We are all examples through our lifestyles and modes of living. Sustainable tourism is not just about using good practices as you see the sights and enjoy the view, but in the lifestyles of the business owners too. The example starts with those who lead. In Anukara Eco-Cultura, Part 1 we are going to show you the Thai Massage, Yoga in Nature and Reiki Therapy practices offered by this small local business. The Toccalino-Guitierrez family, are a team who works to set an example of sustainable living through daily practices. We stopped in for a chat one afternoon to find out more about one of the many participants in the soon-to-be-released ebook, Pereira City Guide, the definitive guide in English for the area.
Anukara is quite easy to arrive at. Catch a bus for La Florida from Calle 17 in front of Victoria Plaza or take a taxi, which costs about 12,000 pesos. It is best you coordinate your arrival with Angela or Ivan in order to ensure the best possible experience in finding their place. Spanish and English is spoken.
Anukara Eco-Cultura Part I
Angela & Ivan are a mixed Colombian-Canadian couple who have two children. They originally met in Canada where Ivan was living and working. With the high cost of living and the small amount of opportunities, they realized that life in Canada just wasn’t sustainable, or even practical. And Anukara Eco-Cultura was born. Having bought and renovated a small farm in Pereira, Angela and Ivan made the move official in September of 2015. Now, 9 months later they have transformed the place into a garden paradise. Here is there story:
Pereira City Guide: What kind of services are you offering at Anukara Eco-Cultura?
Angela: We are in the works of building some cabins for people to eventually stay in. We want to create a sort of workshop space where can host people for yoga retreats, permaculture workshops, herbology seminars, natural building, anything that brings people together and helps to create balanced health and wellness in the community.
Pereira City Guide: And what about the Thai Massage, Yoga in Nature and Reiki Therapy part?
Angela: I would really like to offer my services of Thai Massage, Yoga in Nature and Reiki Therapy to any visitors who come to stay with us as well as within the community of Pereira and Colombia.
Pereira City Guide: Not everyone understands what Reiki is. How would you describe it?
Angela: In essence it is the channeling and distribution I guess you can say, of universal and life-force energy. Called “Chi” in some traditions or “Prana” in others. Essentially, we’re talking about energy. The energy that makes up the cells in each part of the body. This is the energy that keeps you vibrant and alive. And so there’s an infinite source of that energy. I act as a tool or as a channel for that energy and to also gather information in a perceptive way. I can sense and help people to clear areas that might be mental, emotional or past related, to help hone in on those issues and try to find what is needed to heal.
Called “Chi” in some traditions or “Prana” in others. Essentially, we’re talking about energy. The energy that makes up the cells in each part of the body. This is the energy that keeps you vibrant and alive.
Pereira City Guide: How does Thai massage compare or contrast with what we typically consider to be a massage?
Angela: It’s completely different, really. It’s done on a floor, on a floor mat, fully clothed, and the body is taken through a series of movements, taking your body through its full range of motion. It helps to move energy along the meridian lines of the body to help clear all those channels, circulation and lymphatic flowing, it helps to pull toxins from the tissues. If I had to describe it in simpler terms, it sort of incorporates shiat-tzu style massage with applied yoga and a bit of energy theory as well. It’s very multi-dimensional and its extremely deep and therapeutic. I find it to be one of the most beautiful practices. In Thailand it is done among family members for prevention and they are taught at a very young age how to do it. It’s their main form of healthcare.
Pereira City Guide: Finally we have the Yoga in Nature, what is that?
Angela: I think that humans have an incredible connection to nature, and that most are nature deprived. Especially those living in cities, working 9-5 jobs, and just living life trying to survive. It’s difficult to connect in nature, but everything is one and interconnected. We need that balance, we need to plant our bare feet in the earth to ground ourselves.
I started practicing in 1991, so it’s mostly been a lifelong passion. I tried many branches of yoga, and each one was good for its time and it taught me a lot. I never found one that really spoke to me until I found yoga therapy. And what is Yoga? It is a union, a yoking, its about body-mind-spirit. And so it uses all of the tools of yoga. Depending on the age and the ability of the person or the group that I am working with, I will create a class program to fit the needs of the individual. So if that person needs more meditation, more praniyama in their life, or if they need a serious movement practice I can provide that for them. It also connects in with the Thai massage as well, where I focus on small groups and individual classes and I try to find out what is your need? or where are you having pain in your body right now. What are you feeling that you have a need for at this point in life, and then I will try to fill it.
Depending on the age and the ability of the person or the group that I am working with, I will create a class program to fit the needs of the individual. So if that person needs more meditation, more praniyama in their life, or if they need a serious movement practice I can provide that for them.
Sustainable Lifestyle Leadership
The responsibility of every eco-tourism business is to always be that example. At Anukara Eco-Cultura they truly live what they teach. In the second part of our interview you will discover Ivan’s side of Anukara. Click Here to read Part II: Eco-Construction, Permaculture and Volunteering. Contact them now for your appointment: 313-697-7012 or whatsapp +57 310 549 9449
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