Viewing entries in
vacation

SUMMER UPDATE: What I've been up to lately + how to listen to your body

Comment

SUMMER UPDATE: What I've been up to lately + how to listen to your body

Dear reader, thanks for circling back to my blog even after this mini break that I’ve taken. The reason for the little pause is very simple: I’ve needed time to recharge, reset and relax. I definitely still believe in the practice of commitment and consistency with blogging, but what’s even more important than that (or more valuable than SEO optimising), is to truly learn to wind down when you need to. And I feel like this is something many of us can relate to. People (we) need to stop glorifying being busy and make room for, well, nothingness. Can’t we just please start a new trend where doing nothing is the coolest thing on planet earth 😅!? No but, jokes aside I feel that especially as a yoga teacher and someone who teaches people to unwind and tune in with themselves, I also need to practice it, not just preach it. And that’s exactly what I am doing right now, sitting in my summer cabin overlooking the Baltic Sea and simply taking it super chill without any schedule nor plans. Thanks to taking this time for myself I’ve now finally felt inspired and energized again to start writing and I started to reflect over how much I’ve actually needed this, to just be still without the hustle and bustle of the city life.

Lately I’ve been spending a lot of time here at our summer cabin, which is just an hour outside of Helsinki. We are in the midst of remodelling a small cute summer cabin (the sauna house) and making it into a space for me and my boyfriend. It’s been a bigger project than we first anticipated but I won’t go too much into detail right now as I am dedicating a full blog post to it very soon (with before and after pics, so stay tuned!!). In addition to spending time here, I’ve also been to a friends summer cabin celebrating midsummer and then enjoyed a fun and wild weekend in Hankoo (the most southern city in Finland) with an amazing group of friends. I’ve also taught a few yoga classes, gone to an amusement park (Linnanmäki), but other than that it’s been down time and laying low. And lemme tell ya, it’s been very needed. I feel like I am still digesting my new life of living back in Finland and trying to rejuvenate from the heavy winter and the busyness of it all (my day job as an event planner can be pretty hectic). Luckily, I am planning to escape this winter for at least parts of it.

public.jpeg

So how do we make sure to stay energized, healthy and balanced without burning out or over exhausting ourselves? What it all comes down to is learning to listen to your body and knowing when to slow down. I wanted to share some practical tips I’ve found to be useful as I’ve learned that my body is often way smarter than my head let alone my silly ego. The thing with your body versus your mind is that the body is continuously giving you cues and subtle messages on what is good for you and what isn’t, the problem is just that we a) ignore them or b) don’t see these messages in the first place. The mind loves to come up with excuses, distractions and falsities. Listening to your body or yourself is applicable to not just your health, but any other area of your life as well. If you just learn to tune into your intuition and gut feeling more than staying in your head, you’ll start noticing how things unfold in a very different way.

But what if you don’t know how to listen or you don’t know what actually works for your body, then a phrase like “listen to your body” can feel like nagging or plain useless. The truth is we are all different. Not only through our unique lives, patterns, relationships, circumstances, jobs, living situations, rhythms, eating & sleeping habits, we also differ in what our idea of health is. So where does one start? I made a few key notes that I feel that can be helpful on this journey towards becoming more self aware.

  1. Every day make sure to have a quiet moment just for yourself where you ask yourself these three questions: What am I feeling, physically? What am I feeling, emotionally? What am I thinking? Pay attention to what comes up. Just like with any new skill, this will be a process and some days you’ll get answers right away when at times you’ll think about your neighbours dead cat. Lol.

  2. Journal first thing in the morning for 30 days straight. Commit to this practice and write two pages each morning before anything else. You’ll be astonished at how much will come up.

  3. If you feel like you need to learn to listen to your body more think about the why’s. Why do you want to listen to your body. What is it, that is not working for you? Do you perhaps already have some physical symptoms such as tiredness, headaches, bloating, insomnia, lack of energy, a disoriented body image, relationship issues, lack of drive or direction. Or anything else that does not sit right with you. Think about your goals. What are you hoping to achieve? Is there a specific goal you want to reach, such as a more balanced relationship with food or better stress-reduction habits? Why is this important to you? Any goal is most successful when grounded in purpose.

