Scorpions in London

Well, not exactly, but I’ll use it as a useful segue as I managed Scorpion pose without the wall today, which made me very happy!  Now to be able to stay up longer than 5 seconds; hopefully that will come.  A lot of trials and tribulations, and I am some way along my path to actor/yoga teacher working hand in hand.  The happiness I found in Costa Rica I have managed to retain, despite not still being in the glorious country, and I am now putting all my energies into finding yoga jobs.  Procrastination has been replaced with reality, bills and life, but  it does feel like things are slowly moving in the right direction.  I am learning patience, am moving away from wanting things to happen NOW!

It’s funny how as soon as your attention moves slightly in another direction, some sort of trigger happens and the old project wants attention again.  After a severe drought in auditions over the last 1 (or 5) years, I am actually getting some.  Well, not managing to secure jobs, but at least the chances are popping up.  I don’t feel I am doing anything different, but a more positive outlook on the whole business may be helping.  I’m even filming a short comedy film at the moment: baby steps towards my goals…at least now I realise I have time to get there, and not punishing myself for not achieving things sooner….

I wanted to be deep, and bring the Scorpion theme back in, but, despite it being my star sign, after googling them, I don’t I really want to connote them with my life.  I have however discovered there is a Scorpion species called “The Deathstalker.”  This leaves me tickled, yet slightly alarmed…a lot like life I suppose.

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Getting online

Procrastination over and Tax Return done.  Feeling suitably pleased with myself, and now tackling the website….I have no techno fear, but it turns out, I don’t have any techno skills either.  Nearly 2 days spent with my long suffering best friend (who happens to helpfully be an artist) and the business cards are done, domain name bought (www.totoyoga.co.uk, watch this space!!), and now to the site!  Suddenly a whole host of questions dawn on me; how do I want to come across, who am I aiming this at, how do I write a sentence???   Somehow I’ve become incompetent, but I’ve never had to market myself in this way before and it’s interesting.  With acting you are selling yourself, and with this, you are still selling yourself, but there must be some sort of target audience.   Rationally, things are probably far more on my side with the yoga as I’m aiming the classes and website at like-minded people who enjoy keeping fit.  Saying that, I always think I’m promoting myself in acting to like-minded people who want me to get a job, but my successes in acting are, as yet, untouched.  I like the feeling that there are successes waiting for me to reach them…..I’ll bear it in mind, and forge on ahead with the yoga!

Back in the habit

Despite spending 6 weeks in deep Costa Rican jungle, being back it seems I’ve seamlessly dropped myself back into the procrastination jungle that has littered my life for a while now.  My values have changed;  every day I make an unparalleled effort to be happy and positive, but it seems this allows me to put aside other slightly more pressing worries….I’ve temporarily had to stop answering my father’s emails with questions about whether I’ve done my tax return and how the “job hunt” is going, as I have no intention in lying, and it’s not going well.  Life seems to be far too exciting and I have far too many actor/pregnant/alreadyhavechildren/strangejobhours friends that I can call upon at a moments notice for easy distraction, and then another day has gone by and I’m no closer to getting that elusive acting job or the yoga job to end all yoga jobs (I haven’t even done my website yet…).  And it’s not that I’m not dedicated.  Far from it, my dedication is endless as I spend hours in the gym, doing yoga, watching films and going to plays and finding out who is casting what and think how, this one time, they might go for a complete unknown to be in a West End play, and that might just be me.  My dream world will soon come crashing down when I reach the end of my overdraft, which has possibly already happened as I’m slightly too scared to look at my statement. This blog itself is a tactic.  “Tidying” an already spotless flat is a tactic (spotless only due to my other procrastinating days).  As pictured, pretending I’ve been rocketed to earth and dropped in a field like Superman is also a tactic.  And I’m almost not ashamed.  Almost.

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Pura Vida

And so another countdown begins, but this time the end is coming, and hopefully a new beginning.  Less than 24 hours till touchdown in UK, and pushing sadly on through the last night in this magical country.  Hard to top the last few days: visiting Poas Volcano this morning, climbing through cloud forest and then seeing the cloud slowly clear to reveal the Laguna Botos in an inactive crater below us,  which has filled herself up with a blue green water (possibly rain).  This one last erupted in 7500BC (pretty safe there then), but the main one, Poas,has erupted in the last century.  Despite our best efforts to arrive before the crowds and at the best time to see the sulpher lake in the Poas crater, unfortunately we remained clouded in, and it wasn’t looking like it was going to lift any time soon.  Mother also squawking around checking the time, making sure we didn’t spend longer than 15 minutes near the sulpher fumes.  Temptations to push her in.  Felt very restrained.

