Today I taught my very first yoga workshop at Flying Tree Yoga Studios in Medellin, Colombia. In the first week here, I had the opportunity to share information about a specific topic related to yoga with the other interns in a very informal workshop type setting. I opted to share my knowledge of Yoga Nidra. It was quite well received, and so I decided to offer the class to the public. I found that there were a few important things to keep in mind as I developed the workshop.
In recent years, the city has taken steps to develop its cycling infrastructure and promote cycling as a mode of transportation in order to curb air pollution and encourage healthy living among Paisas. These initiatives have had great success, and Medellin has become an excellent cycling destination.
There are now bicycle routes in many areas of the city, and plans are in place to expand biking them by 400 km in the next two decades. Medellin also hosted the World Bicycle Forum in 2015.
The ambitious Encicla program has also certainly contributed to the rising popularity of cycling: this bike share program has more than 35 stations in the city with over 600 bikes available for loan-for free. Anyone in the city , including tourists may sign up online to access this service and take a spin on one of the recognizable blue bicycles.
Bike clubs and serious athletes have proliferated, and the last Wednesday of each month has become a trendy event, offering the opportunity for bike lovers gather to ride in the Fiesta de la Bici.
Though at first glance the streets seem to be quite hectic, they are generally safe as motorists have become accustomed to keeping an eye out for cyclists on the road. On any given weekend, hundreds of cyclists take to the streets and the recreational paths to take a weekend ride. Yesterday, Earth Day, was also Dia sin Carro- Day without Cars here in Medellin. Only bikes, and public transportation vehicles were out on public streets.
Popular routes for serious cyclists, including the challenging Las Palmas and Alto de Minas routes, which take you out of the city into the countryside, all include lots of hills. Be prepared for some steep incline training. There are also mountain biking options in the hills outside the city, with numerous operators offering tours.
In my week here, I’ve seen more cyclists than any other city I’ve been to. The lovely weather year-round and the forward-thinking initiatives of the local government really encourage people to get out and cycle the city.
Yup. My latest wanderings have brought me to Medellin. The flight from Toronto was relatively painless, despite an unscheduled landing at the Bogota airport due to a ‘pothole in the runway.’ When we finally arrived, I was the air was cooler than I expected and the winding drive down from the high-altitude airport gave me my first glimpse of the city’s night lights in the valley.
I’m here for the next month to teach yoga at Flying Tree Yoga and take some workshops as a part of Yoga Internship Colombia‘s program. The studio/my home while I’m here is in the Laurales neighbourhood, an up-and-coming area with beautiful tree-lines streets and lots of shops, restaurants and cafes near the university.
My first day has already been productive and relaxing- I went to a writer’s workshop, watched my new roomies doing acro-yoga, ate some delicious mangos and explored Parque Llaras in one of the wealthier (and more touristy) areas called El Poblado.