  4. Meditation, yoga or any other practice, exercise or hobby that helps you connect with yourself.

  5. SLOW DOWN. Your health is your greatest wealth and priority. If you don’t know where to start or everything else sounds like gibberish, this one is pretty simply. Just clear your calendar, baby steps.

Towards a healthier, happier mind body connection y’all.

Happy trails and summer smiles!

Con amor,

Evita

PS. I will be posting more often from now on now that I am feeling energized again, pinky swear!

Comment

Where to stay in Sayulita

2 Comments

Where to stay in Sayulita

Greetings all,

my apologies for the silence, I escaped Semana Santa and did an amazing trip to Mexico City and ever since I returned I've been pretty slammed with yoga privates & other work.

I've been wanting to write this blog post already for a long while, since this is THE QUESTION I get the most. And as most of you already know, Sayulita is growing very very fast and there are also lots of amazing places to be found on Airbnb or Vrbo. This list is just a selection of my fave places I've hand picked for you to explore as your options for your next trip to Sayulandia. 

In no particular order:

Hotelito Los Sueños

Hotelito Los Sueños (the little hotel of dreams) is located on the north end of town in a more quiet neighborhood. It has recently been remodeled with the addition of a second gorgeous HUGE yoga studio (can fit more than 40 people), a second swimming pool and x number of new rooms. The hotel almost feels like a beautiful garden as they've the walls are beautifully covered with wall climbing vines. They also have a smoothie bar and surfboards and bikes for their guests to use. All rooms have AC. Room rates vary from their Premium room (91 USD/night) to their Villa (178 USD/night). 

AC ✓ Swimming pool ✓ Yoga Studio ✓ @hotelito_los_suenos

Casa Love

Located next to the surf break, Casa Love this gypset styled boutique hotel is your go to if wanting to stay both close to the beach and town centre. The hotel is upstairs from the famous Pachamama Gallery and has a super cute roof deck to check out the surf. This spot has gotten loads of coverage on social media and rightfully so. There are six rooms to choose from, all uniquely decorated with big mandalas and hearts. There's a big living space with a kitchen and colorful hammocks to lounge in. Room rates vary from 90 USD per night to 190 USD per night. 

@casalovesayulita

Petit Hotel Hafa

Petit Hotel Hafa is a  bohemian Moroccan styled boutique hotel located in town centre just above the famous "Wine Bar" (Le Zoave) and about two blocks from the beach. This family owned hotel has a beautiful roof deck overlooking the town colorfully decorated with vibrant pillows and cactus plants. With 6 different rooms to choose from ranging from 50 USD per night to 85 USD per night, this is the spot if you want to stay in the heart of Sayulita.

AC ✓ @hotelhafasayulita

Amor Boutique Hotel

Amor Boutique Hotel is a luxury hotel located on the south end of the main beach in Sayulita, yet perfectly secluded from the towns hustle and bustle. They offer complimentary daily yoga classes, free use of surf boards and SUP's as well as push bikes. Service on point, great location and stunning oceanfront views with 21 unique villas to choose from. All the villas were built honoring nature leaving big trees growing into some of them (Villa La Paz and Arboles). Room rates starting at 195 USD, if money is not an issue Villa Arboles (850 USD/night) and Villa Romance (850 USD/night) are to die for. Room rates starting at 195 USD/night. All rooms have AC. Definitely the most romantic pick.

AC ✓ Swimming pool ✓ Yoga studio ✓ @amorboutiquehotel

Aurinko Bungalows

Aurinko Bungalows is located in the heart of Sayulita, just next to the town plaza. This charming boutique hotel is colorfully decorated with art from local artist and is a family owned business. Last year a wooden yoga studio along with a salt water swimming pool was added to their facilities. This hotel is your green choice as all the water runs through a filter so even the shower water is drinkable! They recently put in a solar panel for them to earn another feather in their cap. Nearly all rooms have AC. Room rates from 90 USD (one bedroom) to 150 USD (two bedroom units). This would be the greenest choice.