Continued on to La Paz waterfall and gardens, with “rescue” animals in the zoo.  This was fantastic as we could actually go in the enclosures with the Toucans, and the hummingbirds were roaming around free in their own little feeding area.  I tried to entice a toucan onto my arm but with no luck, and then when one took a dive at me so I quickly retracted my arm and ran out of the enclosure.  They are fascinating birds, not quite but nearly topped by the tiny tiny little hummingbirds, with their electric blues, greens and purples flashing around.  A long time spent trying to photograph them, with varying degrees of success (more degrees on my long zoom, less on Mummy’s tiny angry zoom).

Ziplining in Monteverde, on one of the highest and longest ziplines in the world, sailing high above the cloudforest, about 500ft from the ground has to be one of the highlights of this trip…..a huge buzz and almost numb to the fear as there is nothing you can do to help yourself…if you fall, you fall.  Just had to hope and pray your harness and everything worked!  All seemed very safe, and here I am living to tell the tale.

The drive from Monteverde back down to Alajuela was filled with vast, dramatic landscapes.  Pictured below, the angry looking clouds climbing over the mountains coming from the Caribbean coast, (very impressive, very angry), and again this lush, green vegetation that characterizes the country.

I can look back happily, and attempt not to cry, knowing that I have been incredibly lucky to do what I’ve done over the past few weeks, and to meet the people I have.  It is hard leaving somewhere when everything feels so perfect, and there’s no reason to leave, but it is the start of something new and exciting back home, and I need to take a leaf out of the Costa Rican’s book with their “Pura Vida”, in life, and in everything.  The pure life that they try and live here, makes for a content life, and one I aim to lead.

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I heart the cloudforest

Monteverde cloudforest has done what it says on the tin…provided us with cloud, and forest.  And an abundance of rain and thunderstorms in the afternoon and evening.  Costa Rica must be one of the few places in the world where it really doesn’t matter if it rains: it’s still magnificent, and you’re glad it’s raining in order to keep the country as lush as it is.  Arrived in Monteverde yesterday, after a “taxi-boat-taxi” transfer, which was an interesting way to come, though provided a lovely view back of Arenal with the volcano in all her glory.  Only slightly disappointed it didn’t erupt while we were there, or more to the point while we were leaving.  

So on to the cloud forest it was today!! Various directions and useless bits of information later, we discover there are no buses (despite suspiciously bus looking vehicles going past) and have to walk up to the cloud forest.  I am delighted, not realising it was only 5km away anyway, but Mummy is not so happy.  I steamed on ahead, and watched as a helpless mother crawled in half an hour later, and continued to complain about how awful it was going round the forest.  She’s distracted slightly by the sheer beauty of being in the cloudforest, and how much there is, despite the fact public are only allowed in 3% of the forest, if that.

Still coming down from my white water rafting trip on Wednesday, the next thing is being planned, and it’s zip lines a go go tomorrow! Very excited about this, though a tad nervous as they are some of the highest in the world.  And as Mummy has helpfully put it, “Well I don’t know if you’re insured, but I’m pretty sure if you fall off, you’re dead”.  Thanks for the blunt words of encouragement there.  Very excited, all the same.

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Changes

Last minute beach run at 5.30am on our final day, even after a night at “Chicos”, provided some glorious photos, and put off the tears for a couple more minutes…..it feels like I spent the last 3 days crying, but they are happy tears, of friendship and fun.  We just have to plan the next adventure together!  Exhaustion set in for pretty much all of us on the last day off, and we did very little but potter around and lie on the beach, until Chicos time in the evening.  We pretty much took over the place with some spirited dancing, and abused the huge wooden posts by using them for a weird form of pole dancing, though you couldn’t really call it that.

And suddenly it was over.  Tarynne, Nicole and I set off for the ferry, bawled most of the way, until we surprised ourselves by finding the people who had flown over from Montezuma at the airport.  This was confusing, and we ended up saying goodbye about 4 times altogether.  The mothership then appeared out into the Costa Rican heat for the first time, huffing and puffing away, almost immediately begging me to cut the elastic out of her shorts in order for her to breathe….and now all they do is fall down.

A couple of floats down the river later, with appearances from caiman crocodiles, iguanas, many monkeys, turtles and tonnes of birds, and mother is in disgrace for her unruly behaviour….she did very little towards paddling in the first boat, and then squawked about running up and down the second boat taking pictures and scaring off the nature around us.  I locked her out of the room just now, to get a little peace and quiet as she continues to get up at 5.30am, which did very little as she banged on all the doors and windows.  Heaven knows how we’ll get through another week…………though the view of the volcano from the room may ease the pain a little!

Happy holidays continuing!

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First Class

I taught my first class today!!  Panic stricken last night when I tried it on Jess and Cayleigh, and couldn’t seem to get a word out, but somehow today it came vaguely together and some of the words even slipped out in the right order.  Celebration ensued with Clemence’s hilarious class, (our favourite Frenchie) which I was demonstrating….the entire class was about the pelvic floor muscles, which meant demonstrating it was slightly confusing, and possibly amusing for any onlookers.

