Before we even started talking, Sam was smiling and it was contagious. We swapped a few travel stories and her hearty laugh made me feel like I had always known her. While sipping on a limonada, I asked her some questions.
Desiree Bilon: Why did you choose Mexico? Why Vallarta?
Sam Cress: Over the years I have travelled to various parts of the world, including a number of other places in Mexico, but I have always felt drawn to Vallarta. When I came here for a month to do some extended Yoga training in January 2014, within the first week of my arrival I knew I was meant to stay here.
I love Vallarta’s Zona Romantica. There is such a diverse group of people – there are people from all over the world. Everyone is open and accepting, and everyone is free to be whoever they are. And of course, restaurants, bars, dancing, rooftop terraces, live theater, live music, comedians, lots to do and lots of fun to be had.
DB: I heard you teach Yoga. When did you start studying Yoga?
SC: My first yoga class was in 1982, but I began studying more seriously in 2005. I have attended various courses and retreats in many locations, including Bali and Thailand. I am certified in both Vinyasa Yoga, as well as Yin Yoga. I typically teach a slow flow type of class.
My partner Gilberto and I founded Angel Yoga PV and offer bilingual Yoga classes on the beach for locals and tourists, by donation. Tourists usually donate 100 pesos per person, or more, whereas locals often donate coconuts, bananas and tamales. We provide mats and blocks.
DB: Can you describe a typical day in your life?
- 5:00 am – Wake-up and meditate, followed by a strong cup of coffee
- 6:45 am – Head to either the “beach studio” or Davanna to teach morning yoga
- 10:00 am – Breakfast
- Late morning: – Catch up on computer work
- Afternoon: – Private Yoga classes
- 7:30 pm – Watch the sunset
- A few evenings a week I like to go out for dinner with friends or take in a theatre show.
On the weekends I like to go for a beach walk, hike, cook, read and/or make hand-carved wooden earrings and organic body products infused with essential oils.
DB: Which are some of your favorite places in Vallarta?
SC: One of my favourite places is Conchas Chinas beach. It’s often very quiet and, depending on the tide, there is a rock formation that creates a little swimming pool. I also enjoy the hike from the Centro up to La Cruz, where the view is spectacular. Another of my favourite things to do is to take a water-taxi to Las Animas or Quimixto (beaches just north of Yelapa) for lunch and a lazy afternoon on the beach. I also love walking along the Malecón in the evening to enjoy the sunset.
DB: Any advice for travelers coming to Vallarta? Including what to bring or leave at home?
SC: Bring an open mind and go with the flow. Don’t worry about forgetting anything, as you can buy pretty much everything here.
DB: Do you have a personal motto?
SC: Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu
It’s Sanskrit for “May all beings everywhere be happy and free, and may the thoughts, words, and actions of my own life contribute in some way to that happiness and to that freedom for all.”
It was a pleasure talking to Sam Cress, her love of life shone through her words. She reminds me of sunlight – cheery, warm and illuminating. No wonder she chose a café called A Page in the Sun for us to meet.
For more information about Sam please see: https://www.facebook.com/angelyogapv