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Yoga Arrives in Panama

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Written by Matt   
Wednesday, 24 June 2009 08:53
Yoga PanamaMy first yoga class in Panama was not unlike my first Chinese lesson in middle school in that they both consisted of an instructor speaking a language I didn't understand. "Now I need you to stand on the edge of your mat, cialis tuck your toes inside your foot and separate your hipbone," Rachel Divine said. "Come on, separate that hipbone. Make it really stretch." I tried for the life of me to separate my hipbone, but it was no use. The only yoga I have ever done was back in college in a class entitled East Asian Studies. The teacher was a middle-aged woman who wore a necklace of beads/feathers around her neck and greeted us upon entering the classroom with a small ceremonial bow. I liked the bow and became known as the only student to actually offer one in return. I liked the bow so much that I even began to use it outside of class as well. Had you been looking for me around campus, strangers would say, "oh, you mean the kid who bows all the time?"

There was one portion of our class dedicated to yoga and the session was held not in the classroom but in the auditorium where a yogi master stood upon the stage offering us a complete two-hour lesson. Amidst the many poses we learned, I remember later wondering only what the girl next to me ate for lunch. Her subtle gas, in the company of yogi master, had a way of coming off as ritualistic: like a series of miniature trumpets announcing the arrival of the Locust Pose. Beyond the gas, I also recall not being able to do any of the yoga movements without shaking intensely or falling over. The basic yoga moves, to me, were akin to the Monday crossword puzzle: comparatively speaking, they were the easiest of the bunch, but to first-timers, they evoke nothing but confusion.

It would be safe to say that my incompetence in yoga led me to avoid the sport for years, until I was convinced to try Yoga Divina, a new private yoga studio located in the El Cangrejo neighborhood of Panama City. If there was one positive thing I took from my college yoga class, it was that yoga instructors hate shoes, so in anticipation, I took my shoes off at the Yoga Divina Studio before even stepping inside.

The studio itself is on the top floor of a cool old apartment building: floors of bamboo and windows shaded by flowing tapestries. When she asked me what I wanted to work on today, I thought about naming a few of my favorite Native American TV personalities. I'd like to work on my Wandering Bear or How about we try Flying Titmouse? I remembered though how sensitive and offended my college teacher was when I asked if I could get a new heart chakra, seeing as though mine had been broken by this girl over the weekend. So, in playing it safe, I suggested we do a typical Panama yoga routine.

Rachel Divine is a yoga therapist certified to work with people who have cancer, heart disease, prenatal, dislocated shoulder, inflexibility, fibromyalgia, carpal tunnel...etc. She has experience in New York, California and Nosara, Costa Rica at the Nosara Yoga Institute. Her overflowing energy is what one might identify as Bumbling Bee and private classes run anywhere from $25 to $40. The majority of her clients are looking to address some specific sort of problem through Rachel's services (stress, back, shoulder, depression, migraines...etc). Yoga is one of those things that's starting to pop up around Panama with the influx of foreigners. I remember a few years back being asked for a recommended yoga studio and finding the closest one listed in the Online Yellow Pages to be in Nosara, Costa Rica.

While some of the techniques Rachel preached were coming back to me from yogi master, it was not at all like riding a bike. Our session exposed my severe inability to control my body and relax my muscles, two procedures that are far harder than they sound. There was some moaning. There was some cringing. But delightfully, in Rachel Divine's new yoga studio, there was no noxious gas.

I go back for my second class in a few days, wanting not to forget any of the techniques I felt so humbled in learning. Rachel's classes vary from beginner to expert, from recreational to therapeutic: the majority addressing a specific issue or problem. She also does kick ass massages as well as house calls for her regular maintenance clients. I thought about bowing to Rachel as I was leaving but decided it better to eliminate my history with college yoga and start here in Panama with a brand new slate.

Yoga Divina: Via Grecia/ 61 Oeste, El Carmen, Panama
ph: +507 655 44 744


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This is good
written by Sumfin Furryvrone , June 30, 2009
This is a really good thing. Now there can be lessons in bending over backwards to give service. Or stretching as far as you can to give the best service possible.
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Yoga Divina Rocks!
written by Christi Idavoy , July 02, 2009
The space is awesome and the classes leave you feeling great! I had a pinched sciatica and Rachel's approach got me back on my feet! Thank you Rachel!!
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Congratulations!
written by Charry Morris , July 26, 2011
Welcome Panama-to a wonderful world. Yoga has so many benefits-you'll love it.
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Last Updated on Friday, 26 June 2009 18:23
 
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