AC ✓ Swimming pool ✓ Yoga studio ✓

Casa Ilusion

Situated on the north end of town, Casa Ilusion is a premier beachfront house with four bedrooms. The house features its own private beach with high palm trees situated atop a high seawall giving you privacy from the public beach, however if you were to want to  frolick by the waters edge, you can easily walk down to the public beach. Another option would be to nap in on of the big hammocks in between the high palm trees. The house went through a huge remodeling just a few years ago, so the house has a very modern feel to it with its new kitchen and bathrooms. High season rental price 1,357 USD/night and Holiday season (Christmas) 2500 USD/night. Not for the budget traveler ;) but a vacay here will definitely we one to remember.

 AC ✓ Swimming pool ✓  @casailusionsayulita

Villa Pelicanos

Villa Pelicanos is a luxury oceanview property located just next to Los Muertos Beach. The main house of the property is located on the top of the hill providing a breathtaking scenery overlooking Sayulita and the ocean. There is a huge infinity pool along with a beautifully decorated palapa livingroom. This property is best enjoyed with a large group of friends or family that want to spend quality time together but also some privacy in their own casitas. The house can guest up to 14 people with its 7 bedrooms. There are four separate casitas on the property and each one has its own bathroom. There's also a separate casita for the kitchen and dining area. High season price at 1,900 USD per night. 

AC ✓ Swimming pool ✓ @villapelicanossayulita

Casa Santander

Casa Santander is a beautiful property in downtown Sayulita, just one block away from the beach and town centre. With four different units to choose from, this choice is perfect for the surfer as it's so close to the main surf spot in Sayulita. The property also has a swimming pool overlooking the beach and town. The four units can also be rented in its entirety which makes it a good pick for friends looking to stay together, yet having their own privacy. All rooms have their own kitchens and AC installed. Rates vary from 65 USD a night to 250 USD night depending on size & location.

AC ✓ Swimming pool ✓ 

Enjoy!

Saludos desde el paraiso,

Eva

2 Comments

Beach yoga sesh with Vuokko Salo Photography

Comment

Beach yoga sesh with Vuokko Salo Photography

I wanted to share these stunning images Vuokko Salo captured during her stay here in Sayulita. Vuokko Salo is not just an amazing, talented photographer who's got an extremely good eye, but she is also a beautiful mama of two adorable kids, a loving wife and has a heart big as a whale. I am lucky to call her a friend and to work with her! Without further ado, enjoy these gorgeous shots we recently took. Make sure to give her a follow on IG @vuokkosalo

PS. The beautiful mat is by Yoga Design lab and pants by Solo Sol

Comment

Yoga privates in Sayulita | Blog post by SayulitaLife

Comment

Yoga privates in Sayulita | Blog post by SayulitaLife

[This is a guest post by Stacey Elkins for SayulitaLife]

A Relaxing Treat in Sayulita: A Private Yoga Class with Eva Estlander Yoga

Photos: Camilla Fuchs Photography

Savasana love.

Savasana love.

It was early Thursday evening and it had been another busy day, leaving me feeling exhausted and drained. As I took my place on the yoga mat at Don Pedro’s Brisa Mar Palapain Sayulita, I could feel the day’s stress already start to melt away. A gentle, cool breeze, the scent of incense, and the sound of waves hitting the shore further enhanced my relaxation as I prepared for my first private yin yoga class with Eva Estlander Yoga, in which she is in high demand.

Eva explained that yin yoga is about relaxing the body, not activating the muscles. It’s about working with the body’s connective tissue, which is a thick, white layer of tissue that holds the parts of the body together. It’s about finding your edge, how deep you can go in a pose (most focusing on the hips, glutes, and inner thighs), without feeling any pain or tingling. It’s about using your breath to move deeper into each pose, which is held between two and eight minutes. Relaxation in yin yoga is the ultimate goal, offering a nice balance from the active lifestyle in which most of live.

For the first pose, Eva had me lie on my back, a yoga bolster placed under my knees, my arms spread out on each side. Her soft, gentle voice acted as a meditative guide as she had me visualize a bright orange wheel of light filling my body and spinning as I inhaled, tension leaving my body as I exhaled. She explained that the body has seven main chakras (energy centers), and that two of them are the main focus in yin yoga: The root chakra at the base of the spine (represents feeling supported and grounded) and the sacral chakra just beneath the naval (represents creativity and sexuality).

