there, like we could stare at it all day. We were quiet and motionless together for a few minutes, like we couldn’t find any words to describe our experience. Arenal volcano is known as one of the most active volcanoes in the world. History has discovered that its eruptions have occurred on and off for the last 7,000 years, with a major eruption in 1968.

The surrounding hot springs around the base of the mountain make it a huge tourist attraction. There is a hotel nearby the hiking trails where people can spend the night and enjoy the hot spring pools built to offer its healing waters. Beyond the hot springs , the mountain itself is quite commanding in presence, as is Lake Arenal. It emits an energy comprised of powerful  magnetic elements that can induce a rather meditative atmosphere.  Unlike the average hiking trail, the journey to the closest sight seeing spot of the volcano is a steep uphill climb. We were given a selection of bamboo walking sticks to use which are tremendously helpful. They also made great tools for a little stick fighting. Jon was the only one who really bothered with tapping into ninja power and that was fun stick sparring with him while it lasted. Lol.

20130628_102756Although the group was far too captivated with Costa Rica to make time for yoga I was glad to have done my own morning practice a couple days before. I incorporated Hanumansana (the splits) not knowing why I was drawn to do that until the Arenal day of hiking. When we got to those giant steps upward from one rock to the next, my hamstrings were thanking the yoga masters.  Guru Bramah. Guru Vishnu. Guru Deva Mahesvara. Guru Sakshat Para Brahma. Tasmai Sri Guravey Namah. Also, in the middle of my ending meditation in yoga, there was some unidentified creature rustling the bushes above my head as I sat by the pool in the backyard. I later learned the little rascal was a squirrel monkey. He was quite entertaining and a great challenge to maintaining my concentration during meditation. I used this concentration when we heard some rustling and bizarre jungle sounds on the volcano exploration, not knowing if something was about to come at us.

It was a spooky experience being deep in the forest, off the beaten path, making up our own path as we trekked. We relied on each other’s keen sense of inner guidance. The men in our group seemed to have a natural ability to find and follow footprint trails so it was great to have them lead. (insert group picture).  At one point we hiked through a dried up river bed which with a very deep drop below ground level . I was imaging how toasted we would be if a sudden body of water came gushing down the path and I started feeling quite uncomfortable.  It was one of those times where wisdom says just let go of control and let things be as they are.  I compared that to the final relaxation at the end of yoga, Savasana; sometimes the hardest part of the practice and yet its possible. The guys guided us right back to where we started and it was such a blessed experience. Ben said it was the best hike he has ever been on in his life! That was inspiring.

20130628_105018I am grateful to the universe for providing us with a blessed tour and the extended yoga family that exists all over the world. Special thanks to Angelina who attended the tour with a companion all the way from San Diego. She was so organized, yogini like with all her foreign country predicaments and choosing to go with the flow. We shared beautiful conversations in our brief time one on one, hanging out at the beach and she brought a strong feminine touch of warmth to our group. Thanks to everyone who made it happen and joined us on this insightful trip. Costa Rica in a nutshell was a wild trip and it’s a privilege to return to the blessings of America. Next blog will be Heart Awakenings with Divine Mother Amma in Washington D.C.


Kam Singh, MA, RYT


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