<![CDATA[by Yeye, Namaste La Onda Natural As recently as fifteen years ago, yoga in Los Cabos felt like an exotic discipline. You could count the yoga teachers with the fingers on one hand, and students in one session were never more than five. Most thought yoga was a religious practice, few resorts gave space to it unless their guests booked a private yoga class, and to be seen upside down, on top of the head, in meditation, was seen as a superpower. [caption id="attachment_2866" align="alignright" width="313"] Photo courtesy of The Spa at Pedregal. Photo by: Romana Lilic[/caption] Originally yoga was learned directly from the great Yoga Sutras of Patanjali who, through his own exploration of the body-mind connection, discovered yoga to mean chitta vritti nirodha referring to stilling the mind in order to experience Ultimate Reality, the removal of the fluctuations of the mind, and the cessation of thinking. Asana, the physical practice, was barely mentioned in passing, and it was designed and customized to the human body by subsequent yogis in time, mostly as a way to keep the body healthy, flexible and strong, with the sole intent to help the body resist longer periods of stillness in meditation. Each posture was meant to sit the mind in stillness, for as long as comfortably as possible, so the yogi could focus attention on the breath and observe the sensations of the body while training the mind to see things as they are, and not as we want them to be, in awareness and equanimity, until oneness and enlightenment manifests in the mind of the practitioner. The core of the practice was to connect with G-d, the Ultimate Reality, described as pure and clear awareness and equanimity, an awakening from the illusion of the material world. A discovery of the creative force. An integration with Brahman, the cosmic center of the Universe. True Magic. Quantum Physics at its best. Los Cabos, as an international resort town dedicated to luxury and fun living, offers a natural environment that gives free will to all minds projections, addictions, pleasures and labyrinths, here is an adventure and a maze, you are indeed on vacation at Land’s End. Nothing exists beyond this piece of earth, but an ocean of possibilities. This is the desert. Baja is Mexican territory, one thousand miles of sand, cacti, starry skies, oceans, coral reefs, lagoons, snakes, scorpions, medicinal plants, tarantulas, deer, gold, silver, tons of salt, and humans in search of their freedom; ours is an art of living, a yoga style in itself. The peninsula of Baja California has no history beyond the Spanish Jesuits, Franciscans, and the Dominicans establishing 27 missions during their time colonizing the “New World”. It is said that by 1697, at the time of first contact with the Spanish, the Native Americans living in Baja California may have numbered as many as 60,000. None of them practiced yoga. At first glance, Los Cabos has no Indian ancestry, and Buddha seemed to have kept himself in view only as an intellectual concept, because by the turn of the XXI century, most Cabeños were skeptical of Yoga. They rather keep it at bay because, well, Gotama is not believed to be a catholic, but a Buddhist, and without yoga the mind seems to fear that which it does not know. By 2000, barely anyone in Los Cabos knew that there is more than one Buddha in the history of Buddhas, fewer knew that Buddha means “the enlightened one” or that the word is used on any person who accomplishes mastery of the mind, she who awakens to peace, he who masters truth and clarity, those who embrace the wisdom of awareness and equanimity, as a lifestyle. Even today, when we can recognize the yogi spirit completely alive and vibrant in Los Cabos community, while many studios are found throughout the several towns that form the Baja California sacred road, we are still not very able to fully understand yoga, to fully establish ourselves in the path by cultivating love and compassion, not many have mastered the observation of the breath and its direct connection with the mastery of the mind, and certainly perhaps none of us are fully developed in all paramis, the perfections that evolve when the true yogi has realized, by experience, the ultimate natural law, the law of change. [caption id="attachment_2865" align="alignleft" width="312"] Photo courtesy of Baja Soul Yoga. Photo by: Alexia Guzman[/caption] In the modern world of yoga in Los Cabos, competition and ego driven sports are a common ground and it is still a rare find to meet a yogi or yogini who is savvy in yoga’s foundation, and its meaning, no matter how often they do asana, and how complex their pose may look in their Facebook “I love yoga” picture. Did you know that before asana – the physical practice – one must practice Yamas and Niyamas – the moral discipline and observances of yoga? Are you aware that practicing the postures does not necessarily mean you are practicing yoga, and that asana is only meant to clean the body and quiet the mind, so it can focus on the real yoga? Did you know that yoga’s only purpose is to still the mind in meditation until wisdom gets established and enlightenment vibrates everything with love and compassion? That is of course if your intention when practicing yoga is really to establish yourself in the path of happiness, and to purify your mind until its only reflection is peace. Let’s just say that yoga in Los Cabos has flourished to be a wonderful Cabo activity for the traveler and the seeker, one you can find easily these days, like snorkeling and scuba diving. Because of our natural beauty, many retreats are organized in Baja by local and international yoga teachers, several local studios offer classes on a daily basis, most all resorts and boutique hotels offer yoga, and some have now designed spaces specifically for its practice, counting a few who exist only for that purpose. Los Cabos is now savvy in what you might call mindful living. It’s true that yoga in Los Cabos is a very transcendental evolutionary space of mind, within the local and international emotionally intelligent community. Families, youth, children, everyone is welcome; when it comes to yoga in Los Cabos there is an inspiring experience for all levels, and all ages. Ours is a celebration of natural beauty, art and music, a mantra dance, barefoot, our prayer for peace, a mirror to the Universe we live inside, a way to recognize each other’s divinity, a natural way to unite the community so we can heal the collective consciousness, and survive this desert as one, and learn to care for each other. As above, so below. You can find a variety of styles, trends, and excellent yogis and yoginis, who have chosen the path of the teacher, and teach yoga as a lifestyle. To tell the story of each one of them separately, would be to tell the story of every yoga teacher in time. A journey to the Self, through the Self, for the benefit of all. What we teach and how we teach it depends on experience, as that is what a teacher does. Ideally, we teach you what we have learned only by experience, to help make the world a peaceful and happy place of mind. You are on vacation, we know that, and we like it, because it keeps us thinking about all the possible ways to make you feel happy and at peace. So here we leave you with your first lesson: Peace does not require two people but only one, and it has to be you. May your yoga experience in Cabo bring you happiness.