A few years ago, while on vacation in Costa Rica, I had the good fortune to meet Dagmar Spremberg from Montezuma Yoga. We were spending ten days at Peaks N’ Swells, a family surf camp on the Nicoya Peninsula, and daily yoga sessions were part of the deal. I had been practicing yoga here and there– mostly bikram– for 6 or 7 years, and I was looking forward to some nice stretching after a long day in the water. But our week with Dagmar opened up a whole new world of yoga for me. Her classes combined the gentle stretching I had expected with challenging balancing poses and inversions, breathing exercises, and meditation. Instead of simply easing overworked muscles, our sessions left me feeling centered, calm, strong, and relaxed. I was hooked. I’ve been back to Montezuma to surf and practice with Dagmar twice since that first visit, and I do her yoga videos regularly at home. So, when Dagmar asked me to review her new Online Yoga Retreat, I was so happy to say “yes!”
This week, I’ve been going through her online retreat video by video, trying new breathing exercises and working on proper alignment in my Vinyasa (plank and chaturanga), Sirsasina (headstand), backbends, and forward bends. Setting these poses up correctly is so important, and Dagmar’s simple and clear instruction has helped me to correct bad habits– especially in back bending. Each video is short (just a few minutes), but very instructional. The online retreat also includes a new Purifying Sunrise Flow video that brings many of the components together in an invigorating practice. If I close my eyes and listen to the ocean in the background, it almost feels like I’m back in Montezuma.
The boys also know Dagmar and loved doing yoga with her while we were in Costa Rica. As much as I try to encourage them to join me at home, they rarely do. But a short video on headstands got their attention, and I managed to sneak in a Pure Love meditation at the end. Next time, I’m also going to try to get them to do a breathing exercise with me. Maybe a few minutes of Nodi Shodhana (alternate nostril breathing that is meant to balance the right and left sides of the brain) every day will counteract all the Minecraft they play.
In Dagmar’s words, “It is amazing how powerful yoga is once you start to practice regularly, and when you learn to do it right.”
The Online Yoga Retreat consists of 8 short instructional videos and one new 50 minute practice, all geared toward beginner and intermediate yogis. They are all wonderful. Dagmar is wonderful. Access to the online retreat is $39.95 and includes a forum where you can pose questions and read comments from others who are participating in the retreat. The retreat is limited to ensure that Dagmar can read and respond to questions.
For more information, or to sign up, please visit Montezuma Yoga Online Retreat. If you sign up, please let me know what you think!