Throughout my private class with Eva Estlander Yoga, I felt extremely relaxed as Eva guided me through the poses, which included pigeon, cow, half moon, and more. Eva was very attentive, offering gentle adjustments as needed, which further enhanced the experience. For the straddle pose, she encouraged me do three levels of stretching, which was made possible by utilizing a yoga bolster, yoga block, and a blanket. Each pose offered a nice stretch as I found stillness and enjoyed the solitude of the practice.

During the final pose, savasana, Eva incorporated two natural oils, which are made for the elements of the chakras in which we focused during the class. The scent of orange, as well as a nutmeg mix filled the air, as the sound of a singing bowl and hand drums created beautiful, inviting tones. Eva gently pushed on my shoulders and arms and massaged my temples and between my eyes as I lay on the mat completely relaxed and feeling rejuvenated. The sun had set, the night was silent, and I couldn’t have felt better.

Comment

Girls just wanna have fun (and be pampered)

Comment

Girls just wanna have fun (and be pampered)

Last Sunday was a really relaxing day. I had been busy with work and other commitments lately, so I really felt like I needed some well deserved down time with my gal pals and maybe a couple glasses of Cabernet. I spoke about my need to relax with Carmen (a local chef in town) and she said she could come to my house and prepare a healthy delicious dinner for a group of friends. We started playing around with the idea a little more and sure enough it turned into something way cooler: a pampering day.

Home made cacao facials.

Home made cacao facials.

I reached out to a couple friends to see if they felt the same need to just relax and have a good time and get facials, manicures and pedicures while sipping wine and eating and sure enough you guessed it, they absolutely hated the idea (just kidding).

Shelby feeling like a princess.

Shelby feeling like a princess.

Carmen ended up making us amazing organic cacao facials and a beautiful healthy dinner consisting of spring rolls, a pomegranate goats cheese salad and a dessert of passion fruit heaven (not really sure what it consisted of, but sure was yummy)!

Everything was amazing, however, the facials did steal the show. So why would you want to smear cacao on your face, one might ask. The things is, cacao is super rich in antioxidants (flavenoids), which are great for smoothing your skin and giving you a rosy glow. Cacao is also anti-inflammatory and its antioxidants improve and aid in collagen production and it also helps in restoring skin cells. Did I mention it smells divine? That alone, is a reason in itself. If you want to know more, check out this. Carmen was very attentive and made sure no one kept their facials on for too long, which was a very important part of the whole procedure.

I also ended up asking another girl from town to come give us manicures and pedicures, which was another huge hit. This turned into my casita having these different stations for different pampering experiences: kitchen for facials, back patio for card reading (yes, card reading!) and pedicures and living room for manicures. If you're in town and in the need of manis/pedis in the privacy of your own home or villa, make sure to reach out to Manicure Sayulita.

If you feel inspired to try this facial yourself,  it's super easy and this is all you need: 

  • Rose water (to clean and wash your face before treatment)
  • 1 Avocado (ripe)
  • Mint and sage (salvia sylvestre)
  • 1 tbsp organic raw cacao powder
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil (optional)

How? Very simple, just mix everything together and voilà!

So what's the lesson in all of this? Pamper yourself more. And in groups, it's way more fun ;)

Fresh faced girls after the facials.

Fresh faced girls after the facials.

Until the next pampering moment,

X

Eva

Comment

Sayulita Shopping

Comment

Sayulita Shopping

Gifts, souvenirs or home décor, Sayulita has numerous vibrant and stylish boutiques displaying hand-made Mexican crafts and bohemian garments. Make sure to walk down Calle Delfin to find the colorful pompoms, which so often symbolize this lively little beach town. I've listed my top picks here for you to enjoy, if you feel like I forgot an amazing gem: please comment below!

Pachamama

The beautiful and bohemian Mignot family

The beautiful and bohemian Mignot family

This world-renowned gallery, started by the famous Mignot sisters, is a destination in itself. From gorgeous dream catchers to designer dresses and Tahitian pearls, entering this store is must while in town.

