San Cristóbal is a special place. The rainy morning started with some Tao philosophy and Eastern meditation, and wrote a few pages of thoughts.

At 9:30am, I attended my first Vinyasa Yoga class with Ambar, Veronica, and twelve others in a studio. As a class for women, we focused on our inner strength and our balance all united together, and it was like engaging a part of my femininity and spiritual mind that I had never connected with. Touching base. There is something different about being part of a female entity, something uniquely fertile and spiritual and communal. I transported myself to Varanasi. Breathe in. Keep centered on the abdomen. Breathe out. Focus on the straight line from the bottom of your spine to the tips of your fingers. Our instructor is Kate, a young and elegant American who has the most warm and gentle demeanor, and even though some of the postures were painful, it felt restorative to have her soft hands align your body, rub and knead your back. Imagine yoga with the soft drawl of Spanish, with Indian tabla music in the background, the spacious room is dark, and there is the smoky fragrance of incense. The collective “ommm” at the end was incredibly beautiful. Give thanks and greet the day, Namaste.

Afterwards, we went to the Taller and greeted all the indigenous workers, and I went to the AutoCAD room to touch base with all the industrial designers, who were working on tools. The three girls are designing handbags and using silk screen to print designs onto it. With all the raw materials we have…empacamiento bambú, cepa de plátano, doblador de maíz, corteza de palma, hoja de lirio [bamboo, banana stalk, corn husks, palm cortex, and iris leaves]…and the tools, we are creating sustainable and avant garde fashion. Recently we have been pulling our inspiration from Japanese origami designs, and Asian teas, and melding it with Mayan sensibilities. In fact I’ve been drinking chai every other day.

One of my jobs is to photograph everything, load products online, write reviews, help with the commercialization of products, and maintain our relationship with buyers from major museums, universities and libraries in North America and Europe.

In the next post I’ll write about my visit to Chamula, meeting Guancayo and Maruch. It was my first time with a Mayan cura, a medicine priest, performing incantations for a religious ceremony.

Spanish Words of the Day: “ombligo” belly; “rendir” surrender; “aspirar” inhale; “espirar” exhale

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