Monday, October 30, 2017
Thursday, March 30, 2017
This week, I had the distinct pleasure of teaching yoga for Dream Trips’ Dream Body retreat at AmaTierra. It was a full house, with guests from Texas, Colorado and Alabama, Baltimore and Orlando, France, Japan, China and Curacao. Men and women, young to middle-aged, both tall and short, some super stick-skinny, others athletic-build strong, and a few deliciously curvaceous. Minds, bodies, hearts and spirits from a world of different backgrounds came together in the name of wellness to experience this special slice of jungle in the heart of Costa Rica. For many, it was a willing step outside their comfort zone to explore a primarily plant-based organic diet, brave the creepy crawly critters of the tropical forest, and get active outside the gym. And as serendipity would have it, for most, it was their first ever exposure to the practice of yoga.
Tara Ruttenberg, M.A., is a writer, surfer and graduate student of sustainable surf tourism. To read more of Tara's work, visit her web site at www.tarantulasurf.com and follow her on Instagram: @tarantulasurf.
Wednesday, August 17, 2016
Stuck with the muck of cities, the stress of modern life, the symptoms of systems we harden ourselves against so our souls might feel safe, somewhere deep inside bodies we've forgotten how to care for. I sit across from tired eyes over a healthy lunch on the balcony, wondering if you see the depths of the valley in the postcard-worthy vista before you, or if it's just all too much to bear when you're filled to the brim with everything you've come to leave behind. From my hiding spot in polite smiles and practiced nods, I see you.
I don't blame you for your heavy presence when you forget to chew before you swallow medicine in the form of food grown with care, just steps from your plate. I don't judge you when you'd rather escape to your smart phone than chat with your fellow guests, whose own stories might provoke an emphatic overwhelm beyond your emotional threshold for casual conversation. My sensitive skin finds the hardened presence of your 'before' hard to sit with; like a mirror of everything I also once chose to leave behind, I choose to keep my distance, sometimes for the length of your stay.
You might not see me, but for ten years, I've watched you transform. Like a spy on the wall, you can't hide from me the skins you've shed. You aren't the same when you leave here. Held in a space created for your healing, you feel safe enough to drop your defenses and let the good stuff in. You drink wine, you do yoga, you meditate, you hike, you waterfall, you get touched by intuitive massage therapists and healers, you detox, you cry, you watch a movie, you sunbathe poolside, you read a book in the hammock, you eat gourmet in the jungle among the birds and bugs. You stop complaining and start singing, sometimes. You drop the mask and get real.
And I watch you break free from the strangling confines of your cocoon, too tight now for wings. And your shoulders settle and your smile doesn't look like a chore. I watch you transform, and wonder if you see you, too.
It's not coincidence. It's not magic or rocket science, either. But it is something special. This place is the space where you come home to your true self. And that's no small thing.
I see you from my window.
This isn't shameless marketing for my family's business. This is homage to the beautiful humans who gave me life, whose passionate creations manifest in a healing space of transformation and evolution for the benefit of the thousands of happenstance souls who have blessed AmaTierra with their presence over the years. This is thank you to the place they've dreamed into reality, a sacred space that vibrates with an energy both theirs and all its own. This is congratulations on ten years and counting of their impossible dream come true. This is gratitude for the transformation they catalyze in the hearts of those who meet their presence on the special land, the beloved earth, they've chosen to call home, work, play and AmaTierra.
And still, gratitude seems too small a word.
Tara Ruttenberg, writer. www.tarantulasurf.com @tarantulasurf
Saturday, April 6, 2013
Speaking of helping, please remember that we assist the townspeople here through our AmaTierra Foundation . We helped 14 students attend school this year, outfitting them with uniform, shoes, backpack and notebook. Education is free and pretty good here in Costa Rica (this country has the most educated work force of all of Latin America) BUT some families cannot afford the uniforms, so they keep their children at home, which is tragic. With the school year beginning each year in February, we have spent our allotment and need to build up funds for next year. To donate to the Foundation, please call us (toll free from the U.S.) at 1-866-659-3805 or write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll call YOU if you're in a different country. It's a great way to make a very direct difference in the lives of children and the community at large. The kids thank you!
The spring season has been a good one for AmaTierra, and it is not over! We're recharging our batteries to welcome Shata Ben-Avari from Florida, with her group of 12 yogis arriving April 13th. Of course we still have room for the single traveler who just wants to escape the rat race for a time. Sunny mornings and cloudy afternoons with a short shower is what you can expect in April and May. Lower seasonal rates for nightly stays or wellness/yoga packages begin in May also. See the web site for more.
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Jill Ruttenberg, reg. herbalist AHG
Owner, Wellness Director at AmaTierra
Monday, September 26, 2011
Much of what we call healing can be accomplished by understanding a problem, using the right therapies, and changing our attitude, our thoughts, our habits and our lifestyles. But the emotional Self often dominates our whole energy field and healing this aspect can be the most difficult. How do we handle anger, grief, loneliness, anxiety, and fear? And how do these emotions really affect our health?
Here is one small exercise you can do to move the energy and the somatic memories that may be stuck in your belly.
Jill Ruttenberg is a registered AHG herbalist and the owner/wellness director at AmaTierra Retreat & Wellness Center in Turrubares, Costa Rica. To learn more about AmaTierra please visit www.amatierra.com
Sunday, September 4, 2011
Sunday, August 21, 2011
“I should be over this by now!” many say, especially regarding emotional pain. And if the problem is physical (although I also now believe there can be no actual separation between the mental/emotional/physical body) people will say “The doctors say the procedure was a success, that I should have this (limp, pain, whatever).
The truth, as I see it, is that healing happens as a spiral, ultimately an upward one, and sometimes with dips. Imagine a spiral beginning at the bottom where the problem first manifested, and as the body/mind begins to understand, respond and use its innate healing power, together with helpful influences such as herbs, supplements, therapy, bodywork to put itself right, we progress more and more toward the Center, toward wholeness and good health. However, being a spiral, we generally return to the place of the original hurt (a song may bring back the grief, steep stairs re-injure the knee), but as the body has gained more wisdom, the pain is less acute. We recognize the return to woundedness and say “Ah, yes, you are part of me, but I have progressed. I feel different, more whole, more healed.
Why is it important to notice that healing happens in a spiral? One, to let ourselves off the hook and stop pulling on the leash, wrenching ourselves into rightness when we are not yet ready (“I should be over this…”). And if we accept that in order for true healing to occur the body must remind itself of the original injury then I believe we can become more conscious of our humanity, and more accepting of where we might be in the present moment.
Is there anything we can do to speed up the healing process? Actually, I think there are many things we can do, and I will save that for the next blog….