NOT A Am­bas­sador of the Repub­lic of Costa Rica to In­dia, Mariela Cruz Al­varez prac­tis­ing Yoga.

Woman's Era - - Contents - Rashmi Bhar­gava

Pura Vida in Span­ish means “Pure Life” and this is the law of the land in Costa Rica and is an ex­pres­sion that is used in many forms from a greet­ing to a syn­onym for “ex­cel­lent”. Life is won­der­ful and en­joy it. “The world is go­ing through a lot of havoc in the Kali Yuga and as long as we re­main con­nected to whom we are and know where we are go­ing and why we will help bal­ance the chaos. Yoga is one of the many op­tions to do this. Yoga is not a re­li­gion but a sci­ence and art and it can ben­e­fit all hu­man­ity, says Am­bas­sador of the Repub­lic of Costa Rica, Mariela Cruz Al­varez.

Ex­cerpts from a in­ter­view:

Would you please tell us about your up­bring­ing and school­ing ?

I was born and raised in Costa Rica and my ini­tial up­bring­ing was done in this beau­ti­ful sur­round­ing. My par­ents are very ded­i­cated and car­ing peo­ple, so i re­ceived the best ed­u­ca­tion. I went to a pri­vate bilin­gual school and started to prac­tise pi­ano and bal­let at 5, thanks to my mother. Then i grad­u­ated in my Law de­gree and then had three masters de­gree in Law: one in Com­mer­cial Law, one in fam­ily law in Italy, and the last one in En­vi­ron­men­tal Law.

I got mar­ried at 21 and at 25 years I al­ready had my first two chil­dren: Her­nan and Adri­ana. Never an­tic­i­pated I would even­tu­ally be the happy mother of 7 amaz­ing hu­man be­ings: 6 boys and one girl. I prac­tised yoga a lit­tle bit on my own while preg­nant mainly be­cause there was no such a thing as a yoga stu­dio or pre­na­tal yoga in San José. Found Yoga at a gym, all shat­tered after a very dif­fi­cult mar­riage with four small chil­dren and a painful di­vorce.

At that cru­cial time yoga changed my life. All bless­ings come from this amaz­ing trans­for­ma­tional prac­tice.

What are the main rea­sons which turned you to­wards read­ing re­li­gious books and your main source of in­spi­ra­tion. Tell us about your jour­ney.

Since very small i used to have a nat­u­ral in­cli­na­tion to­wards spir­i­tu­al­ity that goes on un­til now. My favourite story books were Joan of Arch and Lour­des' Lit­tle Shep­herds. My mother started prac­tis­ing yoga when I was 8 years old. She used to take me to her class and while she prac­tised i played in the back­yard. There was a Rosi­cru­cian tem­ple in there and I would see white and bright fig­ures walk­ing around. Even­tu­ally, also started prac­tis­ing. Back then there were al­most no places where to learn yoga in Costa Rica.

I found the prac­tice of Ash­tanga in Costa Rica in 2002 through a teacher from Ohio. Both the strength and soft­ness in her prac­tice im­pressed me. I started teach­ing and then came to In­dia and fell in love with this coun­try. Ash­tanga gave me back the vi­tal­ity and en­ergy I had lost. My teach­ers taught me the art of calm­ing my mind through my body.

This prac­tice is a dance for me. Yoga is a tech­nol­ogy to cul­ti­vate the joy of liv­ing and an art to dis­cover the in­her­ent har­mony of our Self at all times.

What is your opin­ion about the peo­ple from In­dia who come to Costa Rica ?

Costa Rica has an In­dian pop­u­la­tion of 200 in 5 mil­lion peo­ple. But these 200 peo­ple have en­gaged a larger pop­u­la­tion of Costa Ri­cans to be look­ing at In­dia with high es­teem for cul­tural, tech­no­log­i­cal and eco­nomic rea­sons. Costa Rica is known as a jewel in Cen­tral Amer­ica re­gion for its nat­u­ral beauty, peace and eco­nom­i­cal sta­bil­ity which have also led to ex­pan­sion of seek­ers of

healthy life­style. The In­dian friends that I know are hard-work­ing peo­ple, ded­i­cated and lovers of my coun­try. I feel pos­i­tive more vis­i­tors from In­dia will ap­pre­ci­ate very much our hos­pi­tal­ity and great out­doors.