We’ve been doing 5-6 classes  a day for the past few days, and had been informed before that we would get a yoga hangover… I’m not aching yet, but I know it will come!  Due to extreme exhaustion, we haven’t been able to manage to do much else, even the chocolate runs have been reduced, though there was a celebratory trip to the gelato shop post classes today, and peanut butter and banana gelato was consumed abnormally fast.  Worked it off walking back up the hill.

We are all feeling a little fragile at the moment…the end is coming, and we  live thousands of miles apart (even most of the American contingency)  and plans of meeting up in London, New York ,Canada, LA, Florida are being made.

Bug Report: Lizard the size of a baby alligator was back looking up at the yoga deck, a racoon, (a rather unfriendly looking one) stared out Cayleigh and I as we were practising and then ran off into the bushes…. the agouti was back and there seem to be a lot of baby geckos!

Hair report: No comment.  Tied back the whole time.

Funniest moment:  Clemence, in the photo, launching herself into the pool multiple times, fully clothed.  Jenna pushing Rachel in (again fully clothed) saying “It’s ok, she was a lifeguard.”

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More Monkey Business

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The stakes are rising, the heat is on, classes are being created, and what happens?  A family of monkeys distracts us from a lecture.  I have to admit the distraction was led by me, but it was worth watching, as the baby monkey seemed to be learning how to swing through the trees, causing hilarious tail grabbing onto branches consequences. They continued disrupting us by howling as loud as they could through the tail (!) end of another class, particularly apt as we were about to learn monkey pose.  

As we’re nearing the final, it’s been teach, teach, teach.  First half a class now officially taught, and now prepping for the big full class.  Excited, though slightly nervous!  We had our Mid Term exam this week (after watching hundreds of American programs, it’s always been a goal of mine to sit a Mid Term, and now I have!) and next week we have the Final…..this will include the anatomy, which in turn will mean studying, as I still don’t know my leg bone from my arm bone.  (humerus something radius something??)

Final day off before we finish, and annoyingly one of the first days it rained during the day.  Still popped in to the village to see the Saturday Market, which consisted of a few stalls with everything laid out on the floor.  Considering the storm we endured last night, I’m hoping the thunder will subside, but at the moment there’s no sign of it and it rains through most nights!  As long as the days remain hot, I’m happy.

 

Days of dogs and thunder

3 days of anatomy and we were exhausted.  Distractions on and off the yoga deck included: a friendly crab, an iguana who popped up in downward dog and then skulked off, metallic beatles, and what I was convinced was a monkey in the tree and turned out to be 2 turkey vultures, who normally roam the skies above the jungle like pterodactyls, but had been chilling out for 1/2 an hour on a branch.  On deck it was all muscles, tendons and some other things I can’t remember.

Another well deserved day off meant sleeping in till 7.45; very welcome!  Started with a cooking class (the food here is monumentally good) with Johan the cook, where we learnt traditional Costa Rican recipes…Gallo Pinto, Anamaya secret sauce and then everything you could possible do with an avocado.  After lunch we headed off into town for beach time, but were distracted by hearing what turned out to be a hit and run with a puppy; someone drove over his paw and left him yelping.  Cayleigh led the rescue team and picked up “Sam” as we named him, and we set off round the town clutching him, to find out who his owners were.  We were directed back up the hill and delivered him safely home, still aghast at how no one else has tried to help and pretty much ignored him, bar a man and child who tried to drag him by the leg he’d just hurt.  Deed well done, so we headed off to the beach.

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Headed back up the hill after the beach, fit with plastic bags to burst as the heavens had opened earlier than normal and we were caught in a pretty torrential rainstorm/thunderstorm practically causing a mudslide…we clambered up in flip flops (which were removed half way up as it was impossible to keep them on) and had to be hosed down when appeared back at Anamaya, covered in mud.  Successful day.  

Mid term (test) tomorrow…..possibly should have studied instead of prancing around on the beach!

Silence and Science

Much of the last few days has been spent having silent breaks…….today we were spared it, but Wednesday and Thursday were “silent” in between classes, which has driven me mad as when I’m with people, I want to talk!  I have been a bad influence and tried to make people laugh when we were having silent meals.  I’m still not entirely sure what it’s meant to teach us, but it’s not working on me, and my meditation skills and concentration span has decreased from none to minus 1.

Anatomy was the order of the day, which was surprisingly interesting, though feels like learning a new language.  Shocked myself by remembering a couple of bone names from Biology at school…it seems I listened more than I thought.  Brains had turned to mush by the end of the day, and as we didn’t want to trek down to town and back up the hill for the chocolate run, we raided Clemence’s stash of cacoa powder and made our own in the kitchen; the cooks were very confused with 3 giggly girls descending on them.

Hair report:  Hottest day so far…cue mugginess, humidity and huge hair.

Bug/animal report: Huge Iguana poking around the yoga deck (I’m still convinced it was a baby alligator, but have been told it wasn’t), firefly in my bed, Charlie’s offspring back in the bathroom (baby cockroaches everywhere) and friendly gecko in our room.

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