In honor of ten years of Bodhi Surf + Yoga, I sat down with co-founder and yoga teacher extraordinaire, Pilar Salazar, to find out more about the person beyond the yoga mat. Of course, yoga is a big part of her life and has certainly a theme that has run through it. Yet beyond just the physical component of yoga, Pilar has been deeply interested in the mind-body connection and any practice that may foment that. She is without a doubt the team’s most dedicated spiritual practitioner.
Balance at Bodhi Surf + Yoga
Members of the Bodhi Surf + Yoga “tribe” — whether they be guests, staff, or friends — who come into contact with Pilar know her as a grounding force for the company, highly attuned and sensitive to the needs of others. Her grounding energy is felt most acutely during her yoga classes, where her knowledge, passion, and aptitude for yoga’s teaching and philosophy is clearly demonstrated. In the words of team member, Anki:
“Not only have you been gracefully teaching the art of life through yoga to our guests (and us!) for years, but you have also been our moral compass, compassionate leader, and grounding energy. We admire your fierce discipline in evolving your yoga practice, but even more so your willingness to join a dance party whenever presented with one.”
Pilar’s other lesser-known passions include cooking and baking delicious vegan food, traveling, reading, running, dancing, and hiking. And of course, spending time with her two daughters — Maya and Clea — including homeschooling them since mid-2019. In recent years, Pilar has become an avid meditator, as evidenced by her grounded and soothing disposition. She has worked hard to build a life where passion and play, achievement and enjoyment, service and satisfaction live in harmonious balance. So here’s to you Pilar; congrats on ten years of this dream job that is being a co-founder of Bodhi Surf + Yoga!
An interview with Pilar
How has your yoga practice changed or shifted over the past decade?
In my late 20s and early 30s, I was very focused on the asanas because I wanted a more physical practice. Over the years, I’ve been letting go of the physicality of the asanas, and focusing more on my mind instead. When I turned 40, I had some realizations about my body and my mortality, but I also wanted to practice yoga in a way that would allow me to be a better mother to my young daughters. This shift from the physical to the internal was manifested through meditation, which has allowed me to stay more calm, grounded, peaceful, and compassionate.
Do you have a mentor or role-model in the yoga world?
I am drawn to older yoga teachers because they have really embraced every single aspect of the practice. Desirée Rumbaugh, for example, is in her 60s but nobody would notice because she still glows. Desirée is a very strong woman because she was able to overcome the loss of her son, and I believe her yoga practice helped her with that. I also feel a connection with her because we both have curly hair.
Do you envision yourself/your family living anywhere outside of Costa Rica?
Yes, definitely. This is home for me, but I’ve always wanted to travel, explore and live in new places. I’d like to take a short sabbatical with my family, maybe to Peru, Mexico, Canada, Spain, Portugal, or Bali.
If you could take a month-long solo trip anywhere in the world, where would you go?
Either Bali for a meditation retreat or Nepal for a meditation trail hike in the Himalayas.
If you could become fluent in a new language overnight, what language would you choose?
I’ve always wanted to learn French, not for the functionality of it, but simply because I enjoy the way the language sounds.
What is your favorite home-cooked meal?
Rice and beans in any combination, especially gallo pinto. I also like rice and beans Caribbean style with avocado and fried plantains. The best rice and beans you could ever try in your life was the kind that my grandmother used to make — there was a science to it.
What is your favorite kind of music to dance to?
I dance to absolutely everything. I was born to dance. I will dance to whatever music is playing and I have no favorites.
What is your favorite song of all-time?
I can’t choose just one: Imagine by John Lennon, Redemption Song by Bob Marley, and Feeling Good by Nina Simone.
What was the best book you read in 2019?
In what ways do you think Bodhi Surf + Yoga will change (or stay the same) in the coming decade?
Our business is definitely going to continue maturing, and our purpose will stay the same, but ultimately everything else here is constantly changing — we just keep flowing. I want to continue teaching yoga until I retire at 95.
From the whole Bodhi Surf + Yoga team: It’s been a wild ride, an epic journey. We are beyond excited to be here, standing at the brink of a new decade — both in time, and in our own history. To the next 10 years — we are so excited. We invite you to book a vacation now and come celebrate with us in person in 2020, and remember — 10% off vacations booked and taken in 2020 — “Take it or give it”!