• Shelley Oto

TAKE ME BACK … To Maderas Village

What does 3 planes, 2 boats, a drug cartel, falling in love, adventure and yoga have in common? The answer is Nicaragua.

When I first decided to explore holistic healing, it began with wanting to see and experience Yoga in different parts of the world and tell about it. I was determined to provide more information than what is typically provided online. My visit to Nicaragua (Nica) was fate. Initially, I planned to visit Peru; but after some research, I wasn’t convinced I would feel safe as a solo female traveler. Surprisingly, that same day, three people randomly mentioned #Nicaragua. A friend named Till introduced me to #Maderas Village, my brother text me and recommended visiting a hotel owned by one of his friends in Nicaragua and then through another introduction, #Nica was recommended yet again. If you know me at all, you can guess that I thought this was a sign--a micro miracle at that.


I had the most memorable experiences in Nicaragua. Right from the beginning, I’m pretty certain that I fell in love, which made for a great life adventure. This was personal growth and a signal that I was finally ready to open up. It’s special to be in environments completely different than what we are used to. For example, electricity for half the day, no makeup, no hair products, Wi-Fi sometimes or not at all, no high rises, lots of bugs and let’s not forget the massive land crabs that scramble by while swinging on a hammock next to the most beautiful body of water I’ve ever seen to say the least. There was a shocking resemblance between my vision of a pirate and some of the locals who had beautiful tans, long uncombed hair and who were really sweaty from the outrageous humidity and heat. This was Little Corn Island, my favorite area of all of Nicaragua. Little Corn Island is a little island off the coast of Nica. It’s a really special place and I’ll never forget it. This is the best love story I've ever told. I had zero expectations when I arrived, and I left feeling full of life and smiling from ear to ear. This is what happens when you let go of your expectations.

After leaving Little Corn Island, I flew to the mainland to meet one of my dearest friends and ohmies, Renee. For those of you who don’t know, an ohmie is a close friend you’ve connected with via #Yoga. This trip was unforgettable, and we shared sweet sister boos moments. One night, we were both lazy and tired and we apprehensively agreed to cruising by a club just to say we did it. Then, fast forward an hour and we were dancing in the rain, jumping up and down, singing every word to every song with hundreds of other people on the beach, smiling and laughing like it was the last day of our lives and we were living it!

The number of nights I laid on the beach looking at the stars, smiling and so completely content will leave a bigger imprint in my memory than any material possession I’ve ever received. This moment was priceless and one of my favorite memories of all time.

The next morning we planned to explore Maderas Village. We woke up at the crack of dawn to zero electricity, a humid Airbnb and uncertain transportation. We ran from our rental to the hostel located down the street in hopes of catching their transportation. Thankfully we made it just in time. Maderas Village is a Yoga and #Surf resort located in the town of Madera. They offer classes daily in a beautiful large studio that sits on 4 high stilts, a thatched roof and has open walls to see and hear the sweet sounds of the outdoors. The instructor Alex began the class with an intention that hit home. Fellow yogis understand, hearing the perfect intention at just the right time is like being in church when you think the pastor is talking directly to you. Check out my video to hear what I’m talking about.

I had no expectations when I chose to visit Nicaragua. For this reason, I think this trip stood out in a very special way. The surf culture, yoga, food, #beaches, bright #colors, #island life, scenic drives and welcoming locals made my trip one that I will not forget. Who knows, maybe I’ll even live there one day. Anything is possible.



“What began as a quest to create a place for friends and family to congregate has evolved into an idyllic boutique resort just off the beaten path in the Pacific coastal hills of Nicaragua. With great intention, they’ve made a home for the modern traveler, for thinkers and doers and all of their interesting associates. In fully recognizing that it’s always the individuals that make an experience, we take great pride in our ability to attract and cultivate a community of characters, of movers and shakers, creative professionals, students, travelers, business savants, entrepreneurs, and everyone else in between.”

Frequency: Daily at 9am

Cost: $10 per class

Length: 60-70 minutes / varies

Temperature: Heated by the natural climate temperature

Location: Indoor/outdoor (meaning, the class is taught on a high deck that sits on 4 stilts, with a a beautiful thatched roof.

Music: Due to the electricity being out at the time, we flowed to the sweet sounds of birds and nature … until the very end when the electricity turned back on.

Equipment: Maderas Village provides towels, mats, blocks, bolders and traps.

*Bring your own water

My set was taught by: Alex Maz (www.alexmazerolle.com) / IG: @allymaz

Teachers: Rotation of teachers for each week, each taking a couple of days.

Styles Taught: Most classes are #Vinyasa flow, with an occasional day of #Power Flow and #Yin upon request.

Level: Teachers tend to cater to the range and preference of the class. (All levels are welcome)

Reserving a spot: If you’re not staying at the hotel, there is no need to reserve a spot. Occasionally they are closed for private retreat, so it’s best to email beforehand to check out the schedule for the week.

Additional notes: There are small bugs here and there, as this space is exposed to the outside. A fine opportunity to activate your #Drishti

Website: Maderasvillage.com

SPECIAL THANKS: Edited by: Mia Capatan (@cptn.amor) Featured Ohmie: Renee Nicole (IG: @reneenicoleyoga) Maderas Village: IG (@MaderasVillage) Featured Instructor: IG: (@allymaz)

For the recommendation: Till (@billbicycle)

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