April 06, 2014

Earth Mama’s Garden Café and Lifestyle: The Place to Relax Your Mind and Soothe your Soul

Follow the gravelly path to enlightenment all the way to the back of this garden café, and find a liberating place which offers numerous and stimulating alternatives for a healthy and environmentally conscious lifestyle. From organic and healthy food options in eco-friendly packaging, to yoga classes and other mind and body workshops, Earth Mama’s (EM) has it all to start to your day fresh, or decompress after a long day at the office / sea – same difference if you are a local dive instructor. 

The last time I set my bare feet on one of their yoga mats was well over a year ago, but I had been dying to write about this place ever since I first took one of their Hatha yoga classes around 2010; I just never got around to it until now, given how my wife and I were bitten by the travel bug during 2013, hitting three different weddings in some far out locations. I have to admit that although I would have wanted to discover new Honduran destinations to add to the blog, I cannot complain about our travels abroad, we actually had loads of fun and met some very interesting people in the process!

But I digress… It is important to mention for the purpose of this story how I initially got into this thing called yoga. It pretty much forced its way into my life, mostly as an alternative remedy to counteract a sudden spell of crippling back spasms which I believe were attributed to my decision to get married with my long time girlfriend. Wife jokes aside, yoga was instrumental in helping me get relief from this terrible back pain and slowly got me back to my feet, and I mean that literally, as I transitioned from the once complaining and depressed individual who lied in bed all day to a happy and pain free human being who leads an active and normal life.

follow the sign toENLIGHTMENT
And I owe all of that to yoga. I do have to confess that my yoga basics came to me in the most unconventional way, mostly in the shape of a computer screen – that’s right, YouTube turned into my very own and might I add, highly reliable personal yoga instructor. But, it wasn’t long though, before I graduated from YouTube and went on to more advanced sequences with the help of another technological innovation, a Smart TV channel belonging to yoga goddess Tara Stiles.

Ok, clearly I was no B.K.S Iyengar, but naturally after being formally introduced to such an ancient discipline by such new technology, I became overly eager to learn more about this life changing lifestyle. I really became curious as to what a REAL yoga class would look like, so when we found ourselves in West End, Roatan with a large group of friends who were visiting us from abroad, I convinced everyone to parade into Earth Mama and sign up for a yoga class the following day.

Before I delve deeper into the Asanas (otherwise known as postures), that have strange animal word combinations commonly used in the yogi vernacular, like Camel Pose, Downward Dog, and  the Cat-Cow Stretch, just to name a few, I have to talk about the other elements found in this locale which are also worth meditating about.

indulge with some bananaNUTELLAcrepes, hmmm
The Earth Mama’s Garden Café is notorious for having a scrumptious breakfast menu served in attractive presentations. One of their best tasting items, the Banana Nutella Crepes drizzled with light coconut cream cheese, are a big hit and definitely my favorite. I don’t even look at the menu anymore – you just cannot go wrong with Nutella as the main ingredient in any recipe. I also remember that the Island Eggs Benedict were quite the buzz among my friends too. I cannot vouch for the lunch menu though, as we were always at the beach around that time, but I am sure it won’t disappoint. It is also good to know that just about everything on their menu goes for under USD $9.00 plus tax.

how bout aREPLENISHINGdrink after yoga class!
In addition to these greatly satisfying meals they also provide a nice selection of frozen fruit smoothies, made with an assortment of fresh fruit and your choice of milk for whichever allergy, diet, or plain taste you happen to have. Also, play it healthy and combine the early morning, Saturday Detox, Yoga Class, with a freshly squeezed veggie drink from their cleansing juice bar… hmmm vitamin goodness!   

serenity at the outdoorYOGAgarden
But, back to Yoga; I agree that although I may not be the most orthodox yogi around, given my social media inspired, yoga skills, I did get a hang of the core strengthening, spine alignment, and the stretching aspects of yoga, given my body’s needs, yet I somehow managed to leave an important aspect aside – the spiritual element. I believe that happened more out of practicality than anything else as this way I could finish my poses quicker. But anyway, it wasn’t until I took that first yoga class at EM’s that I rediscovered the health benefits obtained from the meditation and relaxation techniques which I earlier took for granted. It simply slipped my mind as to how important they could be to relieve “stress”, and we all know how overwhelming that can be for just about anyone living or visiting the island of Roatan!

YOGISof all levels from all over the world
The yoga instructor at the time was and still is a regular at EM. Christine is her name, and she was absolutely great. For just $10 US dollars per session, we had the chance to balance our Chakras with the aid of her soft and soothing voice which complemented well with her relaxed and slow paced class, ideal for beginners. Christine started of the day by performing some compulsory stretching exercises, and then moved on to more demanding poses which I was very much familiar with. It wasn’t long before she got into a deep spiritual mind set and through continuous sun salutations and breathing exercises she began transmitting that positive energy capable of making all those things which could easily throw you off balance start to slowly fade away. This was a whole new realm for me and something I had not experienced before – I was finally seeing the true benefits of true meditative yoga. In fact, we felt so calm afterwards we practically floated out of the establishment and on to Half-Moon Beach to let the ocean breeze cool down our sweaty but relaxed bodies.  
yogaMATSairing out after an intense yoga session

Now I cannot say the same thing the second time around, but do not get me wrong, I am not saying it was a bad class, not at all, in fact it was actually very good. It just wasn’t the kind of yoga you want to do when you are on vacation! This was more of a hardcore, boot camp training, hot Bikram-style, workout which really kicked our asses. This time we ended up in West Bay Beach sipping on some Pina Coladas trying to numb the pain from our overworked muscles.   

In retrospect, it really didn’t matter what style of yoga we chose to do, at least now I have discovered a great place where I can go to learn more about yoga, grab a delicious breakfast, or sip on some healthy beverages. One thing is certain, the next time I do visit Earth Mama’s I will remember for sure to ask if we will be doing some sun salutations accompanied by live guitar playing (we will try this one tomorrow morning) or if we are doing a Vinyasa class with an extra punch on the Flow.