Address: Calle Delfin 9

Gypsy Galeria

A bazaar-style shop filled with Mexican and Guatemalan fabrics and trinkets, this is the perfect place to find your souvenirs.

Address: Calle Marlin 13

Revolucion del Sueno

Colorful, stylish and vibrant would be the three words to describe this French Mexican shop. With posters and t-shirts of Mexican icons, this is another great option for gifts.

Address: Calle Manuel Navarrate 50

Manyana, one of the coolest shops in town

Manyana, one of the coolest shops in town

Manyana

High quality t-shirts and clothing for the modern man in bohemian garb. This boutique has an interesting mix of international and national brands and beautiful textiles from young Mexican designers.

Address: Calle Marlin 18

Vibrant and colorful, Artefakto is a must see in town.

Vibrant and colorful, Artefakto is a must see in town.

Artefakto

When you step into this store, you’re immediately transported to a world of bright, bold colors and beautiful, handcrafted arts, crafts, antiques and home décor items. Most of the collection is sourced from indigenous people in from culturally-rich regions within Mexico.

Address: Calle Delfin 15

Debbie de La Cueva

Feminine, delicate and stunning. The namesake designer hand-crafts each piece with antique beads, precious and semi-precious gemstones. This beautiful store feels very zen and it might be challenging to enter without buying something.

Address: Calle Delfin 8

Santos yarn painting

Santos yarn painting

Evoke the Spirit

Yarn-painted skulls made by the local Huichols, hand-woven wool rugs with natural fibers and dyes, and beaded jewelry. What differentiates this shop from the others is the soft earthy tones. This boutique also offers workshops on how to make macramé hangings. Where else can you get that?

Address: Calle Jose Mariscal 12

Ula

In the heart of Sayulita, this shop is petite yet filled with great finds. From cover-ups to locally-made bikinis and art, this unique shop should definitely be on your shopping trail when hitting town.

Address: Calle Marlin

Love Zafiro Jewelry

Love Zafiro Jewelry

Zafiro Jewelry

Elegant and edgy. Zafiros’ beautiful rings, earrings and necklaces are uniquely made with materials and gemstones from all over the world.

Address: Avenida Revolucion 45

Sininen Surf Shop

This cool little surf shop carries lots of international brands such as Billabong, Roxy, O’Neill and The Seea. If you’re looking to buy a bikini or a pair of flip-flops, this is your go-to.

Address: Calle Delfin 4

Buddha Gallery

Offers an interesting mix of national fabrics, tie-dye and Indonesian garments. You’ll also find home décor here as well as jewelry and accessories.

Address: Calle Marlin 10

Happy shopping ;)!!!

xx,

Eva

 

 

Comment

Friends with businesses: Calaverita De Mita

Comment

Friends with businesses: Calaverita De Mita

Emilia showing off her pom poms.

Emilia showing off her pom poms.

So, you'd think being a Finnish girl in Sayulita is pretty rare... wellp, there's actually three of us! Meet Emilia Kaufmann, my friend and amazing business owner of a beautiful boutique in Punta De Mita. Punta de Mita is another cute little beach town just a short 20 min ride away from Sayulita with an amazing long right hand break called "the Mexican Malibu".

Emilia moved to Mexico about 7 years ago after doing an exchange program in Queretaro. She visited Sayulita and immediately fell in love (how can you not?). Today Emilia owns a colorful home decor/gift shop and spends her time in between Punta de Mita and Sayulita. Her shop, that is called Calaverita de Mita (the little skull of Mita) is located on the main strip in Punta de Mita.

Emilia focuses on Mexican design and sources many of her products throughout the country, she also creates and designs her own clothing, jewelry and clutches and has lately been into tie dye. In Emilia's free time you will find her catching waves, relaxing and enjoying paradise, or as we call it, home.

If you're around the Punta de Mita, Sayulita or the surrounding area, visiting Calaverita de Mita should definitely be on your to do list.

These beautiful clutches are hand died by Emilia and the interior material is plastic, which is super handy for shoving your wet bikinis!

These beautiful clutches are hand died by Emilia and the interior material is plastic, which is super handy for shoving your wet bikinis!

Comment