“apucxica-al” heart yoga & shooting from the hip

i arrived in tulum yesterday.

when i asked my driver, ulises, he taught me the mayan word for heart. he slowly pronounced the most beautiful sound i’ve heard in a long time: apucxica-al.

its like “ahpooxiekaa-ahl” with a little drag on the “a” where the dash is so that you say the sound “ah” twice in a row. (a disclaimer: a google search didn't turn this word up at all. the only reference i could find on the internet says the mayan word for heart is "ool" but ulises said his father is mayan, so i assume he'd know. maybe there is more than one word for heart...)

as we made our way from cancun to tulum, he asked me what kind of yoga i will be teaching on this retreat. i started to explain it is a combination of vinyasa and hatha, with some anusara principals i’ve started learning this year too, and he looked at me like i was speaking chinese.

“heart yoga.” i said. “i’ll be teaching heart yoga.”

he smiled and nodded, he understood. then he said, “next year, you should come back again and teach apucxica-al heart yoga retreat! yes, yes! this is what you will do. we are geniuses, aren’t we?” his energy was wonderful and refreshing, and his playful laughter set the tone for my week here.

walking on the beach later, i saw a beautiful girl tossing a ball with her dog in the waves, and felt my heart move. not wanting to disturb their play i started taking photographs from my hip. the resulting images would be unexpected. i kept shooting from the hip – my shadow, the waves, the moon with a pelican, and so on.

it all feels connected to the way i intend to to hold and guide this yoga and photography retreat. i do have a solid plan for the week, but i hope i can be brave enough to shoot from the hip too. to listen carefully to my heart, and to encourage those who come to do the same. to let go of expectations, hold space, allow creativity to bubble up and out, and create opportunities for play.

isn’t that the way life goes? if we’re brave enough to really listen, our hearts will tell us the truth, and show us the way. shooting from the hip, and practicing apucxica-al yoga. this is gonna be good.

babysitting sea turtle eggs

babysitting sea turtle eggs

home sweet home for the week!

home sweet home for the week!