Paraiso Yoga is indeed a paradise, for practitioners of all levels and persuasions. The Argentine-born yoga teacher Narayani—a name given her by her own yoga teacher–has taught yoga for 12 years, and for 8 of those years she has called Sayulita home. Her studio is located on a breezy rooftop at the tranquil and inviting Paraiso Yoga on Calle Playa Azul, just west of Revolucion on the north side of town, across from the soccer and baseball field. Here, along with the palapa-sheltered open air yoga space, visitors, guests and students will find lovely gardens, a space for Thai massage, and rooms for physiotherapy and other forms of massage. For those who fall in love with the mellow, verdant ambience of the Paraiso “compound,” there are also a couple of rooms and bungalows for rent by the night or week, with a shared kitchen, for very reasonable rates.
Ironically, given that Narayani is one of the most experienced of the many yoga teachers in Sayulita, her classes are actually relaxed, “easy” in the sense that she is more focused on the big picture—yoga as a way of being, a lifestyle, rather than a specific means to a physical end. She teaches all kinds of yoga—hatha yoga, power yoga, and ashtanga yoga–but she is willing to mix beginning, intermediate, and advanced students, believing that there is always a way to make it work, and that students should always enjoy the class rather than struggle or be intimidated. “I’m focused more on the whole philosophy of yoga; you use your body as a tool, for yoga is really about the mind. The physical practice of yoga is only 1 of 8 steps in the whole process. I like people to take something from the class they can apply in daily life—being present, or being compassionate, for example. My classes are traditional, with less focus on the body. It’s not about looking good, but being well.” Being well applies to getting well also, for a fair number of surfers and other athletes frequently show up seeking therapeutic yoga or massage for assorted physical injuries, stresses, and strains.
Even her so-called power yoga classes, while more challenging, are not so much about pushing your body as about “connecting your body with your breath,” Narayani says. “The postures can be easy, but using your breath is where the challenge lies.”
Everything you need to know about scheduling, pricing, her talented array of guest teachers (a minimum of 8 years’ teaching experience is required), and the various massage therapists who work out of the Paraiso space can be found on Narayani’s website, paraisoyoga.com, or you can call 322-152-4296 for information.
Narayani ended our short interview/conversation by saying, “I love it when people walk home from here feeling better.”