“The world is go­ing through a lot of havoc in the Kali Yuga and as long as we re­main con­nected to whom we are and know where we are go­ing and why we will help bal­ance the chaos."

Yes, all the answers are in­side of our souls. I feel happy be­cause I have trav­elled ex­ten­sively teach­ing my art in Amer­ica, Europe and Asia. Many of my stu­dents have been to our yoga school in Mysore, Kar­nataka, not only from Costa Rica but also from many other coun­tries in Latin Amer­ica.

I have been the Yoga Am­bas­sador for the past 15 years and I have had the great priv­i­lege to rep­re­sent a se­ri­ous lin­eage and Param­para from my teach­ers.

Any other is­sue you would like to speak about ?

In­dia and Costa Rica en­joy friendly and cor­dial re­la­tions. The Third Round of Po­lit­i­cal Con­sul­ta­tions will take place next Novem­ber 2017 in San José and we are look­ing for­ward to that. A lot of pos­si­bil­i­ties will open from this event.

As you said that in your per­sonal life you were hav­ing cri­sis ,so how you over­came those?

In my per­sonal life i´ve had many crises and I know I have come out stronger and wiser from each one of them. It is through deep cri­sis that we learn to love deeply. That we ap­pre­ci­ate from the bot­tom of our hearts, hu­man mix­ture of light and dark­ness. It is through the cri­sis that we find our con­nec­tion is the only place to turn to and un­der­stand this para­dox. When ev­ery­thing gets dark out­side we have the per­fect op­por­tu­nity to go within and in­te­grate.

This cri­sis is the best thing that could hap­pen to all the spir­i­tual searchers. Now, we need to get se­ri­ous and ask our­selves if our ac­tions are match­ing our be­liefs. Be­cause there is def­i­nitely an ex­ter­nal force that doesn´t want us to thrive, that wants to kill ev­ery drop of faith and love and it´s ready to strike.

I just had a ma­jor health cri­sis here in Delhi. It was very hard for me to be away from my fam­ily, in hos­pi­tal. But I also found the best med­i­cal care, the most lov­ing friends. Cri­sis brings a lot of havoc but also a lot of trans­for­ma­tion.

“Only through our aware­ness our chil­dren will sur­vive.” You said this so kindly ex­plain this .

I think of my grand­child. What kind of world is he go­ing to in­herit? What can I do to cre­ate space for his dreams? How can I be more loyal to mine, less at­tached to out­comes and just give it all de­spite the risk? Love is the only answer. We will never give up. I will never give up, that is my promise to my beau­ti­ful Azul.

Dark times re­quire fu­ri­ous, in­tense and ab­so­lute com­mit­ment. Those of us who are con­vinced there is no other way: we are ready to love more. All the way and never ever get tired. No mat­ter how hard, no mat­ter how many sac­ri­fices we will en­counter. Love re­quires un­lim­ited faith and hope is our only sal­va­tion right now.

What is your mes­sage to the peo­ple of In­dia and what is the fu­ture prospects of these two coun­tries In­dia and Costa Rica.

My mes­sage to the peo­ple of In­dia is very sim­ple: what­ever are your cir­cum­stances stick with your spir­i­tual val­ues as they will give you in­ner strength, no mat­ter what. You have a great ex­am­ple of sad­hana and com­mit­ment in your PM Mr Modi.

Our friend­ship as coun­tries could bring a lot of op­por­tu­ni­ties, blend­ing proac­tive diplo­macy, ad­dress is­sues like en­hanc­ing con­nec­tiv­ity and lever­age win-win op­por­tu­ni­ties, es­pe­cially in ar­eas like agri­cul­ture, nu­tri­tional pro­cess­ing, tex­tiles, trans­port and en­ergy, not to men­tion IT. But this is sec­ondary com­pared to all the hu­man growth we can do to­gether, shar­ing our com­mon val­ues for democracy, free­dom, re­spect to­wards all sen­tient be­ings. Beauty is when you can ap­pre­ci­ate your­self. When you love your­self, that's when you're most beau­ti­ful.

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